PORTABLE NATIONS

Maldives Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale
Gervasuti Foundation, Venice

2013

ARTISTS:
Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, Thierry Geoffrey aka Colonel, Gregory Niemeyer, Stefano Cagol, Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean & Kalliopi Tsipni-Kolaza, Khaled Ramadan, Moomin Fouad, Mohamed Ali, Sama Alshaibi, Patrizio Travagli, Achilleas Kentonis & Maria Papacaharalambous, Wooloo, Khaled Hafez, Ursula Biemann, Heidrun Holzfeind & Christoph Draeger, Oliver Ressler, Klaus Schafler. 

 

CURATORS:
CPS – Chamber of Public Secrets (Alfredo Cramerotti, Aida Eltorie, Khaled Ramadan)and Maren Richter, Camilla Boemio.
 


Grammar of Urgencies: We don’t need a Weatherman  
Public Field Trips, lectures, exhibition.
Contribution to the 1st National Pavilion of the Maldives, Maldives Pavilion - Disappearance as a Work in Progress. 

May to November 2013, Co-curated by Maren Richter. 

 

The disappearance of the Maldives beneath the sea is a speculative hypothesis, though a likely and compelling one. The Earth’s average temperature appears set to rise beyond levels considered to have knowable outcomes, and today there is an emphasis on mitigation and adaptation, rather than prevention, in national and international law and policy relating to climate change. But is dissolution, rather than disappearance, perhaps a more appropriate term to describe the changing state of the Maldives? In a material sense, the islands will not disappear, but they will retreat from human use as the archipelago dissolves into the Indian Ocean. The former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, established a ‘sovereign wealth fund’ to purchase land abroad in anticipation of the displacement of his constituents, proposing Australia, India, and Sri Lanka as territories for relocation. A nation faces a constitutional crisis if all land is lost, and no sovereign territory can be established on foreign soil. The maintenance of territory is one of the key constituting elements of statehood, and should land not be maintained, the state of the Maldives could be legally dissolved. The prospect of statelessness in this case is a real one. Under current international law there is no such thing as a ‘climate refugee’. Refugee status, and therefore the protection of human rights by host nations, is not currently afforded to individuals displaced by ‘natural’ forces. The acceptance of individuals displaced from low-lying islands into other nations as refugees is thus at present problematic. 

 

Speculating on the contingent circumstances Maldivians may face as a permanently displaced population, and exploring these within a global context, the Contingent Movements Symposium addresses the potential humanitarian and cultural consequences of this situation. Contributors from a range of disciplines have been brought together to think through the effects of national and international law on human movements, and consider how mobile technology and the Internet might assist in preserving the culture of Maldives, while helping dispersed communities adapt and connect. In financial terms, the role of speculators is to absorb excess risk that other participants do not want, and to provide liquidity in the marketplace. 

WE DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN

Concept for the Maldives Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennial

„We don’t need a weatherman“ is taken from Bob Dylan’s song Subterranean Homesick Blues from 1965. The song depicts the growing conflicts in the 60s and underlines the need for criticality, protest and the growing civil disobedience.

Within the development of a debate on climate change this line has new dimensions. Located between power games, economies, asymmetries between West and Global South and conspiracies we have to ask what are really the current states of research and that of knowledge about changing climate technologies, who benefits from it and how – or, alternatively, which regimes are needed when we would go ahead with the climate manipulation experiment? What mechanisms rule the debate?

For our contribution to the Maldives Pavillion we’d like to interpret Dylan’s line by posing those questions through showcasing scientific research programs on climate manipulation, as well as artists and activists projects, which emphasize the need of including local knowledge within this power game.

Funded by Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture. Cultural Department of the Regional Government of Styria.Pro Helvetia.

COMMISSIONER: 

Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Maldives.

CONTINGENT MOVEMENTS SYMPOSIUM:

Maldives Pavilion, 55th Venice Biennale
ASAC, Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts of the Venice Biennale & Boat trip to the Venetian Lagoons

28.-29.September 2013

 

CONTINGENT MOVEMENT CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS:
Alfredo Cramerotti, Suvendrini Perera, Mariyam Shiuna, Marianne Franklin, Nabil Ahmed, Davor Vidas, T.J. Demos, Irit Rogoff, Ravi Agarval, Rosa Barba, Klaus Schafler, Maren Richter, Stefano Boato, Luca Zaggia, Dorian Batycka, Mike Watson

CURATORS: 
Hanna Husberg and Laura McLean, and developed with Kalliopi Tsipni-Kolaza 

 

GRAMMAR OF URGENCIES FIELD TRIP COLLABORATORS:
Stefano Boato (Università IUAV di Venezia Dipartimento di Urbanistica), Luca Zaggia (ISMAR Istituto di Scienze Marine, Venezia), Alfredo Cramerotti (moderator)

INPUTS BY:
Mauro Garibaldi (fisherman, Venice), Beppe Caccia (Comitato No Grandi Navi, Venice)

Funded by Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture. Cultural Department of the Regional Government of Styria.