14 April, 12.00–16 April, 18.00 2023


Tales of Symbologies Here and Then, Now and There

Tales of Symbologies Here and Then, Now and There (Hussein Shikha and Sadrie Alves)

The carpet is a multilayered entity with many dimensions and functions, tangible and intangible. It carries stories and gathers people. Borrowing Foucault’s idea of a heterotopia, the Persian carpet is also a plan-like representation of a Persian garden. Its motifs of the frame, central medallion and grid represent various architectural elements found in Persian gardens, such as the surrounding wall, central fountain, kiosk, and doorways. The carpet is also subjective map of a locality, a temporary home, and a space for gathering. In this workshop we will not only look at but see through a collectively generated textile.

During this training, we will look into the ancient crafts and symbols of tapestries as well as woodblocks of different geographies. These art forms are surrounded by immaterial cultural heritages—symbolic ornaments, visual languages—that have been undermined by the modernist lens of less-is-more.

Together, we will translate our surroundings into a collective composition, analogous to a tapestry. Through the use of different media, analog and digital, we translate our locality into a tangible vocabulary. The workshop consists of collective readings, screenings, visual exercises, time for reflection in small groups and the larger group, the crafting of a collective work, and a shared meal. This encounter is a space of theoretic insight and hands-on practice.


14–16 April 2023

12:00–18:00 hrs


Collective vegan lunch from 12:00–13:00 hrs. Meal included in the enrollment fee. The abundance and variety of the menu depends on the luck of the b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN’s dumpster dive.


Registration to all training days is required via bakonline.org.

Capacity: 20 participants

Trainer’s Notes

Having drawing skills or a graphic design background is a plus, but not required. On Sunday there will be a moment open to the general public without registration.

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.

Crowdfunding Campaign

09 September–08 December 2023

Join Our Crowdfunding Campaign: Support Freefilmers!

The project To Watch the War: The Moving Image Amidst the Invasion of Ukraine (2014–2023) and the project To Watch the War, In Solidarity are accompanied by a crowdfunding campaign in support of Freefilmers—some of its members are artists and activist filmmakers included in the exhibition and public program.

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.