Category: on politics of change

soft borders exhibition, sao paulo, brazil

Soft Borders was the main theme of the 4th Upgrade! International Conference & Festival on New Media Art, that took place in São Paulo, Brazil, October 18-21, 2010. Soft Borders embraced a wide variety of topics, cross-disciplinary approaches and presentations of cutting edge technologies. This exhibition has developed as the outcome of the 4th Upgrade! International gathering.
Artists: Not an Alternative, Mushon Zer-Aviv and Laila El-Haddad, Burak Arikan, Michelle Teran, Annemie Maes, Sara Schnadt, and Yael Kanarek.

place: Galeria de Arte da UNESP – Campus São Paulo – Rua Dr Bento Teobaldo Ferraz, 271 – Brazil
time: 3-6 november 2011
curated by: Silvia Laurentiz, Basak Senova, Elena Veljanovska
info: http://www.softborders.art.br/festival
softborders production, UNESP

NOW WHAT – about getting out of here

Nowadays, we are treated to a wealth of information about the current global crises — poverty, environmental destruction and all those finance markets supposedly teetering on the edge of the abyss. Yet the time for far-reaching political change is long overdue. After all, despite the dramatic consequences of a consumerist lifestyle, the goal of non-stop growth continues to be propagated. Natural resources are being wasted as though there were no tomorrow, while the international finance markets seem to operate free of any legal or ethical restraints. Is the public sector today ruled by economic interests and nothing else?

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SoftBorders – festival & exhibition in Sao Paulo

go to the ehibition website
download the exhibition catalogue: click here

A border, by definition, is simply a line separating two political or geographical fields. The word itself connotes political, economical, cultural, and psychological zones, along with conflicts and their conflicting positions. The same word also inhabits the act and the possibility of trespassing. Diverging thoroughly from this idea, this exhibition focuses on such projects and works that question the circumstances and limits of their territories of research, as well as the capacities and possibilities of the medium they choose to work with.

One of the main intentions of the “Soft Borders” exhibition is to duplicate the operation logic of the Upgrade Network in a gallery space, and to function as an “interface” to aggregate all possible means of perceiving and interpreting the word “border” by the Network. Yet, interface is a protocol that manages a border.
Although the exhibition displays different methodologies, technologies, motivations, and approaches, each and every work shapes, covers, and fills the volume of the gallery space in like attitude. It is the common language of the Network, which values equal distribution, sharing of information and production in tune with a similar mental and productive frequency. Parallel to this basis, the title “Soft Borders” also contains a strong indication of the word “software”, which operates on common languages (follows a code) shared and known by those who are correlated with it. In this respect, the expectation of this exhibition is to build new links and to explore new possibilities through and with the audience by sharing the common language of the Network.
(Basak Senova, curatorial statement)

happy new festival : klinkende stad 2010


http://www.happynewfestival.be/Klinkende_Stad.html

MAHILA is a multi media project that engages with women empowerment in small communities, here especially focused on Indian countrywomen affected by climate change. The project is presented in a twofold installation. One room unveils a multiple speaker ante-chamber that guides to the second room where a film is shown. The first room gives a taste of the material and atmosphere that the artists captured during their research in India. By the use of polyphonic principles and theatrical setups Billy Bultheel creates a simple yet elegant sound installation approaching the contemplative Indian landscape.
The second room shows a film made by Annemie Maes, which is a reflective documentary on women empowerment, going from west to east and vice versa.

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navdanya : future of food

From october 1st till october 7th, I followed a workshop/residence at the Navdanya Farm of Vandana Shiva, in Dehradun, North India.
Participants made up a diverse mix of scientists, strategic thinkers, artists, farmers and students. We discussed Genetically Modified Organisms (a case study: Percy Schmeiser’s war against Monsanto), Biological Commons, Fair Trade and the Organic Revolution.
Before and after the lectures and discussions, we practised yoga in the early morning, worked on the farmland in the afternoons and did some great collective cooking in the evening (all with organically grown products from the farm).
Conclusion: mix tradition with diversity. Take good things from other cultures, but never step away from yours!

