Fellows

Whitney Stark

Announcing the Post-Academic BAK 2019/2020 Fellows

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to announce its BAK 2019/2020 Fellows, ten outstanding practitioners in the arts, theory, and social action from the Netherlands and abroad. These fellows have been selected for their advanced artistic and other expressive practices, interdisciplinary excellence, critical insight, and collaborative strategies from approximately 200 applicants. The BAK 2019/2020 Fellows have the opportunity to work on their own research trajectories as well as engage in collaborative learning and exchange in the coming year.

BAK 2019/2020 Fellows include writer, educator, and performer Mijke van der Drift (Amsterdam and London); anthropologist and curator Mitchell Esajas (Amsterdam); curator and critic Katia Krupennikova (Amsterdam); independent media producer Diana McCarty (Berlin); artist, architect, and researcher David Muñoz Alcántara (Helsinki); filmmaker and writer Oleksiy Radynski (Kyiv); researcher, curator, editor, and artist Reem Shilleh (Brussels and Ramallah); visual artist Urok Shirhan (Rotterdam and London); performance, installation, and movement artist and educator Joy Mariama Smith (The Hague); and curator Grant Watson (London).

Since 2017, BAK conducts a post-academic Fellowship Program with, at its center, research on reframing and rethinking conditions of the contemporary through politically driven art-making and inquiry. The ten-month Fellowship Program offers ten research positions per year (September–June) to Netherlands- and internationally-based practitioners at the intersection of art, theory, and social action. BAK Fellow research trajectories speak to conditions, politics, and genealogies of contemporary global migration; ecologies, ecological crisis, and naturecultures; the potentials and dangers of technology in struggles for justice and transformative politics; and thinking and enacting institutions differently. They also have specific affinity to BAK’s current trajectory Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), which engages aesthetico-political experimentation to address the urgencies of the present. The Fellowship Program develops talent and critical practice, and fosters artistic and theoretical inquiry in concert with the public projects of BAK, advancing the notion of art as a public sphere and a political space.

BAK Fellowships are low-residential. BAK Fellows regularly gather at BAK for Fellows Intensives with visiting artists, scholars, and other cultural practitioners, as well as public programming, visits, and collaborations with various organizations in the Netherlands and beyond. Thanks to collaborations with HKU University of the Arts and Utrecht University, both in Utrecht, in particular, the Fellows broaden their research practices through exchanges with students and other cultural practitioners in their respective fields. BAK Fellows are chosen via an open application process by a selection committee, with one position reserved for an outstanding practitioner otherwise unable to participate who is invited to apply. Curator of the BAK 2020 Fellowship Program is Whitney Stark.

more from Whitney Stark

  • First Strand of the Fellows Have a Hybrid Intensive

    The first strand of the BAK 2020 Fellows meet in a hybrid on/offline second Intensive. The Fellows work on timelines that explore political and personal histories, ways of working together, imaginings and practices for shared leadership, collaboration, and developing strategies and tactics for building lasting, genuine relations with BAK as a public institution and a […]

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  • First Fellows Intensive of the BAK 2020 Fellowship Program

    In September the Netherlands-based stream of the BAK 2020 Fellows gather at BAK, with social distance, to begin their work together. Through mapping exercises, establishing collective protocols (or something close to it), spending time with the BAK team, and sharing well-ventilated space, a sense of what is to come in the Fellowship has emerged. This […]

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  • Announcing the Post-Academic BAK 2020 Fellows

    Above: BAK 2019/2020 Fellows Mijke van der Drift and Joy Mariama Smith convene a semi-public program as part of their research, 12 February 2020, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, photo: Tom Janssen BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to announce our BAK 2020 Fellows. The following fifteen outstanding practitioners in arts, theory, […]

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  • Propositions #12: Waves Breaking Walls, Futures in Movement

    BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, proudly invites you to Propositions #12: Waves Breaking Walls, Futures in Movement, a culmination of the BAK 2019/2020 Fellowship Program. In the course of the past year, the Fellows individually and collectively developed their research engaging with the pressing issues of the contemporary in concert with BAK’s research focus, Propositions for Non-Fascist […]

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  • Gathering in these Times: Extension, Intensives, Culmination in September

    Due to the many effects of the pandemic, the Fellowship Program has shifted significantly. With fatigue, urgencies, the traps of digitalization, travel restrictions, expanding global inequalities, calls for actions, the massive changes generally and looming dangers, the Fellowship Program cannot continue in the form it once was. In addition to meeting online and searching for […]

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  • Fellows Intensive Joins Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars

    The BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gathered in Utrecht for the second time in November. Along with mapping ideas and sharing research, they joining programming and trainings for BAK’s Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars, co-convened with writer and curator Sven Lütticken as a temporary spin-off from Trainings for the Not-Yet and the ninth iteration of BAK’s long-term […]

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  • BAK 2019/2020 Fellows Gather for the First Fellows Intensive!

