Eshk Wa Dosti (love and friendship) – In conversation and clips screening

Presented as part of Void’s Public Programme for current exhibition Above Us the Milky Way (25.06-27.08.22) featuring the work by artists Orna Kazimi, Kubra Khademi, Mario García Torres and Erkan Özgen.

This event is free but booking is essential.

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Screening of clips from one of the oldest archival films Eshk Wa Dosti (love and friendship), 1946, followed by a discussion with AVAH collective, filmmaker Parwana Haydar and Void Director Mary Cremin.

An Afghan-Indian co-production, Eshk Wa Dosti (love and friendship) was shot in Lahore (still part of British India at the time). It is a sweet musical about a poet and an independent woman. Two clips from the film will be shown as the digitised by a project the full film print used for the tape is in very bad condition.

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The title of the exhibition is taken from a novel by Fowzin Karimi that explores the complexities and the impact of war through memories, loss and notions of home.

Many who are forced into exile face forced migration, and the burden of carrying the past into the present and future. The legacy of war, the repression of minorities and women, and the trauma that seeps through the generations forms the focal point of this exhibition.

The effect of war on women is prevalent in parts of the Middle East especially in the past year, most significant is the transformation of Afghan society in terms of girls’ access to education and women losing basic human rights and limits to their freedom. Women and girls suffer disproportionately during and after war, as existing inequalities are magnified and social networks break down, making them more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation.

Displacement due to war and conflict has significant implications on people’s sense of place and culture. This dislocation is passed through generations. Postwar, returning generations reach a location that only exists in their imaginations and through the stories of their parents or ancestors what remains is often just a memory and a decimated landscape. This question of how do we change this trajectory, imagining a new way forward that attunes to a more equitable way of being and breaking the repetition of the cycle of history is something that we need to address and is as urgent now as it has been throughout the history of war and conflict.

Many who are forced into exile face forced migration, and the burden of carrying the past into the present and future. The legacy of war, the repression of minorities and women, and the trauma that seeps through the generations forms the focal point of this exhibition.

Acknowledgements

 

Void Gallery is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Halifax Foundation, The Ragdoll Foundation, The Ireland Funds, Austin and Hope Pilkington Foundation, and Arnold Clarke Foundation.

Osama (2003) – Film Screening

On Thursday 11 August from 7-10pm Void will screen the film Osama (2003) by Siddiq Barmak.

 

Presented as part of Void’s Public Programme for current exhibition Above Us the Milky Way (25.06-27.08.22) featuring the work by artists Orna Kazimi, Kubra Khademi, Mario García Torres and Erkan Özgen.

 

The films have been co-curated by AVAH collective and filmmaker Parwana Haydar. The films chosen represent three different entry points into Afghan Visual Culture that affect our conversation on collective memory and consciousness as art workers that have biographical ties with Afghanistan.

 

This event is free but booking is essential.

 

Synopsis

 

A 12-year-old girl, her mother, and a boy (spandi) have survived the repressed demonstrations launched by Afghan women at the beginning of the Taliban regime. The girl and her mother work in a hospital and soon become aware that the Taliban have dismissed all the people working there and have closed the gate.

The Taliban make sure that no women can get out of their houses without a legal companion (without any member of their family). If they do so they will be punished.

To support the family, the girl’s mother, who has lost her job, decides together with the girl’s grandmother to change the appearance of the girl in order to look like a boy. This decision terrifies the girl. She is afraid of what will happen in the Taliban finds out that she is a girl.

To get a job, the mother and the girl go to the milkman who was an old friend of the girl’s slain father.

The next adventures begin from here…

The religious police of the Taliban force the people to go to the mosque for noon prayer. The girl who is still not familiar with these regulations makes mistakes during prayer session, which then causes a Taliban to become suspicious.

