Artists Run Spaces – The Artist as a Producer of Places and Networks
©️Untitled #1, The Mangroove: This photograph, comes from my long term project, Paradox of Paradise (POP), through which I respond to a calling; listening to Earth tell her story by looking into our relationship with the landscape, learning how powers, culture, history, time, spirituality and the sacred etch memories into the environment. My travels so far have been in Ghana, Sao Tome and Mozambique.
– Nii Obodai, 22/09/2020
Artists Run Spaces – The Artist as a Producer of Places and Networks
Nii Obodai and Maíra Zebun
Laila Hida and Jeanne Mercier
Adama Sanneh and Heba Y. Amin
Open to all publics
September 30th, 2020 – 6 pm
January 28th, 2021 – 6 pm
April 29th, 2021 – 6 pm
This talk will be held in English
Cycle of talks regarding artists run spaces and artist led spaces which Hangar has a relationship with are connected to the residency in residence program at Hangar and to the Triangle Network. The partners are located in Ghana, Morocco, UK, Iran and China.
Talk 1 – September 30th – 6 pm
This talk focuses on Nuku Studio in Ghana run by the photographer Nii Obai. The talk is mediated by the artist Maíra Zenun.
Nuku Studio is a space, an institution, a community that is strongly connected to the place it finds itself in – Ghana. It provides an innovative and productive support system for sustainable artistic and professional photographic practice.
Nuku Studio creates and grows a self-sustained photography community and network. It provides the Ghanaian photography community with a safe space to meet, experiment, exchange, inspire and be inspired, and grow. Its protected space is open to all creatives and visual artists and invites especially women and the LGBTI community to be part.
Nuku Studio brings together emerging and established photographers, encouraging them to find their very own voice. It is a space for learning, teaching and mentorship.
Nuku Studio is convinced of the power of story-telling and the power of photography as a means to document and stimulate societal change. Nuku Studio showcases visual stories from Ghana, Africa and beyond that are meaningful and told responsibly.
Nuku Studio is about photography that defines the future – its photographers integrate their vision of the future into their work. Creating the future also means reclaiming and conserving our history. Creative cultural contributors are key contributors to this process.
Ghana-based, Nuku Studio builds on more than two decades of experience in photography practice locally and globally. Evolving from Nuku Café, Nuku Studio was established by photographer Nii Obodai in 2015. Since then, it has grown thanks to a dedicated team consisting of some of Ghana’s most innovative photographers.
Talk 2 – January 28th, 2021 – 6 pm
This talk focuses on LE 18, Derb el Ferrane, a multidisciplinary art space for artists, curators, researchers, cultural agents and local communities in Marrakech founded by the artist Laila Hida. The talk is mediated by the curator Jeanne Mercier.
Operating since 2013, and located in the medina of Marrakech, the residency programme is a key component of LE 18 vision and objectives: it is imagined as a space-time in which both local and international artists can deepen their research and practice in dialogue with the context hosting them. Hence, we encourage particularly, though not exclusively, proposals open to engage with the programming of the space, with the context of Marrakech in particular and of Morocco in general. Every residency is tailored as much as possible to the artist/researcher needs and proposals, through a dialogical process and in relationship with the possibilities LE 18 has to offer, both in terms of length and support. Conscious of the relative difficulties in freeing time and finding resources to conduct research, LE 18 endorses a politics of reiteration of invitations and rooting relationships with the space and the context.
Talk 3 – April 29th, 2021 – 6 pm
Online talk with the multi-media artist Heba Y. Amin, mediated by Adama Sanneh, about her social engaged projects in the form of activism and her creation of the art collective Black Athena Collective along with the artist Dawit L. Petros.
Artist Heba Y. Amin engages with political themes and archival history, using mediums including film, photography, archival material, lecture performance and installation. Her artistic research addresses the convergence of politics, technology, and architecture, and takes a speculative, often satirical, approach to challenging narratives of conquest and control. Amin looks for tactics of subversion and other techniques to flip dominant historical narratives through a critical practice.
