MisplacedWomen?

The Safe Circle

In Berlin, Performances on September 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm

Contribution by: Luciana Damiani 

The Safe Circle, a 30 minute performance by Luciana Damiani, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, Misplaced Women? workshop, 13.09.2019.

A few months ago I contacted Tanja Ostojic because after getting to know her work and her project Misplaced Woman? I considered significant and necessary for me to try to get an opportunity to share my experiences and generate bonds with other people who have experienced similar situations. So I came to Berlin with the travel grant from MEC (Ministry of Education and Culture in Uruguay) in order to collaborate with her on the project.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojic

I am a visual artist who lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, but 3 years ago I was based in Spain. I left Uruguay because I wanted to continue my studies and had the chance to do so University of Barcelona. I am a privileged migrant as I left Uruguay because I wanted to, not because I had to.

My years in Barcelona were hard as at the course of my stay, it was impossible for me to find a legal job that would allow me to study. I had to pay tuitions twice as high as European students for my master’s degree. I borrowed money on several occasions and even falsified documents and lied in immigration office in order to renew my student visa. I lived itinerantly, moving from one house to another, more than 10 times. I carried my bags all over the city, assembling and disassembling my luggage, generating new homes and leaving them behind.

When I arrived to Barcelona I had the expectation of staying for a long period of time but, after just a few years, I wanted to return to Uruguay as I was exhausted and felt lonely.

Luciana Damiani: The Safe Circle, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

I realised that some places tend to expel the individual, generating a dehumanised metaphoric void that denies the presence. Places full of people but stripped of identity, where one inhabits adversity, where we travel but never leave a mark, where relations of power and vulnerability become increasingly visible and enduring.

After discussing possible performance locations with Tanja, we decided that Park am Nordbanhof could serve as a good site to perform at, next to the Berlin Wall. The choice of this place was not random. I remember watching the fall of the Wall on TV at home with my father. At that time I did not understood the shock as I was seven years old and my mother died just few months earlier. I was born in Uruguay in 1982, at the end of the dictatorship and I am part of a hinge generation, a generation encapsulated between what was said and what was not said, with the history veiled and reconfigured from silence.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

When I started traveling and crossing frontiers I began to understand the Eurocentric cultural heritage and Uruguayan wounds, regarding the patriarchal and Judeo-Christian tradition and norms of white people. From this perspective I started to explore and reveal unequal power situations, in an attempt to dismantle historical truth as an unalterable legacy.

When we arrived to the Nordbahnhof park I drew a yellow circle on the floor and asked everyone to join me within the circle, as a micro-political action to deconstruct the individual and establish collective connections and constellations. This circle is outlined as a metaphorical place, a new territory where we were all safe, where those outside were now inside. A space where we could share and heal.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojic

I started with taking everything out of my suitcase: books, clothes, shoes, papers, documents. I turned all my clothes inside out. After my suitcase was empty and all my belongings were on the floor, scattered, I began to read my manifesto.

“I am body and I am statement.

I am witness and I am evidence of manipulation.

I don’t want to ask permission to be.

I don’t have to ask permission to be.

I don’t want to be defined by you, or anybody, or anywhere, or anything.

I don’t want to be from here or there.

If my existence threatens you, that is because you are afraid to lose your privileges.

If your walls will surround me, my words will be the weapon to make them fall.

If you hurt me, I will heal.

And I will repeat this all over again.

Because I have a pact with all of my kind.

Because that’s my duty and my only way to resist.”

After the reading, I tried to get inside the suitcase but of course, it was very small, I would never fit inside it. At some point this action was immediately connected with my experience in Barcelona, ​​trying to be in a place where there was no room for me. It was like bringing everything back.

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Cecilia Capurro

I lit a cigarette, smoked it and waited a few minutes. Then I got up and held my yellow sign declaring myself a Misplaced Human?.

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Luciana Damiani is a visual artist and independent researcher born in 1982 in Montevideo, Uruguay. She graduated with a degree in at Fine Arts School (UDELAR – Uruguay) and Magister in Artistic Production and Research at UB- Barcelona. Since 2009 she is member of FAC Collective (Fundación de Arte Contemporáneo, Uruguay). She participates in individual and collective shows since 2007. Her work has been exhibited in Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Mexico, USA, Spain and France. 

In 2018 she won FEFCA scholarship granted by MEC (Uruguay) to perform “Misplaced Woman?” with Tanja Ostojic in Berlin.

