Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth,
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth, exhibition opening BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2024, photo: Tom Janssen
until 25 May 2024
Convention: public program

Chapter three of the project Usufructuaries of earth is a two-day convention that gathers artists, as well as other thinkers and social actors, to share and learn on usufruct as a way of undoing property.


Friday 24 May 2024
16.00–22.00 hrs

Saturday 25 May 2024
12–22.00 hrs

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
The public program is open to everyone, but it is advised to pre-book your ticket through Eventbrite in order to assure access.

A ticket for 1 day costs €6, a ticket for both days costs €10. BAK offers without-cost solidarity tickets to enable the participation of those who would otherwise be unable to afford a ticket. Some soup and snacks prepared by b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN upon solidarity donation.

On 25 May, some elements of the program will be in Spanish with live Spanish-English interpretation. If you wish to make use of this, please bring a phone with the Zoom app, your own headphones and if possible, a portable charger.
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Friday 24 May 2024
16.00–22.00 hrs


16.00–16.45 hrs
DOORS OPEN
A possibility to see the exhibition Usufructuaries of earth

16.45–17.00 hrs
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Maria Hlavajova

17.00–17.30 hrs
Usufructuaries of earth
Conversation between Marwa Arsanios and Wietske Maas

17.30–19.00 hrs
Life and Death Beyond the Boundary
Conversation between Brenna Bhandar, Yvonne Phyllis, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore (online), moderated by Layal Ftouni

Amidst ongoing ecocide and genocide, Brenna Bhandar considers the colonial and racial dynamics inherent to the legal architecture of modern property law. Yvonne Phyllis dwells on the question of belonging to earth (rather than the claim of earth belonging to us) as an assertion of land reclamation for unfree farmworkers across generations. Ruth Wilson Gilmore foregrounds abolition geography as solidarities of place-making across interconnected geographies. Bringing together their respective contributions, the conversation posits “usufructuaries of earth” as an undoing of the idea of individual exclusive land ownership as we know it. In so doing, the conversation reconceives usufruct that collapses enclosures of—and boundaries between—life and death. “Life and Death Beyond the Boundary” refutes the necropolitics of private property form, and contemplates instead possibilities of usufruct emancipated from colonial capital’s scripts of dispossession.

19.00–19.45 hrs
BREAK
Soups and snacks by b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN upon solidarity donation (limited quantities)

19.45–21.00 hrs
SCREENING AND CONVERSATION
Philip Rizk, Mapping Lessons, 2020, 60 min.
Followed by a conversation between Philip Rizk and Marwa Arsanios

The essay-film Mapping Lessons travels with K through time and place to a “Middle East” being colonized, where fences form borders of private property and national boundaries. Resistance in 1960s Vietnam or national liberation in Angola, undoing state structures in the Syrian Revolution and the Paris Commune, to undoing property in the early days of the Soviets and 1936 Spain these are the images that mark starting points of preparing for the next time.

21.00 hrs
RECEPTION
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Saturday 25 May 2024
12.00–22.00 hrs


12.00–13.00 hrs
DOORS OPEN
A possibility to see the exhibition Usufructuaries of earth

13.00–13.15 hrs
WELCOME
Maria Hlavajova and Wietske Maas

13.15–13.40 hrs
PROPOSITION 1
Beyond Value
Denise Ferreira da Silva (online) and Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona

This proposition brings forward a working critique of value through the lens of Black feminist aesthetics and radical political economies. How can value be reconceived as a gathering of matter that resists containment, capture, and possession—as a reclamation of an aesthetics of matter that takes opacity, relationality, and hapticality as its starting point?

13.40–14.05 hrs
PROPOSITION 2
Taking Debt Out of the Closet
Verónica Gago (online) and Lucí Cavallero*

Disclosing how neoliberal finance exploits domestic and care labor and other forms of social reproduction, this proposition builds on feminist solidarities to articulate a collective political grammar against the invasion of debt in everyday life.

14.05–14.20 hrs
BREAK

14.20–15.35 hrs
PLENARY: PROPOSITIONS 1 and 2*

Lucí Cavallero, Clara Balaguer, Massimiliano (Mao) Mollona, and Ola Hassanain, moderated by Lama El Khatib and Iliada Charlambous**

15.35–16.00 hrs
MADEYOULOOK, Mafolofolo: a place of recovery
A listening

Mafolofolo: a place of recovery emerges from five years of research conducted by MADEYOULOOK in the northern part of South Africa. Their research aimed to understand the multiple cycles of loss and subsequent cycles of return related to the land. They are concerned with the deep and enduring relationships with the land that persist, despite the long duration of South Africa’s turbulent and destabilizing existence. What they draw from the particular history of this place is the potential to seek intimacy, spiritual security, and interdependence with the land and more-than-human life. Through it, they encounter how they might repair themselves and the lands from which they find sustenance.

16.00–16.15 hrs
BREAK

16.15–16.40 hrs
PROPOSITION 3
Failing, Dreaming, Doing: rehearsing abolition
MADEYOULOOK and Yvonne Phyllis

This proposition departs from the movement for radical land reform in South Africa. In the face of these failed dreams, and in the context of ongoing battles for and through land in places such as Palestine, where many continue to dream of and plan for return, Failing, Dreaming, Doing seeks to conjure alternate imaginaries of life and labor with earth, beyond the regimes of colonial and racial enclosure.

16.40–17.05 hrs
PROPOSITION 4
Germinating Resistance
Gruppo Semillas (Samanta Arango Orozco and Arelly Collazos)*

This proposition unearths the implications of seed guardianship in catalyzing an agrarian commons. Germinating Resistance proposes how something as seemingly insignificant as a seed generates communal resistance against the war of private property and cultivates instead a more-than-human usufructuary of earth.

17.05–18.20 hrs
PLENARY: PROPOSITIONS 3 and 4
Samanta Arango Orozco, Marwa Arsanios, Tareq Khalaf, and MADEYOULOOK, moderated by Aya Bseiso and Joud Al-Tamimi**

18.20–18.45 hrs
BREAK

18.45–20.00 hrs
CLOSING PLENARY
Yvonne Phyllis, Denise Ferreira da Silva (online), Verónica Gago, Stefano Harney, Lena Wilderbach, and Brenna Bhandar (online), moderated by Shela Sheikh**

20.00–22.30 hrs
FOOD, DRINKS, AND MUSIC
Soups and snacks by b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN upon solidarity donation (limited quantities)
DJ: Louis Henderson

During Usufructuaries of earth convention, b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN will activate their network with a focus on hospitality initiatives from BAK’s neighborhood and activist situated practices for environmental justice, anti-food waste, rescue, and redistribution of surplus food and intersectional solidarity. The contributors are Mark van der Pal, Asia Komarova, Berend Bombarius, Sofia Kret and Taste Before You Waste.

*Parts of the program spoken in Spanish are with live interpretation into English via Zoom. Throughout the program, spoken English is live interpreted into Spanish.

**Plenary constellation subject to change, allowing for participation for other participants of the working sessions
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth,
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth, exhibition opening, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2024, photo: Tom Janssen
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth,
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth, exhibition opening, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2024, photo: Tom Janssen
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth,
Marwa Arsanios, Usufructuaries of earth, exhibition opening, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2024, photo: Tom Janssen