Francis Nii Obodai Provençal (b.1963) is a Ghanaian photographer based in Accra, Ghana and Maputo, Mozambique. Throughout his career, Nii Obodai has documented the complexity of his world through photography, audio, and text. He is particularly passionate about photography as a medium for recording and celebrating the unseen and unexpected dynamics of everyday life on the African continent. His work explores our complex relationships with the environment and with one another. His deep interest in how the past is remembered and the photographers role in that process stems in part from aphantasia, a condition which prevents him from forming images in his mind. Photography has become the means by which Nii Obodai remembers the past and conjures the present.
In 1998 he co-established Nuku Café in Accra, a vibrant space for contemporary artists committed to a socially and politically conscious practice. It has evolved into Nuku Studio, which engages in collaborative academic research projects and organizes an annual programme of workshops aimed at developing photographic and visual communication skills. The studio also founded the eponymous Nuku Photo Festival, Ghana’s first photography festival.
Nii Obodai’s work has been exhibited at the Addis Ababa Festival (Ethiopia), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, USA), Bamako Encounters (Bamako, Mali), Alliance Française (Accra, Ghana), Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester, UK) The Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano (Mozambique), Moesegaard Museum (Aarhus, Denmark) and Beverly Art Gallery (Beverly, UK).
Jeanne Mercier, co-founder of Afrique in visu, is an independent curator and critic. Through her research, she is interested in new forms of artistic practices around the image, photo, video, installation and works that convey counter-narratives, create new imaginations or myths emancipated from the dominant cultures and iconographies. She works and collaborates with various international institutions, art reviews and books. Recently, she was curator of Beliefs: Unraveling the Invisible at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris (2020), Mythologies of resistance at the Fotofestiwal in Lodz (2019), “Africa is no an island” at the MACAAL in Morocco and at the Zinsou Foundation (2018) or the Kerkennah Festival in Tunisia (2017).
Laila Hida (1983), lives and works in Marrakech (Morocco)
In her conceptual approach, Laila Hida explores the boundaries of photographic practice, non-negotiated spaces of social practices, and the idea of transformation as a constant of time. Her current project, ‘Everything is temporary’ (2019) relies on her personal archives (textual and photographic) to sketch an archaeology of intimacy by observing the psychological variations (resilience, self-analysis) on the maturation of a work of art across time and space.
In 2013, Laila Hida founded LE 18, Derb el Ferrane, a multidisciplinary art space for artists, curators, researchers, cultural agents and local communities. Extending its artistic work in the entrepreneurial form, the program / project of 18 is conceived as a space for learning, experimentation and sharing around issues such as the role of the arts in the evolution of socio-cultural ecosystems through a diversity of programme formats and perspectives.
Maíra Zenun – In 2019, became PhD in Sociology from UFG, with the thesis “The City and the [Black] Cinema: the FESPACO’s case”. Master in Sociology from UnB and Bachelor in Social Sciences from UFRJ. Participated in TRANSE/UnB and since 2014 collaborates with FICINE. In Lisbon, is co-founder of NêGa FiLMeS, and as part of this double-collective, coordinates and does the curatorship of the Mostra Internacional de Cinema na Cova.”
Adama Sanneh, Co-Founder and CEO of the Moleskine Foundation, graduated in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation from the University of Milan, he worked for several years in East Africa on rural development and humanitarian emergency programs. He obtained a Master in Public Management (MPM) from the Bocconi School of Management and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Geneva.
After graduating he worked as a management and strategy consultant for various public and not-for-profit organizations among which the United Nations, in education, social entrepreneurship and innovation.
Heba Y. Amin, (b. 1980, Cairo) is a multi-media artist and Professor of Art at the Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War. Heba Y. Amin was awarded the 2020 Sussmann Artist Award for artists committed to the ideals of democracy and antifascism, and was selected as a Field of Vision Fellow, NYC (2019). Amin’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions including The Mosaic Rooms, London (2021), Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam (2020), Quai Branly Museum, Paris (2020), MAXXI Museum, Rome (2018), Liverpool Biennial (2021), 10th Berlin Biennale (2018), 15th Istanbul Biennale (2017), and 12th Dak’Art Biennale (2016), to name a few. Her latest publication, Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (ed. Anthony Downey) was recently published by Sternberg Press (2020) and her works and interventions have been covered by The New York Times, The Guardian, the Intercept, and BBC among others.