Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

love in the time of corona

In Cologne, Home, Stories on June 6, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Gabriel said

The words I am about to express:
They now have their own crowned goddess.(2)

naked soft long wheat germ tone limbs crawling over sun white bed clothes brilliant light earnestly she came over me no trace her radiance left something she must yet be under layers reverberation envisionment I’d failed to recall will have scraped deeply into body marked inside and over to find this former combined cell life replication what instinct brought me to brought her me limpid to my feet creeping on like anaesthesia energised to the centre when I why had let the juice seep out narkotisierend oder belebend beliebig oder geliebt

Hélène said

Give birth to yourself! How I’d love to! No body here for me to live in. If you are outside of the body where the blood flows, where the heart is struggling in the grasp of clutching hands, how do you get back to yourself? And all that was left of me was skin and bones. Fingers clutching at the heart as if they were clutching the breast, the wheel, the arms of your lover. Give birth to me! Pick up the pieces! Stick me together with your glue.(3)

last night awake weak nearly all night bowel cramp exhausted not as bad as spell weeks before spell curse spell words peeled to essence speed translated hurtling hurt to the absence in between when breathing without sleeping cramps stamping a clamp around standing under can’t think around about or in the gaps

rare routine repeat in day moment live no pain the feeding self cleaning regulate breath intensiveness no motion clean with reason re memorise only the moment no ail till next time inhale failn’t baled out pale indoors in rooms surround the old run of saving round the sofa and books read or embleming wood and glass shelves brought over from England ova shrunk should remove bed cover patch worked patches coming apart the quilt chloroquine the TV says will ease the disease don’t have yet will it will away the maybe words the man in the no use uses to excuse his dislocated elocution swirls of dust still from winter under table turquoise green colour from the hairy blanket on the pulled-out couch stained ripped quickly from over-use

plant life company decades dance spot in earth wear behind doors and on the balcony my share air and bird virtue half out of ear distance measure in every bit precious motion water and seed exchange cry corona like killer on insight crone’s disease monotone introspection

detritus film unmoving debasing long before clock down inside dragging dust bag heavy wrist ache alert windows keening their smear abandoned day sleep chimera quietly hallucinating why fear china removing face no death mask nothing beneath but pale skin effacement yet self-love preserve holding me in place like a sandbag masking wonder

Gabriel said

She dreamed that she was seeing Florentino Ariza again, and that he took off the face that she had always seen on him because in fact it was a mask, but his real face was identical to the false one.(4)

misplaced former maker me isolation space long before covid avoid by ill will intimates and culture cliques cast beyond id need light ID others schicksäl(5) displaced caste away me unfit no help no desire social accept distance leaving idio soliloquy strip back narrow lands no ire now nil by mind forgotten wiled life refusing malaise-ism real

effusion balcony comfort flutter wings gesture stroking ear bone sparrow spatz namesake pecking at the dish ceramic clap clap rhythmic breaking up flap jack baked in march raisins and cashew nuts a cached symposium retrieving hard facts steeped in sugar fat oat and maple syrup vibrato warbler pleasure über den tellerrand blicken

behind the curtain curtail the disbelief believe not in the structure you block built for herself or was it given killed for the sake of renewal no traces over the edge prolonged alone time age-old before corona covert when shelves of books and works and pictures moving transported 5 years ages no more gathering parting departed post distance propensity dispose sore concentration lapse where was I heading friends ended time intended no play and away a way that was an active now ineluctably unthink

Russell said

I stil aint qwite said how it wer. Not like a diffrent country. It wer mor like I wer behynt the back clof in a show. Thats how it wer. Thru the clof I cud see the other figgers moving I cud see the peopl watching only no 1 cud see me. If I wer a figger in a show what hand wer moving me then? I cudnt be bothert to think on that right then. Theres all ways some thingwl be moving you if it aint 1 thing its a nother you cant help that.(6)

let the mask of room scenery of one’s own fall self-sealed lone like immurement joint pain relief safe coven inside insidious too old to walk socially near distorted by your distance hazy memory like dirty windows left for dead before time lines taking different roads didn’t believe the covid void on air masked in aerated knows in separate the wall barrier no photo no imagined image hanging about am I an anti a gone a deep night out of nothing comes some where libidinal in the abyss miss coming from know where absence and cramp puke cramp puke and affluent effluence spurting running crap diluvial evaluations excremental utteringly vile bile episode stop breathe breath between wretched retching bile galling gaining breath breathe stupor stupid gone going solace waking in affluence alone one no one mediation inhale to hale no inner life food abyss body abscess excess puking pus swellings in awkward places own the multiple clit cunt effrontery dethroning the crowning sedentary sediments settling sitting in influence shit gold alchemy rise to risk the hospitable shift to shift the fluid ancient danaé aching so solitaire insolence

Hélène said

I wanted to run away. Before, there was a way out. No eyes. No doubt. With hesitation. I had made up my mind. Pretend you were at the door; the door opens, you step forward, you are saved! – that’s obvious – and you can’t go through. What’s stopping you? Isn’t there a door? Haven’t you got legs? Aren’t you awake? Didn’t you make the decision? Exactly. I must get out of that door. It’s a matter of life and death. I lift one foot, put out my arm, only to find that I am beside myself once again. Failed! You are doing it wrong. It’s a question of orientation. I go back. The door is there. You think. You measure yourself. It is not impossible. Physically, and from the human point of view it is necessary.(7)

verfall falle gefallen from the dead raise to an I con seclusion hermetic prisoner of crutch auto immune tedium beyond murals covid liv id fear of fury a free sun day next out door grill smell weltering dead weight under pane no assist what has become of the nonentity beast I suppose crohn not corona? kron und gedächtnis(8) the choler solitude colognial mohn memory poppy burn with propensity to forget congenial grief mildernd the hand that reached to ne me touche pas time in motion feeling words like K and Jesenská entranced when entrenched you send unbended message electronic intellect escaping in the cloud around your site in why land quiet unrequited not quite

Gabriel said

But when he began to wait for the answer to his first letter, his anguish was complicated by diarrhea and green vomit, he became disoriented and suffered from sudden fainting spells, and his mother was terrified because his condition did not resemble the turmoil of love so much as the devastation of cholera.(9)

riteing I am receptive to exchange fluidity e shuttling cocked and return fired a generated parallelism excess collecting beyond the corners of frame sharing delayed enthusiasm firming the con of reconnoitre aligned in unbound electro light liquid sheaves melting captured initials oh and ah body dis mesmerise arise back forth no score pendulum pendeln from wired to land

embroider the front of your lobe function h ear the tiara diadem half crown umbrella of head with sound hieroglyph safe in letter survival not yet lately in vital vials though untouched inviolate moving aleph bet etiquette

etikett für unfehlbare lebensquantität satz ersatz gestreichelt durch unausgeprochenen speichel platz gespeichert für die rundungen der wörter verlesen durch den virus nicht verhaftet an den rand der krankheit noch nicht erkannt

Paul said

Cologne, Am Hof
The dreamt ones stand for
The midnight numeral

Some things spoke in the silence, some things were silent,
Some things went their way
Banished and Lost
were at home

You cathedrals,
You cathedrals unseen,
you waters unlistened to
you clocks deep in us.(10)

dreamed separate by lateness because Franz and the dear one’s hand-written letters only hers in flamed type face twin beds joined at the lip emit words vomit wo mit half heart half dead poppy tears image Inge burning for Paul waiting for eau god they were young you jew oui jah veh word direction embodied dressed in internment sentences weeping letters


light caught

high thin

stream web



high thin

stream web




jolt in

wind line


no catch


water short

in february

on the bone

dry island


at the


entrance a

same dust







for low



skin at

inner elbow


trap was

silk to

touch now







or miyake

pleats a

lone goal(11)


timed travel since so wrong long unconstructed cycles becoming lines no check progress the being here denial registration dimension meaning uncontrolled when was it no more light-footed music the world breathing a staged clock away writing returning not saying saying keeping alive carrier pigeoning speaking in myth mouthing non-exemplary repeating repetition of soundless echo electric fencing keeping good faith jeux avec frontières