PRINCIPLES FOR FOOD SECURITY IN TIMES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
This manifesto is an agro-ecological response to challenge posed by climate
change for ensuring the future of food security by mitigation, adaptation and
equity, based on the following principles:

1. Industrial Globalised Agriculture Contributes to and is Vulnerable to
Climate Change.
2. Ecological and Organic Farming Contributes to Mitigation and Adaptation
to Climate Change.
3. Transition to Local, Sustainable Food Systems benefit the Environment
and Public Health.
4. Biodiversity Reduces Vulnerability and Increases Resilience.
5. Genetically Modi?ed Seeds and Breeds: a False Solution and Dangerous
Diversion
6. Industrial Agrofuels: A False Solution and New Threat to Food Security
7. Water Conservation is Central to Sustainable Agriculture
8. Knowledge Transition for Climate Adaptation
9. Economic Transition Toward a Sustainable and Equitable Food Future

R0015199 R0015198 R0015197 R0014972 R0015227

further links:
The Future of Food Manifesto (download)
Vandana Shiva on the Future of Food (download)
The case of Percy Schmeiser : interview in MO*magazine (nl)
navdanya, organic farm

interview with Vandana Shiva : the future of food

Summary of an interview I conducted with Vandana Shiva during the workshop and seminar ‘The Future of Food’ on the Navdanya-farm in Dehradun, India – early october 2008.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

You can view this info also on PADMA (public access digital media archive).
click here for the excerpt :Vandana Shiva on Diverse Women for Diversity
Press ‘P’ to start the video excerpt.
click here for the transcript of this section.

http://so-on.be/SO-ON/articles/Shiva_V_The_Future_of_Food.pdf
http://so-on.be/SO-ON/articles/future_of_food.pdf

girl power

melissa : the origin of the word honey is feminin

Beekeeping goes back throughout history and was an art that was closely related to goddess worship in the ancient world. Bees are a matriarchal society, closely related to the feminine.

MELISSA – “bee” was the title given to Aphrodite’s high priestess at the honeycomb-shrine of Mount Eryx, where the Goddess’s fetish was a golden honeycomb. Pythagoreans perceived the hexagon as an expression of the spirit of Aphrodite whose sacred number was six. She worshipped bees as her sacred creatures because they understood how to create perfect hexagons in their honeycomb. In Her temple at Eryx, the priestesses were melissae, “bees” and the Goddess herself was entitled Melissa, the Queen Bee.
Seeking to understand nature’s secrets through geometry, the Pythagoreans meditated on the endless triangular lattice, all sixty-degree angles, that results from extending the sides of all hexagons in the honey comb diagram until their lines meet in the centers of adjacent hexagons. It seemed to them a revelation of the underlying symmetry of the cosmos.

The bee was usually looked upon as a symbol of the feminine potency of nature, because while creating a magical elixir, known for its preservation properties, they were also pollinating flowers, increasing plant fertility, and abundance.

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MAHILA – the movie

In MAHILA (women), the filmmaker steps between different worlds, going from West to East, from urban to rural surroundings. Her encounters with the experiences and observations of rural Rajasthani women provoke reflection on the process of empowerment. In an artistic ethnography we see and hear how they are using education, technology and politics to redefine their destinies. As we trace the film-maker’s memories we are taken into questions about story-telling. How are the women fighting to get their stories heard? Can the filmmaker tell other women’s stories?

screenings:
Signals from the South, Muu Gallery Helsinki 2009
Finnish Cultural Institute, Damascus , november 2009
Brigittines Brussels, 5 december 2009 19u
Lazareti Dubrovnik (croatia), 10 december 2009 19u
Netwerk Aalst, 17 december 2009 19u
okno Brussels, 17 january 2010 20u
Pixelache Festival Helsinki 2010
medialab Vienna, 20 february 2010 20u
happy new festival Kortrijk , may 2010
KASK Gent, june 2010
Soft Borders exhibition Sao Paulo, october 2011






Politics of Change – presentations in Damascus

Annemie Maes is invited by Ana Valdés (Maraya.org) to present the Politics of Change project in Damascus, Syria. Presentations (lectures and screenings) are scheduled at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Damascus.
The Finnish Institute in Damascus, maintained by the Foundation of the Finnish Institute in the Middle East, is an academic institute, which promotes, in particular, the research and teaching of the languages, cultures and religions of the Middle East. The institute focuses its operation on the Arab world and its fringe areas with high cultural and historical significance. It has permanent representatives in Syria and Egypt.

The institute’s main function is to organise academic courses, lectures and seminars for undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as researchers. The aim is to promote widespread cooperation in the fields of education and research, and to improve intercultural dialogue.
The headquarters of the institute are located in a building in the Old Town of Damascus, a Unesco World Heritage site. The building has a seminar room, an exhibition hall, a reference library, and lodging facilities for visiting researchers and students.