Creative Time
Fast Forward Festival

Coming in May: Programs in Europe with International Collaborators

April 13th, 2017

Creative Time is pleased to announce two events in Europe this spring, at the Onassis Cultural Centre’s Fast Forward Festival and during the opening week of the Venice Biennale, furthering its goal of global engagement. Both events will address the growth of right-wing political movements across a number of countries, and the ways artists, curators, and organizations are responding. Following three traveling iterations of the annual Creative Time Summit held in recent years, the acclaimed arts organization continues to engage new communities with these latest international events.

“The subjects Creative Time grapples with are often unconstrained by geography, and branching out into more international programming reflects that,” says Creative Time Executive Director Katie Hollander. “These are issues of global importance, in keeping with both our mission and our efforts to engage with, learn from, and contribute to the international artistic community.”

First, on Tuesday, May 9th, to kick off the Venice Biennale opening week, Creative Time will partner with the local organization Microclima to present an evening conversation in the gardens of the Serra dei Giardini. The event will feature a group of international artists and curators, including Creative Time’s Nato Thompson and Elvira Dyangani Ose. As varying degrees of censorship and repression of progressive action become normalized in many nations around the world, the panel will reflect on the current political moment and the implications of the global shift right for creative practices and collective futures.

Other participants in the panel will include Paolo Rosso of Microclima, artist, musician, and writer Hassan Khan, and Hands Off Our Revolution founder Ann Marie Peña. Drinks and music in the garden will follow the conversation.

Second, Creative Time and Fast Forward Festival will come together in Athens to co-present On Homelands and the Stateless as the World Tilts Right, an international symposium investigating the challenges facing artists and activist communities under our prevailing economic and political conditions. The symposium is co-curated by Onassis Cultural Centre’s Katia Arfara and Creative Time’s Nato Thompson.

“The backlash of neoliberal globalism is clearly at work in the arts and beyond,” says Creative Time Artistic Director Nato Thompson. “These open-ended investigations approach the rise of the right with particular attention to its international and most importantly, local, manifestations and resistances.”

Taking its cue from the Fast Forward Festival’s thematic interest in transcending borderlines, the symposium brings together seven representatives from cultural organizations across the globe (North America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Greece), who have each invited artists and activists from the same geography, to share critical, practice-based perspectives on art and politics of this moment as experienced from their specific regions. These situated perspectives will address shared concerns around the im/mobilities of migrants, labor, capital and culture; the workings of power; and the constructedness of borders. Greece-based artists and social workers will provide local perspectives in relation to questions posed by the international participants.

“The refugee reception crisis and the abrupt economic and political transformations in Greece increased the need to create discursive platforms which introduce various forms of togetherness” argues Fast Forward Festival’s Artistic Director Katia Arfara. “Often confronted with extreme social phenomena, these collaborative working methods give voices to silenced groups while operating at the intersections of art, politics and education.”

The symposium will feature keynote speeches by artist Tania Bruguera and curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila Patrick D. Flores. Panelists include:

– Katia Arfara from the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece, with Michael Afolayan (ANASA Cultural Center), Anna Apostolidou (Project Press, Hellenic Open University), Nadina Christopoulou (Melissa Network), Angela Dimitrakaki (University of Edinburgh), Iliana Fokianaki (State of Concept), Yunus Muhammadi (Greek Forum of Refugees), artist and filmmaker Theo Prodromidis, Nikos Agapakis (Piraeus Open School of Immigrants) and UNHCR Greece.

– Nato Thompson from Creative Time in New York City, US, with artist Simone Leigh (US) and legal activist and playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle (US)

– Brigitta Isabella from the KUNCI Cultural Studies Center in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with singer and cultural geographer Anjeline de Dios (Philippines) and artist Tintin Wulia (Australia)

– Beth Stryker from the Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research (CLUSTER) in Cairo, Egypt, with artist Nida Sinnokrot (Palestine) and researcher Shela Sheikh (UK)

– Miguel Lopez from TEOR/éTica in San Jose, Costa Rica, with Maya K’iche’ sociologist and activist Gladys Tzul Tzul (Guatemala) and multimedia artist and indigenous activist Benvenuto Chavajay (Guatemala)

– Defne Ayas from Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with artist and playwright Natalia Antonova (Russia) and writer and curator Adam Kleinman (USA/The Netherlands)

– Pooja Sood from Khoj International Artists’ Association in New Delhi, India with theatre director Zuleikha Chaudhari

– Athi Mongezeleli Joja from Gugulective in Cape Town, South Africa, with activist and journalist Zimasa Mpemnyama (South Africa) and researcher and activist Ziyana Lategan (South Africa)

Special lunches will be created by Options FoodLab, a community of locals and newcomers to Athens who use food and cooking as a catalyst for intercultural exchange, personal growth, and integration.

This symposium will be the first iteration of its newest initiative, Creative Time Summit Dispatch. Inspired by the global communities that have grown around the Summit over the past eight years, this nomadic series of convenings will be presented in partnership with arts organizations and institutions in various cities around the world and will address urgent issues at the intersection of art and politics in inventive and flexible formats.