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[Re-]Thinking Curating Design and Craft: Communities

Welcome to the second conversation about contemporary curatorial practice operating in relation to Design and Craft!

In this series of events, invited Swedish and international curators and other cultural producers, present and discuss various aspects of curating in relation to these fields. Through a series of examples, approaches, contexts, methods, effects and results are discussed to highlight different perspectives and experiences. This time the focus will be on how to work in local contexts, with and for communities.

Participants: Lou-Atessa Marcellin and Hedvig Wiezell. Introduction and moderation by Magnus Ericson and Christina Zetterlund.

Design and Craft practices are in transition and today often operate in an expanded context where the creation of objects also includes a commitment to social, political and historical issues. These are dynamic practices that involve many different individuals and social groups, that act outside the traditional institutional frameworks and often in relation to specific places and contexts.

People around table making drawings

Photo: Lou-Atessa Marcellin. Image: courtesy of Theatrum Mundi

PolyVocalCity: Restaging Croydon, Saturday school, Quaker Hall, Croydon, 2023.

In this seminar we discuss curatorial practice in relation to working with communities, and whether curatorial and artistic approaches can contribute to facilitating spaces for engaging with local issues and deal with social change and urgencies. How can we learn about our society from local contexts and conditions and create an environment for listening, learning, exchanging and producing knowledge? What role can art and culture have as part of social movements? How can curatorial practices create new opportunities and how do we support already existing initiatives? We will also critically discuss socially-engaged practices, roles and responsibilities, possibilities, difficulties and risks.

Lou-Atessa Marcellin is the director of London-based Theatrum Mundi, a centre for research and experimental learning that seeks to reimagine our cities and who has agency in making them. She will introduce Theatrum Mundi and present PolyVocalCity, a knowledge-exchange program exploring the urban realm through methodologies of worldbuilding through the lens of storytelling, sound, choreography and infrastructure to explore ideas of social and environmental justice in places. Hedvig Wiezell, managing director of Folkets Husby, will take the community centre and the hyper-local learning and un-learning as its starting point for the talk. Folkets Husby is a citizen-run meeting place of 700 square meters in the heart of Husby, has been run by a non-profit association since 2016, with the motto ”With our ears to the ground, gazing forward.” With a focus on culture, public education and community engagement based on the residents’ needs, they are an important meeting place in northwest Stockholm, where residents, opinions and ideas meet and grow.

Lou-Atessa Marcellin is Director at Theatrum Mundi. Lou researches ideas of ecosophy in the ecological framework which interconnects social and environmental spheres. With a background in Fine Art, a graduate of the Royal College of Art (MA Performance) and UAL Camberwell College of Art (BA Photography), she founded the multidisciplinary research platform Diaspore and a seasonal school called RONCES exploring the making of landscapes in the rural and the urban environment. She has been a visiting lecturer for UAL, the Royal College of Art, The Slade and Goldsmith University.

Hedvig Wiezell is since 2018 the director of Folkets Husby, a community centre in Stockholm focusing on culture, popular education and community engagement. She has a background in art pedagogics and mediation and has been educated at Konstfack. She was for eight years part of the team at Tensta konsthall and also worked at Gustavsbergs konsthall, with a focus on contemporary craft.

Christina Zetterlund is Craft and Design historian active as independent curator as well as educator and researcher at the Department of Design, Linnaeus University. Magnus Ericson is Head of Applied Arts, IASPIS and a curator and educator working across Design, Architecture, urbanism, and Art.

[Re-]Thinking Curating Design and Craft is a series of conversations presented by IASPIS, developed and implemented as a collaboration between Christina Zetterlund and Magnus Ericson.