Artists and activists have always played a fundamental role in transformative social change. With the Covid-19 pandemic emphasising global inequalities and exposing the violent systems that uphold them, we turned to socially engaged artists, or artivists, to provide a language for these challenging times and to illuminate the ways forward.
Watch back the conversation from the event, where we asked: dhiiga kuma dhaqaaqo? Does your blood not move? We asked this question with reference to the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, in the face of injustice and in commune with each other - to emphasise the importance of community and building strength from and with each other.
Over the course of the event, you will hear from Nandini Moitra (India), Elsie Ayotunde Cullen (Nigeria/UK) and Anthem Republiq (Kenya) as they share their practice and explore the ways we can collaborate and collectively create transnational solidarity among artivists.
Anthem Republiq (he/him) is a spoken word artist, a rapper and an actor who uses his art for social change. He is a community leader, an environmentalist and the co-founder of Sanaa Center, a safe space for creatives based in Mathare (the second largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya). Follow him on Instagram @anthem_republiq
Elsie Ayotunde Cullen (she/her) is an ICU nurse, currently studying for a Masters at LSE in Health & International Development. She is also an illustrator and community wellbeing advocate. With over 10 years’ experience in the creative industries, Elsie’s career has spanned across various disciplines from dance, to fine art and music. Follow her on Instagram @ayosartofgiving
Nandini Moitra (they/them) is a trans, non-binary artist living and residing in Kolkata, India. Their work explores queer politics through mythology, stories and food. They are the founder and co-director of Amra Odbhuth, a trans and queer art space in the city. Most recently Nandini has co- exhibited their work in the ORT Gallery, Birmingham, in collaboration with a project for the England Arts Council and Chicago Art Book Fair. Nandini is part of the South Asian art collective Kadak where they have collaborated with Upasana Agarwal on a story for their Anthology, Bystander. Follow them on Instagram @nandini.moitra
Clo Villalobos and Nikita Sena are friends who dream of creating a transnational collective of artists, activists and healers to support each other in creating alternative futures rooted in sustainability in all its forms. They believe there is immense power and wisdom in transnational solidarity that can strengthen local socio-environmental justice work.
Clo Villalobos (she/her) currently finds home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she helps coordinate a network of favela-based socio-environmental justice projects. Clo believes in combining transnational perspectives with local alternatives to oppressive structures and social norms.
Nikita Sena (she/her) is a British-Ghanaian intersectional feminist, with a background in human rights and a love for music, literature, film and dance. While a curatorial resident at be’kech, Berlin (now Kultur NeuDenken-Oyoun) in 2019, Nikita created and facilitated the workshops SEND N(U)DES and WHO’S THAT GXL, part of a series dedicated to using art as a medium to explore socio-political issues.
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Each year, Autograph has an Open Call for event proposals from emerging cultural producers who are working on a new or early stage project. For successful applicants, Autograph provides a budget, curatorial fee, and support to help make the event happen. We're proud that Art Futures Dream Tank is a result of our 2020 Open Call.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list