In the frame of the final project of the Curatorship seminar, Lydia Diakité, from The Union, joined  the MA and PhD students of The Lisbon Consortium, at the HANGAR, on November 24th.

The Union is the collaborative identity of Tanja Wol, Lydia Diakité, Anita Beikpour, Claudine Zia and Anna Meera Gaonkar. The Union - a trade union for racialized artists and cultural workers in Denmark was established in 2018 by a group of racialized artists and cultural workers who see a need to organize themselves in order to voice different forms of racial discrimination and working conditions in the arts and culture industries. The Union's purpose is to facilitate a network where members can share knowledge and start conversations about professional problems with the ambition that The Union can in the long term enter into specific cases about racism, as well as engage in dialogue with the institutions and industries we belong to responsibility.

As artistic/cultural institutions become increasingly global/ international/ transnational in their scope, they are faced with tremendous responsibilities: to collect, preserve, and show the (hidden) multi micro-narratives told by the many who make up the world. Alike speculative realism (Harman, 2018), and while challenging the multipolar Western institutional structures (grand-narratives told by few) that they inhabit (Gupta and Watson, 2016), such responsibilities imply a spirit of imaginative audacity, mutability, and exchange, integrating both human and non-human experiences, knowledge, and stories. Considering the danger of hegemonic absorption of dissonant practices into canonical art historical and curatorial discourses – which would imply the deactivation of conflictual questions that may defy Western notions of quality, influence, originality, work of art vs. artifact etc. –, this project aims to ask: How do the artistic/cultural practices respond to (and, therefore, (ex)change with) the different challenges – curatorial, art historical, educational, but also economic and political – posed by the collection and exhibition of works from a variety of world regions?

The discussion unfold around the idea of making proposals for (an) art world(s). Starting from the ideas sketched above and a series of workshops, the students co-wrote and distributed manifestos. The manifesto resulting from the workshop with The Union, can be found below.

This project is only possible with the support of: CECC (Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Cultura, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas, Universidade Católica Portuguesa); FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia); and DGArtes (Direção Geral das Artes – República Portuguesa, Cultura).


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