On the next day all the boys, including the girl (looking like a boy) are taken to the religious school called Madrassa, which is also the centre for military training by the Taliban. After some adventures the Taliban discovers the real face of the girl. The girl is put in jail. The Taliban’s judicial court, which advocates stoning and execution, force the girl to marry an old Mullah. After they are married the girl discovers that she is the Mullah’s fourth wife…

 

Directing, Editing, Script: Siddiq Barmak

 

 

Siddiq Barmak – Biography

 

Siddiq Barmak was born in Afghanistan in 1962. He earned an MA in cinema from the VGIK institute in Moscow. His debut feature, Osama (2003), was awarded at many prestige Festivals like Cannes, Busan, London and was named as best foreign-language film at the Golden Globe Awards (2004). His second film, Opium War (2008), was named Best Film at the Rome Film Festival, Batumi IFF 2012 and many other film festivals around the world.

 

Filmography:

 

The Wall, short movie, (1984)

The Circle, short movie, (1985)

Stranger, short movie, (1987)

Osama, feature movie 84 min ( 2003)

Opium War, feature movie 91 min, (2008)

 

Documentary films:

The disaster of withering, (1988)

Narration of Victory, (1991)

Invasion File, (1997)

 

As a producer:

Sacrifice (2002)

Earth and Ashes (feature film , France , Afghanistan 2004) Delight, short film 2009

An Apple from Paradise, feature film, ( 2009)

The Neighbour, feature film, (2010)

 

Above Us the Milky Way

 

The title of the exhibition is taken from a novel by Fowzin Karimi that explores the complexities and the impact of war through memories, loss and notions of home.

 

Many who are forced into exile face forced migration, and the burden of carrying the past into the present and future. The legacy of war, the repression of minorities and women, and the trauma that seeps through the generations forms the focal point of this exhibition.

 

The effect of war on women is prevalent in parts of the Middle East especially in the past year, most significant is the transformation of Afghan society in terms of girls’ access to education and women losing basic human rights and limits to their freedom. Women and girls suffer disproportionately during and after war, as existing inequalities are magnified and social networks break down, making them more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation.

 

Displacement due to war and conflict has significant implications on people’s sense of place and culture. This dislocation is passed through generations. Postwar, returning generations reach a location that only exists in their imaginations and through the stories of their parents or ancestors what remains is often just a memory and a decimated landscape. This question of how do we change this trajectory, imagining a new way forward that attunes to a more equitable way of being and breaking the repetition of the cycle of history is something that we need to address and is as urgent now as it has been throughout the history of war and conflict.

 

AVAH Collective

 

AVAH Collective is an independent and global research collective and multimedia platform with contributing artists, art historians, curators, art world professionals, writers, and creatives covering Afghan Visual Culture, inclusive of its diaspora and minorities. AVAH contributors engage critically with Afghanistan-related and Afghan-diasporic themes at the nexus of mainly visual culture and contemporary art. The collective came together upon recognising a lack of obtainable information and long term initiatives concerning the historical and contemporary practices originating in or relating to Afghanistan.

 

Parwana Haydar

 

Parwana Haydar is an early career filmmaker who centers memory, family and collectivity in her practice. Her interest in how political organising merges with art started when she organised in Kin Collective – a film collective for racialised creatives. She is now Activities and Events co-president in the Student Union at SOAS and a student in Other Cinema film school.

 

Acknowledgements

 

Void Gallery is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Halifax Foundation, The Ragdoll Foundation, The Ireland Funds, Austin and Hope Pilkington Foundation, and Arnold Clarke Foundation.

Erkan Özgen in conversation with Mary Cremin

Tuesday 5 July, 6pm

 

 

Join us for an online in conversation between Erkan Özgen, exhibiting artist in Void’s current Above Us the Milky Way Erkan and Mary Cremin, Director of Void Derry. They will discuss the work in the exhibition Purple Muslin (2018) and his overall artistic practice.

