What is to be done?

Release conversation with Jakob Jakobsen and Ana Teixeira Pinto: what is to be done?

Part of Editorial meeting – A Gathering Towards a Critique of the Contemporary by Paletten Art Journal

What: Conversation with Jakob Jakobsen and Ana Teixeira Pinto, moderated by Frida Sandström (Paletten)

Art and culture are exposed to immense challenges due to various populistic agendas. This has an immediate effect on contemporary art and its complex habitat between the local, national and international. When publishing spaces are becoming more restricted in favour of ideological and market-driven communication – there is an urgency for expanding critical conversations, formats and languages. With the utmost integrity, we aspire to modify ways on how to relate to art and the world at large. Through the function of art, aesthetics and the artworld, can we further understand how the development of the democratic nation-state that emerged out of modernity – is deeply rooted in colonialism and capitalism?

2020 was a year dominated as much by uprisings, as the repression of these, a crisis of social reproduction and health, and various forms of nationalist, logistic-economic and quite some socio-physical reconsiderations. Since the early spring, Paletten Art Journal has gathered writers from various perspectives, under the headline “Editorial meeting.” The emphasis on the notion of the ‘editorial’ was first meant to physically gather people in open editorial meetings, to propose, discuss and determine and alternative methods for future work. While these meetings had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, the conversation between editors and invited contributors continued, fuelled by critical reflections on phenomena such as the distribution of resources, concepts of care, a rising wave of neo-fascism, populism and conspiracy theories, and the role of editorial work and writing, in relation to various forms of political organising.

While the initial plan was to use the editorial meeting as a means to extend the scope of a singular or a few editors, making space for unforeseen encounters to result in unforeseen contributions, the physical restrictions dominating the year cancelled this plan. In collaboration with co-editors Patrik Haggren, Matthew Rana and Frida Sandström, local and international writers were invited with an attempt to both broaden a Northern-European centred discussion, and to dive into locally complex cases in the format of a number of exhibitions reviews.

One of the planned editorial meetings was supposed to take place at Mint – whose critical strivings also has been a great source of motivation during the development process of this editorial project. It is, therefore, a joy to also close this chapter at Mint – hopefully not to only make full circle, but to emphasise on future alliances and trajectories. Celebrating the publication of this compilation of texts that the project has resulted in, Frida Sandström meets the contributing writers, Ana Teixeira Pinto and Jakob Jakobsen, to discuss matters of future work: what is to be done, and what are we preparing for?

The resulting texts, recorded conversations and multimedia montages form this year’s attempts to examine practical possibilities of art criticism today. They are available at paletten.net.

Editorial meeting – A Gathering Towards a Critique of the Contemporary was commissioned by, and funded by Regionsamverkan Sydsverige.

Minerva The Miscarriage of the Brain

Join Johanna Hedva for a presentation and discussion on their new book, Minerva: The Miscarriage of the Brain. The event is organised as part of the exhibition A Careful Strike* at Mint. (Due to the current pandemic the exhibition has been postponed until fall 2021).

Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain collects a decade of work from artist, musician, and author of On Hell, Johanna Hedva. In plays, performances, an encyclopaedia, essays, autohagiography, hypnagogic, and hypnopompic poems – in texts whose bodies drift and delight in form – Minerva tunnels into mysticism, madness, motherhood, and magic. Minerva gets dirty with the mess of gender and genius. She does the labour of sleep and dreams. She odysseys through Los Angeles, shapeshifting in stygian night and waking up to wail in the light.

Walk with banners

Please join us for a public walk with banners produced by Bella Rune and students from Konstfack University of Arts Craft and Design. We will walk from Konstfack to ABF Stockholm Sveavägen 41. During the walk scholar and researcher Margareta Ståhl will join us for a conversation about the project and the history and aesthetics for the workers movement.

Please respect social distancing measures, do not join the walk if you are sick or have any symptoms and walk with a two-meter distance.

Register: info@m-i-n-t.se.

Bodies of Care

Online event! Stream live on facebook or our website

Join artists Emma Dominguez, Macarena Dusant, Sonia Sagan and Sarasvati Shrestha for a discussion around their collective approach to addressing the lived detrimental effects of work and the inequality of access to care within the Swedish welfare system framed around their mother’s experience. The study session reflects on their current exhibition Mami: Ama: Mödrar at Botkryka Konsthall and artistic strategies that draw on resources within the art field to build infrastructures that seek to not only critique but work to transform the violent structures of work and the gendered and racialised work injuries they produce. We will consider how these methods also seek to refuse the unhealthy (re)production of culture to resonate beyond the confines of the art institution and its public.

