Tales from the Abyss, with Ama Josephine Budge & Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide

Mister Motley X ArtEZ studium generale: online lunch events

online eventWednesday 13 May '20

New link! youtu.be/9ZpyCEgq4xw(archive)

Host: Mirjam Zegers
English spoken
Admission is free, just register below

New link! You can follow this online event on Wednesday 13 May 12.00 - 13.00 on YouTube: youtu.be/9ZpyCEgq4xw

Mister Motley and ArtEZ studium generale present three online lunch events that stem from the hope for a better future and take a closer look at the role of activism in the arts. The future is unpredictable, and we don’t actually know what will happen, but in this series we explore the belief that through activism in art we may be able to write the future ourselves, while acknowledging the crimes and sufferings of the present.


We have invited three guests to chat with us on three Wednesdays during lunchtime (noon-1pm). Each guest invites you to prepare yourself up front for the live meeting with a text to read, a video to watch and/or some music to listen to.

On Wednesday 13 May we welcome Ama Josephine Budge: speculative writer, curator, artist and ‘aspiring pleasure activist’, as she calls herself. Whether she writes, develops an installation or curates The Apocalypse Reading Room, she explores ways to resist fixed ideas and to criticise current practices that are creating or maintaining racial and ecological injustice, very often intertwined. With the ‘anti-conference’ I/Mages of Tomorrow (2017) she curated ‘a challenging and unsettling exploration of our capacity to invoke dreams and to enact them into reality’, which is probably what she is doing in all her work. Speculative fiction, pleasure activism, racial justice and environmental justice are not separable in her holistic and decolonizing approach.

She is currently developing a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, on ‘inherently environmentalist pleasure practices in Ghana and Kenya and how they might produce sensual strategies for climate colonialism resistance’ (see the interview below).
We invited Ama to respond to Harriet Bergman’s essay Trips Across the Abyss (2019), itself a response to Bridge Over Troubled Water (2016) – a short film by performance collective MSL and Jaakko Pallasvuo. You can read the result in Tales from the Abyss (2020).

During the lunch event Ama will unpack the dynamics of climate justice and environmentalism within the arts, together with moderator Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide, who has recently been appointed as curator at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven. In her former role as deputy director at Casco Art Institute (Utrecht) she invited Ama for a contribution to the exhibition “Het is of de stenen spreken” (Silence Is a Commons, 2019).

In preparation
If you would like to get to know Ama and her work prior to the event on May 13th, please watch the interview (see video below) and read her essay Tales from the Abyss.

If you like to participate more active in this event you are invited to send your reflections on the essay and your questions for Ama and Yolande before May 11th at studiumgenerale@artez.nl.

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