MisplacedWomen?

Archive for the ‘Berlin’ Category

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’re afraid of losing  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 the one by 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 Women? A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Train Station, Train stations on July 15, 2019 at 11:04 am

Contribution by: Susan Merrick 

“Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, 30 minute performance by Susan Merrick

23.05.2019 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station (Berlin, Germany)

Tanja invited me to consider presenting a performance for the Misplaced Women? project whilst I was working with her for a few days in Berlin. I’d asked Tanja if I could work with her on my own project ‘Practicing to Share’ and it seemed appropriate to actually work within each others projects during this time, to understand one another and to consider each others theme of work.

“Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, a 30 minute performance by Susan Merrick, 2019. 
Video recording: Tanja Ostojić. Video editing: Susan Merrick

I spent some time thinking about what would feel appropriate, and where. How it would fit to my own idea of misplaced, my feeling of ‘place’ while in Berlin, a city I’d only visited once before as a young woman. Also my feelings of my ‘[mis]placement’ within my work as a Sign Language Interpreter, working between two cultures, between two languages, being at times ‘invisible’, yet very visible.

Rather than cultivating a performance in any way Tanja simply gave me the performance score to look over and using the rucksack I already had with me, we chose to explore Berlin train station, Gesundbrunnen that was near to where we were working. 

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I chose a position at the end of a platform. It felt quiet, intimate, and sat at a junction of two tracks. I have an affinity with train stations and much of my work has taken place in or around them. I have worked within busier positions but for this day I wanted some space and to see the location of Berlin behind me.

I began by removing my shoes and jumper. I wanted to be comfortable and to sit while I disclosed my belongings. I slowly removed each item from my bag, surprising myself by how much was in the bag that I had only emptied earlier that day (or so I thought!). Items of everyday use, but also items of specificity to the trip I was on, a camera, some shaving foam and razor – ready for some other work we were to do later – and a travel journal that I had written 17 years previously whilst on my only other visit to Berlin. 

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Often I allow my surroundings to influence my actions in my work, responding to the stimuli around me. I allowed these items to do the same to me, not planning but following what the items suggested to me. I was really interested in my position between the train tracks so I decided to perform the creation of a track, placing shaving foam on my leg in a line and shaving the hair from my leg in a strip, straight like a track. I wiped it clean with a red head scarf.

I then opened up my travel journal from 2002. I read and translated into British Sign Language (BSL), some of the pages that spoke of my previous visit to Berlin. The journey into the city on the train and a visit to the zoo where we couldn’t afford the photographs that were taken of us. The language miscommunications and the laughter of the train guard who found our worries over a door not closing hilarious. Our lack of money and our exhaustion at travelling around. Our decision to sit and wait 7 hours in a hostel reception waiting for a room and our reliance on the kindness of others.

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Using BSL in this way felt an appropriate challenge to the work, on a quiet platform, in a train station in Berlin, speaking only to the camera and to Tanja behind it, with no-one understanding me, using a language not native to the country, or even to me. A language that has become my profession, and that I have adopted now for over half my life, that works its way into my Art, and that I can never truly feel I belong.

Susan Merrick: “Misplaced Women?, A Translation of a Travel Diary in British Sign Language”, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station, 2019. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

Finally I took up my polaroid camera, taking a photograph of the semi circle of belongings surrounding my feet. Of Tanja watching me. Of the Train tracks reaching towards and away from me. 

Mis placed. Placed mistakenly. [Mis]placed

Lost. Unfound. In-between. Where am I?

As Artists where are we? Where do we belong? Who decides? Who finds us? Who loses us?

Susan Merrick is an Artist from the UK. She is also a Sign Language Interpreter and this profession greatly influences her performance practice.

Photos from performance on May 23, 2019 at Berlin-Gesundbrunnen Train Station were captured by Tanja Ostojić

Video recording: Tanja Ostojić.

Video editing: Susan Merrick

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from Berlin, from different workshops and individual or group performances:

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 Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Older posts Berlin 2009: 

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.

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

In Berlin, Workshops on February 5, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Group Interventions of Mapping around the neighborhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee, 23.01.2018.

