ARCHIVES OF PERSISTENCE
A conversation around the agency of photographs with Taslima Akhter, Mareike Bernien, Nat Brunt, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, François X Klein, Walid Saddam and Alisha Sett.
Persistence is a repetition that necessitates endurance. And persistence often emerges in contexts of structural oppression, chronic injustice, and imbalance. To persist means to have a long breath, - and this often when breathing alone is not easy. People continue to persist in the worst situations. In these situations images can become a demonstration of this persistence. They might even take part in the act of persisting itself. So how is persistence transferred into the image space? Can images support our persistence and take over, when we are tired? And how can we oppose their possible exhaustion?
The Archives of Persistence - Section of Chobi Mela X brings together different projects which all emerge from places of conflict and transition, places in which people persist to transform their reality. While Bangladesh Garment Sromik Samhati, the Kashmir Photo Collective, the Jag Chobi Collection and the Burj al-Shamali Collection assemble photographs in archives from and with these communities, the images take on a desire, a demand. They might become an element of mourning or a call not to forget and thereby persist on a complex view on history which does not misconceive visibility for recognition.
With these four projects we try to look at archival approaches that consider the archive not just a place of an assemblage, but also a place of production, where questions are generated and conflicts addressed, and where a collaboration between subjects and images can be established and persist. Here collections are gathered collectively forming communities, counter-archives that do not exercise, but challenge power, inhale and exhale deeply, performing a long breath.
Drik-Pathshala Under-Construction Building
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