The event will take place in English.

The event forms part of the Bodies of Care study sessions that explores practices that reflect and resist the current expansion of commercialized, individualized and outsourced care and is in collaboration with Botkyrka Konsthall.

This is the fifth in a series of conversations that precedes the exhibition A Careful Strike* at Mint opening on the 3rd of December.

*Precarias a la deriva, 2005

The Struggle for Ports and Logistics

Follow the conversation at www.m-i-n-t.se/en-omsorgsfull-strejk/

During the past years, the Naples port has been affected by harsh labour conflicts. Employees have been fired on unclear grounds and the port businesses are unwilling to negotiate with the union. In Genova, dockworkers have gone on strikes to block ships with weapons cargo destined for Jemen. When the Black Lives Matter movement grew in the USA hundreds of dockworkers went on strike in Portland. In Sweden, the Swedish Dockworkers Union struggle has become significant in the rapid restructuring of the power relations on the Swedish labour market. What does the conjunction between political strikes and labour related strikes entail today?

This evening departs from a series of reports from different contemporary struggles that reflect the conditions to document and establish one’s public narrative. Based on this aspect, which historical continuities with earlier movements can we see in today’s struggles?

Reports by:

Papis Ndiaye, S.I. Cobas Italy

Martin Berg, chairman of the Swedish Dockworkers Union

Alessandra Mincone, journalist at Napoli Monitor

Mathias Wåg, activist and writer

Moderated by Julia Lindblom, journalist at Arbetaren and Benj Gerdes, artist and filmmaker.

Luleåbiennalen 2020: Time on Earth

Dimen Abdulla, Linnea Axelsson, Chto Delat?, Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze, Elisabete Finger & Manuela Eichner, Aage Gaup, Apostolos Georgiou, Beatrice Gibson, Maria W Horn, Thomas Hämén, Susanna Jablonski, Ingela Johansson, Kapwani Kiwanga, Birgitta Linhart, Hanna Ljungh & Mattias Hållsten, Fathia Mohidin, Santiago Mostyn, Christian Nyampeta, Ingrid Elsa Maria Ogenstedt, Didem Pekün med KHORA, Charlotte Posenenske, Sofia Restorp, Iris Smeds, Augusta Strömberg, Isak Sundström, Svärta (Yngve Baum, Jean Hermanson, Odd Uhrbom), Erik Thörnqvist, Cara Tolmie, Tommy Tommie, Danae Valenza, Ana Vaz, Peter Weiss & Hans Nordenström, Mats Wikström, Måns Wrange, Markus Öhrn

21.11 2020–14.2 2021


The Luleå Biennial stretches across the vast region of Norrbotten. Budding into the arctic circle at Sweden’s border to Finland, the region – with its heavy industries, mining landscapes, high-tech research centers, unique nature and the historical homeland of the Sami people, Sapmi – plays host to one of the world’s northernmost art events. This time, the biennial will take place in Luleå, Boden, Malmberget, Storforsen, Arjeplog and Korpilombolo – in an evacuated school, in a church, at a silver museum, at art centers, in a former prison and at Norrbotten’s Regional Museum.

The Luleå Biennial is an international biennial for contemporary art where global and hyper-local perspectives come together in site-specific installations. Alongside of numerous exhibitions, the 2020 edition will also include a touring literature program, theatre, radio and an online journal. The 2020 Luleå Biennial grapples with the question of what ”realism” could mean today both as a concept, expression and paradigm. Through their works, the invited artists tell of realities related to society as a system – bureaucracy and logics of mass media and industrial infrastructure – but they also break into, challenge and topple these reigning arrangements; through strikes, the psyche, theatre, magic and, not least, art itself. Realism emerged as an art historical concept in the second half of the 19th century and remained prominent into the first half of the 20th. This multifarious project grew out of a general interest in portraying society as it actually appeared in all its roughness and mundanity and injustice. On the one hand, realism pro-posed a set of aesthetic conventions, but more than that it meant the introduction of a new world of motifs to art. The realistic project was initially led by an intellectual bourgeoisie, but would since come to involve art and literature in which the working class asserted itself as both topic and agent. With its more blatant political edge, this later period is often referred to as social realism or socialist realism.