Text by: Luciana Damiani

Translation from Spanish: Jessica Moreira

Edited and first published by: Tanja Ostojic

Photo credits: Tanja Ostojic, Maya Hristova and Cecilia Capurro 

Luciana Damiani: “The Safe Circle”, Misplaced Women? Workshop, Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin, 2019. Photo: Maya Hristova

Contribución de: Luciana Damiani 

“El circulo Seguro” 

Misplaced Women? Workshop

Park am Nordbahnhof, Berlin – 13.09.2019

Hace unos meses contacté a Tanja porque luego de conocer su trabajo y su proyecto Misplaced Woman? consideré importante y necesario para mi tener la oportunidad de compartir mis experiencias y generar vínculos con otras personas que han vivido situaciones similares. Entonces viajé a Berlín con una beca del MEC (Ministerio de Educación y Cultura Uruguay) para colaborar en el proyecto.

Soy una artista visual que vive en Montevideo (Uruguay) pero hace 3 años estaba radicada en España. Dejé Uruguay porque quería continuar con mis estudios y tuve la oportunidad de hacerlo. Soy una migrante privilegiada. Me fui de Uruguay porque quise, no porque tuve que hacerlo.

Mis años en Barcelona fueron duros. Durante mi estadía me fue imposible encontrar un trabajo legal que me permitiera estudiar. Pagué el doble que cualquier estudiante europeo por mi maestría. Pedí dinero prestado en varias ocaciones. Falsifiqué documentos y mentí en oficinas de imigración para renovar mi visa de estudios. Viví de forma itinerante, mudandome de casa en casa más de 10 veces. Cargué con mis maletas por toda la ciudad. Iba armando y desarmando mi equipaje, generando hogares nuevos y dejándolos atrás. 

Cuando llegue a Barcelona tenía expectativas de quedarme mucho tiempo, pero al cabo de unos años solo quería volver a Uruguay. Estaba exhausta y me sentía sola. 

Entendí que los lugares muchas veces expulsan al individuo, generando un vacio metafórico, deshumanizado, que niega la prescencia. Lugares respletos de gente pero despojados de identidad, donde las personas habitamos la adversidad, por donde transitamos pero nunca dejamos huella, donde las relaciones de poder y vulnerabilidad se hacen cada vez más visibles y perdurables. 

Luego discutir posibles lugares para la performance con Tanja, elegimos hacerla en el Park am Nordbanhof al lado del muro. La elección del lugar no fue aleatoria. Recuerdo estar mirando la caída del muro en la tv de mi casa con mi padre. En ese momento no entendía la conmoción de la gente. Tenia 7 años y mi madre había muerto hace unos meses. Nací en Uruguay en 1982 al final de una dictadura. Soy parte de una generación visagra. Una generación encapsulada entre lo dicho y lo no dicho, con la historia velada y reconfigurada a partir del silencio. 

Cuando comencé a viajar y a cruzar fronteras empecé a entender la herencia y la herida cultural eurocéntrica de mi país, sobre la tradición y normas de lo blanco, patriarcal y judeo- cristiano y partir de esto comencé a trabajar develando situaciones de poder desiguales, en un intento de desarticular la verdad histórica como un legado inalterable

Cuando llegamos al parque Nordbahnhof dibujé un circulo amarillo en el piso y le pedí a todxs que se unieran a mi dentro del circulo, como una acción micropolítica para reconstruir lo individual y establecer conexiones y constelaciones colectivas. Este circulo se esboza como un lugar metafórico, un nuevo territorio donde todxs estábamos salvo, donde lxs de afuera estamos dentro. Donde podemos compartir y sanar.

Empecé a sacar todo de mi maleta. Libros, ropa, zapatos, papeles, documentos. Di vuelta toda mi ropa, de adentro para afuera. Luego de que mi maleta estaba vacía y todas mis pertenecías en el piso, desparramadas, empecé a leer mi manifiesto. 

“Soy cuerpo y manifiesto.

Soy testigo y evidencia de la manipulación.

No quiero pedir permiso para ser.

No tengo que pedir permiso para ser.

No quiero se definidx por ti, por nada nip or nadie.

No quiero se de aquí ni ni de allà.

Si mi existencia te amenaza es porque tienes miedo a perder tus privilegios.

Si tus mueros quieren rodearme, mis palabras seran el arma que los hara caer. 

Si me hieres, sanaré.

I repetiré todo esto de nuevo.

Porque tengo un pacto con todos los míxs, con todos los de mi clase.

Porque es mi deber y mi única forma de resistir”

Luego de la lectura traté de meterme dentro de la maleta pero claro, era muy pequeña, nunca iba a caber dentro. En algún punto esta acción se conectó de inmediato con mi experiencia en Barcelona, tratar de estar en un lugar donde no había espacio para mi. Fue como traer todo de nuevo.

