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What About the Margins?

Seminar

19 June, 2024, 6 pm

Lectures: Andreja Mesarič, anna řičář libánská, Kvet Nguyen
Screnning of Denis Kozerawski & Peter Kašpar's short film Kambium1942
Discussion: Andreja Mesarič, anna řičář libánská, Kvet Nguyen and Denis Kozerawski
Moderated by curator Iva Kovač

The event will be held in English.


East Central Europe (ECE) and South East Europe (SEE), historically subordinated to different empires until the beginning of the 20th century, have been affected by the history of colonialism (albeit in the form of economic exploitation rather than participating in political partitioning) and coloniality (as a mindset created by the social relations promoted through the history of colonialism). As a result, they have been part of the global relations created through this history. Since the end of state socialism and the accession of many of these states to the EU (that is, those in the process of pre-accession agreements), the dominant political positions in most of these states are aligned with the EU or the West.

The seminar will introduce academic and artistic research to present different cases in the long history of othering in/of these European peripheries. Andreja Mesarič and anna ričář libánská will focus on historical cases that helped solidify racist stereotypes in European peripheries. By focusing on her research on the Slovene catholic mission in Sudan in the 19th century, anthropologist Andreja Mesarič will disclose early cases of the construction of whiteness in Slovenia. Moving closer to contemporaneity, anna ričář libánská, a researcher in the field of Ibero-American Studies, will look at the creation of the image of the Native Americans in the Czech (popular) culture and their representations in Czech imagination between 1948 and 1989. Kvet Nguyen, artist exhibiting in the Looking-A-Way exhibition, will present artistic research focused on the visual representation of the Vietnamese community in Slovakia through official records and the private archives of the community members, thereby revealing some differences in representation during state socialism and after. The short film Kambium1942, directed by artist Denis Kozerawski, reveals historical connections with the global colonial order through the exploitation of raw materials from Slovakia that were used in the colonial efforts while focusing on persisting discrimination of the Roma community in the region to this day.

After the presentations and the screening, the authors will join a discussion moderated by the Looking a — way exhibition curator, Iva Kovač.

The seminar takes place in the framework of the exhibition Looking a — way: Othering in/of the (semi)periphery.

Andreja Mesarič is an anthropologist whose work traverses academia and practice. Her most recent research focuses on 19th-century Slovene encounters with Africa and Africans, and how they shaped emerging nationalisms' investment in whiteness. Her previous research explored Muslim women’s engagement with Islam in contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina and its broader context of Habsburg colonial legacies, Communist gender reform, and transnational revitalisation of Muslim piety. She has also worked as a researcher and practitioner in the non-profit sector, specialising in gender and migration. Currently, she works on new project development for the Czech NGO People in Need.


anna řičář libánská (she/her) is an activist and a PhD student at the Centre for Ibero-American Studies (Faculty of Arts, Charles University of Prague). She is one of the two people behind the Kruh intersekce, an intersectional feminist collective reading space based in Prague, and is involved in Dekrim (a collective for the decriminalization of sex work). She is currently committed mainly to helping the people of Gaza through United 4 Gaza Prague. In the past she was one of the initiators of the Manifesto of Decolonization (Manifest dekolonizace), co-organized the first Mad Pride in Prague, and she has been active in various feminist collectives for years. She is a member of the research project: Hidden History –The Representation of Women in the Era of Conquest and Colonization of the New World funded by The Czech Science Foundation (GAČR). She is also affiliated with Centre for African Studies (Faculty of Arts) where she is currently working as an editor on a collaborative translation of decolonial feminist texts into Czech.

Kvet Nguyen (1995, Slovakia) graduated in 2021 from the Department of Photography and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. She won the Tatra Banka Foundation 2021 Award in the Young Artist cat- egory. She actively exhibits in Europe (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, France, Serbia, the Netherlands) as well as other continents (Canada, Vietnam). In her works she deals with the topics of migration, diaspora and their identities, and tries to open discussions about them in ordinary conversations and other platforms as well.


Denis Kozerawski (1990) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Intermedia and Multimedia, Photography and New Media). He is a co-founder of the civic association and art platform APART and the initiator and co-curator of A Promise of Kneropy gallery. He is a laureate of the Oskar Čepan Prize for young Slovak artists. Denis Kozerawski is currently a PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts , where his project Immersive Potential explores the potential of gaming media to improve awareness of Roma in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He has also been working at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology , where he is participating in developing an educational game that will eventually be implemented across the board in the Czech education system to educate pupils about racial stereotypes, segregation and violence.


Iva Kovač (1983, Croatia) has worked as a program director of the City of Women Association in Ljubljana since 2021. She has also been a visual artist at Fokus Grupa since 2012. She was the curator at PM Gal- lery in Zagreb from 2010 to 2012 and at SIZ Gallery in Rijeka from 2013 to 2015. From 2017 to 2021 she was the curator at GSG in Rijeka where she initiated and (co)edited the first three issues of GSG magazine for Contemporary Art and Social Question.


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Looking a — way: Othering in/of the (semi)periphery is presented in collaboration with the City of Women Association.

ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.

Supported using public funding by the Slovak Arts Council.

Media partners:
Artalk.info, Flash Art CZ & SK, Kapitál, GoOut.net

Daniela Ortiz, ABC of Racist Europe, 2017



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Looking a — way: Othering in/of the (semi)periphery