Book Launch

16 October 2020, 19.00-21.00


Book Launch: Deserting from the Culture Wars

The second reader in BAK's BASICS series, published by BAK and MIT Press

Cover features an image by Andreas Siekmann from the series The Big 4ever, 2020, developed for this publication. Design by Sean van den Steenhoven for LeftLoft, Milan.

TICKETS for the launch at BAK /
Livestream (free): to be made available here prior to the event

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht is proud to invite you to the book launch Deserting from the Culture Wars , the second reader in our BASICS series, published by BAK and MIT Press, Cambridge, MA and edited by Maria Hlavajova and Sven Lütticken. The book launch is part of the
Reopening of Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals at BAK (16-17 October 2020).

Deserting from the Culture Wars reflects upon and intervenes in our current moment of ever-more polarizing ideological combat, often seen as the return of the “culture wars.” How are these culture wars defined and waged? Engaging in a theater of war that has been delineated by the enemy is a shortcut to defeat. Getting out of the reactive mode that produces little but a series of Pavlovian responses, this book proposes a tactical desertion from the culture wars as they are being waged today—a refusal to play the other side’s war games, an unwillingness to be distracted.

Read more on the book here.

The book launch includes a program with contributions by Maria Hlavajova, Sven Lütticken, Jonas Staal, and Clara Balaguer.

Live streaming As well as being an on-site event at BAK, the program also will be streamed live. You can access the live stream on this page, as well as on Facebook. The live stream will become accesible shortly before the event starts.

Program Book launch, 16 October 2020, 19-21 hrs:
19.00 hrs: doors open
19.15 hrs: program start
21.00 hrs: program end

Pre-registration for this event is required.
Click here to book your tickets.

Launch event general ticket: €7.50
Launch event student ticket: €6
Special deal: event ticket + book: €18 (saves €6.50! to be picked up during the evening of the event at BAK)

The book will also be sold on site at BAK for €17. Online you can order via MIT Press, price: $19.95

Please note: the launch itself takes place in the BAK auditorium, it is not possible to visit exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals during the event. For this, please book a timeslot for one of the introductions on Friday 16 or Saturday 17 October, TICKETS HERE.

Facebook event

Covid-19 regulations (please read before visiting BAK)
To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff on location, BAK has prepared a number of Covid-19 guidelines, including hygiene, keeping 1.5 meters distance at all times, sticking to your allocated seating, following staff instructions, and more. You can find a general overview of the guidelines here.

If you book a ticket for an event at BAK, you agree to respect these guidelines, and we hope you join our effort in creating a safe environment for yourself and all those present!

BAK’s activities are made possible through financial contributions by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the City Council, Utrecht.

BAK’s main partner in the field of education and research is HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.

In collaboration with

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive


16 December 2022, 15.00-17.00

Stitching, Writing, Singing

Community Portal hosts...

In all continents, people have built matriarchal cosmologies sustained by complex rituals. In the advent of main modern religions and after centuries of colonizing invasions, the goddesses of antiquity were suppressed by the patriarchal structures that consolidated our era. However, they found ways to speak to us in the language of patterns, melodies, and poems. This workshop uses the voice as a method to reveal the presence of goddesses. 


27-29 January 2023

How to Set Up a Community Kitchen

During these sessions—part of the bASIC aCTIVIST kITCHEN (b.a.k.) program in collaboration with Berend Bombarius, De Voorkamer and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst—we want to collectively explore the topic of setting up community kitchens. Different strategies, tools, methodologies, and contexts are explored to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in the practices and theories of community kitchens.


24 November 2022, 20.00-21.00

Mental Health Symposium: Communal Care & Healing

Community Portal hosts....

On Thursday, November 24th, 2022, Colored Qollective in collaboration with POCQunity host their third annual symposium, this time focusing on the mental health of queer people of color. The theme of the symposium is Communal Care & Healing 


19 November 2022

Unjumbling Our Histories

b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN presents...

Unjumbling Our Histories is a two-part workshop on storytelling, collage, and bookmaking—created by artist and writer Maja Irene Bolier—with a purpose to learn and share stories in a safe and fun environment; a space for empathy, learning, and understanding.