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Sustaining Resilience: Land Rights and the Politics of Conservation

Future Threads (offsite)

25/03/23 2pm

RSVP here for this offsite event in Nottingham.

Join us for a live conversation delving into the relationship between conservation and land rights, highlighting different modes of relating to land and the urgency of centring reparative approaches.

This event will bring together artists and researchers to share perspectives on relations with land and modes and meaning of conservation. From work that reflects upon the violence of colonial models and the oppression those modes impose on indigenous knowledges, to methodologies of working with land that sustain resilience.

Contributors include artists Marwa Arsanios and Youngsook Choi, and curator Khanyisile Mbongwa.

We’ll begin with offerings from contributors, followed by a round table discussion with participants – including local groups working with land rights, access and conservation. There will be tea and food to share during the event.

This event is a collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary and Primary.


Khanyisile Mbongwa is a Cape Town based independent curator, award winning artist and sociologies who engages with her curatorial practice as Curing & Care. Thus using the creative to instigate spaces for emancipatory practices, joy and play. Mbongwa is the curator of Puncture Points, founding member and curator of Twenty Journey and former Executive Director of Handspring Trust Puppets. She’s one of the founding members of arts collective Gugulective, Vasiki Creative Citizens and WOC poetry collective Rioters In Session. Mbongwa was a Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Institute of Creative Arts at UCT, where she completed her masters in Interdisciplinary Arts, Public Art and Public Sphere. She has worked locally and internationally. Most recent projects include, in 2020 Process as Resistance, Resilience & Regeneration – a group exhibition co-curated with Julia Haarmann honoring a decade of CAT. Cologne’s residency program and Athi-Patra Ruga’s solo at Norval Foundation titled iiNyanka Zonyaka (The Lunar Songbook). In 2021, Mbongwa curated a group exhibition titled History’s Footnote: On Love & Freedom at Marres, House for Contemporary Culture in Maastrict, Netherlands. Mbongwa is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Create Arts, University of Cape Town and is a Blak C.O.R.E (Care of Radical Energy) Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She was the Chief Curator of the Stellenbosch Triennale 2020 and is the Curator for the Liverpool Biennial 2023.

Marwa Arsanios practice tackles structural and infrastructural questions using different devices, forms and strategies. from architectural spaces, their transformation and adaptability throughout conflict, to artist run spaces and temporary conventions between feminist communes and cooperatives, the practice tends to make space within and parallel to existing art structures allowing experimentation with different kind of politics. Film becomes another form and a space for connecting struggles in the way images refer to other images. In the past four years Arsanios has been attempting to think these questions from a new materialist and a historical materialist perspective through different feminist movements that are struggling for their land. She tries to look at questions of property, law, economy and ecology from specific plots of land. The main protagonists become these lands and the people who work them. Her research includes many disciplines and is deployed in numerous collective methodologies and collaborative projects.

Youngsook Choi is a London-based artist/researcher. Her performances and installations explore the concept of political spirituality by experimenting with intimate aesthetics of solidarity actions and collective healing. More recently, grief has been the focus of Youngsook’s practice, posing collective grief as the process of socio-political autopsy around certain types of death. ‘Not This Future’, commemorating the Essex 39 tragedy, and ‘In Every Bite of the Emperor’, the ongoing ecological grief project, are in tandem with this inquiry. Youngsook is also co-founder of a research-practice working group, Decolonising Botany.

Via questions of repair, remediation and mutation, Nottingham Contemporary‘s Emergency & Emergence programme investigates sensorial and speculative practices of radical sensemaking and wayfinding amid the devastation of the planet and the colossal failure of liberal politics. How do we move from emergency to emergence, from crisis to renewal? Reverberating with ideas and knowledges opposing racial and colonial capitalism, conceived through visual and aural culture as well as radical politics, Emergency & Emergence assembles diverse cultural practitioners to generate new emancipatory possibilities and forms of life, founded upon social justice and environmental wellbeing.

Primary is an artist-led visual arts organisation in Nottingham. They prioritise creative research, provide studios and development for artists, and run a free public programme of exhibitions and events. In 2022, Primary worked with artists and partners including MADEYOULOOK and the ungovernable (SA) on the Landedness programme. Their long-term collaborative project Nourishment: A cyclical programme delves into food justice, nourishment, growing and sustainable food systems.


Image: Marwa Arsanios, Who Is Afraid of Ideology IV: Reverse Shot, 2023, Still 

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