Erkan Özgen (Derik, Turkey, 1971) lives and works in Diyarbakır. He graduated from Çukurova University Painting Department in 2000. He works on video based installations and has participated in group exhibitions in Turkey and abroad. Most of his recent films deal with migration and human rights. The film Purple Muslin premiered at Manifesta 12 (Palermo, Italy, 2018), winning unanimous public acclaim.

Many who are forced into exile face forced migration and the burden of carrying the past into the present and future. The legacy of war, the repression of minorities and women, and the trauma that seeps through the generations forms the focal point of this exhibition.

Displacement due to war and conflict has significant implications on people’s sense of place and culture. Women and girls suffer disproportionately during and after war, as existing inequalities are magnified and social networks break down, making them more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation. Erkan Özgen’s movie Purple Muslin (2018) was created in collaboration with Yazidi women who escaped the menace of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham forces and sought refuge in Northern Iraq. The film is an inquiry into the ways in which these women cope with their traumas in an environment full of violence.

This event is free but booking is essential. A Zoom link will be sent prior to the event.

Acknowledgements

 

Void Gallery is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Halifax Foundation, The Ragdoll Foundation, The Ireland Funds, Austin and Hope Pilkington Foundation, and Arnold Clarke Foundation.

Image: Erkan Özgen, Purple Muslin, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

gobscure – blog post for WAIWAV

as a child we sometimes traveled to newcastle-upon-tyne where one of our favourite things was running around making as much noise as possible in a gallery and then standing still so that by the time the art-guards caught us we’d be seriously staring at art before bursting into laughter once they’d gone off on their rounds once more. the thing we most liked to laugh at (still do) is the merz wall by kurt schwitters in the hatton gallery, newcastle-upon-tyne. as kid all we knew is there’s a barn wall in a gallery. a barn wall with curves in it. a barn wall removed from a barn on the other side of england and driven clear across england just to be put in a gallery. still makes us giggle. art should be about making folx laugh … among other things … then we found out more about kurt. everything was art to him – fairytale, typing, porridge, collage, radio, barn walls – just some of his ways of processing none-sense of the world, two world wars included, and also his various disabilities – epilepsy, depression, anxiety, ocd (some of these are more modern terms and sometimes contested) – towards the end of his life a fatal heart condition. yet he was itchy, restless, making sense in ways that no-one else dared. sure folx collaged, installationed, typed, built from found things – but he did all this more widely than others and for way longer too. bbc pulled plug on him broadcasting his ur-sonate, nazis called him a degenerate forcing him to flee twice. the second time to britain – who interned him for 17 month hastening his death. but he made porridge sculptures inside to keep his mind free (it stank the place out). he finally found freedom in the lake district and traded conventional art for food while working on his final merz (what he called his work – after a torn scrap from a banking flier) … dying as his immigration papers were en-route. were not academic, just human, but we love his big-kid, playful, subversion, art to make sense of a non-sensical world.

 

this is why were coming to Derry. to be playfully subversive in the city where James King a playfully subversive artist we admire much, lives. James and collaboro-angels will be playing in / around the space on 2nd july while we are there too for waiwav – we are invisible, we are visible – thanx to dash and the ampersand award. were bringing some pre-existing work relating to kurt / dada / and playful protest. more of this work will be online – e.g. our film ur’s for kurt, finalist in the 100 years of dada award at the ica in london in 2016. as well as a new spoken-text-collage replying to kurt schwitters poem what is madness made for this occasion.

 

however the main thing we are doing slowly, gently, playfully across the course of the afternoon on 2nd july is transforming kurts poem ; ‘what is madness’; written large across the education space walls on instant whiteboard into something new. we will mess with the poem using whiteboard markers so that it mutates (madness into add mess just for eg), regenerates, illustrates, invisibly-visible or visibly-invisible into a new temporary piece of wall-write-art for folx of Derry and beyond.

 

the final two lines of kurts poem what is madness? read,

 

‘… politics stand at the soft core of our time.
may that core soon soften further and may it leave our time free space for being free’

 

do come to Void gallery between midday and 4pm on 2nd july and see how we can all make free time for being free. love&rage, gobscure, june 22c.e.

