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Lumbung Assembly 10 March 2021

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“Welcome everyone to lumbung majelis. Today I am going to be the host with Lara. We’d like to describe today’s agenda.” Ameng started the conversation.

“We’ll start with INSTAR today. We do a short introduction with Gertrude on economy. And come back to check out. To join the split, click on the three dots. Remember to click on interpretation, for interpretation. Spanish, French, and Indonesian. Also, we have harvest today. Abdul and Putra are with us.

Ameng: We’ll give to Gudskul to do check in.

Mg Pringgotono: Hello everyone. Welcome to 154 meetings. I am going to be helped by Geisha to organize the check in.

Geisha shared screen with some pictures. Guess the word based on the picture.

Fred: Number one, suffiency!

Mirwan Andan: Curiousity, no?

Putra and Gertrude: Cooperative/cooperation

Yeay

Putra: Currency …

Geisha: The prices are for the winners.

Ameng: Welcome, INSTAR!

Tania, representing INSTAR, showed video. They demand the government to speak the truth. How they present IT, how they silence the people. How the truth has been manipulated. “We have situation where the official has been challenged by people.” in 1950sm after revolution, Cuba start cooperating with the US. The decision was taken without the (agreement?) from the people. (sound issue) The traumatic events experienced by people.

There was a picture showing men walking on street. “I see about what to learn from the revolutionary. We need a civic education for everyone because the solution cannot be violence. We start in 2015. Now we are going to introduce the team.

Hello I am Febiana. I am in charge of audio-visual works. I handle documentation. Also, I take care of archive. Everything has to do with activities. I work audio visual representation on everything we are doing.

This is Claudia. She is in charge of visual and she is a designer. “I handle communication.”

Hello, I am Camila. I am a visual artist. I coordinate our workshop where we had our space. Also, some other works that we do.

I am the most recent member. I work on publication. There’s special condition for this because of covid pandemic. We are also making changes to websites that we will discuss later on.

Tania: Hi, I am the oldest member of the project. I am a lecturer. Basically, my work in the project on finance, I find resource. Not only finance issue, but also when they are arrested. Also, I do the academic area of the event.

Georgia: I am Georgia I work on communication between ruangrupa, and documenta, and INSTAR

Hello I am Clara. We have trouble. The internet is cut. I am a cofounder. Particularly in charge of our educational project. It is a program that offer support and training to research journalist. This is one of our works that we have, to support to civil society and artists. It is still part of a series workshop. It is one of the important workshops. I don’t live in Cuba. I live in Costa Rica. I am backup to give some support. By doing so we can continue our educational programs.

Tania: I am going to show a team for documenta. Georgia is a communication team. She’s going to bring back and forth information. I want to work together on curatorial framing of Kassel. We are all going to in Kassel but we have to distribute, we all work together for this. Too many people we thought to have.

Tania: We have another member. This is Cogito. She’s in charge of inviting artists, and events. So, that’s the team.

Now we are going to show you what’s INSTAR. Since 2017 until 2019. INSTAR focus on inviting artist-activist and intellectual to teach at our space for civic education, for pedagogical. Understanding art as having impact for society. Basically, for those years, we have guests from abroad and Cuba. It is to create community of artists and civil society to find out what’s going outside because Cuba is disconnected to the world. So, we discuss issues like activism through art. To discuss kind of political movement. Also, to discuss some legal issues that take roles in Cuban reality.

Tania: We have series of images from this workshop. In this debate and dialogue, it would be concluded by performance like art. We created dynamic community. People from different discipline, not audience for what we do. This also led to many collaborations with artists and activists in Cuba.

Cuban artists, Cuban researchers, Cuban intellectuals from Cuba who has been marginalized.

In Cuba we focus on artists who know about political violence and legal and law to develop and empower local community.

We had journalist interrogated by police and artists with works. I can see those spirits to fight for freedom of opinion and expression.

During the covid we moved online.

It allows us to bring back artists who have been exiled. How we strategize and learn from the experiences. There is also another space that we mentioned earlier. This space is organized by Clara. We discuss about the works of investigative journalism. The discussion is about Cuba because there are economic crises being experienced. And we wonder what liberalism really is. And we were surprised that people joined, even though the conditions were already difficult. There are hundreds of events and many are participating. So, it’s something interesting with my presence and also since Patricia joined. We can make progress on the images or stories we build for INSTAR.

So, art is part of activism. Art is central in all of this. Basically, what we want to do is to re-evaluate, to give value and meaning to the art productions of independent artists who have endured violence from the government. Here is a presentation of the artwork being made and we are also in charge of other projects. This is a group of filmmakers and journalists. We did interview and presentation. We are also in partnership with them. By organizing activities in the economic aspect, for Instance. There are exhibitions too. We invite a poet. He also creates visual works. We make exhibitions out of his works. This is a concert we do after a workshop at the end of our workshop we made collective action. Sometimes it’s like a concert.

