FRAGMENTS OF IMPERMANECE
a Collective Experience
Zeynep Arikan, Turkey; Toulin Balabaki, Syria; Kateryna Budylo, Ukraine; Isadora Canela, Brazil; Elsa Cuissard, France; Tamara Duedari, Syria; Sondos Elgendy, Egypt; Aysel Erol Caliskan, Turkey; Qila Gill, Malaysia; Yoav Goldwein, Israel; Soraya Guimarães Hoepfner, Brazil; Thaís Paiva Machado, Brazil; Oksana Potapova, Ukraine; Prerna Rathi, India; Hanifa Rezaie, Afghanistan; Ali Shekarchi, Afghanistan
The exhibition was a part of the 5-month project WEBS (page under construction), an experience in horizontal learning and creation.
The project was divided into two stages:
In the first phase, participants attended weekly sessions for 3 months with guests from diverse fields and backgrounds to research and design decolonial perspectives in art and educational practices. Collaborators in the online stage included Lis Haddad, Lauren Donnison, Victoria Mazzia (FINE TV), Ernst Wagner, Avi Sooful (EVC Project), Johanna Sell, and People Beyond Borders.
In the second stage, each participant led a workshop, sharing their own interests and knowledge with the group. The participants gathered in person in Berlin to attend each other's sessions twice a week for nearly 2 months. Collaborators in the in-person stage were Counterpoints Arts, Give Something Back to Berlin, Moos Space, Refugio Cafe, Haus der Resources, Haus der Statistik, and People Beyond Borders.
From the workshop activities and reflections, the group created an exhibition to expand the rhizome of learning to an open community through artistic experiences.
"Fragments of Impermanence" took place simultaneously at:
Haus der Statistik
Otto-Braun-Straße 70-72, 10178 Berlin, Germany, from 20th to 24th June 2023, featuring collective installations and individual pieces developed through group research.
Lenaustraße 4, 12047 Berlin, Germany, from 21st June to 21st July, showcasing individual pieces from the group.
The exhibition was a part of the Refugee Week Berlin program organized by CounterpointsArt in collaboration with Give Something Back to Berlin, Refugio Café, and People Beyond Borders.
How can we creatively share knowledge and experiences to unleash a new common ground?
Fragments of Impermanence showcases the results of the project WEBS that was developed during five months of intense collaboration between 14 artists and educators from diverse refugee and migrant backgrounds working together and having Berlin as their common ground. The starting point of the collective experiment was the series of workshops titled Training of Trainers, where all participants were simultaneously learners and teachers of the knowledge they brought along to share.
The group adopted a self-organised, non-hierarchic and non-linear approach, free enough to allow thinking and practising new ways of sharing experiences through artistic expressions and critical thinking. There were no fixed rules, no anticipated directions but the general intention of empowering co-creation and allowing all voices to be heard.
Naturally and intuitively, ideas emerged and spread, connecting ones to the others, one workshop to the next, painting, drawing, writing, animation, sound, video, collage, photography, sculptures and performance, until they all felt they belonged together beyond and between places, languages, time.
WEBS challenged the colonising and oppressive system of hierarchical knowledge and given titles and provided a platform where the richness of diverse expertise, skills, life paths, languages and roots were concentrically connected. Like in a spider web, every crossing of two threads marks a point of creatively catching knowledge and passing it forward, constantly weaving new insights.
So fragile and so extremely tensile are the connections, so are they – not meant to stay – but disintegrating again and yet leaving their trace. Gathered in Berlin, passing by, piercing through and ultimately creating a memory of togetherness imprinted in the city as fragments of their own impermanence.
HAUS DER STATISTIK
The opening event took place at the 20th of June 2023, the Refugee Day, at the iconic Haus der Statistik (click to know more of the political and historical importance of the building) and gathered more than 250 people. Hosted by CounterpointsArt in the context of Refugee Week Berlin, the event had the actress and performer Bruna Cunha presenting her research on embodying the freedom to flourish. The performance was accompanied by Elsa Cuissard on the piano, Bucky on the bass and Isadora Canela on her playable sculpture "in some drawer"
The opening event at Refugio Cafe took place at the 21th of June 2023, the longest day of the year with Féte de la Musique. The event hosted by Give Something Back to Berlin had a completely full house with diverse concerts, foods and drinks and a presentation of the project and the group to the audience.
Break to Create: sharing horizontal ecosystems
In this two days workshop inside the exhibition space the coordinators of the project (Elsa Cuissard, Isadora Canela and Thaís Paiva) invited the community to join the discussion on decolonisation and horizontality in learning and creative processes. From activities of embodyment and collective experimentation the groups were invited to cocreated other ecosystems.