Photography credits: Marta Anna Løvberg
The following text is closing words speech by Kemê Pellicer at the seminar “Opening the Nordic Art Sector” organised by Globe Art Point in collaboration with the Center for cultural policy research Cupore, Culture for All and Hanaholmen, supported by the Arts Promotion Center Finland and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, on May 16th 2019 as part of the #STOPHATREDNOW 2019 Festival.
Here we are, at the end of the seminar.
You know, some days I feel sad because I can not attend all the seminars, conferences, workshops or talks I would like. Other days I feel exhausted “Another one? Really?” Some days I am even defeated “I can’t take it anymore. What’s the point?! Are things going to really change someday?!”. (I don’t know if you might relate to that.)
But then I have these moments when I remember that learning, real learning, it’s a long process.
I have been thinking a lot these days about it, and I believe that we are learning to see the world as it is, not as some think it should be or want it to be.
We are learning to see the world as it is because only that way we can be able to understand how different it could be from where we live in, how we live it.
It takes repetitions and mistakes; it takes frustration, patience, surprises, joy, and growing. Sometimes with a heavy heart full of pain and sometimes with so much warm love that it becomes a singing bird.
It takes us, here, it takes endless dialogue and discussions, over specific issues and details, about broad, vague topics and their interpretations. Including old and new voices, the voices of those whom you didn’t hear yet and the voices that we thought we knew how they would sound like.
It takes brave people, hard-working people that started creating these safe learning spaces a long time ago. (Think about, for example, #stophatrednow, the festival this seminar is part of, we are in its fourth edition! and it is just an example of a long list.)
We are not inventing anything here; it is not about getting the first ones to an imaginary finish line, it is about figuring out the roads, resting areas and ways to continue moving together with respect, accountability, solidarity critical thinking and humility. In #allyship.
I want to say an honest thank you because I had the opportunity today of being in the same room with a lot of gorgeous, brave humans beings that want to learn and empower each other to take action for change as much as I do. That’s is not a little thing.
I was facilitating this day, and I know it wasn’t perfect. So, sorry for my mistakes or if by ignorance, I might have hurt others with my words or actions.
But hey! I can’t be sorry for choosing to learn and see how many differences and nuances we embody and inhabit, the abundance of possibilities and potential that it gives us.
Thank you for failing and trying over and over.
I hope that wherever you go tonight, you will have a nice night of sleeping and that tomorrow when you will wake up you will reflect for a moment about this day, ask yourself: Is there any new thing that you could try? Is there any idea that you could explore? If so, I am going to ask you a favour, especially to those working at institutions and organisations:
Have a meeting with your coworkers and tell them, share with them this seminar, the good and the not so good, the topics we talked about. Remember that the important part is not for them to agree with you, ask them: “Is there any new thing that we could try? Is there any new idea we could explore? How can we implement it?”.
If some of us here today would meet again, and I hope so, ask the others what they took in and how are they taking action.
I don’t have any lecture to give you here, If I am an expert in something it is in being me, at least most of the days.
Love and respect!
Kemê is a visual artist and cultural agent working primarily with photography, performance, installation and text. Exploring our nature and artificiality, the complexity of our construction and the constructions we inhabit, our role in it, through concepts like memory, representation, symbols, instability, the unconscious or tales. Her current artistic practice is focused in the intersection between, identity, art, community, intersectional feminism and the quality of myths as an open source.
As a culture worker, her work is centred on cultural diversity, migration, antiracism, best practices and social justice in the art field. Kemê currently works in several initiatives dealing with those issues such as Globe Art Point (G.A.P.) as project coordinator, or the group Critical Friends, (project: “An inclusive cultural sector in the Nordics” led by Arts Council Norway).