A contribution by Mad Kate

Participants: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

It was important to me to begin our interventions by understanding some answers to the question: “Where am I?” (politically, socially, economically)

Since I have lived in Berlin for 14 years, I am familiar with many neighborhoods, but never with this neighborhood in detail. I have performed at the Delphi Theater down the road, but this is my only interaction with the neighborhood. The Delphi is a very old “peoples theater” in Berlin and so I knew that this neighborhood had a history of an art scene, but at the same time is not a very busy or gentrified area. I know simply by being inside the Kunsthalle that this kind of large space for experimental workshops such as these one — “Misplaced Women?” By Tanja Ostojić — is increasingly rare. Many recent events at Kunsthalle have been committed to postcolonial discourse and bringing attention to the works of nonwhite artists—the kind of work that is not typically given spaces in more commercial areas of Berlin or at larger galleries. This already gives me a clue that the neighborhood is still affordable enough for a place like this to exist, while at the same time hints that the art scene may again be growing around here. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani

As a general practice before performing, I have been trying to get into the habit of understanding my sociopolitical context. This means “mapping” the area, using the “stage” (the venue) as my centering point, and working my way directionally around the center space, taking in sights, subtle changes, reading clues about the demographics of businesses and people on the streets. I also try to talk to people as much as possible to find out a bit more about the neighborhood and who is living there. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

Gaby, Tanya, Sajan, and myself all decided to go about mapping the area. I took along my sound recorder and gave it to Tanya for most of our journey so she could experience being immersed in the sounds around us. She told me that it was an extremely psychedelic experience to her! Gaby and I took photos, made sounds, made “found instruments” and marked different areas with string. We also sometimes mirrored physical shapes with our bodies. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, 2018.

Listen to the Soundscape Weißensee

I noted down a “map” of our walk and noticed places of new development, abandoned buildings, the types of businesses, and a conversation I had with one artisan who had recently moved there. She was a paper maker who had also found a place to rent in the neighborhood. She has a small handmade paper business on a quiet side street. There were other “new artists” living in the area who had opened up a DIY gallery, an artist performance space, and other businesses that I saw as related, ie a yoga studio and a mobile burrito van. The residences appeared to be either very old buildings, presumably with residents on old contracts, and very new loft-style developments, and one van, that appeared to be someones home. 

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

We walked over towards Caligara Platz, which had a historical marker noting that this used to be called “Little Hollywood”. So the area has historically had the mark of artists, theater and film navigating and weaving in with the rest of the residents. It made me wonder a lot about how the art school students integrate or do not integrate with the rest of the neighborhood, as one student who was part of the said they felt some antagonism or “difference” from the people around who sometimes resented their presence doing public art. Given the fact that artists and others are being pushed out of the central neighborhoods of Berlin, however, I suspect that Weißensee will see an increasing amount of new and diverse communities moving in and I’m curious to see how these changes will take shape in the next five to 10 years.  

It was encouraging and supportive to be in a group of artists who were committed to doing these kinds of public work. In this group context it was wonderful to explore the surrounding area of our workshop.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate
Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate


Text by Mad Kate

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate is a polyhomefull US-American sound and performance artist based in Berlin, interested in interrogating the politics of borders within and between bodies.

Mad Kate: Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photos: Gaby Bila-Günther, Tatiana Bogacheva, Sajan Mani, Mad Kate

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by Nati Canto

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Open Call for participants for the Misplaced Women? performance art workshop with Tanja Ostojić in Berlin, January 22-24 2018, hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

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Older posts Berlin 2009:

Tanja Ostojić: Berlin, TXL Airport on November 21, 2009, 11 p.m,

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

A Poetry Intervention by Nati Canto

In Berlin, Performances, Tram station, Workshops on February 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm

A Poetry Intervention by Nati Canto: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, 2018

For the Misplaced Women? Workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić in Berlin in January 2018, I thought it was interesting to have something feminine to show in my performance and that I could identify with because being someone from Brazil in Berlin and having traveled and lived in other countries, I believe as a woman in my mid-30s I came to the conclusion that life is about learning how to deal with losses and knowing how to size them up and to transform our everyday life no matter where we are.

I decided to recite in the Berlin Overground, U-Bahn line U1 from Kottbusser Tor to Schlesisches Tor, the well-known poem called One Art, written by Elizabeth Bishop in the 1970s. I wanted to do that because reciting a poem in the realm of poem reading evenings or special moments where people would expect to listen to a poem would not give me the response I was looking for. Reciting by heart in public transportation was the chance of challenging people out of their comfort zone and at the same time confusing them on what I actually expected from them since there are many street artists around Berlin who wander with paper coffee cups asking for monetary contributions. Was I another one of them? That was definitely not my case. I just wanted to shake people’s state of mind for a short amount of time and leave.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

The poem is precious to me because Elizabeth Bishop lived for years in Brazil with a famous Brazilian architect called Lota de Macedo Soares and she wrote a lot of her poems there. After many years, Bishop decided to go back to the United States, so she left Lota who had never accepted it and ended up committing suicide. 

