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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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

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.

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.

Roet in het Eten Book Launch

As part of Propositions #2: Assemblism, Quinsy Gario presents his new book Roet in het Eten [Spanner in the Works],an anthology of newspaper columns, opinion articles, blog posts on among other things anti-racism, white supremacy and Dutch media landscape written between 2011–2017 and published mainly on the eponymous online platform Roet in het Eten.  

May BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Intensive: Models, Timelines, Scale, and Guest Ramon Amaro

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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 […]

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows do workshops with MaHKU students

As part of the BAK Fellowship Program, BAK Fellows do workshops, curate screenings, and have discussions with MA students of the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design HKU, Utrecht, one of BAK’s main collaborators and partners. Fellows co-convene a session on their research and critically engage with the students in their own practices […]

Reem Shille in Kunstenfestivaldesarts

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Reem Shilleh collaborates with artist and researcher Samah Hijawi and Radio Al Hara as a part of Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels. They center diaspora, homeland, and other topics in radio and in person conversations.

Rehearsing in Public with the BAK Fellows

On Wednesday 12 February 2020, BAK 2019/2020 Fellows Mijke van der drift and Joy Mariama Smith, along with BAK, co-convene a participatory panel. Along with artist Ahmed El Gendy and poet and activist Nat Raha, they rehearse in public experimental and collective practices that they are trying out in their research. The participatory panel aims to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and community activist Hamada al-Joumah convene the sixteenth training as part of the Trainings for the Not-Yet, An Investigation into Collective Work Processes for Self-Determination, from 27 November to 1 December 2019. The training focuses on discussions, collective readings, presentations, and exercises for developing a resource box for collective working and […]

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 […]

Introduction to Comparative Planetology

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Lukáš Likavčan’s publication  Introduction to Comparative Planetology (2019, Strelka Press) is the culmination of long term research, including his research as a BAK Fellow. The book-essay, according to  Likavčan, “presents an intertwined analysis of visual cultures of imagining the Earth and geopolitics of climate emergency. It compares different “figures” of the planet […]

Naomie Pieter: The Body in Black Women’s Activism

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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.

War and Cinema

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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 […]

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

BAK 2017/2018 Fellows Isshaq Al-Barbary and Matthijs de Bruijne, as well as 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne van Heeswijk and 2019/2020 Fellow Mitchell Esajas presented and engaged in training and discussion as part of BAK’s program Propositions #9: Instituting Otherwise on 7 December 2019 at BAK, probing the question of how to institute spaces for art in […]

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.

Consent, Logic, and Loss: Fellows Intensive

In February, the BAK 2019/2020 Fellows come together for another Fellows Intensive. This week experiments with various communication practices being researched by Joy Mariama Smith and Mijke van der Drift, the BAK Fellows who co-convene this intensive along with BAK, and Curator of the BAK 2019/2020 Fellowship Program Whitney Stark and focuses on  consent, and […]

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 […]

Staring with Equality: Interview with Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Wendelien van Oldenborgh visited Japan in late 2017 to participate in “MOT Satellite 2017 Fall – Connecting Scapes,” organized at various locations by the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Her work was exhibited at the Arts and Science Lab at Tokyo University of the Arts Ueno Campus, where she also held a screening and talk […]

BAK Fellow Shay Raviv at DoorVanVoor

BAK 2020 Fellow Shay Raviv represents De Voorkamer at DoorVanVoor Excursion # 3: On the road in Utrecht!, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 25 September 2020. De Voorkamer is an inclusive meeting space in which the talents of status holders, people living in asylum seekers’ centers, and other local communities are encouraged, and a space that BAK […]

Fellows at Le Guess Who?

  On Friday 8 November, BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne van Heeswijk and Utrecht-based experimental music festival Le Guess Who connect visual artist, activist, womanist, and fellow Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout with Chicago-based pianist, clarinetist, and composer Angel Bat Dawid for an event as part of Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020). Both women tap […]

Aliens, Spacetime, Storytelling, and Infrastructure: December Fellows Intensive

In December 2019 the BAK 2019/2020 Fellows gather for their third Fellows Intensive, co-convened by Fellows Oleksiy Radynski, David Muñoz Alcántara, and Diana McCarty along with BAK. Synthesizing and pushing their own and each other’s individual research trajectories, in December the Fellows visit local institutions like IMPAKT, Casco Art Institute, and Universiteitsmuseum; create and participate […]

A Conversation on: The Power of Doing Nothing

BAK 2019/2020 Fellow Joy Mariama Smith and BAK 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Quinsy Gario join Framer Framed for A Conversation on: The Power of Doing Nothing (2020), a radio program discussing productivity, refusal, and the racialized inequalities of rest. 

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

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Ola Hassanain was awarded a 2019/2020 Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize, and has work in the Sharjah Architecture Triennial Rights of Future Generations (2019–2020) and Chicago Architecture Biennial …And Other Such Stories (2019–2020) curated by Fellow BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Sepake Angiama. Congratulations to Ola on the opportunities!

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 […]

Civilization at the Crossroad: Co-Curated by Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan and Pavel Sterec curate Civilization at the Crossroad: Engineers of Scientific-Technical Revolution at FUTURA gallery, Prague (4 December 2018–17 February 2019), reflecting on research done by philosopher Radovan Richta and his team in the 1960s and “a new Czechoslovakian socialism.” In addition to historical documents and media, the exhibition includes works by artists: […]

BAK Fellows in MaHKU Graduation Show: If Not Now

Several generations of Fellows are involved in this year’s MaHKU, Utrecht, graduation show If Not Now, taking place at BAK from 30 September–11 October 2020. One BAK 2020 Fellowship position has been awarded to the Mutual Support Platform (MSP), a space for conversations and actions by/between/for students, alumni, and teachers of the MAFA HKU, Utrecht. […]

Isshaq Al-Barbary, Ola Hassanain, Jeanne van Heeswijk, and Charl Landvreugd join Urban Front for Training “Urban Practices and the Future of the City”

BAK 2017/2018 Fellows Isshaq Al-Barbary and Ola Hassanain, as well as 2018/2019 Fellows Jeanne van Heeswijk and Charl Landvreugd join Urban Front (with Distinguished Professor David Harvey, Associate Professor Miguel Robles-Durán, artist Jeanne Van Heeswijk, curator and writer Laura Raicovich, activist and politician Gala Pin, urban sociologist Laia Forne) and guests Charli Herrington and Carina […]

Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 Years of Emancipation and Struggle at the Black Archives

The exhibition Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 years of Emancipation and Struggle (2019–2020), celebrating Vereniging Ons Suriname‘s 100th anniversary, at The Black Archives, Amsterdam is co-curated by BAK 2018-2019 Fellow Jessica de Abreu, 2019/2020 Fellow Mitchell Esajas along with colleagues at The Black Archives. It showcases the often hidden histories of Surinamese activism and anti-racist work in the Netherlands. The exhibition features research conducted during the Fellowship as well as art works by 2018/2019 co-Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout, depicting revolutionary women of color, including de Abreu.

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.

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.   […]

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.

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 […]