What happens when we break the chronological interpretation of history? Can historical writing be made more inclusive?
Shared History is an EU-funded project that brings together newly arrived and established artists in the Baltic Sea Region. The artists' views do not necessarily need to correspond to each other, but they must be able to relate to each other when they explore critical methods of narrative and co-creation in a time of polarized discussions of history and identity.
Shared History is a cross-disciplinary project with the goal of critically connecting and artistically interpreting the different reactions on the refugee situation that are strongly affecting, shaping and dividing the European Union, on both a political and domestic level. With a Baltic scope, the project's creative research process will approach issues such as policy making, judicial and geographical borders, statistics, identity, public opinion and post-truth information related to migration and integration in Sweden, Poland and Latvia
The exhibition was on display in Färgfabriken's two project rooms from May 5 - Aug 19 2018. The exhibition shows two installations processed during several months of collaboration between the artist Valeria Montti Colque and the architect Hala Alnaji, as well as the artists Vanja Sandell Billström and Reza Hazare. At Färgfabriken you could also take part of documentation from the art produced for the exhibition in Gdansk, as well as the film produced there by Ibrahim Muhanna.
The designers Gabriel Maher and Isabel Mager made the project's overall design, but also a graphic deconstruction of the project application for the exhibition in Stockholm. By dissecting the bureaucratic graphical interface, the idea of measurable culture and its instrumental purpose is clarified.
Architect Hala Alnaji and artist Valeria Montti Colque have explored questions about being rooted, the relationship with nature and it’s role in integration processes or the individual’s efforts to feeling at home his or her environment. In recent years, following the significant rise in the numbers of refugees and newcomers to Sweden, well-conceived strategies are being implemented to integrate newcomers into Swedish society by focusing on a range of programs that target social and cultural aspects and make newcomers ready to join the Swedish labour market. These strategies are almost entirely directed towards the integration of the newcomers in the urban environment. Despite nature being a very important aspect of Swedish identity and social life, activities that aim towards integrating and introducing newcomers into the natural environment are few. In their installation – consisting of colourful image-carpets, sculptures, texts and play with light and shadow – the artists have created a dream-like forest environment where new histories can be born.
The room insallation was also used as a starting point for a series of workshops with kids and young people, connecting them with nature and art. The results from these workshops were later integrated within the room installation.
Valeria Montti Colque
(born 1978 in Stockholm, where she lives and works) is educated at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and in her art she touches themes of power, violence, dreams and popular culture. Montti Colque works with sculpture, video, drawing and painting.
(born 1988 in Gaza, Palestine, lives and works in Stockholm) is an architect but also works with artistic methods, primarily with themes relating to architecture and society. Alnaji is educated at The Islamic Univesity Gaza and Sheffield Hallam University. During the time of the project she was participating in the post-master course "Decolonizing Architecture" at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
In their two-channel video installation Winzipped senses, artists Vanja Sandell Billström and Reza Hazare put themselves in front of the camera to talk about experiences of being under pressure, questions about migration, privileges and responsibilities. Their artistic process has been one of a shifting call and response, with methods including deforming parts of their memories, experiences and encounters and making artworks that take turns in who’s listening and who’s talking, as a means of exploring different understangings of ”shared history”.
Vanja Sandell Billström
(born 1983 in Stockholm, where she lives and works) received her artistic training at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and works as an artist and filmmaker. In her latest work, Sandell Billström mainly explores issues concerning community and seclusion.
(born 1987 in Zahedan, Iran, a citizen of Afghanistan, lives and works in Stockholm) is educated at the Visual Arts School of Tehran and the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts. Hazare works mainly with drawing, painting and sculpture, and in his art explores among other things, the human psyche, history and visual traditions.