Curated selection by Jochem Naafs

May 2022

For our series ‘Curated by’, we invited Jochem Naafs, engaged dramaturge, researcher and lecturer at ArtEZ Bachelor of Dance, to make a selection from APRIA’s archives. 

Naafs introduces the selection as following:

“Let me take you on an associative journey through the archives of APRIA. Due to the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I would have to start with the interview of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova by Christine Ayo.

Tolokonnikova started a fundraiser for Ukraine. In the interview, Ayo uses the song and video, “I Can’t Breathe” as a starting point, and questions who can speak for whom. Following this thread, Ayo reflects on her time in Russia and writes: “I recalled encounters with people of colour, Black and Asian, who, during the time I lived in Nizhny Novgorod, were not visible to the majority white population of Russia as economic and naturalized citizens. My right to safety was not protected by Russian political power structures” (Ayo). Reading the news that black Ukrainians who try to flee Ukraine have been discriminated against, I am concerned that things don’t change fast enough.

From speaking with and for others, my focus drifted to the representation of self by reading Milica Trakilovic’s article that discusses Šejla Kamerić’s artwork Bosnian Girl. This is a portrait of the artist that is covered by graffiti written by a Dutch soldier in Srebrenica. Trakilovic shows us how an ‘improper’ form of self-representation invites one to reconsider someone else’s prejudices and assumptions.

Fashion often acts as a form of self-identification, or a way of performing oneself, as well.   Alessandra Varisco and Lu Lin introduce a different way of looking at what we wear. In their research and article, they looked at clothing and in particular, pockets as a safe space. What do we carry on our bodies to feel at home? This question might not only be relevant for international students, who they address in their research, but also for refugees. They refer to Architect Bernard Rudofsky who “considered garments our first house, the first shelter and refuge of the body” (Varisco & Lin).

In my own article, ‘Home ≠ Third Space’, I question if we can consider our own home a safe space for others, a third space in which we can exchange. Monique van Hinte / Nina Lawina invited me to discuss this in her project, ‘Archive’. In this project, the archive of her father, micro-palaeontologist Jan E. van Hinte served as a starting point. We talked about many things inspired by his archive, including my own short attempt of becoming an earth scientist. In her article, ‘Ecological Time’, Monique Peperkamp addresses the concept of the Anthropocene which proposes that the current epoch we live in is, in almost all senses, influenced by humans. She discusses the possible role art can play in addressing this issue while emphasising that art should not be instrumentalized in the process. This brought me from one disaster, the war started by Russia, via ideas on representations, to another, the current ecological crisis.”

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