The poem is written in the first person and it underlines the value of learning from loosing things throughout life. And it starts from very simple and small things such losing door keys and it escalates to losing houses, two rivers, a continent and losing the person you love, at last. This is when Bishop tries to convince herself that it’s not that hard to lose someone, but deep inside she knows it really is.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

Text written by: Nati Canto

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

Perforative intervention by Nati Canto, duration: approximately 40 minutes.

Video and photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop),“Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo documentation: Alice Minervini, Sajan Mani, Jiachen Xu, Evdoxia Stafylaraki.

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One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

…………..

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

…………..

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

…………..

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

…………..

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

………….

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident

the art of losing’s not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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Nati Canto: A Poetry Intervention (One Art by Elizabeth Bishop), “Misplaced Women?” Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Alice Minervini

Nati Canto is Berlin based artist of Brazilian origin. Her work unfolds itself where history and personal space meet, often alternating facts and fiction. Her artistic practice combines heterogeneous materials, from the combination of digital and analog equipment, the use of photography, video performance, and more recently the use of text in order to explore how images assume different meanings depending on the ideologies that shape them.

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018


Misplaced Roots by Katja Vaghi

In Airports, Berlin, Performances, Workshops on February 3, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Misplaced Roots 

Concept and performance: Katja Vaghi

Location: landing stripe, Templehofer Feld, Berlin

Duration: 15 minutes

January 2018

Misplaced Roots is a solo performance that was created in the framework of Tanja Ostojić’s MISPLACED WOMEN? workshop unfolding in the range of public spaces in January 2018 in Berlin. I have found the discussions during Tanja Ostojić’s workshop especially interesting. Despite none of the participants were born and raised in Berlin, those discussions uncovered moving details of the city’s social fabric, from its history on both side of the wall to actual issues. It has surely brought the city closer.

I will start with a short description how this performance came about and add a few words of reflection about it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

On the second day of the workshop, a group of us (Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn, Alice Minervini, Sara Kramer, Ola Kozioł and myself) headed from the institution hosting the workshop, the Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, to our chosen performance site, Berlin Tempelhofer Feld. Berlin Tempelhof airport opened in 1927 and was one of the oldest functioning airports before its closure in 2008. Considered a highly influential place by many people in Berlin, it has now been repurposed into an unusual park, Tempelhofer Feld and recently also housed an emergency camp for refugees. In the surreal landscape offered by the landing stripes, people jog and walk dog, grill and play.

Group Interventions on the Way

Our performance started though with little interventions on the S-Bahn (train) to Tempelhofer Feld. In the first, four of us (Ola Kozioł, Tanja Ostojić, Rhea Ramjohn and myself) decided to ‘reclaim our space’ by sitting with our suitcases between our legs in reaction to that little nagging voice preaching how good socialized women should occupy a small space. This was followed my claiming even more space while searching my bag for my phone. We wanted to know where a particular spot of the airport was and I was looking to phone a friend. So, I deliberately choose to take the most absurd or voluminous things out of my bag, thus pilling books, gloves, a scarf and bright orange mandarins on the top of my suitcase in my hunt for my phone. This partial performance of Tanja’s set score did not impress the person seated next to me who continued reading his book, or the others in the carriage. I might have appeared a little eccentric but being Berlin, I was quite in the norm. Knowing your context is key. Still the situation highlighted another element, how we are always in a liminal space, always potentially on the verge of a performance. Each act is a potential subversive act depending on the place, extent and length of its performance.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

 

Group Intervention on the Tempelhof airport

At Tempelhof airport (with Tanja and Rhea) the three of us with suitcases produced a choreography of rolling suitcases. Three misplaced women, with their suitcases, walking on the landing strip to get on a flight that is no longer there.