When we choose to look back on the tradition of realism and place it in our degenerating contemporary time, it is without a sense of obligation towards history. What we are revisiting is the artistic ambition to make the world appear whole. In such a practice there is both courage and madness; an act of inhibition that requires you to engage with the impossible and forge together the splinters of a broken world in order to make sense of it. On the small and large scale, the artists in the biennial present their own perspectives on how to organize the world.

In collaboration with Sweden’s Public Art Agency and the curator Edi Muka, the biennial presents Woven Songs, a series of existing and newly commissioned works that are integrated into the exhibitions or appear in public spaces in Norrbotten. This exhibition within the exhibition questions something as immediate as the earth and how we live our lives on
it. This earth that accommodates at once a profane and magical symbolism, and figures a material ground for both sanctity, life and death, all directly beneath our feet.

The Luleå Biennial constructs a kind of realism that often moves far away from an illustrative or documentary tradition. Rather the works tend to present reality as a theater: staged, alienated, longed for and, in many cases, completely absurd. Perhaps these spectacles can help us reconsider the meaning of realism and our actual agency, in relation not only to the -ism but to reality as such – during our time on earth.

Karin Bähler Lavér, Emily Fahlén and Asrin Haidari,
curators Luleå biennial 2020

Riot is to Love our Survival

The struggle over history is the struggle for life, recognition and reparation. The conditions for an independent historical narrative are a recurring issue within the history of different movements. Which narratives are given a voice, which are suppressed? How is the ongoing struggle over history expressed today in different contexts? Participants: Judith Kiros, Stefano Harney och Fred Moten.

Follow the conversation online via Mint’s facebook page

Belarus: “Tomorrow should not be the same as today”

Welcome to a conversation about the condition for artistic production, solidarity and strike in the moment of the uprisings in Belarus with Problem Collective (Minsk) as part of the exhibition A Careful Strike*.

The discussion will happen online: link and on-site at Mint, ABF Stockholm.


Olia Sosnovskaya (artist and researcher, member of the Problem Collective)

Anna Bredava (LGBTQ+ activist, organiser of DOTYK Queer festival)

Andrei Karpeka (activist, co-founder of Minsk Urban Platform)

Nicolai Spesivtsev (artist and computer scientist, member of eeefff group and Work Hard Play Hard working group)


The Reproduction of Resistance

A public conversation on the possibility of struggle and resistance within health and care work. The corona pandemic has made the vulnerability of society even more evident as a consequence of decades of neoliberal reforms. How can care rather than economic principles become the primary organizing principle for societies? In collaboration with Feministiskt Forum. Participants: Roya Hakimnia, Pamela Otarola, Yolanda Aurora Bohm Ramirez and Mani Shutzberg.

Factory girls – The Wilful Textile Worker

The artistic project: The factory girls – The wilful textile worker organize an exhibition and  conference at Mint Art Gallery in the ABF building in Stockholm. The conference wants to  highlight and discuss the conditions, knowledge and resistance of women in the textile and home  industry; their willingness and self-will, which is expressed in organization, professional pride and  strategies. During the week, parts of the play Fabriksflickorna – makten och härligheten [The  Factory Girls – The Power and Glory] are reactivated, in an exhibition by Åsa Norman (Sweden)  textile artist, and Frida Hållander (Sweden) PhD, craft artist. The play premiered in Skellefteå  under the direction of Suzanne Osten and Margareta Garpe in 1980.

In the exhibition, Norman and Hållander show parts of the multi-year artistic project The Factory  girls – The Willful Textile Worker through material and crafts investigations – as well as archive  material and sound. Artists and researchers are invited to the conference. They will hold  workshops and presentations to create a Nordic context for an in-depth discussion on textile  production and the home industry.

The project is carried out with support from the Nordic Culture Fund, The Swedish Arts Grants  Committee, the Helge Ax:son Johnssons stiftelse and Byggnads kulturstipendium. The exhibition  och conference is part of Stockholm Craft Week 2020.

Conference Week Program:

The conference is taking place in the ABF-house at Sveavägen 41 in Stockholm. The lectures is in  different lecture-halls (see schedule). The lectures will be available to follow online via Zoom and  we take a limited number of people in the audience.

Wednesday September 30

The exhibition opens! Opening hours: 16.00-20.00.

Thursday October 1
Conference day 1, all lectures are in Katasalen at the first floor in ABF huset

The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00

10:00-11:30 Introductory presentation and lecture by Åsa Norman (Sweden) textile artist and  Frida Hållander (Sweden) PhD, craft artist, presents the ongoing artistic project Factory girls –  The Willful Textile Workers. Tjia Torpe (Sweden) educator and producer will tell about the play  Fabriksflickorna – makten och härligheten [The Factory Girls – The Power and Glory]. Language:  Swedish.

13:00-14:30 Leena Enbom (Finland) doctoral researcher in Social and Economic History in the  University of Helsinki. The lecture will shed light on the variations of home industries that  appeared as part of the secondary labour market in the urbanizing Finland from the late 19th century until the 1960s. Additionally, the lecture will discuss the disciplinary functions of the  workhouse and relief work institutions based on the obligation to perform crafts and sewing tasks.  Language: English.

15.00-16:30 Lecture with Malin Nilsson (Sweden) PhD Economic History, researcher at the  Department of Economic History at Lund University. She will present her dissertation Taking work  home: Labor dynamics of women industrial homeworkers in Sweden during the second industrial  revolution (2015). Nilsson’s talk will also focus on how women’s commercial home based textile  production became a highly politicized topic in Europe in the late 19th century. Language:  Swedish.

Friday October 2
Conference day 2, all lectures are in Katasalen at the first floor in ABF-huset The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00 

10:00-11:30 Sushmita Preetha (Bangladesh) journalist, writer and researcher, together with Karin  Elfving (Sweden) journalist and ethnologist. The lecture will be based on testimonies from textile  workers in Bangladesh were it is describe how their rights are constantly violated, also how  Covid-19 has pushed these workers into further difficulties. Preetha and Elfving will also include  the response from some of the Swedish brands. Language: English.

13:00-14:30 Lecture with Franz Petter Schmidt (Norway) Associate Professor of Textile Art at  KhiO – Oslo School of Fine Arts, textile artist and artistic researcher. Schmidt will present his  artistic dissertation project Reflection, Weaving Fabrics for Suits (2018), which touches on the  textile factory Sjølingstad Woolen Mill in Norway, and textile industry production through feeling,  longing, belonging, memory, pride and being queer. He will also present an ongoing project on a  diary written from 1925 to 1942 by the weaver Malli Berge. Language: Norwegian.

15:00-16:30 Emelie Röndahl (Sweden) PhD student at HDK – Gothenburg University in the Arts,  presents her ongoing artistic dissertation project “Crying Pixels: a practitioner’s narrative through  woven rya – aspects of time in hand made practice”. Language: Swedish.

Saturday October 3
Conference day 3, all lectures are in Hjärtat at the entrance level at ABF huset

The exhibition is open 12:00-18:00 

11:00-12:30 Munish Wadhia (Sweden) artist, will present his ongoing work on the match industry  Jönköping’s Match Factory AB. Wadhia will also present his work “Signs taken for wonders” in  which he returns to the images and objects that surrounded him during his childhood, but with a  decolonial gaze that questions their given meanings, here he refers to the experience from  different textile factories. Language: English.

13:00-14:00 Marie Hållander (Sweden) freelance poet and lecturer at Södertörn University.  Hållander will present the literary project “Among the girls and machines of the textile dust”  where she starts from textile stories and archives from Sjuhärad in Västergötland. Language:  Swedish.

14:00-14:30 Nino Mick (Sweden) poet and writer, they will read an adapted version of a novel in  progress that delas about Berta Bäckman (b. 1860) and other factory worker that works in a match  factory in Tidaholm. The historical novel moves on two times, 1875 – the time of the great fire in  the factory where 50 girls perished, 1909 – the Swedish general strike. Language: Swedish.

15:00-17:00 Go-slow action, along Sveavägen, start outside the ABF-house, public performance  led by Frida Hållander & Åsa Norman.

Sunday October 4

The exhibition is open 12:00-16:00 

With generous support from Konstnärsnämnden, Nordisk kulturfond, Helge Ax:son Johnssons stiftelse and Byggnads kulturstipendium in collaboration with Iaspis.

Illustration: Hanna Stenman