Encendí un cigarrillo, lo fumé y esperé unos minutos. Luego me levanté y sostuve mi cartel amarillo declarandome unx Misplaced Human?

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Luciana Damiani es una artista visual e investigadora independiente nacida en 1982 en Montevideo, Uruguay. Graduada de la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes por la UDELAR en Uruguay y Magister en Producción e Investigación Artística por la UB en Barcelona. Participa en exhibiciones individuales y colectivas desde el 2007. Sus trabajos han sido mostrados en Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Méjico, EEUU, España y Francia. En 2018 gana los FEFCA (Fondos de incentivo a la formación y creación artística) otorgados por el MEC en Uruguay para realizar la performace “Misplaced Woman?” con Tanja Ostojic en Berlín.

Texto de Luciana Damiani

Editado y publicado por Tanja Ostojic

Fotos: Tanja Ostojic, Maya Hristova and Cecilia Capurro 

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Please visit as well archive of earlier contributions and posts from Berlin, from workshops, individual and group performances: 2009-2019:

Contribution by Nati Canto 

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.

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Misplaced in Europe?

In Berlin, News on September 11, 2019 at 6:38 pm

Performance Announcement, Berlin:

“Misplaced in Europe?”, on precarity, intimidation and illegality

Luciana Damiani came from Uruguay in order to contribute to the “Misplaced Women?” Project in Berlin. We are calling spontaneously for Berlin Misplaced Women? international community, and beyond to join us for exchange & performance(es) this Friday, September 13, at noon at the Park am Nordbahnhof. We are meeting at 12h at the main entrance of the Park, from Julie-Wolfthorn-Straße, 10115 Berlin.

I would like to use this opportunity to share Luciana’s performance announcement:

My name is Luciana Damiani, I am a visual artist and I come from Uruguay. As a Latin American migrant woman I know the fear of borders, fear of rejection and expulsion. Walking across that border is already part of my life and my artistic work. Why should I ask for a permission to exist? Being a migrant is a human condition that places us in a place of great vulnerability, so we must share it, to resist and to know that we are not alone.  I am grateful for this opportunity to collaborate on the “Misplaced Woman?” project with Tanja Ostojić.

You are welcome to find out more about my work on my website.

Mi nombre es Luciana Damiani, soy artista visual y vengo desde Uruguay para colaborar en el proyecto “Misplaced Woman?” de Tanja Ostojić. Como mujer migrante latinamericana conozco el miedo a las fronteras, miedo al rechazo y a la expulsón. Caminar a través de esa frontera ya es parte de mi vida y de mi trabajo artístico. Por qué debo pedir permiso para ser?  Ser migrante es una condición humanda que nos coloca en un lugar de mucha vulnerabilidad, por eso debemos compartirlo, para resistir y para saber que no estamos solxs. 

Están invitadxs a conocer más sobre mi trabajo en mi sitio web

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Please visit as well archive of earlier contributions and posts from Berlin, from workshops, individual and group performances: 2009-2019:

Contribution by Nati Canto 

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport

and Valentina Medda: Misplaced Women?, Performa New York, 2009. Simultanious delegated perfromance with Tanja Ostojic, at Berlin TXL airport.


Misplaced in Time

In Airports, Signs, Skopje on August 29, 2019 at 6:09 pm

Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić: Misplaced Women? Project (ongoing since 2009)

Performed by Ivana Vaseva

On August 28, 2019 Ivana Vaseva was waiting for the Wizz Air flight Nr. W67740 from Berlin Schönefeld, at Skopje International Airport (Меѓународен аеродром Скопје), from 00:45 am until 2:30 am, while performing the Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign. I took this photo of her after collecting my suitcases shortly after 3 am at super crowded Skopje airport. She wrote the following text afterwords:

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

There is something quite disturbing in a dialogue, polemics or a unrehearsed choir of wait-ors on airport arrivals when you are the only one holding a sign on a corner of a designated aria with a sentence ‘Misplaced Woman?’ written on it. It seems to be somehow annoying to people on many levels, just like buzzing of one fly after another on a hot summer day while you’ve just dived into a sweet nap. Why is she holding that particular sign? What does she want? Usually wait-ors have the name of the waited one written with a regular pen on a plane piece of paper. Why this one is different? Maybe it is a commercial of some sort? Maybe she is just a show off girl?

There is one child particularly staring at me.

One man starred his eyes out just to see what is written on the sign.

One hint is discovered: There is a guy taking photos of her while she is holding the sign.