 

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Video-still: Sara Kramer

Misplaced Roots

I chose to perform Misplaced Roots in the middle of a landing stripe. I drag my suitcase away from the audience, heading nowhere and looking forlorn. This suitcase has accompanied me for seven years going back and forth from were I have been studying and then working and the place of where my emotions were, my family and my partner. I have rolled it for so long that one of the wheels is worn out. I then stop, take my coat off and open the suitcase. I try to squeeze myself in it. I am too big. My legs are out of it, as I clap myself together as a Swiss knife. I open the lid, try to put my legs in the suitcase as well, fail and fall with it backwards. I am now sitting with my back and the lid on the concrete and my legs on the suitcase. The temperature is far below zero. It is very cold. I try to use it as a cover to get some warmth from it. But it is not happening. There is no way that I am going to fit in it.

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Katja Vaghi: Misplaced Roots, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin 2018. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

I feel restless, a body without a voice. I step out of the suitcase and take a white long skirt. I wear it, and sit back in the suitcase. I take an old broken shirt, turn it inside out and try to fit in one of these plastic bags for the security check commenting as I go: “You always have to squeeze your whole life inside these little bags”. It is funny how one grows attached to objects. Especially, when travelling a lot, one has certain rituals involving particular objects that make one feel at home. A friend of mine had a special cup. I have a suitcase. Many times I have lived out of this suitcase. It was literally my home. I then read aloud a definition of migration taken from wikipedia and the comments on how to approach and survive the procedure at the German Immigration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde Berlin). Finally, I read testimonies of people who had migrated from my region a century ago. I am a voluntary migrant but this does not mean I am less lonely when settling in a new place. I am still misplaced. I am still visited with feelings of loss and nostalgia. Each time one packs a suitcase to move, one brings one’s roots with it, hoping to find nurturing soil for them. I read the definition of ‘Spolia’ or the building stones that are repurposed for new constructions. These ‘homely’ objects, these spolia, are fragments of a previous life helping one grow roots in a new country. Finally, I close my performance as I started. I pack everything in the suitcase, put my coat on and continue walking towards nowhere. 

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Katja Vaghi alternates theoretical reflections in written form to practical musing in the performing space. A dancer, choreographer, somatic practitioner and dance researcher, she holds a PhD in dance philosophy (University of Roehampton) and is an enthusiast improviser and site-specific performer. She is based in Berlin

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Text written by: Katja Vaghi

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project Misplaced Women? project blog

HD video-recording: Sara Kramer

Still from video: Sara Kramer

Photography: Tanja Ostojić

Misplaced Women? organised by: Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee. 

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Berlin Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

In Berlin, Performances, Railway-stations, Workshops on February 2, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play

Performance by: Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Location: S-Bahn train stations Prenzlauer Allee and Ostkreuz, Berlin, January 23, 2018.

Text by: Jiachen

The performance consists of three parts: body measuring, dying oranges chess play, and the in-between or misplaced spaces. It is a result of spontaneous entanglement of ideas from Evdoxia (body measuring) and Jiachen (orange chess play) developed during Berlin itinerary of the “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić. Though the performance as an entity is inseparable from any of it’s parts, I will mainly look at the latter part and the surrounding forces in this writing piece. 

Within the workshop “Misplaced Women?” facilitated by Tanja Ostojić, words such as: misplaced, women, and the question mark, became the structuring forces of this performance. “Women” in its plural form, I ask, identified as a queer feminist woman of colour, who are included in its reference? Misplaced, as the adjective suggests, on one hand, a finished state, temporally or not, in comparison to the wording “displacing”; on the other, what is the defining state of “placement”, and I wander, defined by whom?  My thought thus arrives at the question mark. 

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh and Nati Canto

Trinh T. Minh-ha is one of those feminist theorists who inspires me lastingly. She says, “Woman can never be defined. Bat, dog, chick, mutton, tart. Queen, madam, lady of pleasure. MISTRESS. Belle-de-nuit, woman of the street, fruit woman, fallen woman. Cow, vixen, bitch. Call girl, joy girl, working girl” (1986). This vivid and visual description of the ontological instability of women, especially for third world women in Minh-ha’s account, speaks for me. I gain my strength from reading works by black feminists and feminists of colour to survive joyfully, bravely and ambiguously in a seemingly constant misplaced/misplacing state, physically, psychologically, and beyond.

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

I went to the workshop with an expectation to actualise certain struggling thoughts through body performances. The result, one week after the workshop, is way more than that. It is already very therapeutic for me to be surrounded by women bravely and creatively in the face of different forms of displacement struggles. And to share and do something collectively through an honest and caring sharing of our vulnerabilities. How wonderful is that!

