AIM organised three panel discussions at Supermarket Talks, which this year was held at Konstfack: University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, next to Svarta Huset – the new location for Supermarket 2015.
In ‘Cultural Exchange Rate’ speakers considered the meaning and value of cultural exchange in an imbalanced world. This discussion raised the challenge of having open attitude towards cultural exchange and the inherent difficulties given the existing inequalities in international participation. The discussion was introduced and moderated by Jeroen van der Hulst, Editor-in-Chief at Pamphlet Magazine (NL), with participants: Abir Boukhari, founder of AllArtNow, Damascus (SY); Nia Pushkarova, founder of Water Tower Arts Fest, Sofia (BG); Signe Vad, founder of Udstillingsstedet TYS, Copenhagen (DK). This discussion was made possible with support from the Swedish Institute.
Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, presented their background and current work in a discussion with historian Mikela Lundahl under the title ‘Visions and visibility – challenges for the artist-run scene in Tanzania’. The debate concerned power structures within the art world, east African and gender identity politics, western hegemony and hierarchy, international influence and the post-colonial context of these issues. Who is (not) represented and (how) is it possible to change? The participants were: Rehema Chachage, artist and artistic manager of programmes at Nafasi Art Space; Diana Kamara, artist and poet, Dar es Salaam; and Mikela Lundahl, PhD in History of Ideas with Research In Critical Heritage Studies, Gothenburg / Copenhagen.
The third discussion ‘Art in the margins’ considered migration and immigration, and asked how can artistic projects represent the unrepresented and illuminate the experiences of excluded communities. Erik Berggren (Museum of Forgetting) introduced Secil Yayali from the artist-run space Pasaj that operates in the Tarlabasi neighborhood, a historic area in the centre of Istanbul, that has always been a home for minorities suffering discrimination from Turkish authorities and the wider society, and Olson Lamaj from the artist-run space Miza (Tirana) presented artists who discuss the experiences of Albanian immigrants in their new countries of residence.
In addition to the public programme twelve participants from seven partner organisations and two guest (from Lithuania and Bulgaria, who became new partners) got together in twelve smaller meetings in the Meetings programme. A general working meeting dealt with the obstacles to publishing the unfinished pilot version of the database, and meaningful ways to extend the network’s experience by creating opportunities for other artist-run initiatives to share knowledge and experiences.