2020: Covid-19 pandemic, systemic racism and structural inequities, social uprising movements, climate change, and upcoming election. These are some of the most alarming issues emerging and being discussed this year alone, although most have been ignored for far too long. We invite everyone to a conversation aimed to practice "hope as discipline"*. Together, via online discussion meetings and reading through some of the most important manifestos, we will collaboratively build our own living document to reflect the conditions of our realities as well as sought imaginaries.
A transcription of the online events will serve as the 2020 Manifesto publication, a proclamation of the generated thoughts, feelings, beliefs and debates that equally manifest the urgency for hope and aspirations of our communities. The final publication will be produced by the UCLA 2020 New Wight Biennial.
The online workshop is organized by artists, Silvi Naçi and Gosia Wojas and scholar Ana Baginski.
*"hope as discipline" is a phrase famously said by a restorative justice activist, Mariame Kabe.
The Absent Museum
THE ABSENT MUSEUM was initiated in 2012 as a discussion platform to engage with community organizers via critical conversations focusing on social practices, such as marginalized feminist practices, social activism and grassroots philanthropic actions.
Considered in a space of post-marxist thought and under an undeniable threat of absolute power that takes the forms of fascism, racism, sexism and misogyny, THE ABSENT MUSEUM seeks to make visible actions of those individuals, collectives, communities and organizations that utilize models and structures of sustainable and shared economies, collaboration and kinship, and ethics of care.
Most recently, THE ABSENT MUSEUM
Gosia Wojas was born in 1977 in Poland and is currently living and working in Los Angeles. An artist, cultural worker and organizer, and sometimes writer, Wojas roots her practice in the topics of gendered affective and reproductive labor and the potential for resistance. Her work often takes the form of installations, sculpture, still and moving image, essays, and performances.
Wojas is also the founder of the discussion series, THE ABSENT MUSEUM, and the publication series, Material-i-ty. She has also organized talks, film screenings, exhibitions and performances at venues, such as MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, CA (2019), Łaznia Center for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, Poland (2018), California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (2019/2018), Women’s Center for Creative Work, Los Angeles, CA (2016), Souterrain gallery, at the Hoffmann Collection in Berlin, Germany (2012), Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2008), as well as Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles, CA where she served as a director from 2006-2009. Wojas received her BFA in Art from California Institute of the Arts and is an MFA candidate in Art at University of California, Irvine.
Silvi Naçi (b.1987, Albania) is an art worker and educator working between Albania and Los Angeles. They work with performance, video, sculpture, photography, text, and installation. Their interest lies in the subtle and violent ways decolonization and migration affects and reshapes a people, language, gender identity as well as social and cultural dynamics. Naçi holds a dual BFA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Suffolk University (2011), and an MFA in Photography + Media from California Institute of the Arts (2019).
Naçi co-founded Radical Sense, a feminist reading group in Tirana, Albania, with Leah Whitman-Salkin and Doruntina Vinca. The group has taken form as performance in the Romania Bienniel (2019), presented at Montez Pres Radio, NY (2020), and is in the process of publishing two volumes of feminist translated texts into Albanian for the very first time. They work closely with a group of volunteers translating and making texts available to communities in Albania who do not speak English nor have access to feminist texts. The group meets weekly at 28 November, a bookshop and gathering space for readings and organizing. With Arts in a Changing America, they created opportunities for artists and community leaders, bringing unheard leadership voices to the forefront of social discourse, arts production, and community change. Naçi teaches at the Photo Conservatory at NYFA, Burbank, sometimes writes for East of Borneo, and other independent publications.
Ana Baginski is the 2020 Koehn Critical Theory Research Assistant at the University of California Irvine. Their research focuses on the effects of different colonial formations on contemporary literature and perceptions of the environment in Baja and Alta California.
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