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Jiachen and Evdoxia Stafylaraki: “Body Measuring and Dying Oranges Chess Play”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Nati Canto and Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

 

In terms of the specific performance collaborated with Eva (Evdoxia Stafylaraki), I am a bit resistant to translate the process into languages. I would like to share some details that might be interesting to know. I come across those seven dying oranges at two friend’s kitchen. They were forgotten in the corner, waiting to be thrown away into trash. I noticed them and initially arranged them on the back placemat on the kitchen table. This was the birth of the idea “dying oranges chess play”. Number seven bears different meanings in different cultural contexts. In my memory it signifies a return in I-Ching. I guess there is always a piece of me strives for a return, even though the “original” place is non-existent anymore. To mobilise the nostalgia feeling evoked by “return” to the on-going chess play in public transportation stations seems to be one of the articulations during the chess play part of the performance. No one is setting the rules in the present, but there are waves of ghosts surrounding the gameplay. These waves of ghosts in my retrospective reading were displaced by the first part of the performance: the body measuring. Constant decision: making or un-making, and the questions of the aesthetics of misplaced existence are brought to the very surface, and will hopefully get revolved and transformed, step by step.

Text by: Jiachen Xu

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Video and photos: Nati Canto, Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Jiachen recently finished a joint master degree in women’s and gender studies in Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and University of Oviedo, Spain.

Evdoxia Stafylaraki is mathematician, sculptor and performance artist from Chania, Greece.

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Mad Kate

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Berlin Contribution by Mad Kate

In Berlin, Performances, Workshops on February 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm

Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here

Contribution by Mad Kate

Locations: Görlitzer Park, Berlin on 24.01.2018., and in transit from Görlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany to den Haag, Netherlands on 25.01.2018.

Regarding my participation in the Berlin iteration of “Misplaced Women?” workshop in the Public Space by Tanja Ostojić (January 2018) — hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee — it was encouraging and supportive to be in a group of artists who were committed to doing these kinds of public works and gave me the confidence and framework to further explore an idea I have been interested in pursuing.

“Wymyn* who travel with me even when they are not here” I performed alone and made my own documentation using a timer on my camera.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

I live across the street from Görlitzer Park and often speak with the numerous men who are hanging out in the park, many of them from Senegal and Gambia. I notice always the lack of presence of women and other non-binary persons in this particular demographic of migrants (the park is otherwise full of women and non-binary persons). This lead to my thinking about how some migrant flows are heavily male and why this is. I thought about the “freedom” of mobility of younger men, especially Muslim men, and the reasons why and how this affects women—sometimes related to these men’s physical ability to move and cross physical borders, to move as a single person without children, to encounter dangerous situations, related to their understanding of identity in relation to their community, their place, their religion, their view of autonomy as a moving migrating body, their community’s expectations of why and how and when they should migrate, their assumed responsibility to make money and send it home, etcetera.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

It made me think a lot about how my gender is already “queered” as an independent, migrating body, whether or not I consider myself queer (which I do, in any case) and makes me stand out from other cunt-bearing bodies–“wymyn”–even within my own US-American culture, who face relatively more strict gender expectations of their femininity and of heteronormativity. The female* migrating body already has a relative independence to women who are required or expected to stay at home and are limited by their own communities to freedom of movement. The migrating body already has access to the privilege of “the adventure of” movement, even when and if they encounter borders who would otherwise attempt to limit their mobility, i.e., even when that movement is illegal.

As a response or way of thinking about this question I decided to dress up all in purple (in part as a ritual marker, in part as a symbol of the womb) and take the large purple suitcase my mother had given me, and I walked into the park. I decorated a large purple hat with photographs of the women who used to live within close proximity to me, whom I moved far away from 14 years ago when I left the United States. I know that some of the women on that hat have never had the privilege of leaving the country. I have thought of many of them as the women I write to in “letters back home”, telling them of my challenges and adventures moving away on my own.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

Walking into the park, holding a sound recorder visibly, I told the people I encountered (most of them the men that gather around the entrances), that I was doing a project about the women we miss from home, those that travel with us in our hearts but couldn’t come with us. I asked them if they would like to contribute a name, an anecdote, or a memory of someone to my sound recording. One of the men shouted at me that I was doing some of kind of “therapy” and sort of made fun of me. Other men spoke to me politely but refused to contribute. Another person said he wasn’t drunk enough to participate but invited me to a jam session of migrant musicians. Finally one woman contributed, sound artist Anne Historical, but she did not fit this same demographic, she was a visitor to Berlin from South Africa. This was our brief exchange.