WAIWAV at Void: gobscure from Void Gallery on Vimeo.

WAIWAV with gobscure

Tomorrow, 2 July, from 12-4pm, Void Gallery will join 29 museums and galleries across the UK to host We Are Invisible We Are Visible (WAIWAV), presented by DASH, the disabled-led visual arts organisation. 31 disabled artists will disrupt 30 museums and galleries across the country with surreal interventions in recognition of the 102nd anniversary of the first Dada International Exhibition. The project, which won the 2021 Ampersand Prize, is the most ambitious showcase of work by d/Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent artists to be presented in the UK.

The interventions cover a wide range including performative; time based; ephemeral; quirky; unusual; minimal; solo/duo/group; digital and much more. The project asks the question – What if the Dada movement had started in 2020 in lockdown? What would they have done? Is now a timely moment to resurrect the spirit and essence of Dada.

Void are delighted to welcome gobscure to the gallery from 12 noon until 4pm for a drop-in event – see below for an overview:

Dada is riot, dada wz right

kind gentle dynamic rebel.

slowly, gently, playfully across the course of the afternoon on 2nd july is transforming kurts poem ; ‘what is madness’; written large across the education space walls on instant whiteboard into something new. we will mess with the poem using whiteboard markers so that it mutates (madness into add mess just for eg), regenerates, illustrates, invisibly-visible or visibly-invisible into a new temporary piece of wall-write-art for folx of Derry and beyond.

everything was art / creativity / intervention for kurt schwitters as he repeatedly asked who was crazy – him or the systems he ridiculed repeatedly. we loved playing around his final artwork as bairn, were now artistic associates with Museum of Homelessness & Disability Arts Online (both lived experiences).

gobscure is a previous literary fellow at Scotland’s writing centre and Future’s Venture Foundation radical independent art fund supported artist.

A schedule for the day is as follows:

James King & collaborangels:

12.00pm -12.30pm Ann McKay and JK
12.45pm -1.15pm Caroline Murphy and JK
2.15pm -2.45 pm Eamonn O’Donnell and JK.
3.00pm – 3.30pm. Nina Quigley

In advance of gobscure’s performance here at Void Gallery, you can find a blog written by the artist here:

 

gobscure – blog post for WAIWAV

The WAIWAV interventions ask the question – What if the Dada movement had started in 2020 in lockdown? What would they have done? Is now a timely moment to resurrect the spirit and essence of Dada.

We are Invisible We are Visible (WAIWAV) is presented by DASH, the disabled led visual arts organisation, and was awarded the 2021 Ampersand Prize.

 

Follow DASH, @disabilityartsonline and #WAIWAV for all the latest news.

Online Talk: A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Wave

To coincide with BLACK MED SECCO, Void is delighted to welcome curator and writer Mattia Capelletti for an online talk, taking place on Tuesday 31 May, from 7pm (UK/Ireland time).

 

Register for free here.

 

Mattia has recently contributed the essay Having a voice, hearing voices to the book Black Med, which will be published in the coming weeks.

 

In this talk, the materiality and metaphoricity of the sea will emerge as activating a specific mode of thinking and listening. The talk will touch upon the role that the sensorial observation of the sea played in the development of the thought and practice of key philosophers, poets and musicians concerned with a radical immersion of the particular in the universal, the molecular and the cosmological. This line of thought engenders a specific politics of listening, which will be tied back to Black Med as a generative sonic flux.

 

Mattia Capelletti is a doctoral student in Sciences of Culture at the University of Palermo, writer and independent curator based in Torino. Interested in sound and the human voice, he has investigated its aesthetics and politics across theory and different disciplines. Along with artist Costanza Candeloro, he runs Idioletta, a project aimed at fostering “borderline” literary and oral practices. He co-edits Palm Wine, a website dedicated to post-global sound cultures with Simone Bertuzzi.