    The BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gathered at BAK in Utrecht for their first of seven Fellows Intensives together. Throughout the week, the Fellows presented their work, motivations, and research; learned about BAK, Utrecht, and each other; ate meals together; planned activities; found unlikely and motivating places of connection; imagined possibilities; shared references, pieces, and publications; met […]

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  • Ending the Post-Academic BAK 2018/2019 Fellowship

    In June 2019, the post-academic BAK 2018/2019 Fellowship comes to a close. After ten months of intensive thinking, imagining, enacting, practicing, troubling, discussing, laughing, sometimes even crying, the Fellows continue on their work in differing forms. Throughout our time together, the Fellows and their research have influenced and transformed each other’s as well as BAK. […]

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The Ether and Radio Alhara: Ella Finer, Hazem Jamjoum, and Reem Shadid

Fellow Urok Shirhan convenes a session with BAK, centering her research on audio forms,”collective listening, acoustic commons, and… what the shift from the eye to the ear could hold for us.” Over two days and a few digital sessions, Fellows heard talks about historic uses of radio, listened to sound pieces alone together, and experimented […]

Elizabeth Povinelli: Four Axioms of Critical Theory

Elizabeth A. Povinelli gives a seminar on the four axioms of critical theory during the first Fellowship 2017/2018 gathering on 6 October 2017.

Lukáš Likavčan Presents Fellowship Research at Sonic Acts

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan presents his new book Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, read an excerpt at Strelka Press here) at Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, 2020. Research and writing for the book was done during Likavčan’s Fellowship.  Listen to his Sonic Acts podcast here and watch his presentation here.

Final BAK Fellows Intensive: Helianthe Kort and Preparing Propositions #8

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Collective Dictionary: Inhabiting

Inhabiting is an outcome of the collaboration between Al Maeishah (Isshaq Al-Babrbary, Elena Isayev, and Diego Segatto) and the Office of Displaced Designers (ODD), who invited Al Maeishah to implement their research on The Alternative Atlas of Lesvos: An Island for the World. The atlas aims to intersect with those forcibly displaced, with the global web […]

Cinema Olanda at The Black Archives

On 26 November 2017, one day after the opening of the exhibition Black and Revolutionary: The Story of Hermina and Otto Huiswoud, the Amsterdam premiere of Cinema Olanda (2017) took place at Vereniging Ons Suriname and The Black Archives. The film has been part of the installation Cinema Olanda, made by the artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh […]

Charl Landvreugd Named Head of Research & Curatorial Practice at Stedelijk Museum

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How to Assemble Now (BAK Public Studies)

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Isshaq Al-Barbary and 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith are among the contributors to BAK’s Public Studies Program How to Assemble Now, taking place In August and September 2020.   Read more about the program here.

Yara Sharif: Architecture of Resistance

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The Wind Egg

From 15 September 2018–6 January 2019 BAK Fellow Haseeb Ahmed has had a solo show IN SITU: Haseeb Ahmed – The Wind Egg as part of the In Situ series at M HKA, Antwerp. For millennia ancient Egyptian, Aran, Indian, European, and Chinese cultures have conceptualized the wind egg, suggesting that the wind can fertilize […]

Suely Rolnik: The Spheres of Insurrection

As part of the Fellowship program in November 2017, Wendelien van Oldenborgh convenes and moderates a (Skype) seminar with psychoanalyst, cultural critic, and curator Suely Rolnik. During this seminar, Rolnik discusses her text ”The Spheres of Insurrection: Suggestions for Combatting the Pimping of life” and how microspheric modes of existence are capable of interrupting the […]

Regarding Curatorial Activism, the Role of History and Archives

As part of the 2nd Tehran Curatorial Symposium: Curator as Translator, January 2019, Katayoun Arian was invited by organizer, Fereshte Moosavi to speak on curatorial activism. Drawing parallels between the role of history, archival practices, activism, and the decolonial turn, she views the space in which the act of translation unfolds to act as a […]

Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent Published!

BAK has published the first publication in a series on our research trajectory Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (MIT Press, 2019). Moving from critique to propositions, the project attempts to articulate and inhabit methods of de-individualized living and to practice ways in which multiplicity and difference establish relations […]

Is Data the New Gas?

“In 2017, The Economist famously claimed that “data is the new oil.” At the time, Wendy Chun’s response to this statement was: “Big data is the new COAL. The result: global social change. Intensely energized and unstable clouds.”12 Still, both coal and oil are likely to decline as energy sources. Another question worth asking, then, is: what […]

Seminar with Andrea Phillips

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Evolutionary Populations: Seeds of a World Waiting to Germinate

With the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, agronomist and phyto-geneticist, Salvatore Ceccarelli was forced to end his 25-year research period in Syria where he had been working with local farmers experimenting with a revolutionary agricultural method that develops participatory plant breeding, a type of breeding done in collaboration with farmers to breed […]

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?