Here are some of the encounters with the men who spoke to me but did not want to contribute.

I found it disappointing that so few people wanted to share, but at the same time I felt like it was positive action even to ask and to try to make a connection that was atypical of the normal exchanges that happen in that particular situation of entering the park, being offered the chance to buy marijuana and either refusing or accepting. It’s not that I felt like I was “helping” anyone, but rather that I faced my own invisible boundary to break the mode of the expected relationship of consumption; I think this relationship of consumption alienates and segregates.

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Mad Kate: “Wymyn who travel with me even when they are not here”, “Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, 2018. Photo: Mad Kate

On the other hand, I found it alienating to ask people to share stories and face rejection, and wondered if this was too pushy or too invasive of an approach. So I decided after some time to simply wait and see if anyone asked me about what I was doing. I sat in the park for a while and unpacked my suitcase and stayed there and let it be. No one came to ask what I was doing.

The next day, since I was traveling to another country, I decided to put the entire outfit on again and travel to the Netherlands with the same costume and suitcase and the sound recorder. A lot of people noticed me and gave me positive non verbal feedback, but no one asked me about what my hat meant or whether or not my costume and suitcase had significance. However the performative act of carrying the photographs of the women with me near my head helped me feel their absence and appreciate their gift in my life. 

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Footnote: *the word wymyn is purposely “genderf*cked” to disentangle the word 

“man” from the word “woman”, and with the intention of being inclusive 

to transwomen, nonbinary, intersex and other genderqueer persons.

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Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate is a polyhomefull US-American sound and performance artist based in Berlin, interested in interrogating the politics of borders within and between bodies.

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Text and Photos by Mad Kate

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018-19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Katja Vaghi

Contribution by Jiachen Xu and Evdoxia Stafylaraki

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

Berlin Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

In Berlin, Performances, Workshops on January 30, 2019 at 4:08 pm

I am pleased to share Татьяна Bogacheva’s contribution to the January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop in the Public Space in Berlin — hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin Weißensee — and her attempts to innerly process and express in performative ways her concerns, fears and experiences around the gendered perspective of homelessness.  (Tanja Ostojic)

 

“Home is a human right”:  (Home is the most dangerous place for women worldwide, domestic violence competing only with car accidents as the main cause of death of women; and, non-European perspective on the institutes of human rights reveals their essentially colonial nature.)

A Contribution by Татьяна, Tatiana Bogacheva

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Tatiana Bogacheva: “Home is a human right”, January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop. Intervention Berlin, Alexanderplatz. Photo: Sajan Mani

Cosmopolitan is the preferred self-description of affluent dwellers of global cities reaping the fruits of the centuries of colonialism and its aftermath, globalisation, international division of labour, justice of transnational institutions and ‘illegal’ migration. Either an explorer or an expat, it is more likely to be a man who abandons one place for another or refuses to be associated with one nation, while women’s migration is a public secret. Study-mamas, oil-wives, domestic helpers, those involved in affective labour and care—neither their individual motivation for migration nor their role in shaping the world are given sufficient recognition—they are modernity’s roadies, not its driving force.

 

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Tatiana Bogacheva: “Home is a human right”, January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop. Intervention at Berlin Alexanderplatz. Photo: Sajan Mani

When crossing borders alone for work, women are detained on the suspicion of being trafficked due to the persisting victim-centred approach of international human rights and humanitarian organisations which feed into moralistic and patronising narratives. What is primal, the hysteria about endemic sex trafficking or capitalism’s dependency on the surplus of unpaid domestic work? Constraining migration of women through the narratives of danger, human trafficking being its extreme, legitimises restrictions on the freedoms of women and effaces their political agency and grievances connected with their class, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation.

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Tatiana Bogacheva: “Home is a human right”, January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop. Intervention at Berlin, Alexanderplatz. Photo: Sajan Mani

Finally, women are barred from the ultimate dropping-out from the societal demands and refusal to do cartwheels to carve oneself a place in the globalised world. You don’t see many female rough sleepers on the streets of Berlin. They sleep in the airports and the sitting couches of overnight trains; on the spare beds in hospitals; at libraries and offices; and at the friends’ sofas and even at their own risk at home with their partners; but they don’t sleep on the street because they—our dutiful daughters, immaculate mothers, virtuous wives and selfless partners—are our only hope on this beautiful,

bright

cosmopolitan

creative

meaningful

modern

peaceful

fair

blue perlaceous planet Earth.

