'Not fully human, not human at all'
Curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, organized by KADIST Foundation, Paris. April 2021.
This three-year project, initiated by KADIST and curated by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, focuses on Europe as a geographic and conceptual framework, and reflects on the dehumanisation that characterises many of the activities that humans have been doing in the name of “humanity” throughout various civilisations. The title is borrowed from Donna Haraway’s text “Ecce Homo, Aint’ (Ar’n’t) I a Woman, and Innapropriate/d Others” where she quotes Hortense Spillers, a black feminist theorist, speaking about the disposability and inexistence of any legal subjectivity of slaves in America.
The project contests this ongoing designation of disposability and analogy to waste that permeates the discussions about post-humanist and inhuman condition in which the refugees and asylum seekers, the civilians in the wars in or outside Europe, or indigenous communities, continue to have to endure, along with many other deprivileged citizens and inhabitants. Artistic commissions that emerge with this project address repressed ancient female knowledge and power through re-living local urban myths and Greek mythology (the project Europa Enterprise initiated by Andreja Dugan?ži?, Jelena Petrovic and Lala Rašcic), the role of the Western legal system in the construction of extractivist, racist and neo-colonial global structures (The Empire of Law, project by Daniela Ortiz), and open our imagination to other ways to think, imagine, and, exist in the world while asking: “what if we considered the human through the elements? Would it impact how we deal (intellectually and politically) with the most dramatic global issues of our times, such as the economic dispossession and postcolonial conflicts that fuel the so-called ‘refugee crisis,’ climate change, drug-related violence, and generalized anxiety, to name a few?” (project by Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva).
In the three years of the project, the focus remains on countries and territories within Europe that are on its outskirts, that undergo a continuing process of economic, social and political decolonisation and promote sustainable thinking in relation to resources and education. Conceptual meandering around the geopolitical notion of the Global South within Europe and the decolonisation of the concept of the human will form an important physical trajectory. The first research seminar and artistic commission started in Kosovo, Europe’s youngest state which in 2018 celebrated its 10 years of existence -a country belonging to a historically and politically very charged area called “the Balkans” or South Eastern Europe. The project then continues to the heart of the European Union and into one of the most politically and socially divided countries of Western Europe, Belgium. The project’s final research seminar and the third artistic commission will happen in 2019 in the most South Western point of Europe, Portugal, which currently represents a political hope in Europe with its current socialist and anti-racist government.
Overhead from the series TrabZONE (2010)
Our Cemetery from the series TrabZONE (2010)