How to build up a collective in Covid times
At the beginning of 2020, the Post Collective (POCO), a group of refugees, asylum seekers, sans papiers and accomplices, took the brave step, together with Kunsthal Gent's support within their residency programme, to speculate on how they might work together in a co-creative, commoning way. And this acknowledging the fact that they have different legal and social statuses/ rights, creative practices, cultures, languages, ages, genders, needs, privileges, accesses, and exclusions within society.
In March 2020, the covid pandemic hit society hard, and specifically, it hit the intersections on which POCO were standing. Many opportunities were taken away and with this the possibility to work together in the same space. They adapted their approaches and invented new ways of staying united and engaged while being physically distanced.
In this 1.5h presentation, POCO will share with the audience their experiences in art making, organizing, communicating, experimenting with online meeting platforms, standing together in solidarity through loneliness, fear, instability, health and sickness, legal processes, and the ever pressing bills for the supermarket and housing.
Through our polyphonic and trans-lingual narratives, using a hybrid of different media (illustration, storytelling, sound poetry, video, photography, music) we want to create an environment within this presentation that welcomes discussion with the audience on the importance of initiating forms of collectivity locally and globally in covid times.
The Post Collective are: Mirra Markhaeva (Buryatia), Sawsan Maher (Syria), Marcus Bergner (Australia), Elli Vassalou (Greece), Mohammed Tawfiq (Iraq), Mahammed Alimu (Somalia) and Hooman Jalidi (Iran).
Image by Mirra Markhaeva