ARTSLINK ASSEMBLY 2018

ARTISTS AND GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP

NOVEMBER 16, 2018
LENFEST CENTER FOR THE ARTS
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NYC

A transnational meeting of artists, organizations, and activists focusing on the artists’ growing role in social justice and building an open democratic society

At the pilot ArtsLink Assembly, the central issue was the exploration of the impact of international cultural exchange and the artists’ growing role in social justice and building an open democratic society. Presenters included the Lenape Center of New York; arts policy leader Simon Brault (Director, Canada Council for the Arts); Priit Raud (Estonia, ArtsLink Alumnus); artists Leyya Tawil and Mike Khoury; a panel of key foundations funding international cultural practice; dialogues between the 2018 Fellows; Noor Zafar from the American Civil Liberties Union; academic Izabel Galliera on the need for social practice in times of crisis as well as officers from the State Department and the NEA.

assembly video and index

assembly SPEAKERS

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Canada
Ottawa

Author of No Culture, No Future, Simon Brault has been a driving force behind a number of major projects and has held key positions in national organizations, including the National Theatre School of Canada. An initiator of Journées de la culture, he was a founding member and Chair of Culture Montréal and has been a board member of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) since 2016. He is a sought-after speaker and, in 2017, he represented Canada as a cultural expert at the first G7 on arts and culture. Simon Brault has received numerous distinctions for his commitment to the social recognition of arts and culture. 

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United States
New York
New York

Rashida Bumbray is senior program manager of the Arts Exchange, the Open Society Foundations’ global arts for social justice initiative.

Since joining in 2015, Bumbray has organized the Arts Forum: Art, Public Space, and Closing Societies and launched the Soros Arts Fellowship. Bumbray began her curatorial career in 2001 at the Studio Museum in Harlem, then as Associate Curator at The Kitchen.  She was guest curator of Creative Time’s public art exhibition Funk, God, Jazz and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn in 2014. Bumbray is also an accomplished choreographer.

A graduate of Oberlin College, Bumbray also received an MA in Africana studies from New York University. She has been nominated for a Bessie Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and the Independent Curators International Curatorial Vision Award. 

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United States
New York
New York


Hadrien Coumans is a Co-founder and Co-director of Lenape Center, Advisor for wellbeing / peacemaker.

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Romania
Constanta
Performance Art

A performance, installation and video artist, Raluca Croitoru develops her work in close collaboration with artists and communities. She is interested in collective embodied memory and social modes of performance, exploring leisure and pleasure, consumption and labor, and protest and power. Raluca’s recent projects investigate the relationship between choreopolitics and choreopolicing, terms coined by performance theorist André Lepecki that discuss the relationship between freedom and obedience. She is inspired by the everyday social choreographies of industrial rhythms, activism, ergonomics, flexibility and the mobility of workers.

During her residency, Raluca lead a series of workshops to develop material for a new performance work inspired by the everyday movement of individuals from local communities in work, leisure and conflict contexts.

United States
New York
New York


Davids is an award-winning composer of film scores and concert music, and a citizen of the Mohican Nation. His electronic and orchestral scores often employ Native American instruments and those of his own design, including his signature quartz crystal flutes. His scores have appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Hallmark. Davids trained at Sundance Institute with Shirley Walker (A League of Their Own) and apprenticed with Oscar-winner Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare In Love). 

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Albania
Tirana
Multimedia

Curator and author, Adela Demetja is the founder of Tirana Art Lab (TAL) – a leading independent contemporary art institution that engages in a wide range of collaborative activities with art institutions and academic structures in Albania and South Eastern Europe. TAL promotes emerging artists through the programming of public events, residencies, exhibitions and lectures.

Alongside her work with TAL, Adela has curated and managed numerous international exhibitions and events in Europe. In 2015 she was a co-curator of the 3rd Project Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-0 Ark Underground and in 2016 she was appointed curator of Focus: Ex-Yugoslavia and Albania at viennacontemporary international art fair in Austria. She was also Artistic Director of the Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival.

During her residency in the US, Adela intended to gain familiarity with administration, fundraising, and the strategic development aspects of US arts organizations. She was also eager to meet artists, curators and arts professionals for future collaborations.

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Georgia
Tbilisi
Multimedia

A digital media artist and documentary filmmaker, Anna Dziapshipa explores identity, borders, personal and collective memory and notions of home through digital storytelling. She is a founder of the Abkhazian Virtual Archive – a web portal, reconstructing documents from the State Archive in Sokhumi, Abkhazia, that were destroyed during the armed conflict in the early 1990s.

