Futures Talks - Hybrids: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

Futures Talks - Hybrids: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative


The programme can be followed online.

Please note: this event has already taken place

Futures Talks - Hybrids: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

As part of Hybrids: Forging New Realities as a Counter Narrative Futures and Melkweg Expo present a two-day programme of talks and panels. On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 September, artists and member organisations part of the Futures platform and guests from various fields will participate in panel discussions. You can look forward to hearing artists, curators, researchers, scientists, pedagogues, sociologists, anthropologists, ecologists, feminists provide an academic, artistic, and practical look at themes related to understanding hybrid ways of narrating and understanding our reality. The programme can only be followed online.

Part of the programme is a lecture and performance by Morehshin Allahyari on September 16: The Needed Worlds. She will use personal storytelling and her work as points of departure to weave in topics such as digital colonialism, archival methodologies, and myth-thinking for building the needed worlds.

The program for THURSDAY 16/9 can be followed via this LINK  

The program for FRIDAY 17/9 can be followed via this LINK 

Please refer to the schedule at the bottom of the page for detailed times.


After a year of reckoning come and gone, in 2021 reality is anything but in balance. Waves of counter-narratives continue to bloom and subvert our knowledge base, flooding the frameworks that once navigated our senses of being and belonging. 

Driven by the fusion of the physical and virtual realms – Europe now watches as a young generation of makers attempt to foster a new cultural literacy; searching, breaking, and reworking their mediums and conceptual moulds. But can we define a direction in all this disorder? Within this climate of hybrid experimentation, we are witnessing the forging of new realities each day. What new forms of making, narrating and reading are here to stay, and what can we just make out on the horizon ahead?


14:00 - The Digitally Mediated Body

How we experience the ‘everyday’ is increasingly shaped by the crumbling boundaries between our physical and digital realities. Our digital embodiment is regulated and represented through performance, self-curation, avatars, algorithmic processes, and online micro-communities. How might our digital and physical bodies be reconciled? How are the narratives of our bodies adapted as an online presence, and what processes are complicit in creating these adaptations? The panel will discuss the intricacies of understanding the embodied ‘self’ in simulated reality. With focus on the roles our digitally embodied subjectivities play within these simulated cultural landscapes and collective digital cultures.

Panel: Emily Graham (artist Futures HYBRIDS), Jan Berger (artist, Bogomir Doringer, artist, NXT Museum), Bogomir Doringer (artist, NXT Museum), Ugo Woatzi (artist, Futures talent), Aurelie Bayad (artist, Futures talent 2021). Moderator: Sarah Trottier (PhD Gender Studies and Critical Theory at the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University). 

16:00 - Image-making in- and outside institutions 

How do institutions work within new narratives? How do we look at ‘Image-thinking’ as an alternative to Artistic Research? In parallel a permanent synthesis of online and offline dynamics is changing the way knowledge is produced, spread and consumed. What kind of new forms of showcasing institutions and alternative platforms are coming up? We witness an environment of intensive experimentation, with multidisciplinary artists at the forefront. But how successfully is the cultural industry adapting alongside them? And what new forms of narration do we need?

Panel: Clarice Gargard (journalist, filmmaker, writer and co-founder of Lilith Magazine and Lilith Agency), Valentine Umansky (Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London, UK), Poulomi Basu (award-winning Indian transmedia artist and activist, known for advocating for the rights of women), Rein Deslé (Curator at FOMU Antwerp, Belgium). Moderator: Delphine Bedel (artist, writer, founder Meta/Books, co-founder Engagement Arts NL).

19:00 - Artist talk and performance by Morehshin Allahyari 

Morehshin Allahyari will use personal storytelling and her work as points of departure to weave in topics such as digital colonialism, archival methodologies, and myth-thinking for building the needed worlds.


13:00 - Counter—narratives: using the past to shape a hybrid future 

What is the potential of the archive to be used for creating counter-narratives? How can history be re-told to suggest other futures? In this panel we take a starting point in recent events such as the Black Lives Matter and the decolonizing movements that have created ripples in academic institutions, gallery worlds and have made a marginalized topic into a public mainstream debate. We will look at the works by Futures artists who are all in some ways using past and present history to change the dominant narrative. We will discuss the possibilities of photography to visually interrupt and challenge national linear narratives by suggesting other hybrid stories and adding multiple layers leading to changing perspectives.

Panel: Hien Hoang (artist Futures Hybrids), Mark Duffy (visual artist), Silvia Rosi (Futures talent), Dr. Rolando Vazquez Melken, (Associate Professor of Sociology at University College Roosevelt and Cluster Chair at the University College Utrecht), Julia Gelezova (Cultural Producer & Curator at PhotoIreland), Richard Kofi (multidisciplinary artist, curator, podcaster and author)Moderator: Dr. Nina Mangalanayagam (artist and Senior Lecturer in Photography at HDK-Valand Academy, Gothenburg).

15:00 - Lone visionary or political activist – what is the role of an ecologically conscious artist or arts professional today? 

What is the ecological responsibility of the art scene in an age in which, according to a study by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the activities of huge and therefore influential corporations shape the vast majority of the major processes that dominate the earth. In the Anthropocene era, mankind is undoubtedly shaping the environment, but the question is what are the individual's, and above all an artist's or art professional's, playing field and role, and what impact can they have on the environment while environmental scientists are predicting changes of astonishing amplitude already in the medium term. Is it enough just to minimise the ecological footprint of the art scene, or is it more a matter of political activism and a nuanced approach in which we define our role as a part of the living world rather than as shapers of the planet? What can save us, the acceleration of technological innovation, draconian living standards restrictions and, in either case, what can a creative human being add to all this?

Panel: Ángel Luis González Fernández (Director of PhotoIreland), Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen (Director of Copenhagen Photo Festival), Maija Annikki Savolainen (Futures Hybrids artist, 2018 talent proposed by PHotoEspaña), Marta Bogdańska (Futures Hybrids artist, 2020 talent proposed by Fotofestiwal Łódź). Moderator: István Virágvölgyi (curator Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center)

17:00 - Marina Paulenka in conversation with the artists of the exhibition HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

Participating artists: Alexey Shlyk, Io Sieversten, Eva Kreuger, Jean-Vincent Simonet, Valeria Cherchi, Carlos Alba.


    13.45 - 14.00
    Short introduction & welcome by Marina Paulenka

    14.00 - 15.45
    The Digitally Mediated Body

    16.00 - 17.45
    Image-making in and outside institutions

    19.30 - 21.00
    Artist talk and performance by Morehshin Allahyari

    FRIDAY SEPT 17th

    12.45 - 13.00
    Short introduction by Marina Paulenka

    13.00 - 14.45
    Counter—narratives: using the past to shape a hybrid future

    15.00 - 16.45
    Lone visionary or political activist – what is the role of an ecologically conscious artist or arts professional today?

    17.00 - 18.00
    Marina Paulenka in conversation with the artists of the exhibition HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative.

    18.00 - 18.15
    Final word by Menno Liauw, director of Futures
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