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Diana McCarty in Deserting from the Culture Wars

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Charl Landvreugd Accepted to De Akademie van Kunsten

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March BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive with activists, artists, and theorists in Barcelona

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Jeanne van Heeswijk co-convened the March Fellows Intensive with critic, writer, and curator Ethel Baraona Pohl in Barcelona. The Intensive focused on, among other things, collective practices and facilitation, housing movements, artistic action, and neighborhood initiatives. The Fellows had the privilege of getting to speak in depth with members of La Borda, Calàbria 66, Can Batlló, La Ciutat Invisible, La Col, Coòpolis, De Veí a Veí, Espai en Blanc and Marina Garcés, Fil a l’agulla, La Lleialtat Santsenca, and La PAH.

Ola Hassanain Awarded Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize and Shows at Two International Architecture Exhibitions

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Fellows at Le Guess Who?

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Online Screening of Oleksiy Radynski’s Landslide and Interview with Grant Watson

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Reem Shille in Kunstenfestivaldesarts

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Rehearsing in Public with the BAK Fellows

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Archiving, Refusal and Mujaawarah: Fellows Intensive

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Reem Shilleh brings 2018/2019 Fellow Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh to speak with the Fellows on their shared experiences archiving. As Shilleh writes: Based on our respective experiences with collecting, archiving — on Palestine and in Burj al-Shamali camp in Lebanon — and refusing to doing both, our conversations around editing led us to questions […]

Andre Reeder and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Fellows Intensive

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Seminar with Françoise Vergès

Political scientist, historian, and feminist Françoise Vergès joins the discussion via Skype on how artistic research can contribute to decolonial methodologies. With introduction by Olivier Bouin (director of the Network of French Institutes for Advanced Studies) and 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Pelin Tan.

War and Cinema

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Oleksiy Radynski curates a War and Cinema, an art film program on e-flux that explores differing uses of moving image media and war.

Collective Dictionary: Xenia with Elena Isayev

Elena Isayev is a historian and professor at University of Exeter uses the ancient Mediterranean to explore migration, belonging, displacement and spatial perception. Her research is based on the intersection of Hospitality and Asylum, Potency of Displaced Agency, Common and Public Space. Her interdisciplinary and inter-practice approach has led to collective learning and research beyond the […]

Shela Sheikh: Colonialism, Cultivation, and Nonhuman Witnessing

As part of the Fellowship weekly intensive in November 2017, Fellow Luigi Coppola convenes a number of discussions including a seminar with lecturer and researcher Shela Sheikh on 24 November 2017 to talk about colonialism, cultivation and nonhuman witnessing and resistance to the colonial mode of organizing, appropriating and extracting value. In the afternoon session […]

False Heroes Must Be Forgotten: Rotunda Magazine conversation with Thiago de Paula Souza

Carolina Martínez speaks with BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza about his role as a curator of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Rotunda Magazine. From the article: Last month finished the latest Berlin Biennale, developed under the curatorial concept “We don’t need another hero”, where the concepts of power that we drag from imperialism […]

All Good Things Must Begin: A Conversation Between Audre Lorde and Octavia E. Butler

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Take a Risk and Explore: The Visualisation of the Dutch Cleaners’ Movement

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BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty Presents at Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty presented a time traveling piece on interconnecting practices related to her Fellowship research trajectory in the panel ” Working in Groups, Acting in Networks.”  Propositions #9: Deserting from the Culture Wars is co-convened with writer and curator Sven Lütticken as a temporary spin-off from Trainings for the Not-Yet and the ninth iteration of […]

Fear, Communciation, and Jung: Faranak Mirjalili, Omar Mismar, and Imogen Stidworthy

Emerging from her research trajectory, BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Katia Krupennikova convenes a series of online sessions and independent screenings for the Fellows Intensive. Joined by Jungian Analyst Faranak Mirjalili, and artists Omar Mismar and Imogen Stidworthy, the Fellows discussed Jungian concepts of the Shadow and Personal Unconsciousness, forms of voicing and communicating across difference, and […]

Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Diana McCarty works with Goethe-Institut and her project reboot.fm, both Berlin, to co-create a multi-day long experimental radio program Latitude On Air – Unsettling Power Relations (2020), and exploring ideas of locality, being together, and social justice and legacies of colonialism. As part of the program, co-Fellow David Muñoz Alcántara is commissioned […]

Archival Propositions

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh present at Propositions #7/6: Archive, the final iteration of the public series Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods. The event also features Ariel Caine (Forensic Architecture, London) and takes place at BAK in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice (18 October 2018–27 January 2019). This program is […]