In dialogue

Long Now Lab #3: Art and Activism

5 December 2020, 00.00

Guided by

Paula Chaves

+ Guests

Hodan Warsame, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, and Suzanne Dhaliwal


Ernst van Deursen

Made possible by

The Life Long Burning Network supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Last September, Veem House relaunched the Long Now Lab: a long term focus group growing over five sessions named Art and Activism: Movement from the micro to the macro. Guided by artist and activist Paula Chaves, with a different guest joining Paula each session.

In the Long Now Lab a small group of people gather regularly for performances and work-and-think sessions at Veem House for Performance. We invite participants to go deeper: through conversation, imagination and workshops, with the aim of collectively creating ideas and proposals. Long Now refers to long-term thinking and the awareness that the present is part of the future. We create a laboratory where we can work and experiment together, where we can put ideas and proposals into practice. 

‘Movement’ in its different connotations -from dance to social movements- will be our common thread throughout the sessions. Zooming in and out from the micro to the macro spheres we will have sessions on the relationship between class and dance, intersectional and body politics, social and climate justice and reparations.


Some questions we will investigate during the Long Now Lab #3 are: 

What does it mean to politicize our gaze both as individuals, part of a society and as artists, cultural workers, curators responsible for cultural production?

How can we protect our visions and movements from the subsuming social media trends that commodify and neutralise our fight for social justice? 

What are the gaps between aesthetics and ethics in a visually oriented society that tends towards shock culture? 

- About Paula Chaves - 

Paula Chaves Bonilla is a Colombian non-binary lesbian. She/he works as a director, choreographer, performer, teacher and activist and is based in Amsterdam. Born and raised within the boom of narco-paramilitarism and the expansion of neoliberal politics, she/he conceives art as a survival strategy and device able to hack the hegemonic power structures at play. Marked by her/his migratory paths, Chaves Bonilla’s artistic research is situated at the intersection of trans feminist practices, social critique, journalism, experimental dance and fiction as sites where to imagine transnational anti-capitalistic and anti-imperialist modes of existence. In The Netherlands she/he made: Paraart, Against The Wall, Down is Up and Omni Toxica while joining Amanda Piña's long-term project Endangered Human Movements as a dancer and assistant choreographer. Her/his works have been shown in festivals such as: Moving Futures (Amsterdam), Theater Aan Zee (Oostende), Theater Spektakel (Zürich), My Wildflag (Stockholm) & Welcome to our guest house (Rotterdam). Read more...

Participation in the Long Now Lab is no longer possible, but you are very welcome during the public sharing on Saturday December 5th. More information about this event will follow in due course.

- Long Now Lab Guests - 

Hodan Warsame

Hodan Warsame is an anti-oppression educator and advisor inspired by intersectional and decolonial feminisms. Through organizing workshops, creating anti-oppression strategies for organizations and making media, she creates spaces for herself and others to develop critical and liberatory understandings of ourselves and the world.  She is a co-initiator of Decolonize The Museum, an intervention at the Dutch National Museum of World Cultures active between 2014 and 2017. This was a collaborative effort aimed at uncovering and subverting colonial narratives within this ethnographic museum. Hodan also founded Redmond, an intersectional feminist collective active between 2013 and 2017 that created critical online and offline spaces for women and queer people of color to share new understandings of Dutch politics, pop culture and colonial history. Hodan currently focuses on strategies for radical institutional change for justice, both from the outside and inside of organisations. Follow Hodan on Instagram.

Zwoisy Mears-Clarke

Zwoisy Mears-Clarke is a choreographer of the encounter. He uses the expanding potential of choreography to confront mechanisms of oppression, including ableism, racism, black-&white-ness, neo-colonialism, and sexism, that sabotage human interaction both systematically and interpersonally. Dance thus becomes temporary environments that can suspend the everyday duress of discrimination, colonial nostalgia, exclusion and prejudice. Through dance, or rather collective movement, he desires to open encounters that might otherwise seem unreachable, creating opportunities to move differently with one another. His development as an artist has been guided largely by Mary Cochran, Anna Mülter, Joy Mariama Smith, Gabi Beier, and various Black feminist community leaders. Currently, he is based in Rösrath, Germany. Read more...

Suzanne Dhaliwal

Suzanne Dhaliwal is an artist, activist and campaigner, working on climate justice, indigenous rights and mining issues, listed as one of the most popular voices on the Environment in 2018 by the Evening Standard. She is founder of the UK Tar Sands Network, which has worked for over a decade to campaign against corporations and financial institutions invested in the highly polluting Alberta Tar Sands. Suzanne has led high impact creative divestment campaigns to shift the insurance sector from underwriting coal and tar sands projects & artistic interventions to highlight environmental injustice of corporations including Shell & BP in the Niger Delta, Gulf Coast and the Arctic. She has been working to amplify the voices of indigenous delegations at the international climate negotiations and centre the voices of Indigenous, Black and POC voices in the climate movement internationally. She currently works as an artist, producer-writer, lecturer, anti-oppression trainer and research fellow at the University of Brighton examining race, media, art and climate justice. Follow Suzanne on Instagram.