Russell said

Nor I wernt dreaming nor I hadnt ben smoaking I wernt acturely seeing Eusas head it wer jus there for me I cant say plainer nor that. Which it wunt stop getting bigger I cud smel the wood and the paint of it and the finger hoal so big it were over all of us as big as the roof. Such a blackness. Not jus over us and all roun it wer coming up inside me as wel. Not jus wood and paint I smelt the blood and boan the redness in the black. The thot come to me: EUSAS HEAD IS DREAMING US.(12)

take the time wave sweeping generation some tumbled in the bubbling rush on forget shore moved till next wave trippled and left you suspicious objection on shore scene by those still part landed but kindness of neighbour no longer strange assists sit in car from hospitable bringing to move the love thy self her and me the breath light sound the tickling electric harp at your meditative centre and 10 hazel seedlings growing from nutshells from the year before last clay pot balcony tryst each week strong appearing sapling plus what pistachio plant found thrown or sparrow dropped tree today in May a cherry stone like slow knowing of the plush blackbird fledged thick feathers brown speckle puffed resting among green horse chestnut leaves raised in England 30 years ago the open cage drama species disarray

how and ever now then unfolding emerging growths in colonised time association wager risk institution emergency expectation patience for sedierung sedition room kilt time sit in midday moon full seduction close enough to smell sad breath he crossed the demaskation line inpatient grab at half gone breast removing mask to osculate ich bin berührt betrayal kiss you too the dram of grazing voice breath neck tickle uncalled for ache impossible to uncanny react ever the body knowledge reminder even in evolved age a risible bait cologne colon garment for easy abscess preps for semi see the inside growths ripe infirm wrench ulceration information confirmed no commitment sedate sated irresistible for double up pain culpability refrain semi-conscious operators espied half heard conversationing until it’s time to go which home to many-walled stalling to remain strained in reputation and the theatre interval ended

reading write in lap repeat the haze of days interior



  1. love in the time of corona, concrete poem, Tanya Ury, 31.03.2020, play on the book title “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez
  2. Introductory quotation Leandro Díaz, “Love in the Time of Cholera”, Gabriel García Márquez, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman, 1985, Penguin Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-141-18920-8
  3. P. 19, Angst, Hélène Cixous, 1977, translated from French by Jo Levy. John Calder Riverrun Press 1985 ISBN 0 7145 3905 8
  4. P 115, ibid 2
  5. Word play on ‘Schicksal’ German for fate “Schäl Sick (Rhenish for „suspicious/wrong side“), in Cologne rarely written as Schälsick, is still today in the Rhineland a common expression for, from the viewpoint of the other, that is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ side of the Rhine, Wikipedia.org Translation from German Tanya Ury
  6. P. 173, Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban, 1980, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2002 ISBN 978 1 4088 3224 0
  7. P. 23, ibid 3
  8. Paul Celan dedicated poems, such as Corona in his volume of poetry Mohn und Gedächtnis (Poppy and Memory) to Ingeborg Bachmann; kron here, meaning crown/corona, being a wordplay on Mohn.
  9. P 71, ibid 2
  10. Köln, Am Hof, Paul Celan poem, 1957. Cologne, Am Hof, in Paul Celan’s letter to Ingeborg Bachmann, 20th October 1957, p.92, Ingeborg Bachmann Paul Celan Correspondence; and see also Celan’s letter of 31 October-1 November 1957 “Is ‘Köln, Am Hof’ not a beautiful poem? Höllerer, whom I recently gave it to print in Akzente (was I allowed to?), called it one of my most beautiful ones. Through you, Ingeborg, through you. Would it ever have happened if you had not spoken of the ‘dreamt ones’? A single word from you-and I can live. And to think that I now have your voice in my ear again!” P 103, Ingeborg Bachmann Paul Celan Correspondence, translated from German by Wieland Hoban, Seagull Books 2010 ISBN 978-0857426420
  11. pleats, poem by Tanya Ury, written in Deià, Mallorca, 4.2.2020
  12. P. 61 Ibid 5


love in the time of corona by Tanya Ury is a contribution by invitation, to Tanja Ostojić’s Misplaced Women? project. This poetic narrative, including poetry – being about isolation, but also feelings of misplacement because of age and illness even before the time of corona – incorporates quotations from Gabriel García Márquez, Hélène Cixous, Russell Hoban and Paul Celan. First published by: Tanja Ostojić at the Misplaced Women? Project blog, June 6, 2020.


Tanya Ury (1951* London) is an artist, activist and author. Since 1993 she has lived in Cologne, which is where many of her family members, including German-Jewish authors, came from. Her video, photographic and performance output deal with Jewish history in general, frequently with a more specific focus on her own Jewish familial provenance. Other themes cover such controversial matters as the Shoah, racism, sexuality and pornography.

1988 BA HONS in Fine Art, Exeter College of Art and Design (GB)

1990 Masters in Fine Art, Distinction, Reading University (GB)

2014-2018 Jury member for the Hans and Lea Grundig Prize, with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin (D)

Tanya Ury’s Homepage


Please see Tanya Ury’s performance contribution to the Misplaced Women? project, Fury, October 3, 2009


Our Lady of Auguststraße

In Berlin, Homes, Photos, Signs, Stories on May 1, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020 Photo-Story from Berlin

Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić

Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić
Our Lady of Auguststraße: A Misplaced Women? May Day 2020, Photo-Story from Berlin by Tanja Ostojić

Documented and first published by Tanja Ostojić on the Misplaced Women? Blog, May 1, 2020


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: Luciana Damiani 

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.

Misplaced Self in the Misplaced City

In Homes, Photos, Stories, Wuhan on April 5, 2020 at 7:47 pm

Tan Tan is performance and video artist of younger generation who went to visit her parents in Wuhan early this year and got accidentally under the total lockdown as of January 23, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Before she is going to be hopefully finally released after two-and-half-moths, on April 8, 2020, she gives us an inside into her Diary under Wuhan Lockdown, shares with us six of the predominant feelings she lived those days, and some of the daily photos from the window of her parents home. Panic. Anxiety. Anger. Sadness. Depression. Redemption.                                                                           

(Tanja Ostojić)

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Misplaced Self in the Misplaced City

By Tan Tan

April 2, 2020.

I am in Wuhan, central China, where I was born and raised. This was not a famous city for most of people around the world, as it is one of the second-tier Chinese cities (recently upgraded to ‘the new first-tire’), not like Beijing, Shanghai, which are of the traditional first-tier mage cities. But from the mid-January, Wuhan was globally exposed, accidentally, due to a newly discovered virus that invaded this city, and threatened millions of human lives with mind blowing speed. Right now, this virus, already known as Coronavirus (COVID-19), has become a crazy international pandemic. When I first heard the shocking news of the lockdown of Wuhan, I did not imagine that the whole world can be trapped today. Everyone is living a precarious life despite nationalities, identities, positions, and classes.

Until today, it is still not scientifically proven if Wuhan was the place of origin for the virus, yet due to the broadcasting of the international mass media, many people prefer to believe that. Thus, a ‘misplaced’ accusation has been brought to this city, turned it into a ‘place of the virus.’ As we know, every stereotype, prejudice, racial discrimination among human beings could last for centuries, so I don’t know for how long Wuhan needs to carry this ‘reputation’.

Since the beginning of the lockdown on January 23, every day before midnight, I posted a short diary on the ‘WeChat friends circle’ (a popular mobile-based social networking platform in China) with a photo. The composition is a framed view of each day from the same window at my home. In the picture, the building complex across the lake is Central South Hospital of Wuhan University, which is one of the most prestigious hospitals treating the Coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan. I decided to wrap this daily log on March 28, because from that day on, the people from outside have been permitted to enter Wuhan conditionally. After 66-day-long total lockdown, Wuhan finally has started to open its border gradually, and the lockdown will be totally withdrawn on April 8, according to official announcement. At this moment, I would like to share my personal experience during the hard times, by extracting six principal emotions out of my diary, as a potential reference to some of you who are still struggling with the quarantine.

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Panic. I guess everyone in the world had more or less the same panic when we realised that COVID-19 is much more contagious than SARS, MERS, or any other known infectious disease in human history, and worldwide experts have no idea of the cure for this disease. In other words, it seems that this disease could lead us to the end of the world. But in the first half month of the lockdown in Wuhan, the panic was even tougher, because before the disease spread rapidly to other cities, we were rather alone to face this unknown catastrophe. Approximately, shortly after January 21, my cellphone became a container of the hell, as every hour, some scary news or rumour popped up on its screen, including the hospitals begging for support, the doctors and nurses crying, and the increasing number of patients that had no way to be saved. From January 24 to 31, I spent the worst Chinese New Year I could remember, with panic rising day by day.

