Institutions and Resistance – Alliances for Art at Risk
Map of Alliances for Art at Risk with participants
Online, free and streamed live
Fri, February 11, 2022 - Sat, February 12, 2022, Conference
Language: English

– The symposium is only available in English and without subtitles –

The »Institutions and Resistance - Alliances for Art at Risk« symposium brings together activists, artists of all genres, and representatives of institutions to resist the »Threats and Risks« faced by art, free creativity and thought and imagine alliances to strengthen the field in the turbulent global predicament.

Where would you go if the world fell apart? What if your colleges and museums were hijacked? Militias and mafias ruled? Your friends and colleagues were hunted or killed?

This is not a test. It is a reality, right now, in several regions of the world. Its horrific face was vanquished in western Europe only 77 years ago. Will we see it again?

Institutions and Resistance - Alliances for Art at Risk is a two-day symposium on resistance and change, and how cultural institutions can be active agents in countering inegalitarian, anti-democratic, authoritarian and eco-destructive forces. New alliances, programmes and concrete policies are being sought to be imagined, conceived or developed, from a local to a transnational level, together with activists and movements. How can these alliances be activated in times of crises to resist or create pressure on governments, corporations and other power-brokers?

New alliances and forms of resistance are urgently needed in the times of existential risks. We are entangling manifold threats: societal, economic, ecological and other potentially catastrophic emergencies. Both at home and abroad, these are compounded by problems related to forced migrations and violent persecution in several geopolitical regions - from Afghanistan to Belarus, from Kazakhstan to China, from the Amazon to the African and Far-East Asian tropics.


Jessica de Abreu, Reza ‘Asung’ Afisina, Masha Alekhina, Barnabás Bencsik, Vivienne Chow, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Ganzeer & the Lazour Brothers, Sarvy Geranpayeh, Mariam Ghani, Elisabet Goula Sardà, Satch Hoyt, Timea Junghaus, Deeyah Khan, Ahmed Mourad Khanfir, Andrei Kureichik, Mohsen Makhmalbāf, Julien McHardy, Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo, Qaushiq Mukherjee, Marita Muukkonen, Sara Nabil, Nika Nikulshina, Rahraw Omarzad, Yama Rahimi, Farid Rakun, Teresa Retzer, ruangrupa, Laura Schmidt, Katherine Schofield, Barış Seyitvan, Lucy Shtein, Maksim Shved, Olga Sismanidi, Ivor Stodolsky, Grammo Suspect, Waldemar Tatarczuk, Issa Touma, Hrag Vartanian, Peter Weibel, David Wengrow, Sara Whyatt, Leyla Yenirce, Philipp Ziegler, Gitte Zschoch

Day 1

Day 2


Friday, February 11

5 pm

Peter Weibel (Chairman and CEO of the ZKM | Karlsruhe)

5:05 pm

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky
(Co-Directors of Artists at Risk (AR))  

Section 1: Threats and Risks
(moderated by Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky)

5:25 pm  

Short Introduction to Section I
Introduction of the speaker
Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky

5:26 pm     

Music and Visuals
»Flap My Wings« (2021)

Ganzeer & the Lazour brothers 


New album on:

5:30 pm     

Interview with Masha Alekhina at the CCCB by Manel Alías. 24 January 2022. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)*


*Following the arrest of keynote speaker Masha Alekhina of Pussy Riot, her partner Lucy Shtein (Moscow municipal deputy and member of Pussy Riot) will give a statement. This will be followed by extracts from an interview Alekhina gave recently at the CCCB, a partner in the AR-ENSH Network.


6 pm 

Music and Visuals
»Being strong is hard« (2021)

Leyla Yenirce

Other compositions on:

6:05 pm

Threats and Risks
By: Sarvy Geranpayeh, Sara Nabil, Nika Nikulshina, Maksim Shved, Issa Touma, Grammo Suspect, Nkosilathi Emmanuel Moyo, Nawid Ahmad Wakili, Three Dots by Afghanistan Art Network

6:30 pm

Panel Discussion
Barnabás Bencsik (curator, founding director ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange), Andrei Kureichik (screenwriter, playwright, member of the Coordination Council, Belarus), Mohsen Makhmalbaf (film director, writer, film editor, and producer), Ahmed Mourad Khanfir (Artist and cultural activist, AR-Tunis), and Sara Whyatt (Researcher, advocate for freedom of artistic expression, member of expert facility at UNESCO) moderated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen (Co-Directors of Artists at Risk (AR)

7:45 pm   

Documentary play
»Voices of New Belarus« (2021)

Andrei Kureichik

Play in full length on:


Saturday, February 12

4 pm     

Philipp Ziegler (Head Curatorial Department of the ZKM | Karlsruhe)  

Section 2: Institutions as Resistance
(moderated by Vivienne Chow)

4:10 pm  


Reza ‘Asung’ Afisina (Ruangrupa), Farid Rakun (Ruangrupa), Marita Muukkonen (AR) and Ivor Stodolsky (AR)

4:40 pm          

Institutions as Resistance  
Jessica de Abreu, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Mariam Ghani, Katherine Schofield, Waldemar Tatarczuk, Barış Seyitvan, Yama Rahimi

4:50 pm

Panel Discussion

Timea Junghaus (art historian, curator, executive director European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture), Elisabet Goula Sardà (curator CCCB), Hrag Vartanian (editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, art critic, curator, artist, and lecturer), and Gitte Zschoch (General Secretary ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), moderated by Vivienne Chow (Arts and culture journalist)

5:55 pm

Music and Visuals
»Empty House« (2020)

Leyla Yenirce

Other compositions on:


Section 3: Future Scenarios and Alliances
(moderated by Julien McHardy)

6 pm

David Wengrow (Professor of Comparative Archaeology, Co-Author the »Dawn of Everything«)

7 pm      

Panel Discussion
Deeyah Khan ( UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, documentary film director, human rights activist), Qaushiq Mukherjee “Q” (director and writer, AR-Goa), Rahraw Omarzad (artist, curator, writer and Professor at Kabul University), Peter Weibel (Chairman and CEO of the ZKM | Karlsruhe), moderated by Julien McHardy  (researcher, curator), including a statement by Clare Farrell (activist, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion)

8:30 pm

Sonic Performance and Visuals
»Oblation Unmuted« (ongoing)

Satch Hoyt  

8:40 pm

Closing words:
Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen (Co-Directors of Artists at Risk (AR)) 

Further video contributions will provoke and enrich the discussion, including statements by Sarvy GeranpayehEhsan Fardjadniya, Mariam Ghani, María Inés Plaza LazoNika Nikulshina, Barış Seyitvan, Waldemar Tatarczuk, and Issa Touma among others.

Parallel to the livestream, we welcome all to the »open air« meet & greet, including full-length versions of the art interventions and DJ set, in the virtual platform!

In Spring 2022, the agenda of »Institutions and Resistance« will continue in a Working Session. This event will concretize proposals for practical alliances involving further institutional and political actors.

Eligible artist-activists at high risk may apply for AR-Residencies via the Public Call.

»Institutions and Resistance« is a cooperation between the network-institution ARTISTS at RISK (AR) and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe as a part of the EU Creative Europe project »Artists at Risk (AR) – A European Network of Safe Havens« (AR-ENSH). Partner institutions include Artists at Risk (AR)Art Veda, TunisCCCB, BarcelonaZKM | Karlsruhe

The event in livestream
Organized by

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky with Peter Weibel
Teresa Retzer and Philipp Ziegler

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

organized by

Cooperation partners

Co-funded by