eSeLSCHWARM season start - Art by & for communities

eSeLSCHWARM Foto: Tanuki eSeLSCHWARM Foto: Tanuki

The tales, debates, talks and nerves are long and intense: What is art? Even if art evokes free interpretations by everyone encountering it, using additional wording such as "communities" somehow devalues the quality of the art. This is what the author of this article wishes to avoid and brings her own thoughts before sharing tips for art by & for communities in September. So, why define this text as art by and for communities? Because the art events listed here revolve around an experience, most of which are painful. It's tiring to explain why it's painful and as to "what for" one is bringing more trauma through art to a world in crisis. It's like an a priori knowledge inside communities; you don't talk about it; you communicate with feelings that mostly lead to joy of sharing, understanding and support. And, in the end, it's about honoring their work and celebrating different ways of being human.

The Gewächshaus Network - the new and, only for now, only - association aiming to network and empower BIPOC and post-migrational filmmakers in Austria opened the art season with their workshop series. Tyron Ricketts, creator, producer, author and actor of the first German Disney+ Original series "Sam: A Saxon" and Viktoria So Hee Alz, head author of the original Warner Brothers Series "Para: We Are King" were the workshop experts. Gewächshaus also curated a program for this year's WIENWOCHE issue. The program is very exciting as the organizers start with a BIPOC Protest Hike claiming equal rights for everyone to enjoy spaces reserved for white recreation.

The following event was also fresh and novel (the author swayed away, our apologies). It is the first Asian Diasporic Archive in Vienna, WANDAPANDA & TIGER created and worked out by the Perilla association to increase the visibility of Asian Diaspora in Austria. The archive or mobile library is mounted on a bike trailer that moves across the city. Four major events make the library accessible to the public, while also creating a live archive featuring Asian artists in Vienna. It was the third stop, and there will be one more on September 30 at Fania Live. The final event will be preceded by one performance and one concert. And you can visit the library and exhibition room for the entire month of September at Brunnenpassage Vitrine exhibition room.

On September 9 at Brunnenpassage, the Feminist Zine Project in Vienna "Das Goldene Buch", throws a big bash with performances and Djs as it’s their Launch Party, the result of a long and multiple open zine workshops.

Last year, Kulturen in Bewegung launched a collectively curated festival "Clišhé Träsh" with the most amazing description the author has seen: "cool, diverse & if necessary perverse". The festival itself takes place from October 6th to 7th at Kulturhaus Brotfabrik. But the organizers are too cool to keep us waiting for too long, so they plan a Warm-Up panel "Women* of Color speak up! Killjoy of your clichés".

The opening of three exhibitions - SoiL Thornton / Mai Ling / Mykola Ridnyi - at Secession on September 14th is the next tip. The big institution is rather an exception in the author’s tips, but now it has a compelling cause to be praised. The Mai Ling art collective fostering contemporary Asian art and culture with focus on FLINT* invited the local Asian DJ gang Hotpotposse to celebrate the vernissage. This kind of mutual support and share in the art world is a treasure.

"It is hot, it’s getting hotter, it’s the hottest, hold on, put your coats on!" WIENWOCHE festival provokes, advocates and acts this year under the heading "It’s getting cold in here: Flaming chills: It can’t get hotter than that!". The program is fabulous and for the sake of cloud-website-gods the author will not list every event here, you are kindly asked to monitor the eSeLcalendar daily, hourly or even by the minute! However, the big wish of the author is to draw attention to these two projects:

"VHZ 1896 - Legacies Of The Healing" by Patrick Bongola is a "“performative healing ritual intended to highlight Austria’s colonial past and raise awareness about the practice of exhibiting human beings in human zoos". Without pathos, the idea of healing is more dignified than talking, shouting, ignoring, or feeling powerless.

Chelsea Amada's "SULYAP" initiative is noteworthy for "representing the insight into the experiences of Filipinx nurses and migrants". It has been told, but never acknowledged, how essential migrant labor has been, and continues to be, for building prosperity in Austria. The project with exhibition, installation and videos is focused on Filipinx nurses and migrants, and the themes it explores are apt to every post-migrant families here.

Although September is longer than nineteen days, attending and participating in the WIENWOCHE program alone costs communities a great deal of emotional labor. The feeling of missing out should not exhaust anyone; for the author, and perhaps for some of you, it is a good moment to pause and reflect on the previous program.

Text & Photo: Jameli Qairli (Tanuki)

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