A Weird Geography - First thematic issue
Time: April 29, 2016, 4 pm to 7 pm
Venue: Mayakovsky 102, the open office of tranzit. hu, 1068 Budapest, Király utca 102.
The event will be in English.
tranzit.hu’s new international magazine on art and culture is launched with its first thematic issue titled A Weird Geography
Magazine launch with an introduction by the editorial team (Nikolett Erőss, Dóra Hegyi, Zsuzsa László, Gyula Muskovics, Eszter Szakács), discussions, and a public talk with the participation of Katalin Erdődi (independent curator, guest editor of A Weird Geography), Maja and Reuben Fowkes (art historians and curators, founders of the Translocal Institute), Tímea Junghaus (curator and cultural activist, initiator of Gallery8 – Roma Contemporary Art Space), Szabolcs KissPál (artist and activist), Ovidiu Pop (author, activist, co-editor of Gazeta de Artă Politică/Gazette of Political Art), and Katarzyna Winiecka (artist, activist, educator, and organizer, founder of the platform and art campaign Border Crossing and You/Fluchthilfe & Du).
Mezosfera is an international magazine on art and culture published and edited by tranzit.hu in Budapest. It is a new publishing project that will extend, on an international level, on the mission of the online periodical tranzitblog, published in Hungarian since 2007. Mezosfera is a platform for the sharing of knowledge and the building of solidarity: while also connecting with other non-central geopolitical regions of the world, it initiates dialogues mainly among the art and cultural scenes of the region described as Eastern Europe. It endeavors to discuss how the countries in this region with a common but locally varied communist past confront the influence of both global and local socio-political turbulences. Mezosfera also endeavors to mediate these local and regional discourses to a broader, international audience.
Drawing on the magazine’s objective and tranzit.hu’s practices in general, Mezosfera is used here as a metaphor for an in-between, intermediary sphere where, through collaborations and co-learning, network building and horizontal expansion are foregrounded. Mezosfera as a trans-disciplinary platform—connecting various, often conflicting spheres—exists in the space between grassroots initiations and institutionalized practices. Mezosfera is launched with two columns. “Magazine” covers events and initiations of contemporary art and culture in Eastern Europe and beyond. As a start, this column examines projects that have recently taken place in Hungary and that also outline some of the major issues the cultural scene is facing here today. “Issue” is a thematic column, appearing four times a year, which is compiled each time by a guest editor.
Presentation of A Weird Geography with guest editor Katalin Erődi and contributors Ovidiu Pop and Katarzyna Winiecka
The first thematic issue of Mezosfera titled A Weird Geography explores the topics of migration, solidarity, and political engagement through artistic and activist practices.Taking the current polemic developments in European asylum and migration politics as its point of departure, it addresses overarching key issues, from the crisis of citizenship and the challenges of post-identity politics to the unequal access to rights and privileges that pervades all phases of the migration experience from the freedom of movement to the right to work. It also critically examines the recent “wave of solidarity” and its discontents, from humanitarian relief work and political activism to escape aid, human smuggling, and the increasing criminalization of solidarity.
The presentation of A Weird Geography at the Mezosfera launch will include a talk with invited contributors, Ovidiu Pop and Katarzyna Winiecka, as well as the screening of two films included in the thematic issue. Both parts, moderated by guest editor Katalin Erdődi, will focus on invisible—or more precisely, invisibilized—aspects and phases of the migratory experience, such as the illegalized movement across borders and countries, the precarious situation and exploitation of migrant workers, and the increasingly widespread practice of deportation around Europe. In discussion with our two guests, we will discuss the potential of artistic and activist strategies in engaging with the politics of migration, especially focusing on interventions in public discourses and producing counter-hegemonic knowledge.
The magazine launch connects to the exhibition From Art Program to Critical Institution: Stories From tranzit.hu’s Ten-year Activity (on view until May 20, 2016 by appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org or +36 30 570 20 34).
The event is realized as part of the cultural-social festival Negyed7Negyed8.
Image: Protest Productions Collective: I Ain't Gettin' on No Plane! How to Stop a Deportation. Detail © Protest Productions Collective