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Filip Jovanovski

It is strange to me as well.  I’m also not accustomed of doing this, holding a sign on an airport arrival platform. People are staring and reading, puzzled. I try to enter into this situation and to ponder on it. Ah, I just recall a festival I used to work for, a film festival, where someone had an idea that the wait-ors will wait for the guest with a sign that had one of famous film quotes on it: “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse”, “There’s no place like home.” or “I’ll be back.”

On another festival the waiting sign was the guests’ face made as a printed paper mask that was worn by the wait-or.

So, if the very waiting on an airport, carrying a sign that says ‘Misplaced Woman?’ was a film, what would this film be about? It could be about an itinerant worker in culture, freelancer as a medieval mercenary as Hito Steyerl compares, jumping from one gig to another or playing several gigs simultaneously… In this precarious tormented body of hers, she doesn’t succeed to explain her situation, although she persistently tries, so she can prove the substandard conditions in which she lives and works. She lives in a corrupted capitalist pool with little chances that the water can be depolluted and clean. She is constantly bitten by sharks, not that they have ethics of any sort, those jealous and untalented swimmers… And in this very moment, she thinks of something. 

I think that this could be the film scenario, but I’m not sure. 

What we seem to have at stake here are two layers of awkwardness that share the same airport arrival platform. 

So, we’ve established the role of the wait-or, that is the one displaced from her original position of festival curator on one side, and the guest, the waited one, that seems to be displaced by plane to a different country on the other. The wait-or is physically misplaced from her position on two levels. She is voluntarily misplaced from the festival that she is co-organising – AKTO Festival for contemporary arts in Bitola, because she is in Skopje right now, doing something that curators usually don’t do. But, on another level, she feels forcefully displaced from the position of a curator in the general context because she wants things to be professionally done, while professionally seems to be misplaced from Macedonia. 

The waited one seems though not to be misplaced any more, thank all gods.  

The reality of this stream of thoughts is that we are currently organising the 14th edition of AKTO that is one of rare festivals for contemporary art in this country with such a long continuity, done with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication, and persistently marginalised. And this is because in this country only state or local institutions are considered able to produce culture, although culture is the last thing that is actually considered important. The crucial thing is that the society under construction still lays on the same grounds: corruption and fake ethics. 

In the spirit of Brechtian aphorism „Grab first, then ethics!“, we’ve opened the topic of large appetites of the corrupted spirits and the massive existential problems of the people. This suffocating environment forces you to take giant steps and to misplace yourself. 

The first step is a symbolic displacement. On an airport, while waiting and while examining oneself, why do you wait. This was triggered and enabled by Tanja Ostojić’s delegated performance “Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign“. Waiting, thinking, reflecting and making plans for further actions. 

Misplaced in Time, Score #2: Holding the Misplaced Women? Sign, delegated performance by Tanja Ostojić, at Skopje International Airport, 28.8.2019. Performed by Ivana Vaseva, AKTO. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

So, while I was waiting for Tanja, and among all those wait-ors at the crowded Skopje airport as if it was an exclusive after midnight disco opening party, I thought of the question – Are we misplaced from the position that we should’ve taken as hardworking people?

Maybe the Wizzair flight that was supposed to land at 00:45am, and that turned into 02:25am flight misplaced the time, and it might be a time to somehow try to turn things around?

All of us, wait-ors.

Ivana Vaseva is curator and researcher in the field of contemporary visual arts, viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. She initiates, stimulates and produces collaborative and engaging programs and researches with an intention to confront places of desire, contest established relationships and reclaim the meaning of public, by producing art and social living. She is program director of “Faculty of things that can’t be learned (FR~U)”, an organisation based in North Macedonia.

Since 2006 FR~U is producing AKTO Festival for contemporary arts in Bitola, that become resilient, strong and contextual platform promoting and producing interdisciplinary critical programs and concepts. It is a festival which tries to open not only topics relevant for the current socio-political and hence artistic reality, but also to stimulate production formats that stir up the status quo. The festival happens each year in August in Bitola and is a parallel to events produced by local municipalities and cultural institutions, with its subverting and  emancipatory mission. In 2016 and 2017, due to burning local issues and needs, AKTO re-branded into POP UP AKTO, a temporary concept of producing the festival in several other cities in Macedonia (Skopje, Tetovo, Shtip and Kochani)

Written by: Ivana Vaseva

Edited and first published by: Tanja Ostojić at the Misplaced Women? blog (August 2019).

Photos: Tanja Ostojić and Filip Jovanovski
Copyright: Tanja Ostojić and AKTO festival

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Airports. 

Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Signs.

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