Anna also founded the documentary film company Sakdoc Film supporting documentary filmmaking that reflects on processes currently taking place in Georgia’s post-Soviet transition. She contributes to the online multimedia platform Chai Khana giving voice to under-represented women, rural communities, minority groups, and conflict-affected communities in the Caucasus.

During her residency in the US, Anna planned to take advantage of the distance from the stories of her home country and explore new angles of communication through collaborations with local artists and communities.

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United States
New York
New York

Cathy Edwards joined the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) as Executive Director in January 2015. NEFA is one of six regional arts organizations established with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts  to strengthen the national arts infrastructure by cultivating the arts on a regional level. Today, NEFA’s programs are regional, national, and international in scope, and support artists and communities through grants and other opportunities in dance, music, theater, and public art. 

Prior to NEFA, Cathy was director of programming at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, CT. She previously served as artistic director at both the Time-Based Art Festival at PICA in Portland, OR, and Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, and as co-director of Movement Research in New York City. 

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Kazakhstan
Almaty
Multidisciplinary

Seeing art as the manifestation of already existing harmony, installation artist and poet Zoya Falkova creates her projects around ready-mades and self-organizing systems. She entwines visual practices with poetry employing storytelling, science and bio-art. Currently she collaborates with a Goliath bird-eating spider which spins webs of mesmerizing beauty in settings created by the artist. However, being placed in a political context, the spider’s web also provokes myriads of references to geo-political processes.

Zoya also examines the postcolonial experience, women’s rights and freedoms, and cultures of violence in society. She is the author of The Illustrated Guide to the Meanings of Almaty – a literary map featuring poems, essays and stories and mapping the city through the eyes of its inhabitants.

During her residency in the US, Zoya planed to further her research-based art and poetry projects, feminist activities, bio-art and science-art projects.

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United States
New York
New York

An anthropologist, writer and artist, Abou Farman is author of the book Clerks of the Passage (2012). He is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research in New York. As part of the artist duo caraballo-farman, he has exhibited internationally, including at the Tate Modern, UK, and PS1/MOMA, NY, and received several grants and awards, including NYFA and Guggenheim Fellowships. He is producer and co-writer on several feature films, most recently Icaros: A Vision. He is also the founder of Art Space Sanctuary and works alongside the New Sanctuary Coalition.

United States
Mechanicsburg
Pennsylvania

Izabel Galliera is an assistant professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Design at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, and was previously an assistant professor of Art History and the Director of Rice Gallery at McDaniel College. Her book Socially Engaged Art After Socialism: Art and Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe was published in 2017. Her research has also been published in the Journal of Curatorial Studies, ARTMargins, FIELD: Journal of Socially Engaged Art and anthologies such as Collaborative Now: Art in The Twenty First Century, and Redefining Creativity: Multi-Layered Collaborations in Art and Art Historical Practice. 

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Poland
Lodz
Installation

Using light as the central medium in her work, Karolina Halatek creates experiential site-specific spaces that incorporate visual, architectural and sculptural elements. Seeing her work primarily as a catalyst for experience, Karolina creates installations that have strong experiential and immersive characteristics, often the result of collaborations with quantum physicists, and precision mechanical engineers. In 2015 her Scanner Room Video was broadcast into outer space at the Museum of Old and New Art FOMA Festival in Hobart, Tasmania.

Karolina is interested in experiences that extend to the edge of human knowledge, seeking a visual language to evoke feelings and emotions of virtually unknown phenomena.

During her residency, Karolina wanted to collaborate with arts professionals and community members and develop a new body of work based on extensive interviews that reflect on extraordinary experiences of perception. 

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Russia
Moscow
Multidisciplinary

Viacheslav Ivaschenko is chief curator at Living City, the Krasnoyarsk Regional Public Organization for the Development of the Urban Environment. This citizens’ association promotes principles of sustainable development and brings together art curators, designers, architects and sociologists. Inspired by the idea of cultivating a safe and eco-friendly urban environment, Living City runs creative projects in close cooperation with the local communities.

In 2016, Viacheslav produced the first International Recycle Art Festival in Krasnoyarsk featuring the work of international and local artists, eco-activists and city residents. In 2017, he co-organized Recycling Landscape – a public art project in collaboration with the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

During his residency in the US, Viacheslav was eager to observe organizations employing ecological practices in their work, and to meet eco-activists and artists working with recyclable materials.

