Fellows

Joy Mariama Smith, Jeanne van Heeswijk

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.

For more about the training, please click here.

more from Joy Mariama Smith

  • 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. 

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  • 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 focuses on  consent, and logic and loss. The Fellows spend time together, share and […]

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  • 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 […]

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Related content

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

“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

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!

Thiago de Paula Souza Co-Curates Frestas

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza has been chosen to co-curate Frestas, Triennial of Arts, São Paulo in 2020. Co-Fellow Haseeb Ahmed shows at the exhibition.


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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

Closing Dinner for Trainings For The Not-Yet, with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Bakudapan

On 22 December 2019,  Trainings for the Not-Yet (14 September 2019–12 January 2020), the exhibition as a series of trainings co-convened by artist and BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne Van Heeswijk and BAK, ends with a communal meal, cooked by the Bakudapan Food Study Group! with the Basic Activist Kitchen.  The communal meal, convened around sharing food […]

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 […]


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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. […]

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 […]

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.


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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 […]

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.   […]

Sepake Angiama Curator of 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial

BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Sepake Angiama co-curates the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial …And Other Such Stories.  As part of the program, Fellow 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Ola Hassanain’s work was part of the exhibition. From the curators’ statement: “Titled …and other such stories, the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial is rooted in close readings of the spatial realities of its […]

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 […]

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.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

Andre Reeder and Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Fellows Intensive

Fellows Mitchell Esajas, Grant Watson, and Reem Shilleh, along with BAK, were preparing to co-convene a Fellows Intensive beginning 23 March, 2020. With lockdowns starting in Europe just a week before, the plans became impossible in their imagined forms and the Fellows were unable to gather at BAK, visit The Black Archives in Amsterdam, do […]

“Art After Culture: Exile”

BAK 2017/2018 Fellows Charl Landvreugd and Jeanne van Heeswijk present at e-flux journal‘s “Art After Culture: Exile” on Saturday 29 January 2019, Witte de With, Rotterdam, the first iteration of e-flux’s conference series Art After Culture?. From the conference descrption: In this climate, artists and art practitioners are suddenly faced with a politics that goes […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Thiago de Paula Souza and Mick Wilson, along with BAK, co-convene the April 2019 Fellows Intensive focusing on conceptions of violence. Along with screenings, presentations, and discussions curated and conducted by these Fellows, artists, writer, and performer Jota Mombaça joins the Fellows to lead them through collective reading exercises, collaborative writing processes, […]

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.  

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 […]

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 […]