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Tanya Bogacheva worked in human rights, media and education before commencing her graduate studies in critical cultural studies in Berlin.

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Text written by Tanya Bogacheva

Photo of the public intervention: Sajan Mani

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/2019 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Donate to Berliner Kaeltehilfe

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Contribution by Ola Kozioł

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop, Berlin, January 2018

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Participants of the January 2018 „Misplaced Women?“ Berlin Workshop by Tanja Ostojic.      Photo: Sajan Mani

Berlin Contribution by Ola Kozioł

In Berlin, Workshops on January 30, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Misplaced Women? Workshop Contribution by Ola Kozioł

„Golden Pillow”

Location: Karl-Marx Platz, Berlin

Duration: 45 minutes

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

In the frame of „Misplaced Women?“ workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić, hosted by Kunsthalle Berlin Weißensee, in January 2018, I came across the following thoughts and have realised the following performative intervention:

At the beginning of the workshops I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the performative task. I knew Berlin from the art-tourist perspective only, so to say: museums, exhibitions, etc. I had to find myself in a completely new context, new country, new city and about whose local problems I didn’t know anything, So just 3 days seemed to me as not much time to delve into any topic. Suddenly, I was shocked when I discovered during discussions with Tanja, that half of the people sleeping roughs in Berlin’s streets and parks are estimated to be Polish citizens. I decided to focus in my work on this problem. I was wandering why some of Polish people choose this „lifestyle“? Is Poland more desperate place for them to live in, and is a makeshift tent in the German capital currently the best option they have?

 

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

The thoughts were overwhelming. Do the Polish homeless people find life in the presumably rich west easier because of collecting bottles, begging and because of the amount of charities and places where they can get help?                                                                                                                                                                  

With all those questions and confusion I did my action during which I was sleeping on the bench on the Karl-Marx square and in the park nearby under a sleeping bag and on a golden-like pillow. Mostly people just past by me, but there were as well several reactions where people stopped with some of those questions in their mind, similar to mine.

 

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

 

Post Scriptum: Did you know that half of the people sleeping roughs in Berlin’s streets and parks are estimated to be Polish citizens…? There are no systemic solutions to the problem of homelessness in our country. We have a mild winter and the harvest of death is already great – more than 50 people died of hypothermia this year. There is no shortage of empty communal flats. There is a lack of heart, empathy, humanity. Homeless people are also people who once led a prosperous, successful life. They are people with higher education, some of them were entrepreneurs, in positions that failed at some point. Bankruptcy, flat auction, loss of salary, illness… It can meet each of us. The border is very thin.

Thank you Tanja Ostojic for your work and for sharing.

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Donate to Berliner Kaeltehilfe

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Text written by Ola Kozioł

Photo of the public intervention: Ruth Biene

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojić, 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? project blog

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Ola Kozioł: „Golden pillow” January 2018, „Misplaced Women?“ Workshop, Berlin. Photo: Ruth Biene

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Ola Kozioł is multidisciplinary artist based in Łódź, Poland. She graduated in painting at the Strzemiński Academy of Art in Łódź, where she currently works. Her performances are mostly exploring the technique of the so-called “white voice” singing typical for Central, East and South-East European folk music culture. Musical projects: Mutant Goat (released Yonder album), 18 rivers, Miejskie Darcie Pierza, Strzemiński Choir. Since 2015 together with Suavas Lewy forms a group PRZEPRASZAM, since 2017 a member of a women’s artistists group FRAKCJA. Sings to everything, loves walking, treating “pilgrimage” as an artistic gesture, went “consciously” almost 2000 km. Conducts workshops for children and with voice for the women, is involved in the realisation of numerous artistic and social projects, with the aim of activating people around. Most of her works touch upon topics of women’s rights, respect for the surrounding nature, the world of animals and people, combine ecology with post-humanism, pacifism.

Ola Kozioł Blog

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Please visit as well other contributions and posts from the same workshops:

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Татьяна Bogacheva

Contribution by Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh

Contribution by LADY GABY

Public Presentation of the Misplaced Women? Workshop in Berlin, January 24, 2018

 

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