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United Kingdom
Leeds
Multimedia

A visual, video, and installation artist, Asel Kadyrkhanova explores the fields of memory, trauma, and aesthetics by combining art practice with histories of art and cultural theory. She creates fascinating bodies of work employing the moving image, photography, sound, and embroidery. She is currently a doctoral student in Fine Art with Griselda Pollock at the University of Leeds, and her practice-led doctoral research focuses on memory and trauma in post-Soviet Kazakhstan.

Assel is especially interested in memory as a culturally produced construct, and in trauma as im-memory whose traces can persist in societies with traumatic pasts. Through her art, she seeks to touch upon recollection of  historical traumas in Kazakhstan, such as the famine of the 1930-s, and total ethnic deportations. she is also interested in observing current metamorphoses in collective memory of the Soviet past, resulting in denials, nationalisms or nostalgia.

During her residency in the U.S., Asel wanted to meet with members of the Kazakh diaspora whose family histories might be related to the history of Great Terror in the USSR and to collaborate with artists dealing with different forms of political and historical trauma. 

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United States
Detroit
Michigan

Mike Khoury is an experimental composer, violinist/violist, and improviser deeply influenced by Detroit and Arab-diasporic musical traditions. His duo with choreographer/organizer Leyya Tawil has been presented inter/nationally in conversation with traditional folk concerns, political identity, and the Arab avant garde. As a Detroit curator, Khoury has presented live or recorded Griot Galaxy, Black Merda, Ben Miller and Cary Loren. His curation functions through the Entropy Stereo record label and the Entropy Studios performance space. 

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Latvia
Riga
Multimedia

Inga Lāce is a curator at the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art (LCCA) – the country’s largest institution of contemporary art that curates and produces local and international events. Focusing on topics like forced migration, inner colonization and gentrification, Inga is developing the project Portable Landscapes that examines the stories of exiled and émigré Latvian artists. Inga is also involved in the SURVIVAL KIT – the annual Riga contemporary art festival founded in 2009. Established as a reaction to 2008’s economic crisis, the festival invites artists and audiences to respond to every day changes and reflect on various survival strategies.

During her residency in the US, Inga anticipated tracing the Latvian and Baltic diasporic artists and examining the topic of migration from their prospective. She also explored the contemporary situation of resistance and hostility towards migration and the growing nationalistic tendencies.

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United States
Washington
District of Columbia

Ms. Murray is Deputy Division Chief of Cultural Programs Division in the Office of Citizen Exchanges, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Nina Murray is a member of the U.S. diplomatic corps. She has served in Lithuania, Canada, and Russia, before returning to D.C. this summer to assume the leadership of the Arts Envoy program at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchanges (ECA).

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United States
Washington
District of Columbia

Guiomar joined the NEA in 2004 and has been in her current position for ten years. The International Activities department is  responsible for developing and managing international initiatives in cooperation with other government agencies or private institutions. Among the NEA’s primary international activities are partnerships involving programs with Latin America, Japan, China and countries of the European Union.

Before joining the Arts Endowment, Guiomar worked at the US Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, Italy. Prior to her work in the Foreign Service, she worked for Discovery Communications where she specialized in Public and Talent Relations.

Guiomar is fluent in Spanish, Italian and French. 

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Ukraine
Lviv
Multidisciplinary

Bozhena Pelenska is Director of the Jam Factory Art Center, a new multi-disciplinary contemporary art center which is located in a former industrial building in Lviv, Western Ukraine. The Center is a new and ambitious platform for international collaboration and the development of contemporary art and culture, offering innovative interdisciplinary programming and education projects. Bozhena and her team have been working to organize cultural and educational events that introduce members of marginalized local communities to diverse artistic and social practices from Ukraine and abroad.

Bozhena planned to dedicate her time in the U.S. to exploring institutional and audience development for the arts, observing projects with strong community engagement, and researching exemplary models of programming and operations of multi-disciplinary arts and culture centers.

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United States
New York
New York

Laurel Ptak has held diverse roles at non-profit art institutions in the US and internationally, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; MoMA PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; and Triangle, New York. Her curatorial work has garnered numerous awards, fellowships and press for its unflinching belief in art’s role in shaping the society we live in, including Leading Global Thinkers Award from Foreign Policy Magazine in Washington D.C. and YBCA 100 award for art and social justice from the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Ptak is faculty member in the graduate program of Curatorial Practice at the School of Visual Arts and has lectured widely at museums, arts organizations, universities, and art schools in the US and internationally.

PARTNERS

The ArtsLink Assembly 2018 was organized by CEC ArtsLink. Livestream was produced and supported by HowlRound TV, a global, commons-based, peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive.