13 May 2021, 18.30-20.00


Fragments of Repair/Gathering III: Utopianism, Anti-Utopianism, and the Radical Politics of Chronotopian Ungovernability

A public program realized in the framework of the multi-part project Fragments of Repair

Image: J.W.M. Turner, The Slave Ship, painting, 1840. Design: Sean van den Steenhoven for Leftloft

Broadcast live from BAK, Utrecht and Granville, Ohio

Taking place on 13 May 2021, the third gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings: Utopianism, Anti-Utopianism, and the Radical Politics of Chronotopian Ungovernability*, consists of a talk by political and ethical theorist Omedi Ochieng (Granville, OH), followed by a conversation between Ochieng and BAK’s curator of public practice Rachael Rakes (Utrecht).

Resonant with the theories and practices of decolonial repair that the project Fragments of Repair invokes, the concept of “chronotopian ungovernability” constitutes a politics, an ethics, and an aesthetics of living in disrepair. It asks: What forms of life are possible in an earth wounded by capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy? Ochieng’s “chronotopian ungovernability” offers a reparative praxis of coming to terms with the actually existing constraints of history and structure, and from within this process of coming to terms, to cobble together experimental forms of life, struggle, and art. 

In this talk, Ochieng introduces a practice of chronotopian ungovernability as a provisional, contingent, transitional, and radical response to planetary crisis. Ochieng identifies the current age as simultaneously anti-utopian and utopian. What joins these two seemingly opposed social currents is a fundamental opposition to a chronotopian radicalism. This anti-radical stance, Ochieng contends, is emergent from a very specific historical conjuncture: economically there is likely an irreversible decline in growth and profits under late capitalism; ecologically, planetary life will be increasingly nasty, brutish, and short as the consequences of the Capitalocene become even direr; politically, even the veneer of “democratic” politics that used to be the guiding ideology in the empires of the North Atlantic world are being brutally ripped off to reveal the ethno-nationalist and ethno-religious structures of these polities; and socially, the loci of socialization, relationships, and meaning are shattered. Ochieng proposes potential forms of engagement that grapple with these interlocking crises though ideas and practices of planetary ungovernability and co-temporal radicality.

Video registration of this program:

There are several ways to join the gathering. Please join us free of charge by selecting the “solidarity ticket” option. If you are able and willing to support BAK’s program’s financially, please consider selecting the “regular ticket” (€4) or ” student ticket” (€ 2) option. In the check-out screen, additional donation options (starting from €2) to support BAK are available.

Register via BAK’s ticketshop – link.
After registration, you will be sent the link to the Zoom webinar.

This is the third gathering of Fragments of Repair/Gatherings, a hybrid off- and online series of lectures, conversations, screenings, and assembly forums around the theory and practice of “repair”, streamed from BAK, Utrecht, La Colonie/La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues, Pantin, Paris. 

Thursday 13 May 2021, 
18.30–20.00 hrs 
(All times are Central European Summer Time/CEST)

18.30 hrs
Wietske Maas

18.45 hrs
Utopianism, Anti-Utopianism, and the Radical Politics of Chronotopian Ungovernability
Omedi Ochieng

19.15 hrs
Rachel Rakes and Omedi Ochieng 

*Please note: the title of this program has been adjusted

Made possible by

Suggestions from the archive

Sint Maarten Parade

22 October–10 November 2023

BAK at the Sint Maarten Parade 2023

For Sint Maarten Parade 2023, Tools for Action—a non-profit organization that develops artistic interventions for political actions—collaborates with Utrecht-based members of Filipino, Caribbean, and other communities to collectively dream a parade compartment.

Panel Discussion

30 September 2023, 16.30-18.30

To the Other Side of the Concrete Wall

A book launch and panel discussion reflecting on the Jina Uprising, one year after its beginning.

Saturday, 30 September, 2023, 16:30–18:30 hrs at BAK, basis actuele kunst, Utrecht Organized by Jina Collective, a Netherlands-based feminist, leftist, anti-capitalist, anti-sexist, and pro-LQBTQIA+ action group that emerged from the Jina Uprising. This event launches a book of translated essays, co-published with BAK, which include some of the first English translations of texts by journalists […]

Public Program

09 September–29 October 2023

To Watch the War: The Moving Image Amidst the Invasion of Ukraine (2014–2023)/Public Program

To Watch the War: The Moving Image Amidst the Invasion of Ukraine (2014–2023) involves a hybrid off- and online sequence of conversations and screenings around discursive and artistic interventions that reimagine the social implications of watching the war through ways that disrupt, subvert, resist the media’s incessant spectacularization of war.