Exhibition: Decolonial Ecologies
Riga Art Space 

The exhibition aims to explore the complex entanglements of postcolonial and postsocialist imprints in contemporary society and culture in Latvia, in the Baltics and its neighbouring regions through the prism of environmental history and environmental changes, and the current ecological crisis.

The exhibition focuses on issues of ecological and socio-political change in our region, relating them to both global and local processes of decolonisation: human-environment relations, (post)Soviet legacies, the meaning and experience of place, memory, landscapes affected by technology and industry, cultural meanings and social practices of ecological issues, and alternative strategies to overcome the challenges of environmental crisis and climate change. The exhibition also addresses themes such as environment and consumption, the life and afterlife of things, the impact of the waste industry on the living nature around us, gardening practices and alternative methods of growing food, and a return to nature as an opportunity to renew mental and emotional resources.

More information about the exhibition is available here.

Exhibition: Complicated Pasts. Connected Worlds
National Gallery of Art, Vilnius

The exhibition highlights uncomfortable, and silent, themes in the Baltic and Eastern European region and focuses on the twentieth-century’s complex legacy, which still influences today’s reality.

The exhibition brings together artists from the three Baltic States, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, and the Netherlands. Their work addresses events and experiences that are often forgotten or ignored and excluded from official history, both by inviting us to listen to individual life stories and by exploring broader layers of cultural memory. What is the place of these narratives in the present? How can we integrate them into our understanding of history? What do they change in our perception of the world around us?

Seeking to transcend local and national boundaries, the exhibition invites us to think about the complex relations of history and their impact and presence in the present through the lens of shared history. In doing so, it creates dialogue, connections, and solidarity between different uncomfortable histories that are often perceived as occupying mutually exclusive or competing positions.

More information about the exhibition is available here.

Workshops, seminars, and online discussions

The project Shared Futures regularly organizes workshops, seminars, and online discussions to explore and discuss issues related to the complex and uncomfortable relationship between the past and the present, as well as the role of art institutions and art mediation in dealing with these issues. 

How Do Art Institutions in Eastern Europe Deal with Issues of Postcolonialism and Decolonialism?

In this online event art curators and scholars from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine will discuss how post- and decolonial strategies are being engaged in the artistic programmes of their institutions, contributing to the relevance of these approaches in the Eastern European context. The 
curators and researchers from Eastern European art institutions will share how decolonial approaches, addressed through exhibitions and art projects, can help to understand and work with contemporary political, social and environmental crises. 

How can the art world engage in support activities for Ukraine?

What are the smaller and bigger practical steps we can take to collaborate and engage with those people from the art world who are most affected by the war and its consequences? How can we engage them as partners whose expertise we value? What can that joint effort be and in which ways can we as art workers relate to this situation? How can the art world engage in dealing with the issues that have become pressing with the ongoing war yet apply to a broad region and even the whole world, like military conflicts, the information war, colonial violence, and ecological catastrophe?

Workshop: Art Mediation 

The project focuses on building creative cooperation and synergies between partner institutions, with a particular emphasis on the role of artistic mediation. Thinking together about the role and possibilities of art mediation, the online seminar mapped the work of the partner institutions in this field. It was moderated by art mediator Fanny Hajdu from OFF-Biennial and later interpreted in comic form by artist Vivianna Maria Stanislavska.

How can art mediation engage vulnerable audiences?

Participants in the seminar—exhibition curators, museum educators, and artists—share their experiences of how mediation and new forms of audience collaboration can not only help to create a socially responsible and inclusive environment, but also reflect on and address issues that are related to the uneasy relations between the past and present, their entangled nature in the twentieth century, and the consequences that difficult pasts have had for contemporary realities in Europe.

Seminar: Inclusive Contemporary Culture in Latvia

The workshop brought together four experiences of how contemporary cultural institutions are engaging people with disabilities. It asked, how can contemporary art and culture contribute to a more inclusive society? How can contemporary culture be made accessible to people with disabilities? How can we work with these audiences and how can we reach them? What can institutions learn from each other when starting to develop cultural offerings for people with visual, hearing, motor, and intellectual disabilities? In answering these questions, the dialogues highlighted the particular need to work with audiences that are most often unreached by contemporary art in everyday life, marginalized due to physical or mental limitations.

Workshop Series: “Reflecting Post-Socialism through Post-Colonialism in the Baltics”
01.03.2021. - 24.05.2022.

Since 2020, the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in collaboration with Kumu Art Museum has been organizing the online discussion and reading workshop series “Reflecting Post-Socialism through Post-Colonialism in the Baltics.” The series brings together artists, curators, and interdisciplinary researchers dealing with the Baltic region, its neighboring regions, and broader geographies, with the aim to analyze the imprints of post-socialism and post-colonialism and their impact on contemporary realities. The project seeks to create dialogues and contribute to exchanges that foster new ways of studying the complex post-colonial and post-socialist legacy in the Baltic region. Alongside the contexts of social and political changes, gender and identity issues, discourses of nationalism and decoloniality, the series particularly focuses on environmental history and the current ecological crisis. 

Online Platform:

Detailed information on the content, objectives, participating institutions, and activities of the project can be found on the project’s online platform. The “Exhibitions” section contains general information as well as more extensive material on the exhibitions: audio guides, video interviews, exhibition brochures, reviews, etc. The “Library” section contains and displays original material created specifically for this platform, reflecting the experiences and themes of the project related to difficult pasts, shared futures, and engagement with different audiences.

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