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Anxiety. Since the medical supplies such as masks and protective clothing were in a massive lack during the first month, anxiety was a prevailing and dominating mood shared by all the people in Wuhan. As an artist, I felt so useless when confronting this kind of crisis, which was an even worse feeling than panic. Fortunately, an exit from such negative state opened its door for me. From January 26 on, I joined a volunteer’s team Lumo Road Rescue Group to do some online work for donating the supplies to the hospitals. Lumo Road is the landmark of live-houses and hippy culture in Wuhan and this collective was mainly composed of rock fans, artists, musicians, university students, and other night life grassroots. I am one of them in a way. Surprisingly, these party-goers did a very serious and effective teamwork, connecting the donors and the ones in need, and have arranged for thousands of products per day to be sent to the hospitals, one-week-long. Perhaps our biggest advantage is that we are all the type of people that want to skip the bureaucratic (sometimes ridiculous) administration, and directly put the things in hands of those in need. Nevertheless, after one week, I found that my anxiety was not decreasing, but quite in contrary, it was growing. It is because I realised that even if I gave up sleep, I could not fill up the gap between the supply and the demand, as always more and more patients and hospitals cried out for help. Like many other voluntary communities, Lumo Road Rescue Group decided to cease our work after this busy week, because we could not solve this endless anxiety, and several members of the group got infected while delivering the supplies.

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Anger. Anger comes and goes in my diary. I think there are different reasons for being furious in every distinct nation under such epidemic situation. In China, especially in Wuhan, in the beginning, I was so angry about our political system that was always trying to cover the bad news, which caused about ten days delay in dealing with this virus. Li Wenliang, as one of the ‘whistleblowers’ to warn people of the suspicious virus, became internationally acclaimed as a Chinese hero oppressed by the ‘Big Brother,’ and killed by Coronavirus. After being a volunteer, I became even angrier day by day over many inefficient and inhuman measures from certain authorities, like the Chinese Committee of the Red Cross, which controlled the biggest storage of the supplies but was not competent for distributing them timely. This feeling was also provoked by various discrimination present among the people. Some of international media (outside China) insists on the stigma of ‘Wuhan Pneumonia’ although it has got the scientific name (COVID-19) already in January; there are some Westerners who like to shout at Chinese people (or even Asian looking people) on the street as ‘Coronavirus’; inside China, people from Wuhan and Hubei (the province of Wuhan) are discriminated by those from other areas; even in my own building, my neighbours didn’t allow a tenement to live here anymore when he came back in Wuhan from another city, for he might be a threat to bring the virus to this ‘zero infected building’…

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Sadness. Sadness never leaves. Besides Wuhan people, this mood is among people all over the world. Because we all know that in addition to the official data of death, there are much more ‘grey areas’ in the statistics. In Wuhan, except say that there are 2.567 casualties* on the list so far, but we don’t know how many people have left the world before the two new hospitals and the mobile cabin hospitals were built. What’s more, how many people were killed by other diseases in the situation of no access to ordinary treatment in the hospitals? How many people became homeless because of the sudden lockdown? How many people lost their jobs or are facing bankruptcy? Last but not least, how many pets have been abandoned and killed by vicious rumours and cold hearts?

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Depression. All the emotions listed above often drove me into a deep depression during those days. I guess many of you who are reading this text might feel the same. Because we are all vulnerable, useless, uninformed/over-informed, and under a quarantine with an unpredictable end. We are all isolated and ‘misplaced’ in an incredible situation. Personally, I have coincidentally stayed with my parents for more than two months under the same roof, without seeing anyone else. This is rather a big challenge than a happy family reunion to me, as the generational gaps in China are specially huge. My parents and I have opposite life styles, and opposite opinions on values, and politics most of the time. On the other hand, as an artist engaged in performance art and other edge-cutting art forms, I don’t want to shock my parents with my ‘crazy’ behaviours at their home. Thus, I was not able to do many of my artistic actions normally and had to disguise myself as their ‘good girl.’ In this sense, I have lost my integrity, my real world and space, and have been living with a ‘misplaced self.’

From Tan Tan’s online diary: View to the Central South Hospital of Wuhan University from Tan Tan’s home during the total lockdown in Wuhan. Photo / Copyright: Tan Tan, 2020

Redemption. Hopefully, in parallel with all these negative emotions, there is also a force that supports each of us, that is, the rescue and self-rescue. Other than joining the volunteers to serve the hospitals, many people chose to implement immaterial redemption. Artistically, there are countless online exhibitions and live music performances; spiritually, there are various psychological assistance and religious group blessings. I myself have participated in two exhibitions and three publications linked with the epidemic situation. Moreover, I submitted an art project to an institution on the theme of animal protection, because this human crisis makes me feel more the call of rebalancing the energies of the earth, and even the entire universe. In ancient times, humans used to respect all plants and animals, and followed the steps of God and nature. Today, because of ‘capitalism,’ ‘overconsumption,’ and the ‘society of spectacle,’ we become more and more reckless to the natural principles. As an evident result, the world becomes as it was in Revelation of the Bible overnight. At this moment, not only Wuhan and China, this wild animal-derived virus has conquered the anthropocentrism terrain; meanwhile, locust plagues, mountain fires, hurricanes, and floods are also emerging one after another in every corner of the world. Therefore, I think it is time for us to go back to the sources of our world, then reshape the reciprocity between humans and animals and what humans are doing to the earth. This is more fundamental salvation than any vaccine. May it be written on the plan of the redemption from the Universe.

Eventually, after so many traumas, with the strong spirit and contribution by ordinary  Chinese people, and the zigzag endeavours from the position of power (governament), Wuhan has survived this war. There are many more issues that should be addressed in order to tell the whole story of this ‘misplaced’ city, but I could only write down a diary from a personal view. On the April 8, we will be hopefully finally ‘freed’ from the lockdown as announced, but the obstacles for true mobility must still stay, so when will my days of ‘misplaced self’ come to an end? When I look at the world and the universe, I feel as I am still a prisoner, as I don’t know where else I can go and how to board on Noah’s Ark…

At the end, I would like to make a quote from my diary, ‘This troubled world would no longer allow us to wait, we shall start the process of healing.’

Tan Tan: A Diary under Wuhan Lockdown, video, 2020.

Tan Tan is an intermedia artist who currently lives and works in China and Belgium. Her oeuvre covers experimental film/video art, performance/theater, music/sound art, installation, and cyber art.She had several solo exhibitions and took part in numerous art events internationally, such as 60th Berlinale, 2010, International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2011 (IFFR), Images Festival, 2012 (Canada), 43rd Tampere Film Festival, 2013 (Finland),  Venize Biennale, 2015 and 2017, Asian Art Top Show, 2010  (China), 1st ASEAN Biennial, 2013 (China), Wuzhen Theatre Festival, 2016 (China), Creative China Festival at La Mama Experimental theater, 2019 (The USA)

*(Editorial comment) As of april 17, 2020 the offical number of casualties in Wuhan rised for about 50%, from 2.567 to almost 3.900.

This is a contribution by invitation, to Tanja Ostojić’s Misplaced Women? project. Edited and first published by: Tanja Ostojić at the Misplaced Women? Project blog, April 5, 2020.

Please see Tan Tan’s March 8, 2018 performance contribution to the Misplaced Women? project

Alexandra Tatar’s Story

In Bus-stations, Stories, Telciu on May 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm

I wish the Misplaced Women? Workshop in Telciu (Transylvania, Romania) lasted longer. I wish it would have lasted at least two days longer… 

“Misplaced Women?” Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić in the frame of Telciu Summer School, Romania, 2018. Photo: Manuela Boatcă​

As I was thinking along these lines it made me realise that what I was actually looking for was not more hours to collectively embracement of the topic of displacement, but I was actually rather longing to take part in all the other conversations, the previous Misplaced project workshops as well as the ones to come… The conversations related to getting people started and acknowledging their experiences — this is precisely where the strength of the Misplaced Women? project lays for me. Needless to say, I found many of those conversations, performances and individual contributions to the Projects online platform, which I perceive as an established community, where one can always return to, revisit and share with. Ever since I left Telciu, I carried on the conversations on displacement within myself, re-thinking my previous migration experiences and artistic work — continuing basically the discussions started at the workshop till today. 😊

Tanja Ostojic’s workshop in the frame of Telciu Summer School happened on August 15, 2018. That is an ultra-religious holiday in Romania. (You can get a glimpse of it here). Thinking about the context of Romania — one of the most religious EU member states — made me think about the religious discourse in relation to women’s body as another type of displacement. The elderly women — who interfered with our workshop — coming back to Telciu with the regional evening train was actually returning from the monastery where women crawl on their knees and elbows nine times around the church for the Holy Mary holiday. They say they do that for the sake of forgiveness and having one wish come true. Weather god is more merciful than the EU is debatable, but the chances of getting one wish come true are certainly higher.

