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Letter of Solidarity

Published by on

17.08.2022

Dear visitors, passersby, Kassel community,

we are part of the sobat-sobat, the team of art mediators employed at this year’s documenta ffteen.

Our intention behind writing this letter of solidarity is to publicly show our support, trust and respect for the Artistic Direction ruangrupa, the invited collectives and artists, curators, staff and the corresponding local networks. They all have worked passionately to create one of the most relevant art exhibitions at this time.

Already prior to the opening of this documenta, artists were subjected to attacks and threats both verbally and physically. Based on our experiences here, we believe these incidents to be rooted within structural and institutional racism, islamophobia, and transphobia. Some of these forms of violence directly affect us, too; in some we hold privileges.

During the subsequent months, we have witnessed a media discourse overshadowing a lot of the said incidents and structural issues, focusing instead on accusations. As a result, a climate of censorship has spread, heavily impacting all possibilities of creating spaces for a constructive and nuanced discussion. It affected projects, works and ideas whose relevance and commitment are worth a constructive discussion, instead of being discredited or overlooked continuously.

To counteract this, we believe it is essential to include speakers from within the communities in the conversation. It means to practice active listening, asking questions and engaging in a fair dialogue.

We are witnessing an unacceptable climate of violence and the lack of a serious will to change. This environment is threatening the mental and physical health of some of the artists and the team. It is now time to show our support. We feel a responsibility to help build the trust that has been broken, to create a safer and welcoming space for discussion.

This is why we want to sincerely invite you to participate in this documenta. Come and take this chance to enjoy its public program, which offers numerous activities, panels and activations.

Further we want to invite the whole Kassel ekosistem to reflect on the meaning of care as a collective healing practice. Let us give these remaining days of documenta a real chance to shape new trajectories and possibilities of peaceful mutual learning and growth – which we hope to continue even after the 100 days.

Paola Pietronave

Andreia Bickenbach

Mohini Gupte

Aurélie Strohmaier

Anynomus Sobat1

Niki Vetter

luu bich ngoc

Hartmuth Schlüter-Müller

Nguyen N. L.

Abiye O

Gudrun Ingratubun