For us it is important to work together in supporting each other to deal with this social situation. It is always important to have a connection with the outside. Some of our important work is done by other INSTAR members. We went through the disaster; INSTAR was one of the main agencies trying to do humanitarian work. Providing food, giving to families without state intervention. One of the current problems is government aid that does not reach the hands of people in need because of corruption. In this case, we focus on buying goods and finding out what is necessary. We also try to find out what the family needs are. Without you all, this would not be possible. This work is also the first time I have seen civil society trying to mobilize at this level. This picture is about natural disaster that is really bad and has a big impact on our society. And these are areas with dense populations. We are part of civil society. We brought together many people who had not previously been involved in activism because this kind of information had never been available. Many people are trying to explain what happened. And we create a space.

People coming to the airport. We connect them. This is a wonderful experience like never before in Cuba. Because in Cuba there are frequent internet disconnections. And things like this help us.

Fundamental to INSTAR’s work is the award and residency program. The institution manages both completely. They choose artists who agree with government projects. There are four awards that have no acknowledgment. Every year we produce five. The award for investigative journalism is managed by Carla. This is difficult because the media is monopolized by the state with very strong ideological tendencies intended for state propaganda.

We are trying to support many people in Cuba whose meaningful works have been marginalized. This is an important project in our cultural dynamics. This is one way to support practices like this. So, for sustainable and artistic projects with a social impact we need an independent publishing because there is no independent publishing now. Also, the second project is the perma culture project. Community projects trying to work on recycling plastic. This is a very interesting work from the residency. This creates a space for us with financial support. Right now, there are artists who need the space. This is to give them the opportunity to do their project. This art is in dire need of social responsibility. Because there is already pressure from the state. There is very little chance for the artist have jobs. The political situation made them lose their jobs. Employment centers will discriminate against people who disagree with them. We also legitimize this work because it is very difficult to try to have a stable dynamic. The project was later lost. Many artists experience violence and have to be exiled. So, we wrote the work of the important writers. We also had the idea of creating an independent INSTAR publishing to preserve literature. We feel the need to preserve the memory of this nation, especially the marginalized. We currently save six archives for digital processing. The work of civil society groups that have not received recognition, as well as works that have been lost.

We want to create chronology of independent art and literature in Cuba. Basically, what we also do is to build alliances and campaigns with other groups as part of activism. So, we also make it as an emergency space when one of our community members is part of a specific campaign on violence and human rights. We are active in this campaign, especially the campaign for the release of activists arrested in Cuba.

Several years ago, there was a big protest in front of the cultural office building. We protested about our rights and demonstrations. This is also the space for coordination. INSTAR becomes the space for these things to happen. We are also trying to create a situation where we have a democratic platform. To cover this, we will play a song. Why we choose this song is because we want to show how our position in Cuba.

Thank you, INSTAR. After the applause followed by songs, next session went to Question of Funding, Palestine focusing on economy.

Amany QoF: The were slides on the emancipated economy. All I will do is briefly talk about our meeting since late September. Since then, we have met every two weeks. This is a picture of Abdul. Thanks to him we were able to present our work. This is a work that will continue. It is the idea to present this group work together in the lumbung in order to get your thoughts to work with you. It is very dynamic and also full of challenges. Each of you of course can join and participate. Why did we join. Because documenta and Gertrude came up with a proposal and we thought about what are the limitations with fundraising. What organizations can be followed and rejected. It’s not over yet. What values and boundaries we don’t want to cross and think about ethical thinking makes for a liberated economy. Maybe we shouldn’t create from scratch. Because there are works and values that are inherent in it and represent our collective. There is an art collaboration. Attaher and others. There are some values that start in like accountability, transparency. A generative economy and also anchored locally. We ask questions about trust. And what these collectives initiated. What we have discussed before this final is the initial result of our conversation and discussion. We really need to have a substantial idea for this model. One of the homework given to collective members is to think of a model for the economy. This is the result sent by email. There are various models that reflect the collective vision. What we’re going to do is get a model that connects us.

There used to be two divisions. One is very abstract, unreachable with any resources. Then we think maybe we should ask the question of the resources shared by all collectives. It is not always related to the economy and money. We share knowledge, skills, networks within our collective. Among the members of the lumbung. Then we have a final mechanism for how these resources can be shared among lumbung members. Another resource is monetary. It is the kind of money we have. We think on a practical level we can use. When we presented our idea, we decided to share and separate the seed money. Part of it is shared for our local ecosystem and the rest for the lumbung itself. How do we think about this money to be liberated. What if there is a surplus whether we can use all the money for all local ecosystems. We want together to come up with a mechanism and model that focuses on money itself. Then there is production money. Gertrude can explain. Because this money comes from documenta.

Gertrude: Mechanism and experience and vision are certainly very important and we keep repeating it like a record. Ideas from Lumbung to build friendship. An economy without vision is useless. The next year and a half is an experiment. At the end of the documenta, of course, there will be a lot of experimentation and we manifest in various levels. Relationships or relations are sacred. In terms of production, I have to say this. From the previous discussion that we sent, why the production money is separated like this is how to build a documenta economy that is not extractive. For each member of the lumbung there is a maximum of 180,000 euros to be distributed. How this is used to build the local economy and be brought to Kassel. Then we were sure we would leave 20,000 euros per lumbung member. We can decide together what we’re going to do with the money. For possible collaboration. If there is a collective friend in need, we can give it. So, this will go into the collective fund. This is not to take for the local community but how to benefit the barn members as a whole. The source of money is also a kiosk.

Regarding the lumbung kiosk, the latest news, maybe we can talk to the new lumbung members. The money from the kiosk will be a fund that helps us build a liberated fund that can be put into the collective pot. We translate the seed money to Kassel.

Amany: The fourth resource we have to have is how we are going to do the fundraising. It is, of course, still open. I’m sure I am making your life more confused. But this is part of the process.

There are over ten groups and each group will have to answer this question. What is the vision of the collective pot in the long term? And what core values are important to you.

Gertrude: To add, today we will end with a group discussion. Tomorrow, after the Trampoline House’s turn, we will have a discussion. Make sure someone records and harvests. So, those who cannot join, like FAFSWAG, can still follow.

Amany: In the coming months I will contact you more often.

Yazan: I might ask you something. If you follow production slots, the idea is like a collective pot or pocket where we can offer what we’re going to do with it. And each group can apply. The politics is that we decide together. It is up to the collective pot to decide which is urgent. What are the collective values or ambitions to be able to determine the framework for how these collective funds are used and we can use collective decisions on this?

Amany: I think the question is what is the difference between the question of funding and the collective pot.

Gertrude: It’s different. But this must have something to do with Kassel. So, we have to be creative. We might be able to use currency. We can have coins together in Kassel.

Yazan: I think more about bitcoin.

Bit coin is on the rise and will continue to increase.

Ade: I think we can think of some strategies with that collective pot. It would be great if we had some scenarios. There must be a lot of interesting stuff. Please Yazan.

Gertrude: Maybe we can start with a breakout room to talk about values and goals. Maybe we can write down the question.

Tone: I have a question; has it been collectively agreed that some of the seed money can be used for collective purposes? Has QoF decided on this? At the trampoline we have decided to distribute the funds to the collective.

Barbara: We just joined from the funding department. This topic is very important. This is for you, especially in relation to this shared pouch. Our obligation is to support you. I’m really excited. So, whatever we have decided, we have to decide how much you put in the collective pot and into the project. Maybe we use as much money as possible to put in the pot. I am amazed that you are members of various places around the world. That everyone was present and still excited.

Morten: I think we need to define how we’re going to make pots. We must have a goal.

Gertrude: Yeah, that’s why we’re going to have a group discussion.

Gertrude: Question on purpose and key values

Morten: It should have collective nature. It’s like EU funding which at least you have to be at least three countries.

Gertrude: We talk on vision level, why we want to build economy together.

Morten: I have experiences in finding funding for Trampoline House. I find the harvest on money is not so concrete, while the money is very concrete. How we cast the money around. I think this beautiful idea has to be grounded in reality. It probably requires some legal framework.

Gertrude: I totally agree. But without knowing why, having in legal would also not be clear. This could be a way that reflect better our economy to be able to decide.

Antje: We need to define common base and find ways to transmit it. I have a close different perspective. How to move to different group.

Gertrude: We have twenty minutes.

Antje: I think we need to catch up with other lumbung members.

Fernando: There are some called collective pot. How to liberate collective pot. We’ll vote, how much and to whom. Like the marshall plan. Some kind of common. They decide. Do we want the money back? It would be good. Maybe it’s good for our members. We expect that maybe it could bring back. We would always to think about the return but not always the money.

Eszter: the production money is from documenta. The seed money is from documenta. The fourth is one we start with question of funding. We need to talk what happen after documenta.

Fernando: The seed money is from documenta. We have the condition of showing what lumbung is and how lumbung works in documenta. Use to produce wealth, something we need sort out. How to use the money wisely. In 1 year or 2 years must come back with additional sum.

Eszter: I agree to produce our own stuff and produce using our own money. But since we are here, what would happen after documenta. How can we make it into long term?

Amany: It should be long term. Otherwise, it would be meaningless. To me it is like a core. All members still need to think. People can just disappear even after the festival is over. It makes you think of this mechanism, how the model should be. This is the core model that we will come up with.

Fernando: Maybe we can have collengial meeting for every five years like documenta.

Amany: We need to think out of these ideas. We need to go while not knowing answer. That’s why trust is core values. How we would invest time and energy in this.

Fernando: It makes me think, maybe we should create feminist economy, alternative economy. We want to have the political voices. We have scientist’s livestock system. Like, we bring damage. Well, we have scientific evidence.

Eszter: I agree, this what I am getting at, none of us are economists. Maybe we should find a model.

Amany: It could be integrated in knowledge production process. We may in those 45 members maybe that’s someone who knows something. This is why we need to share among us, not only the money. Even like Fernando model is that experience is among us. Maybe we go to INSTAR who can explain certain model in Cuba. This is what we lack for now. We don’t know that much experience.

Eszter: We’ll share the harvest of this tomorrow.

Closing with song entitled Bom Nuklir by Nasheeda Ria