“Misplaced Women?” Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić in the frame of Telciu Summer School, Romania, 2018. Photo: Manuela Boatcă​

I’ve been exposed to violence of religious believes upon women body at the course of my first migration experience to Vienna. Coming here to study in 2011, at first I lived with two other Romanian women whom I got to know through migrant friend’s network, and they were able to offer me a room in their apartment. We were basically three independent migrant women living together, at least I thought so. Apparently, I happened to be ‘too independent’, meaning that going out at night and meeting ‘foreign’ men (although: ‘does he have a car?’ they would ask) was too much liberty in the eyes of god, and I was told I have to move out one evening, after only two weeks of living together, on the basis of my ‘lifestyle’, after going out twice. I left the same evening, putting all my belongings in two big garbage bags, and calling the ‘guy which owns a car’. Sometimes I wonder how many trash bags would I need in order to put in all my belongings now…

Besides being a violent experience, it is also a sort of a privilege, I encountered through my migration, that I’m only now able to contextualise better. Being a ‘girl’ from the East in Vienna, brings with itself certain ‘readings’ of oneself… Like for example when I got the ‘residence’ permit based on a written paper which stated that I get a small financial support from my family each month for my studies (‘small’ in Austria, but being a huge sum in Romania; as a matter of fact my family could not afford to cover any of that), the authorities perceived me the same way the bank officers did. The one who issued me a credit card as I looked like a ‘Girl from the East meets men from the West’ story; although my finances would not entitle me for one. She just told me to ‘make sure’ the money is on my account on the date they book it (all that was missing was a wink). Of course, I needed a credit card, becoming a part in the cycle of ‘permanent debt’ that maintaining of a certain way of visibility requires. It was actually easier to get a credit card then a health insurance, as I actually needed to pay for the latter, and this was not possible in the first years of my stay. 

The first travels between Austria and Romania, after moving here, I did by bus. The travel was 10-11 hour, all night long. One had to change a bus at midnight in Budapest. And the bus going to Romania would actually stop behind the bus station, and one was supposed to wait for the bus (which would hopefully come) on a dark street corner. I remember one time right there, a young foreign student was waiting for another bus which was to bring his girlfriend from Poland to Budapest and was getting pretty anxious as the bus was late. He asked if he could use my phone to call his girlfriend. And although I understood his concerns, I was unable to borrow my phone, as I was travelling without any money (what my Austrian boyfriend never understood, as he could not grasp the concept of not having money after paying for a ticket), and the little credit I had on the phone was my only safe net in case something went wrong. I have often thought about those precarious times, and now after the workshop and seeing the Misplaced project performances at bus stops, and the solidarity between migrants, I thought of weather I was a selfish person, deciding I was not being able to help, prioritising myself that time. Both buses (the one bringing his girlfriend and the one taking me to Romania) arrived shortly after, but the question stayed open with me until this day.

Theas are my thoughts after the workshop, that I am very grateful to have taken part in, and it will definitely inform my thinking and artistic practice to come. I think marking displacement experiences by performing them, writing about them, telling about them, let us not forget nor ignore, and more importantly enable us to understand, acknowledge and act in solidarity. 

Text by Alexandra Tatar

Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojic 2018/19 on the Misplaced Women? blog


Alexandra Tatar is an artist born in Romania, currently living in Vienna. She is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, on the topic of post-soviet subjectivities. She received MA in Visual Arts from the same faculty in 2016 with MA thesis: The [physical] [impossibility] of [women] in the [world] of [someone] [living] with Ashley Hans Scheirl. In her art practice she explores communicational codes and conventions of mainstream culture and their influence on the construction of imagery and identities.


The “Misplaced Women?” Workshop led by Tanja Ostojić took place on August 15, 2018, in the frame of Telciu Summer School, in Telciu, Romania. Workshop participants included: Manuela Boatcă, Laura Covaci, Iulia Dinescu, Veronica Enusca, Iulia Ilie, Adina Marinescu, Alina Marincea, Simion Septimiu Mihai, Alise Monica Marinescu, Bogdan Popa, Veda Popovici, Alexandra Tatar.  

Please visit this link to experience More about the Telciu itinerary of the workshop:

Doing Gender Contribution by Li Fu

In Innsbruck, Performances, Stories, Workshops on February 18, 2019 at 10:44 am

Doing Gender 8102.50.3*

60 min Performance von Li Fu

Universität Innsbruck

Beschreibung und konzeptionelle Einbettung

„’Doing gender’ zielt darauf ab, Geschlecht bzw. Geschlechterzugehörigkeit nicht als Eigenschaft oder Merkmal von Individuen zu betrachten, sondern jene sozialen Prozesse in den Blick zu nehmen, in denen ‘Geschlecht’ als sozial folgenreiche Unterscheidung hervorgebracht und reproduziert wird.“(*1)

Der Körper wird exponiert und in verschiedenen Schritten wird versucht die Konstruktion von Geschlecht in einzelnen Bausteinen zu zerlegen wie auch wieder herzustellen und diese somit nachvollziehbar zu machen. Da die Herstellung von Geschlecht „eine gebündelte Vielfalt sozial gesteuerter Tätigkeiten auf der Ebene der Wahrnehmung, der Interaktion und der Alltagspolitik [umfasst], welche bestimmte Handlungen mit der Bedeutung versehen, Ausdruck weiblicher oder männlicher ‘Natur’ zu sein“ (*2), betritt die Person in einem ersten Schritt in einem Poncho den Raum. Der Schnitt des Ponchos hebt keine Körperpartien besonders hervor und versucht somit beim Gegenüber keine gezielte Konstruktion von Geschlecht zu generieren. Daher wird es möglich in einem inneren Prozess zu sehen, welche Kategorien von Geschlecht die Betrachter*innen der Performance dem Subjekt auf dem Laufsteg von vornherein zuschreiben. 

Der Campus Innrain bot sich als Ort des Oszillierens zwischen Theorie und Praxis besonders für das Aufzeigen des iterativen Prozesses der Konstruktion-Dekonstruktion-Rekonstruktion-Dekonstruktion an.

Der Raum wurde in zwei Ebenen eingeteilt: dem fiktional privaten hinteren Bereich, der aus einer gläsernen Decke besteht, die Einblick in die Bibliothek gewährt; aus einer Fensterfront, die zum Spiegel umfunktioniert wird; aus Sitzgelegenheiten, die den ‘privaten Bereich’ umrahmen und damit abgrenzen, aber gleichzeitig auch als Interaktionsort mit dem Außen genutzt werden können und dem vorderen öffentlichen Bereich, in welchem das in Anthrazit gehaltene und langgezogene Gitter als Laufsteg umfunktioniert wird. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Auf der Schwelle zwischen dem öffentlichen und privaten Bereich wird ein Merkmal (symbolisch dargestellt durch den Nagellack) als schmerzhafter Befreiungsakt von vorgefertigten Kategorien  von Geschlecht entfernt. Dabei liegt der Nagellack wie eine zweite Haut auf dem Körper und lässt sich nur mühsam und in einem sich ständig wiederholenden Akt und in Wechselwirkung mit einem dem Körper externen Hilfsmittel (Nagellackentferner) sukzessive entfernen. 

Im privaten Bereich werden dann Hilfsmittel aus dem Koffer gezielt benutzt, um ‘Männlichkeit’  herzustellen. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Kunst in Öffentlichen Raum Tirol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Haltungen werden im Spiegel geübt und gezielte Kleidungsstücke und Accessoires sollen der Konstruktion behilflich sein.  

Anhand überspitzt ‘typischer’ Verhaltensweisen (aggressiv – lässiges umstoßen des Mülleimers – Handeln im sozialen Raum) wird ‘Männlichkeit’ performiert, wie auch anhand der Haltung, des Ganges, der Mimik und Gestik, das Tun, das in der sozialen Situation verankert ist und das in der virtuellen oder realen Gegenwart anderer vollzogen wird, von denen wir annehmen, dass sie sich daran orientieren“(*3), die Konstruktionselemente sichtbar werden lässt. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic
Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Im privaten Bereich setzt sich nun das Subjekt mit dem eben Hergestellten Schicht für Schicht auseinander und übt sich in ‘männlich betroffener Schweigsamkeit’. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Nun wird an das Subjekt in einer Interaktion ein alternatives Handlungs- und Zuschreibungsangebot von Außen [Performance assistance by Pippa Chase] herangetragen. Dies operiert mit sozial anerkannten Bildern, denen auch eine gewisse Zugehörigkeit und Solidarität innewohnen. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

‘Frau’/ Freundin’ macht ‘Frau’/ Freundin’ die Nägel und sucht aus dem Koffer ein ‘passendes’ Kleidungsstück für sie aus. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

‘Frau’ rasiert sich die Beine und cremt sich ein. Schicht um Schicht wird der performative Akt vollzogen. Die Konstruktion ‘der Weiblichkeit’ wirkt im Spiegelbild verzerrt. 

Li Fu: “Doing Gender . 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic
Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Die Inszenierung von ‘der Weiblichkeit’.

Im privaten Bereich setzt sich nun das Subjekt mit dem eben Hergestellten Schicht für Schicht auseinander und übt sich im ‘weiblichen Ausbruch’ – lautes Weinen und ‘hysterisches’ Anklagen:  (Wer bin ich? [im privaten Raum])

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

Schicht für Schicht wird ein ‘Dazwischen’ konstruiert und erhebt zum ersten Mal die Stimme im öffentlichen Raum erhoben.

Li Fu: “Doing Gender 8102.50.3*”, University of Innsbruck, “Misplaced Women?” Project Workshop, Art in Public Space Tyrol, 2018. Photo: Daniel Jarosch. Copyright: Tanja Ostojic

„Es ist nicht ER. Es ist nicht SIE. Es gibt auch ein  ‘DAZWISCHEN’. Wer das nicht checken will, soll sich einfach verpissen. Daran stört mich nicht mal die fehlende Empathie, sondern die in so vielen Ländern herrschende Transphobie.“(*4)

Vorbereitungsphase: ca. eine Stunde am Vorabend. 

Text: Li Fu



  1. Gildemeister 2004, S. 132
  2. West/Zimmermann 1987, S.14
  3. West/Zimmermann 1987, S.14 zitiert nach Übersetzung in Gildemeister/Wetterer 1992, S. 237 In: Gildemeister 2004, S.132
  4. Auszug aus einem Hip Hop Text von Li Fu
  5. Siehe dazu Weber 2011



Gildemeister, Regine (2004): Doing Gender. Soziale Praktiken der Geschlechterunterscheidung.

In: Becker, Ruth/Kortendiek, Beate (Hg): Handbuch Frauen und Geschlechterforschung. Theorie, Methoden, Empirie.

VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften: Wiesbaden, S. 132-140. 

Weber, Max (2011): Wissenschaft als Beruf. Duncker & Humblot: Berlin. 

West, Candance/ Zimmerman, Don H. (1987): ‘Doing Gender’ zitiert nach Gildemeister, Regine/ Wetterer, Angelika (1992): Wie Geschlechter gemacht werden. Die soziale Konstruktion von Zweigeschlechtlichkeit und ihre Reifizierung in der Frauenforschung. In: Knapp, Gudrun-Axeli/ Wetterer, Angelika (Hg.): Tradition Brüche. Entwicklung feministischer Theorie. Kore: Freiburg In: Gildemeister, Regine (2004): Doing Gender. Soziale Praktiken der Geschlechterunterscheidung. In: Becker, Ruth/ Kortendiek, Beate (Hg): Handbuch Frauen und Geschlechterforschung. Theorie, Methoden, Empirie. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften: Wiesbaden, S. 132-140.


Zur Person: Einfälle einer* Dilettant*in (*5)

Li Fu interessiert sich für das Politische im Alltäglichen und gesellschaftliche Entwicklungstendenzen der Gegenwart. Besonders die Konstruktion des Alltags und die Betrachtung der Bausteine, anhand welchen Wirklichkeiten konstruiert werden, liegen hierbei im Fokus. In D.I.Y. -Manier wird anhand unterschiedlicher Performances der Versuch unternommen theoretische Konzepte in den Alltag zu überführen. 


Edited and first published by Tanja Ostojic on the “Misplaced Women?” Blog 2018/19

This Performance has been released in the frame of: “Misplaced Women?” Workshop by Tanja Ostojic, May 2018, Art in Public Space Tyrol /Kunst in Öffentlichen Raum Tirol, Austria.


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

Review by Tanja Ostojic: Misplaced Women? @ Art-In-Public-Space Tyrol, Innsbruck

Code Contribution by Li Fu

Open Call for participants for the “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space with Tanja Ostojić, in Innsbruck, May 11-13 2018, with a presentation in Die Bäckerei

Offene Ausschreibung zur Teilnahme an der “Misplaced Women?” Performance-Kunst-Werkstatt im öffentlichen Raum mit Tanja Ostojić vom 11–13 Mai 2018 in Innsbruck mit einer Aufführung in Die Bäckerei


Misplaced Women? Contribution by LADY GABY in Berlin-Weißensee

In Berlin, Stories, Workshops on December 27, 2018 at 11:31 pm

In the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s Misplaced Women? workshop, January 22–24, 2018, hosted by Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz and Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, the following performance interventions have been developed and performed for the first time:

On Janaury 23.2018 in and around the neighbourhood of Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin-Weißensee:

LADY GABY, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Were feeling placed within misplacement, creating a range of public space performance interventions:

We went around for 2 hours looking for places and things we felt comfortable with and a longing for, marking them with pink wool and intervening as displaced female characters: statue of liberty, maid, queen and the migrant. Site specific sounds and recorded conversations have been added too as well as a whole array of misplaced found objects.


Misplaced Women?

Written Contribution by Gaby Bila-Günther aka LADY GABY

My whole life I have felt misplaced and displaced, as I migrated from one continent to another to find a new home and a new nationality. As a child, I grew up in Transylvania, in Romania during the communist regime. As my father defected to Australia in 1980, my mother and I followed him two years later. Thats when my history of misplacement began, first with my fathers defection, as I felt I didn’t belong in that society any longer. My mother who was born in Greece due to the civil war there in the 1950’s was forced as a child to live as a refugee in Romania, being a noncitizen, and I felt like one too, after my father defected and we prepared to follow him. I was kicked out of the pioneers organisation and our phones and home were under surveillance.

Marked Bench
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.

As a young teenager in Australia, in the 80s, I felt more misplaced than ever, as most of the people there had no idea where or what Romania was. I felt like I didn’t belong there neither as nobody could find my country of origin on the map. I felt insignificant, invisible, most of my time as a teenager; however I wanted to belong and be noticed.

When I came to Berlin, in 1989 at the time of the Wall falling down, my displacement manifested itself in the fact that I was illegal for three years and couldn’t speak the language either, however as an artist I began to find my feet and work with the theme of misplacement and identity. Berlin, the city where I found MY feet, MY words and made up MY mind about the world around ME.

Since 1994, my work has been about misplacement, identity, gender relations, social decline and domestic mapping. I often perform in spaces where as an artist or as a woman I am not supposed to be: men’s toilets, elevators, laundrettes, public spaces, public transport, etc. Through my performances in those spaces, I belong, I show that I exist and I demand attention and recognition.. I HAVE A VOICE!

During the Misplaced Women? interventions in the frame of the Berlin workshop lead by Tanja Ostojić, I chose to walk around the area of Weißenssee, as I felt misplaced inside the village-like atmosphere of that neighbourhood. However the streets, the houses and that environment gave me a familiar sense, as it reminded me of communist Romania where I GREW UP and reminiscent of the old post Wall East Berlin. So I looked for places I felt were displaced and marked them with a strand of pink wool, and did a whole range of public interventions at those places. Old communist statues, old bike wheels, an old fountain in the middle of a busy round-about, gallery and on a boat sculpture outside the Brotfabrik. During our walk some of us from the workshop including Mad Kate, Sajan Mani and Tatiana Bogacheva recorded sounds that we detected as misplaced on the streets of the neighbourhood such as construction sites on a quiet small street. The whole time I carried a suitcase with me containing misplaced objects for no reason inside, which I opened and displayed during the interventions. I transformed into several misplaced FEMAIL and FEMINIST characters besides myself: The ARTIST, The CLEANING MAID and The STATUE OF LIBERTY, all identities I can relate to as a woman, illegal worker, migrant and a refugee.

“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018. Photo: Sajan Mani
with sajan, liberty
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.

Through those actions of marking misplaced objects, recording of the misplaced sounds, and doing public interventions around sculptures and objects that reminded me of home, gave me a sense of belonging, comfort and familiarity, reminiscing the times and moments in my life when I felt secure and grounded. The places reminded me of my family migration that was carried out along side with the lack of identity and legality of living in a strange land, as well as my transformation from a young woman into a confident present artist.

Participation in the Misplaced Women? workshop really helped me strengthened my public intervention performances and try out new ways of domestic mapping. The interactions with the other participating performers and artists helped me indeed to achieve this as well and push new boundaries regarding performing in public. The walks in the neighbourhood of Berlin-Weißenssee, opened my eyes and inspired new ideas and concepts for the projects. New collaborations where born, for instance I performed with mirrors on the Berlin trains together with 5 other women artists from the project. That intervention, holding mirrors, empowered me and my presence. 

Text written by Gaby Bila-Günther

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

Photos of the public interventions and marking of the misplaced objects by Sajan Mani, Mad Kate and Tatiana Bogacheva

This series of interventions by Lady Gaby have been developed and realised in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” workshop by Tanja Ostojić hosted by Kunsthalle Berlin Weißenssee, January 2018.

marked fountain1


About the author:

Gaby Bila-Günther aka LADY GABY, originally from Romania, arrived to Berlin via Melbourne where she would regularly perform in public. She published her spoken-word, poetry, short stories and nonfiction articles online, on CD compilations, in journals, magazines and literature anthologies internationally.

She has performed, curated and showed text based, collages and video works internationally. In 2000 in Melbourne, Australia, she launched her self-published book Validate & Travel on a ‘moving tram’ and in 2002 her own spoken word filled with ambient techno beats debut CD, Off the Main, with music producer ZOG. In 2003 in Berlin together with fellow writer Jessica Falzoi she formed the Poets’ Party while in Melbourne she was part of Urban ART and Flush artist groups. In Melbourne together with her partner Teo Gunther they ran the performance and live music warehouse space, CBI PRODS, where underground techno parties, CD launches and various performance art events took place from 1995 till 2002.

For more information please visit:

Spoken word and sounds by various musicians

Spoken word and performance show

Word Bank Radioshow

Spoken word and beats with guest musicians

Lady Gaby’s artist run space

with statue1
“Misplaced Women?” interventions by LADY GABY, Berlin Weißensee, 23.1.2018.
marked lady


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

Mapping around Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz

Contribution by Rhea Ramjohn

Contribution by Mad Kate

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 in Berlin, January 24, 2018

Bojana Videkanić holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Toronto Airport and diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992

In Airports, Borders, Signs, Stories, Toronto on February 16, 2017 at 6:20 pm

On October 12 2016. Bojana Videkanić was holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and was diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992 and her and her family life as refuges in the UK, Croatia and Canada. She wrote about it:

Missing Women: Some Thoughts As to Why I Became Missing While Waiting for Tanja Ostojić

By Bojana Videkanić October 2016-February 2017.

Last year I invited Tanja Ostojić to present her work at the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival in Toronto. As one of the members of the Toronto Performance Art Collective, I have been wanting to invite Tanja to come to our festival for some time. She generously accepted and came in October 2016. In our conversations and planning prior to her arrival, Tanja asked me to help her by doing a specific action when she landed in Toronto. She asked me to create a sign and hold it while waiting for her at the Pearson International Airport. She told me that the sign should read: “Misplaced Women” which is also the title of Tanja’s piece that she was going to perform on October 16 at a tram stop downtown Toronto at the corner of McCaul and Dundas streets. Tanja gave me a choice to, if I wanted to, put a question mark at the end of the statement. I was happy to do the action and I made the sign, deciding to put a question mark at the end. My choice to do so was guided by the fact that Pearson is a large and busy place and I suspected that the sign will be noticed if I keep it ambiguous. I, however, was not considering the impact Tanja’s work would have on me.

The day came and I arrived 30 or so minutes earlier in order to keep the action a bit longer, to give it some time to play out. While standing there at the international arrivals gate, I had some time to think about the action I was performing (standing in the middle of the great airport hall with an ambiguous sign in my hands) and what its ramifications might be. There were a couple of important thoughts I had that came about as a result. First, throughout my action I realized that I was initiating Tanja’s performance, as it became obvious that my interactions with the accidental audiences were a catalyst for a discussion around borders, policing of bodies, and (in)visible violence of that. In short, I realized that Tanja’s performance has begun as people gawked at me. Secondly, I realized the echoes of Tanja’s work in our ‘local’ Canadian context with the missing and murdered indigenous women, and the impact it had in the light of Syrian crisis and the inability of the world actors to see the refugees as human beings. What I did not expect was my own physical reaction to the sign and the moment as I became missing in it.


On October 12 2016, Bojana Videkanić holding the “Misplaced Women?” sign on the Pearson International Airport in Toronto and diving into her profoundly touching memories about her initiation into the life of a refugee escaping Sarajevo siege in 1992 and her and her family life as refuges in the UK, Croatia and Canada. Photo: Tanja Ostojić

It became obvious at that moment that the sign “Missing Women” was not about some other missing women (although of course it is about many thousands if not millions of them) but that it was also about my own experiences of borders and violence. It brought me back some 20+ years back to 1992, and my 15-year-old self, a confused, frightened child who, in a matter of few weeks between April 6 and April 20 1992, became a refugee. At the time I did not know what that meant, but I learned quickly. When my hometown of Sarajevo came under siege and the first grenades fell, my desperate, naïve parents wanted to save me, to protect me, so they found a way to put me on one of the last planes leaving the city to go to Belgrade and then on to London, England. I will never forget the scene of desperation at the Sarajevo Airport as hundreds and hundreds of people gathered to try to get their small children, parents and other family onto Kikash military plains. Pleading with important-looking military officers, with their long lists of people’s names, to let them through––crying, begging, consoling, desperate. Through some miracle my parents managed to get me on one of those lists and on one of the planes. They gave me a few of our family photos (so that I wound not forget them and where I come from), my mom lovingly packed my sinus medication and some clothes, and told me that I will be back at the end of the summer when the war will be over, and with my English much improved. And so I went, with my grey, Yugoslav child passport (which in fact was no longer valid as we were living through the breakup of the country), 500 deutsche marks, my photos, and a book. As Kikash plane lifted off (in fact this was my very first time being on the plane) I sat on the floor of its enormous belly with a couple of hundred other people not really knowing where I was going and what will happen to me when I get there. I was all alone, a child who never travelled without her parents, going to some unknown future.

Three days later I was on a plane ride to London, England with another boy, a son of my parents’ friends. The two of us were going to his aunt who accepted to take me in for the short period until I was to return home to Sarajevo. As the airplane approached Heathrow airport I became very anxious and scared. We landed and I was immediately detained by the UK customs and immigration. I was held in an interrogation room for six hours. I had to take all my clothes out of my bag, they took my family photos and asked me about each person in the photo and where they were, they asked me about my sinus medication, about how much clothes I had, and why I was travelling, do I know what is happening to my country? They even asked me about Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” the one book that I managed to take out of my parents’ library as I was leaving (the book I cannot bring myself to read again). It is hard to describe that feeling of being helpless, of being at the mercy of people in uniform, and especially being that way as a child. Like a caged animal my heart pounded, I was shaking, and I cried. I cried as all those things that the immigration officers looked through were really the last things that I could say were mine, these were the last remnants of my childhood, of my family life, and of my country, even those darn sinus pills… My entire life on display, my entire life in one suitcase, now an object of conversation for immigration officers, and evidence of my status.

Finally, I was let through, they decided that my friend’s aunt who waited for us was credible. This was my initiation into the life of a refugee. From that moment on, I moved with my suitcase from family to family, twice in London (during the 2 month stay there), and some ten times later on when I lived as a refugee in Croatia. At one point while still in London, I was supposed to be moved for the third time with an unknown woman, but when that did not work out the people with whom I was staying decided that I should be given over to the Child Services (as having a 15-year old in the house was too much for them). I couch-surfed most of the time, slept in peoples’ baby rooms next to their kids’ cribs, in their master bedrooms on the floor, in spare rooms, living rooms, all kinds of rooms. I learned to hold my pee in so that I would not have to be in the bathroom when owners of the house were in the house. I learned to take fast showers, I learned to eat when no one was looking (usually late at night). I learned how to walk without making a sound, how to use a hand towel, soap, shampoo, or kitchen utensils so that they would look like no one has used them. I learned to be sparing with creams, food, cookies so that it would not look like someone has eaten them. I learned to be invisible, how not to be noticed by police, by men, by security. I learned how to pack my bag quickly so that I can move out fast. I learned that refugees are not welcomed, that we are perceived as a burden, not just to the state and all its mechanisms, but often to extended families, friends, and even do-gooders who think that they can take in refugees into their home but cannot deal with someone actually living with them, taking their space.

I, however, also met some amazing people on the way, selfless, caring people like my mom’s friend who took me and my family in with her son for four months. Or like a doctor from the Doctors Without Borders who I met on the street and in our conversation I told him that my parents are doctors in Sarajevo and that I was not sure if they are dead or alive as all the phone lines were down and I did not speak to them in two months. He told me that he will find my parents as he was going back to Sarajevo and deliver my letter. And he did! (that was how my parents found out I was ok and alive).

Finally, I also learned that my parents were broken by the war, the strong, independent people I knew before April 1992 were now broken physically, mentally, and professionally. When both my parents came out of the besieged Sarajevo (my mom at the end of 1992, and my dad at the end of 1994) and when we lived as refugees in Croatia awaiting papers to immigrate to Canada or Australia, I saw my parents waiting in line for food donations, for refugee status, clothes, aid, they were lost and defeated, depressed. My dad has severe PTSD which was never dealt with. The defeat only continued when we came to Canada, when my parents had difficulty learning English, not being able to find a job, being too old to go to school (early-to mid 50s) but too young to retire, struggling; my father going to a local Food Bank getting food, working on construction site as a construction worker, my mom working with developmentally disabled adults and being attacked and bitten. Yes, standing there at the arrivals gate at Pearson Airport became an embodied performance of myself missing and my parents missing. I was that 15-year old kid again, trying to find myself.

Finally, another important thought I had at that moment of waiting for Tanja, as I had some confused looks from passersby, was that people could recognize the signs, they could recognize the ambiguity of what Tanja was stating. Several people stopped and asked what the sign was about. One man came around as asked where are these misplaced women? He was confused… I replied that it was a part of Tanja Ostojić’s art work relating it to refugees and migrant women, but also used the opportunity to address a more pressing Canadian context of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and the current inquiry into this tragedy (https://www.nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/

Fact_Sheet_Missing_and_Murdered_Aboriginal_Women_and_Girls.pdf). A female security guard came to me asking about the sign, she approached and said, ”You know you will get a lot of people asking about the sign,” “they will think you might have some answers for them…” Then she said, “you know, I am misplaced too…” These interactions with the security, passersby, people who wait for family and friends, and being at the airport, opened up a whole other conversation about invisibility of violence, of invisibility and visibility of women who are marginalized, who are placed at the mercy of governmental mechanisms, police, immigration, child welfare, welfare and unemployment services, ministry of Indigenous affairs, lawyers, immigration courts. It became clear then that this performance was placing an ethical and moral obligation on the passersby as it directly asked them to confront the question/statement on the sign I made for Tanja.

I write this as the Syrian refugees are fleeing their country just like I did 20+ years ago. I write this as Trump has barred people from entering US, I write this as frozen refugee claimants are crossing the US/Canada border at -40˚C, I write this as an official Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is just taking place 40+ years in, I write this as hundreds of unaccompanied minor children are prevented from entering UK (as the government stopped its program to help them,) I write this as women and children are still going missing––no questions asked… Tanja Ostojic’s performance which asks that question is therefore more important then ever. Standing in the crowd with a sign “Missing Women?” at this moment becomes an ethical and moral confrontation, one that troubles the age of invisibility. And at a time of alternative truths, the truth of those who are marginalized truth is the one that matters, and only one that cannot be erased in the swamp we call the Internet.


Bojana Videkanić is an artist, art historian and curator. Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who came to Canada as a refugee. Videkanić now lives in Canada where she teaches at the University of Waterloo and is a member of the curatorial board of the 7a*11d International Performance Art Festival.  7a*11d festival, now in its 20th year, is one of the oldest and largest performance art festivals in Canada. The 7a*11d collective gathers over 20 international and national artists for each of its biannual festivals that takes place in the fall in Toronto: http://7a-11d.ca/  #7a11d2016

Please see as well:



Shannon Mulvey unpacked her bag on December 14 2016 by the oak tree on the River Lee at the border of Hackney Wick and Stratford London..

In London, Stories, Workshops on February 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Shannon Mulvey unpacked her bag on December 14, 2016 by the oak tree on the River Lee at the border of Hackney Wick and Stratford London, in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space lead by Tanja Ostojić, hosted by LADA.


Shannon Mulvey unpacked her bag on December 14, 2016 by the oak tree on the River Lee at the border of Hackney Wick and Stratford London, in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space lead by Tanja Ostojic

While discussing the experiences and issues of displacement of our workshop collective, I began to remember a story that my mother had told me of my grandparents’ assimilation into British culture and their experience of xenophobia. My grandparents on both sides immigrated from Ireland at the age of 16. Reflecting upon my 16 year old self, I could not have even conceived leaving home never mind immigrating. Yet all of my grandparents left their small villages in rural south west Ireland to seek a better life across the water in the UK. Shortly after arriving in the UK they were welcomed by signage clearly stating “no blacks, no Irish, no dogs” on nearly every tenement building and work place. With opportunities lacking, it was desperate times but my grandmother managed to find a small room in which she and her husband could stay. The only rule was no children. Hiding her pregnant stomach, Eileen accepted the room and continued to keep her now heavily pregnant stomach under wraps. A few months later, my uncle Michael was born. However, Michael was fully deaf and suffered from colic which caused him to scream loudly with the pain of the infection.

Trying desperately to protect her livelihood and save her family from being thrown out onto the streets of London mid-winter, Eileen tried desperately to calm her distressed child.

It was no time before the land lady; who was also Irish but had immigrated years before, found out about the child and threw the family out onto the streets.

Although Eileen and Paddy felt abandoned and alone in a new country, they knew they could always rely on the help of one thing- the generosity of the Irish community who had immigrated alongside them and become kind hearted friends throughout the process. A friend they had met on the boat over offered them a place to stay and soon they began to settle back into London life.


Shannon Mulvey unpacked her bag on December 14, 2016 by the oak tree on the River Lee at the border of Hackney Wick and Stratford London, in the frame of “Misplaced Women?” performance workshop in the public space lead by Tanja Ostojic

It saddens me that this story was reminded to me by the shared stories of xenophobia and mistreatment of immigrants discussed within our “Misplaced Women?” workshop. It is documented that the recent rise of racist attacks occurring within the UK took place immediately following the UK’s Brexit vote determining the country’s’ decision to leave the EU. I think it is a vital point in history in which to take action and challenge this racist rhetoric that is being promoted and to take pride in our mission as artists to make work that recognises and resists racist prejudice.

As a theatre maker, it was a truly enriching experience to be able to work collaboratively with such talented artists and to be inspired and informed by their vast and varied processes and modes of thinking and creating; which is a pedagogy I have not encountered thus far in my training as a performer. It was absolutely wonderful working with Tanja Ostojić.


Shannon Mulvey has been trained on the American Theatre Arts course at Rose Bruford drama school. Whilst studying she spent an exchange semester in Chicago where she worked professionally with the avant-garde, experimental theatre company Trapdoor Theatre. After graduating in June 2016 and receiving a first class degree, she founded the theatre company Sisters of Eden, a feminist performance collective that makes work that challenges patriarchal, hetero-normative ideologies and celebrates the female form.

