Mixtape No. 3
Artistic Activism and Prefigurative Politics

Mixtape No.3 Artistic Activism and Prefigurative Politics is based on a collaboration between the IMAGINART group members Aria Spinelli, Nuraini Juliastuti, Yazan Khalili and photographer, Valeria Collina

The event Prefiguring World(s) Through Artistic Practice is organised by Aria Spinelli at Lucha y Siesta in Rome, Italy as part of the valorisation of her post-doctoral research fellowship. Here, Spinelli focused on the relations between artistic practice and social organisation, particularly in cultural, feminist, and housing squats in the city of Rome. In the following edition of IMAGINART mixtape, the participating Imaginart group members Juliastuti and Khalili reflect back on the event and discuss their impressions, highlighting the transnational comparisons between diverse art and activist practices, and the complex relations between the governmental, non-governmental, civil, and grassroots organisations and institutions, through two texts and a podcast. Valeria Collina presents a visual essay of the solo shows by Anahi Mariotti and Sofia Moriggi.

Prefiguring World(s) Through Artistic Practice is an important exchange between diverse local, national and international actors investigating the relations of art to activism. Inviting artists, curators, activists, and scholars to take part in two roundtable discussions, an open lab, and an exhibition, the two-day event looked at the relations between prefiguration and artistic practice, discussing how the practice of art and art organising prefigure forms of cohabitation, and propose new conceptions of welfare, and activates relations of commoning and empowerment. The events mark the end of a two-year research on creative institutionalism in Rome, analysing relations between artistic practice and protest movements as part of the IMAGINART project.

The invitees to the event were: Sara Alberani, Marco Baravalle, Marina De Angelis, Daria Diamanti (Lucha y Siesta), Milena Sanchez (Lucha y Siesta), Matteo Lucchetti, MAAM – Museo dell’Altro e dell’Altrove (Giorgio De Finis), MAd’O’ – Museo dell’Atto di Ospitalità (Morteza Khalegi, Jessica Birstwhitle), Anahi Mariotti (Lucha y Siesta), Sofia Moriggi (Lucha Y Siesta) Maria Pecchioli, Serena Olcuire, Gabriella Riccio, Stalker/Osservatorio Nomade (Lorenzo Romito).

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photo by Valeria Collina

A Sense of Home: A Conversation about Lucha y Siesta

Text by Yazan Khalili

I don’t remember who said what exactly; the conversation was like a ball passing from one speaker to the next; the articulate translator sitting beside me was translating into English what was being said by the different participants with the same low but audible voice, for me, it sounded like a long monologue with different opposing ideas being put and built against each other. The contradictions and tensions seemed familiar to someone from Palestine, where the relationship between the governmental, non-governmental, civil, and grassroots organisations and institutions is an ongoing question and struggle between their histories, politics, and economic structures. The translator, a crucial bridge between the diverse voices in the room, navigated these complexities with skill and precision. What do we do with these institutions? How do we relate to them in the neoliberal economy? Do we stay in or out?

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photo by Valeria Collina

A Practical Exploration of Prefigurative Politics

Text by Aria Spinelli

The Prefiguring World(s) Through Artistic Practice event, a unique culmination of two years of research on artistic practices, self-organisation, and institutionalism in Rome, took place in December 2023. This event, the result of a Postdoctoral Fellowship with ASCA for the IMAGINART project, provided a ‘practical manifestation’ of the concept of prefigurative politics. The event I had the privilege to interpret and organise was a groundbreaking exploration of how individuals and groups can embody their visions of a future society in their present actions and conceptually prefigured new social relations (Cooper 2014). It featured two artist presentations, an exhibition and a panel with eleven practitioners in the Lucha y Siesta building in Rome, offering a unique perspective on the context of artistic and cultural production in the city and the broader national context.

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photo by Valeria Collina

A Podcast about Art, Food and Politics

Aria Spinelli ,Yazan Khalili and Nuraini Juliastuti converse about their critical thoughts around Lucha y Siesta, the city of Rome and the multilayered forms of living urban spaces.

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