Symposium: Looking for Jeanne – Rethinking Women’s Organising and Resistance with and through Art

Symposium: Looking for Jeanne – Rethinking Women’s Organising and Resistance with and through Art

Symposium: Looking for Jeanne – Rethinking Women’s Organising and Resistance with and through Art

When: 30 October – 1 November 2019
Where: Cinema Capitol and the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm

Organised by the Royal Institute of Art and The French Institute in Stockholm

How can we critically reflect on and rethink women’s organising and resistance today? How does it relate to historical resistance? And what is the role of art and its potentiality with regards to women’s organising and resistance?

For the 3-day symposium we have invited thinkers, activists and researchers – Marwa Arsanios, Natasa Petresin-Bechelez, Binna Choi, Akwugo Emejulu, Kirsten Lloyd, Frances Stacey and Marina Vishmidt – to critically reflect together with us on women’s organising and resistance, the role of art, and its potential from a global perspective.

The symposium is the first public presentation in an ongoing 3-year artistic research project initiated by Professor and artist Petra Bauer, focusing on the role of aesthetics in women’s organising and resistance. Starting point is the film Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles, made by the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman in 1975. Jeanne Dielman depicts the daily routines of a housewife over three days. When the film was released it became very important for European (white) feminist discussions on women’s conditions and the potential of feminist aesthetics. The film ends in an unresolved political situation and narrative. One could interpret the end as a proposal by the filmmaker Chantal Akerman, where she asks us – in her future – to continue looking into women’s conditions and resistance through film and art. We have taken her proposal seriously and ask: Who is resisting? What is being resisted? How and what does resistance look like? Who and what is a contemporary Jeanne Dielman? These are the questions posed within the symposium.

Looking for Jeanne – Rethinking Women’s Organising and Resistance with and through Art engages with different material conditions that women face and that potentially can explain forms of resistance in a global world order. Equally important is to critically reflect on historical forms of resistance that haven’t necessarily been acknowledge as such within conventional liberal ideas of agency and the political subject.

In the symposium the following main groups of questions will be addressed: 

How can we critically reflect on, and rethink women’s organising and resistance? What are women’s struggles, how can they be addressed, where do they take place and what is the role of aesthetics in these processes?

What is the role of art and its potentiality with regards to women’s organising and resistance?

Can we define form and aesthetics in broad terms that may encompass (creative) practice and forms of organising in political spaces?


Contributions by:

Petra Bauer is a Professor in Fine Art, artist, and initiator of the 3-year research project Looking for Jeanne. She is concerned with question of film as a political practice and sees film as a place where social negotiations can take place. Her work explores politically and aesthetically how women have organised and resisted historically and in a contemporary global world. She has had long-term collaborations with the feminist organisation Southall Black Sisters in London, the sex-worker led organization Scot-Pep in Edinburgh, and with The Women’s Centre in Tensta-Hjulsta in Stockholm, which primarily mobilises and organises women with a migration background. She is one of the initiators of the feminist platform k.ö.k (Women Desire Collectivity –

Natasa Petresin Bachelez is a curator, writer and editor, who lives in Paris. She is currently curating the Contour Biennale 9 entitled “Coltan as Cotton”, which looks at the intersections between practices of degrowth and decolonial thinking. Together with Giovanna Zapperi, she is curator of the exhibition “Les Muses insoumises. Delphine Seyrig between Cinema and Feminist Video” (LaM, Lille and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid).

Binna Choi has been running the art organisation often just called Casco in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Last year they changed their name from Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory to Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons. This was a result of the artistic research program Composing the Commons (2013-2016), which was taken as the next step following the project “Grand Domestic Revolution”. Throughout this path, the commons from a feminist perspective, reproductive labor, life, community/diverse economics have been the recurrent issues for Binna Choi and the institution.

Marina Vishmidt is a writer, editor, and lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital (Brill, 2018) and co-author of Reproducing Autonomy (with Kerstin Stakemeier) (Mute, 2016). She publishes and takes part in academic and non-academic contexts, individually and collaboratively, on topics related to the political economies of art, social reproduction, and philosophy.

Kirsten Lloyd is a contemporary art historian and curator, working at the University of Edinburgh. Kirsten has been working on SR-related activities for many years. After organising panel discussions at Historical Materialism (2015) and the Association of Art Historians (2016) on the theme, she co-edited a special issue of Third Text on ‘Social Reproduction and Art’ in 2017.

Frances Stacey is a curator and producer based in Edinburgh and Newcastle. Since 2013 she has been a Producer at visual art organisation Collective, working closely on the film ‘Workers!’. Her practice often involves open-ended research and collaboration with others and she is the coordinator of a reading group on social reproduction, co-founder of art-run organisation Rhubaba and board member of Scot-Pep.

Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher, based in Beirut and Berlin, who reconsiders politics of the mid-twentieth century from a contemporary perspective, with a particular focus on gender relations, urbanism and industrialisation. Currently she is collaborating with the Kurdish women’s movement, to learn how they have developed methods for organising every-day life based on an ecofeminist practice.

Akwugo Emejulu is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Her research interests include the political sociology of race, class and gender and women of colour’s grassroots activism in Europe and the United States. She is the author of several books including Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain (Policy Press, 2017) and Fugitive Feminism (Silver Press, 2020). She is co-editor of To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe (Pluto Press, 2019).

Schedule and details:

30 October, Cinema Capitol: 17.30 – 21.15

Screening of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (Chantal Akerman, 1975). You need to buy tickets separately for the screening. Tickets are available here:

31 October, Cinema Capitol: 9.00 – 16.00

Presentations by Marwa Arsanios, Petra Bauer, Natasa Petresin-Bechelezand, Frances Stacey

1 November, Royal Institute of Art, Muralen: 9.00 – 18.00

Presentations by Binna Choi, Akwugo Emejulu, Kirsten Lloyd and Marina Vishmidt

The cost for the symposium is 100 kronor for 2 days, including coffee, tea and snacks. Please register for the symposium here:

We have a few free tickets available both for the screening and the symposium for those of you who would like to attend but do not have the financial means to do so. Please send an email to if you would like to claim a free ticket.

On 1 November a communal dinner for all participants takes place at the Royal Institute of Art’s Muralen. The cost of the dinner is 100kr and drinks will be available for purchase. Please send an email to if you would like to join the dinner.

Please do not forget to register as only a limited number of seats is available.

The symposium is organised by the Royal Institute of Art and the French Institute in Stockholm. Funded by The Swedish Research Council.


– Royal Institute of Art, Muralen, Flaggmansvägen 1, 11149 Stockholm
– Cinema Capitol, Sankt Eriksgatan 82, 11362 Stockholm


Inauguration of the Royal Institute of Arts new platform- Mindepartementet

Inauguration of the Royal Institute of Arts new platform- Mindepartementet

Inauguration of the Royal Institute of Arts new platform- Mindepartementet

On the september 10 the Royal Institute of Art inaugurates the Mindepartementet, the school’s new location at Skeppsholmen for teaching and research in moving image, photography, performance and sound art. The evening is celebrated with a festival filled with performance, film and installations.

When: 10 september, 17:00-00:00
Where: Mindepartementet, Skeppsholmen. Slupskjulsvägen 26A
111 49 Stockholm.

The last two years the Royal Institute of Art has conducted extensive development work. A key word in the new vision are artistic risk-taking, experimentation and innovation, together with a new organization that gives students and staff more influence. In conjunction with this, new studies have been started in, among other things, public art and sound art and new services have been set up such as a professorship in performance, and that high-profile international artists have been associated with the school as guest teachers.

An important step in the school’s development is that it now opens the Ministry of Education, the school’s new platform for moving image, photography, performance and sound art. Sara Arrhenius, vice-chancellor of the Royal Institute of Art, wants to try new pedagogical methods here with the intention that the school’s workshop-related education will cooperate with more theoretical approaches.

“When I initiated this site, the opportunity for different artistic methods and techniques to work side by side was an important starting point. Many of our researchers and students move across a broad artistic field and work with moving images as well as performance and sound. That is why we want to gather them in a place where they can all meet, ”says Sara Arrhenius.

The inauguration on September 10 takes the form of a festival and opens the gates at 17:00. Until midnight, a broad program is delivered, ranging from what is eaten to what is heard, seen and felt.

“We want the evening to reflect the creativity and interesting artistic conversations and articulations that are currently going on at school among students and teachers. The inauguration will have the character of a festival where we at the same time showcase our new classrooms. ”Says Petra Bauer, Professor of Free Art and Area Manager for the Ministry of Education. “However, we not only want Mindepartementet to reflect on what is happening right now, but to be a place where we can hold joint discussions on the expression and role of contemporary art in the future.”

There will be practical tools for video editing, digital darkroom, photo studio, as well as meeting places such as project rooms and seminar rooms. They also break with the tradition of the Royal Institute of Art, where the students have a professor as supervisor – instead the area’s professors should work together.

Artistic expressions will be discussed and experimented through seminars, film screenings, workshops and exhibitions. Mindepartementet has been designed by the architectural firm Norell / Rodhe, which has created an environment that stimulates this pedagogical approach.

“Our work has taken hold on the educational models that are now being developed at the Royal Institute of Arts and our hope is that architecture will promote new forms of working together. The oldest parts of the building date from the 18th century and the premises bear traces of many previous renovations. By emphasizing color and materiality, both existing elements and additions give the interior a varied and informal character, ”says Daniel Norell and Einar Rodhe.

The Royal Through Mindepartementet, the Royal Institute of Arts wants to stimulate new artistic expressions and forms of teaching, in an environment characterized by artistic openness and curiosity, where art and the freedom of education are a prerequisite

Contributing artists
Emanuel Almborg, Åsa Andersson Broms, Petra Bauer, Mikael Beckman-Thoor, David Blomqvist Jönsson, Robert Brečević, Karolina Brobäck, Jacob Broms Engblom, Carl Johan Erikson, Simon Ferner, Benjamin Gerdes, Vladyslav Kamenskyy, Oscar Lara, Björn Larsson, Izabel Lind Färnstrand, Rossana Mercado-Rojas, Linnéa Ndangoya Palmcrantz, Afrang Nordlöf Malekian, Alessandro Petti/DAAR, Cristian Quinteros Soto, Erika Råberg, Natália Rebelo, Sonia Sagan, Vanja Sandell, Lina Selander, Anneli Ström Villaseca, Eugene Sundelius von Rosen, tm, Victoria Verseau, Erik Viklund, Sophie Vuković, James Webb and Ming Wong.

Doors open at 17:00
18:00 Speech by Sara Arrhenius, Vice-Chancellor and Petra Bauer, Professor of Free Art and Area Manager at the Ministry of Education

Mindepartementet originally built in the 1730s. The building has since grown to include 500 square meters. It was used from the beginning as a storehouse for the fleet and then a unit for the production and maintenance of mines during the Crimean War in the 19th century, when it got its name. After the closure of Stockholm’s warship shipyard at Skeppsholmen in 1969, the building was used, among other things, for Minbyrån and the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration until 1983, and thereafter for cultural activities. In 2017, it was decided that the Royal Institute of Art would move into the premises.

Marcia Kure at Konstakademien

Marcia Kure at Konstakademien

Marcia Kure at Konstakademien

The Royal Institute of Art regularly invites leading artists to give students more perspectives and opportunities to meet new art practices. As part of this effort, the school welcomed the profiled artist Marcia Kure as a new visiting professor earlier this year. During February, Kure worked with the school’s students on the Pushing Boundaries: New Forms of Sculptures course to explore and seek to broaden the idea of ​​what defines sculpture art. This fall, after participating in this summer’s international group exhibition at Wanås Art, Kure takes over where her former colleague, Peter Geschwind, professor of sculpture, left with the exhibition Haunted House: A Trailer at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Date: 12 october–17 november
Place: Östra Galleriet, Konstakademien
Curator: Sara Arrhenius

With Geschwind, this spring the school launched a series of public presentations of its research: an internship-based scientific work that works with the different parts and conditions of the artist, which often tests and extends accepted boundaries. The research, unlike much else, provides an opportunity for deeper reflection. This seeking approach fits Marcia Kure’s recurring theme: the transformation. In Wanås, her approach resulted in malleable, textile sculptures that landed high among the crowns of trees. The use of compliant materials, often clearly contrasted with something directly foreign, can also be found in Kure’s earlier works and sculptures. Among other things, she has been interested in prevailing agreements in clothing and fashion – here fabric and fur are linked together to seductive figures.

In Kure’s exhibition at the Academy of Art we meet an investigative artist who, with words taken from this summer’s exhibition in Wanås, “mixes material from research, Disney, soft toys and wild hair; there is a closeness to everyday life and popular culture. “

Marcia Kure studied at the University of Nigeria and is also an alumni of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. In addition to exhibitions in Nigeria, Germany, the Netherlands, England and the United States, her work has been exhibited at La Triennial, Paris (2013), International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Seville (2006) and Sharjah International Biennale (2005).