Check them out on:

Twitter &Instagram: @Sistersof3den

Facebook: Sisters of Eden

Teresa Albor´s performances, The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick and Westfield Shopping Mall, Stratford London, December 13 and 14, 2016. in the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s “Misplaced Women?” in LADA

In Borders, London, Performances, Shopping Center, Stories, Workshops on February 12, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Teresa Albor´s performances, The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick and Westfield Shopping Mall, Stratford London, December 13 and 14, 2016. in the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s “Misplaced Women?” in LADA

In the frame of Tanja Ostojić´s “Misplaced Women?” workshop hosted by Live Arts Development Agency London and Elena Marchevska, Teresa Albor realised a series of two very strong performances on displacement:

December 13, 2016, The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, 2-4pm

December 14, 2016, Westfield Shopping Mall, near Olympic Park, Stratford, 1:45-2pm

On December 16, 2016 she wrote the following related statement:

Packing up the large objects this morning, the bright orange life jacket (child size), the beaded scarf, the soft black little girl’s jacket.  The smell— part smoke, part sweat, musty, human.  Then the small objects—into the orange envelopes and then the zip lock bag, the bits and pieces of jewelry, including the fragile, fragile necklace, all tangled up, hopelessly tangled up.

I imagine,the women who are preparing to be evacuated from Aleppo this morning.  They are packing up what little they can bring.  Little girls (perhaps oblivious), teenage girls (dreaming of a future?), mothers (thinking of their children’s needs).

Clio looks good in red so I have bought her a red dress.  Libby wants a particular book for her medical studies.  I put the red dress in a black box and tie a red ribbon around it.  I wrap the book in silver paper.

Someone else, once carefully packed the things I brought to Hackney Wick. All these objects once belonged to others, who took risks, who are hopefully somewhere where they feel safe, where they can dream, love, argue, fall out of love, make plans for the holidays.

The mall is busy.  People are trying to find things to give to others.  To make them smile, to show somehow—as impossible as it might be—how much they love them.


Please see Teresa Albor´s video of her performance in front of The Yard Theatre, Hackney Wick, London


The necklace is hopelessly tangled.  I spend a good hour trying to ease the knots out.  First I try to soften the snarl, gently easing the tiny chain into a loose little heap.  Then I try to find the ends and see how long a length of chain is possible.  But this makes the knot in the middle grow tighter and tighter.  My fingers are numb from the cold, with little dents where I have been holding the chain.  It seems maddeningly simple.  I picture the untangled chain.  I picture it hanging around the neck of a woman.  She is smiling.

Tosha needs someone to babysit.  It’s not easy being a single mother.  She says it’s hard for her, now that she has a son, to watch the news, to see woman and children, the bombardment, their desperate flight.

I feel vulnerable sitting on the cement paving stone outside the Omega watch store.  Someone else has the power.  A man with a vest that says “security”.  Calling out names: Amena, Yana, Ola, Liliane, Nour, Kamar, Lamma Dayoub, Qamar, Haya, Zeinah, Aya, Nooda, Ranim, Reem, Asil. Please be safe.  What is the worst that can happen to me?  What is the best thing that can happen to you?


Teresa Albor performing in Westfield Shopping Mall, London, (December 14, 2016. 1:45-2pm) Photo: Tanja Ostojić



Teresa Albor performing in Westfield Shopping Mall, London, (December 14, 2016. 1:45-2pm) Photo: Tanja Ostojić


Footnote: Clio, Libby and Tosha are Teresa´s daughters.


Things I learned in the workshop:

The advantages of being our own audience: Working together, watching each other, making work for each other to see, acting as a magnet in public spaces to draw others in, acting as a protective shield when there’s some question about our “right” to make work in public.  Being open to each other.  Allowing everyone to be at a different point in his or her process. Observing each other and learning from each other.

Explaining to security: The art of just describing what is actually happening. “I am looking for something.”  “She is wrapping a present.”  The power (see above) of being able to focus on an action whilst someone else does the explaining.

Gut feeling + props:  The need to allow your gut feeling to direct you, to give you ideas.  To have the props but then let the action evolve.  But to still be able to edit one’s self, and question one’s ideas, and not to incorporate every single idea.  I have so many ideas.

Also, I wanted to say how much this workshop meant to me. This was a new way for me to work with these objects– the second piece, a way to put myself into the work, to make myself a bit vulnerable. It has given me plenty to think about. Once again, thanks to Tanja Ostojic for her warmth, patience, openness– for making us all feel so safe, and so encouraged as artists.


Teresa Albor is London based performance and visual artist interested in how different groups of people negotiate the world. Her work is research-based and often involves broad collaboration. It can involve video/moving image, performance, installation, publication, community-based workshops, and forms of artist-led curation.





Photos: Tanja Ostojic

Video: Teresa Albor

Buffalo Border/Aubergine Kartoffeln´s Story

In Borders, Stories on February 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm

By Aubergine Kartoffeln

Monty and I were denied entry to the U.S. at the Buffalo border (beginning of December 2016), but I can’t tell you why. Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because the reason was kept secret from us too.

The first thing the border protection officer found in Monty’s shoulder bag were a few loose pages of notes, including four sheets with nothing written on them. Apparently, this was immediate cause for suspicion, as the officer said, “These four pieces of paper don’t have writing on them. Why are you carrying four blank pieces of paper?”

All of a sudden, everything we carried was suspect and seemed to pose some threat to the U.S.: “Why is this soap this colour?” “You only need this tiny container for hair gel?” “You’re telling me you wear these pants for fashion? I don’t believe you.”

Maybe we got turned away at the border because the officer looked in Monty’s exercise log book and smirked: “You do a hundred push-ups a day? Well, this guy [indicating to another officer] does a thousand.”

Or maybe we were detained at the border because the border protection officer couldn’t fathom why we would be making music and art on vacation. He demanded to know: “Why would you be making music on vacation?” When I asked what he meant, he explained: “When I go on vacation, I go shopping; I go to shows; I don’t make music.”

We sat in a waiting room for a long time through the night. We were each brought alone into a small room to have our mugshots and fingerprints taken, surrounded by four or five officers. We were interrogated separately about each other’s affairs, and questioned about our involvement with countries in the Middle East. Waiting is especially stressful when you don’t know what you are waiting for — maybe what happens next will be worse than the suspense of waiting. We already knew we couldn’t enter the U.S., but imagination gives way to all sorts of nauseating outcomes that make the wait even more excruciating.

An officer stood watch over us in the waiting room, his eyes fixated on old reruns of American Dad playing on the TV. I got the sense that these border protection officers really enjoy their jobs, especially the power they get from intimidating others, making people feel flustered and vulnerable.

Then suddenly, with no explanation, we were told to go. How did they come to that decision? What did they find out from their computers? What had they decided about us? What sort of threat did they think we posed? What will happen the next time we try to cross the border?

It bothers me that we were not given any explanation. It bothers me that we can not refute anything because we were not given anything to refute. It bothers me that the border protection officers obviously made the decision to deny us entry before they even finished their investigation, so that it’s very likely that there was no reason of why we were denied entry other than the officer’s distaste for the art objects in Monty’s suitcase.

Not that reason seems to matter anymore. I’m just glad we could go free, and that our lives didn’t depend on this crossing. I can only imagine how horrific it is to leave your fate in the hands of border protection.


Monty Cantsin’s suitcase full of agitprop materials caught the eye of USA Customs agents.


Aubergine Kartoffeln is Toronto based social worker and artist

Istvan Kantor alias Monty Cantsin is Toronto based artist of Hungarian origin


Please reed as well the related article by Sarah Ferguson who interviewed Istvan Kantor related to the denial of the freedom of movement on the U.S. Buffalo Border:


She wrote that according to Istvan Kantor, the agents in Buffalo, NYC, became alarmed when they found sealed packages of hypodermic needles in his luggage. Kantor is renowned for his “blood art” — using his own blood to splatter walls in museums like the MoMA to protest the “commodification” of art — and has been arrested numerous times both here and abroad.

He says the customs agents were also irked by the megaphone bearing Kantor’s trademark “Neoism” slogan, along with his Nazi-like cap, Chinese security armbands and red flag — all props for the satirical performances he planned to stage.

Although Kantor has been detained at the border before, he says he’s had no trouble coming into the U.S. in the last three years. But this was different.

“They took me and my girlfriend to a special room for fingerprints and mugshots,” he said, “and that’s where the more serious questioning began — especially about my travels in China,” where Kantor has been teaching multimedia art. “They wanted to know if I had visited Pakistan, Libya, Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries.”

After three hours of grilling, Kantor and his girlfriend were put in a car and taken across the border, where they were forced to take a $220 cab ride back to Toronto because it was 4 a.m.

“We never got a concrete explanation or piece of paper or anything to explain why we were turned away,” Kantor said.

%d bloggers like this: