In Who Are We? attendees move across Tate Exchange through commissioned installations, symposia, and participatory workshops exploring living archives, the power of popular culture and crossing borders; migration, mobility and citizenship; and the politics of cultural policy, language diversity and translation. Take part in Learning Labs focusing on the increasing restrictions on artists’ rights and freedom of expression, the political potential of the neighbourhood-led co-operative commission, and the local/global re-building of arts/culture and civic infrastructures.
Throughout the week, Counterpoints Arts and The Open University will choreograph conversations with artists, cultural activists, academics and cultural hubs across the UK – with guest partners and participants from Beirut, Berlin, Casablanca, Dublin, Istanbul and Madrid – to explore the comparative processes of cultural democracy and new models for artistic production and collaborative, socially engaged practice.
As a journalist covering the clashes in Kurdish cities in Turkey, 2015 – 2016, Zehra Dogan took the small objects she found in the debris, as testimony of a war no one was talking about. This installation tells the stories of those who fled, via what they left behind. It also invites you into a conversation and to participate in the crafting and performance of stories about place and displacement.
E Li Dû Man (Left behind) will also house an experimental, participatory press room where Zehra and her collaborator, Ege Dundar, along with others will write content and co-produce with visitors a newspaper for artists and activists imprisoned in Turkey.
The installation will invite the visiting public to read the stories Zehra and fellow journalists documented, bearing witness to the displaced and those who lost their lives. Translation will play a key role in this installation. Co-Commissioned with Tate Exchange in collaboration with Index on Censorship, English PEN and PEN International.
There is a very fine line between artists who risk and artists at risk. This line is increasingly blurred as artists repeatedly step into risky territories in their practice, becoming political actors, activists, agitators and cultural agents. With artistic freedom threatened and restrictions on freedom of expression and state censorship on the rise, what ethical responsibility do art and civic organizations – large, medium and small – have in defending and protecting the rights of artists they have commissioned? This is especially true for those working with more vulnerable communities. Where are the local and global lines of solidarity between artists, arts organisations, advocacy, audiences, cultural policy, funders and grassroots communities?
A number of international artists — including Zehra Doğan — and organisations whose work has involved them in different kinds of risk will be joined in person and via Skype by a range of actors working in this field: English PEN, Index on Censorship, International Rights and Arts Advisors and Artists at Risk Connection.
This conversation takes place as part of Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab Programme in partnership with Tate Exchange.
In partnership with