Room to Bloom programme: 11 Fellows selected to participate in a mix of workshops

25.06.21 @ 00:00


Room to Bloom programme/ Ecofeminism & Postcolonial Feminism

This Spring 2021, Room to Bloom launches its platform with an open call for applications addressing young artists with a feminist, ecological and/or postcolonial art practice.

Through this call, the platform will collectively select a group of 100 emerging feminist artists to participate in a mix of trainings, workshops and talks throughout the year. All the selected participants will be presented in our online index of artists that will be available on this website and distributed among international cultural institutions.

Selected participants will be offered the possibility to propose works for production (15 works selected) later this year, to be presented during international events and exhibitions (Palermo, Kyiv Biennale, Warszawa Biennale, AthenSYN Festival).

Workshop 1: Eco-Feminism (25-30 June – Athens and online option)
Taking place in one of the most dynamic centers of our rapidly changing world, the ecofeminism workshop taking place online and in Athens invites participants to collaborate in defining and enacting a new role of art. The participants will have a chance to learn from and create together with experts on activist, transindigenous, ecofeminist, revolutionary, and therapeutic practices.

Together, we will work on a sustainable communal art world based on an experience of harmonious coexistence with the environment and the role of the feminine in the cycle of life. What can we learn about our future from communities which still, or again, live in an unmediated relation to their, now drastically changing, living conditions? Our trainers are constitutive participants of the planetary transitioning from the patriarchal perception of nature from ‘resource extraction for human society’ to ecofeminist ‘nature as sacred living organism, of which humans are only one part’. We strive to overcome the loss of equilibrium caused by the onesidedness of Western epistemologies rooted in the discrimination of women and others on the receiving end of the extractivist aggression from the socio-political domain by reconnecting art, feminism, witch knowledge and ecological practices.

On the European continent, the transindigenous concept of “good life” is enacted by the diverse movements in Southern Europe, where, due to austerity, many actors of social change have taken the responsibility for creating sustainable worlds with their own hands. So did the diverse inspiring movements in Athens: an ideal climate for our ecofeminist Room to Bloom Athens. Education is a form of art. Art is a pioneering force to interdisciplinary education. Our series of ecofeminist workshops was developed as an educational experiment and will take place in an artistic environment „Transindigenous Assembly“ by Joulia Strauss, initiator and organiser of Avtonomi Akadimia in the Akadimia Platonos “Jungle”.

The eco-feminist workshops were organized and co-curated by AthenSYN/ Katja Ehrhardt

Workshop 2: Postcolonial feminism (20-24 September – online)
Nadje Al-Ali (feminist writer and researcher) defines the postcolonial as being “characterised by a series of transitions, a multiplicity of processes and developments towards decolonisation and de-centring of the ‘West’”. Postcolonial feminism aims to understand and undo the legacies of colonialism within feminist activism. In other words, postcolonial feminism wants to decolonise feminist activism — reclaim it as more than just a pursuit of the western world and its people. Postcolonial feminist academic writing seeks to understand and interpret everyday lived experiences through a postcolonial perspective, de-centring the white, western, Eurocentric experience. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between young artists on postcolonial feminism.

This workshop will examine the most challenging feminist, queer, and postcolonial theories and artistic practices at a global scale. Its approach will emphasize on the multiplicity of viewpoints on this topic and will include the voices coming from different fields, including visual arts, performance, literature, and more. Within a global world in which contemporary art has turned into a transnational space, feminism, acting at the intersections of gender, postcolonial, and queer studies, must challenge the Eurocentric bias. From this plurality of worlds, we aim to open a discussion and peer-to-peer learning process between different disciplines, opening the possibilities of a wide project of construction, de-construction and co-creation.

The workshop includes theoretical learning, peer to peer exchange and discovery of some artists’ works. It will bring together representatives and prominent voices in the field of postcolonial feminism to share their thoughts, work and experiences.

Workshop 3: Leveraging Obstacles to Women and Migrant artists careers (22-26 November – Palermo and online)
Whereas migrants and women, from Malevich to Picasso, from Tamara de Lempicka to Sonia Delaunay, famously contributed to the making of European Arts, their access to the world of arts remains extremely limited today. Beyond a few famous faces, women and migrants struggle to be effectively contributing to the making of the European cultural and artistic discourse, not from a lack of ideas or capacities but because the structural obstacles they face are not of those that one can easily fight individually. Room to Bloom recognises that it is more than time to build on that and provide artists and cultural operators to navigate patriarchalism and racism in the world of arts and to co-open up the space for new artists to bloom in a transnational Europe.

Room to Bloom aims to create an intercultural platform to empower artists from different backgrounds to reflect and act on eco and post-colonial feminist art. The aim of this workshop is to create a shared understanding of the challenges artists and art institutions face in developing a feminist post-colonial artistic practice, and of the solutions we can find to face those challenges. This workshop is designed to allow exchange between artists and art professionals on obstacles to artists careers and new feminism decolonial approach of arts curation and exhibition. It will provide participants with better tools to operate in the European cultural scene and within international established institutions.

More info:

The following ARTWORKS Fellows have been selected for the Ecofeminism workshop in Athens: Ileana Arnaoutou, Konstantinos Kotsis, Maria Sideri, Irini Kalaitzidi, Antigone Theodorou, Ionian Bisai, Sevastiana Konstaki, Eirini Vlavianou

For the online workshop on Postcolonial feminism was selected: Angelos Papadopoulos

For the workshop on Leveraging obstacles to feminist and migrants artists careers in Palermo was selected: Irini Miga and Pegy Zali