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

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Reem Shille in Kunstenfestivaldesarts

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Objects of Love and Desire

Patricia Kaersenhout has a solo show, Objects of Love and Desire, at Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam from 6 February–24 March 2019. Objects of Love and Desire shows Kaersenhout’s newest banner works showing black women scholars, journalists, poets, and activists of Caribbean decent in action as heroic figures, in the style of historic Chinese propaganda posters. […]

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?

BAK Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout, artist, activist and womanist, created Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Too?  a solo exhibition as a social monument, alongside a growing community of collaborators. The opening takes a place at De Appel on 4 October, 2019.

Mad About Study, a Training with Joy Mariama Smith

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith leads a training as part of Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020), an exhibition as a series of trainings, in October 2019 at BAK. The training addresses collective reading and writing, conversations, somatics, movement research, karaoke, and more, culminating in a dance party and public intervention. […]

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.

To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again

A survey exhibition of Otobong Nkanga’s works is presented for the first time in the US. The exhibition titled To Dig A Hole That Collapses Again opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago from 31 March–9 September 2018.

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 […]

The Architecture of Entanglement Ontology

During  the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2018, The Swamp School will function as a changing, flexible, open-ended infrastructure that supports experiments in design, pedagogy and artistic intelligence. Invited designers and scholars, including BAK Fellow 2017/2018 Pelin Tan, will conduct performative lectures and lead workshops for participants and visitors to the Biennale. On Saturday 26 May 2018, Pelin […]

Consent, Logic, and Loss: Fellows Intensive

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

Congratulations to BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Charl Landvreugd on his new position as Head of Research & Curatorial Practice at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam! We know that he will do important, critical, and motivating work.

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.

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

Excerpt from the article: On a summer’s day in 2011 a large group of workers gathered at the entrance of the headquarters of the Federation of the Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) in Amsterdam. The workers, all FNV members, were there to show their dissatisfaction with the negotiations for a new general pension agreement. It had […]

Charl Landvreugd’s Movt. Nr. 10: Ososma

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Charl Landvreugd creates a large-scale, solo installation exhibition Movt. Nr. 10: Ososma at CBK Zuidoost, Amsterdam (25/10–13/12/2019). The exhibition is a self-portrait and a critical reflection on cultural hybridity, integral to Landvreugd’s work, research, and current times.

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

“All Good Things Must Begin: A conversation between Audre Lorde and Octavia E. Butler” took place at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montreal, as a space for reading, writing, screening, reflection, and conversation on intersectional feminism, modernist architecture, and science fiction, and forms part of Sepake Angiama’s BAK Fellowship research Her Imaginary. https://www.sbcgallery.ca/sepake-angiama

Three Generations of BAK Fellows Present at Propositions #10: Instituting Otherwise

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Civilization at the Crossroad: Co-Curated by Lukáš Likavčan

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War and Cinema

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Andre Reeder and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Fellows Intensive

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BAK 2018/2019 Fellows do workshops with MaHKU students

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Jota Mombaça: Visionary Fiction, Activist Writing, and Critical Practices

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Sruti Bala: Decolonizing Theater Studies and the Anecdote

Dr. Sruti Bala leads a discussion on decolonizing Theater and Performance Studies and the use of the anecdote during the Fellows Workshop on 21 November 2018.

Collective Dictionary: Political

In April 2016, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, brought to life the Here We Are Academy: a spirited temporary recomposition of a refugee-initiated platform for learning called We Are Here Academy. Established in Amsterdam in 2012, We Are Here is the first large-scale organization of refugees living in limbo in the Netherlands. Through projects organized […]

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

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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 […]

Training by Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Hamada al-Joumah: An Investigation into Collective Work Processes for Self-Determination

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Thiago de Paula Souza curates Tony Cokes: To Live As Equals at BAK

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza curates Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (2020–2021).  Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals brings together selected video works from the past 30 years, immersing viewers in the audiovisual language that artist Tony Cokes has developed over his career, which typically blurs aesthetics […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mijke van der Drift at Love Spells & Rituals for Another World

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Mijke van der Drift presents her research The Logic of Loss in Bonding in the talk “Realisitcally Impossible: The Magic of Social Change” at the virtual conference Love Spells & Rituals for Another World. As Love Spells explains:  Engaging with queer, feminist and decolonial approaches and drawing on developments in cultural studies […]

Mention for May you live in interesting times

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Seminar with Andrea Phillips

As part of a session convened by 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Otobong Nkanga, educator and political organizer in the arts Andrea Phillips gave a seminar on her current research focus: reorienting contemporary art’s ecology toward producing more emancipatory forms of sharing—not simply about spatial sharing and inclusivity, but also at the level of wage labor.   […]

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 […]

How to Assemble Now (BAK Public Studies)

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The Emotional Body

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Kaersenhout performs The Emotional Body (2018) for the Fellows, as well as guests from HKU University of the Arts, […]

Fellows in Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London present Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent, the first reader in BAK’s BASICS series.      Print this page BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and London present Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent, edited by Maria […]