This summer, we are highlighting the shortlisted candidates of the 2018 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture – all of whom fit our theme Courageous Citizens in their own right. Meet Denmark’s Kuratorisk Aktion.
Kuratorisk Aktion is a Danish curatorial collective formed in 2005 by independent curators Frederikke Hansen and Tone Olaf Nielsen.
The collective uses art and curating to address inequalities in the global community and to introduce other ways of organising the world. Since its formation, their curatorial practice has been driven by a desire to understand why the colonial legacies of the Scandinavian countries have remained structurally invisible and to what degree colonial relationships continue to haunt the present.
Since its inception, Kuratorisk Aktion has developed a broad body of projects – including exhibitions, public and film programmes, debates, publications and think-tanks – and collaborated with artists, theorists and activists from around the globe. They believe that these projects in different ways testify to the aftermath of colonialism’s catastrophic race and gender-thinking in our globalised present.
A space for migration politics
In 2015, Kuratorisk Aktion set up CAMP – Centre for Art on Migration Politics: an exhibition space located within the Trampoline House in Copenhagen. This is a refugee justice community established in 2009-2010 by artists Morten Goll and Joachim Hamou in collaboration with Tone Olaf Nielsen and a large group of asylum seekers, socially-engaged art students, migration activists and immigration lawyers in response to current Danish refugee and immigration policies, which have become some of the toughest in Europe.
In the wake of the large influx of refugees and immigrants that arrived in Denmark and the rest of the West in 2015, immigration and integration are once again at the top of the agenda and have created divisions between politicians and populations over how immigration is to be handled. Questions about who should be admitted and what benefits should be afforded to new members of the Western societies are some of the most controversial questions today. The international community is still far from having found sustainable solutions. There is therefore an increasing need for exhibitions and forums that can debate immigration issues in new and more fruitful ways.
CAMP exhibits professional contemporary art about migration and relevant topics. Through CAMP, Kuratorisk Aktion works to stimulate greater understanding between displaced people and the communities that receive them, and to help create new visions for a more inclusive and equitable migration, refugee and asylum policy. The centre has gained international recognition for breaking new ground in exhibiting and communicating art that humanises the societal challenges posed by migration. It is the only art centre in Europe with a continuous artistic focus on migration and has been awarded several prizes for its work.
In the autumn of 2018, CAMP is due to launch a new two-year exhibition programme, State of Integration: Artistic analyses of the challenges of coexistence. Five internationally acclaimed curators and artists – Nicholas Mirzoeff, Tania Bruguera, Temi Odumosu, Galit Eilat and Sandi Hilal – will each guest curate an ambitious group exhibition on the coexistence and the politics of belonging. It is the first time that CAMP has collaborated with external curators.
1 June 2018 – 25 August 2018: Pablo Andres: William Freeman – you can’t hold an angel
William Freeman – you can’t hold an angel is an exhibition by Chilean artist and dissident Pablo Andres, who is currently seeking asylum in Denmark. The exhibition takes a closer look at conditions for LGBTQ asylum seekers from the Global South and maps in photography, video, collage and objects the artist’s encounter with homophobia in the Danish asylum process and with racism in the Western gay community. Read more
4 June 2018 – 7 September 2018: Talking about art #2: Art gallery guide education for refugees
CAMP is accepting applications from eight refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, who would like to enrol in the centre’s art gallery guide education programme, Talking about art. The programme educates participants to become part of CAMP’s guide team and lead guided tours around the centre’s exhibitions. To sign up for the programme, which runs until 7 September, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more
Find out more on the CAMP website, where you can also sign up for their newsletter.
CAMP also recently received a Research & Development Grant. Find the project descriptions of all 2018 grantees on the dedicated page.