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Radical love: care as resistance

Välkommen till programserien Radical love: care as resistance (Radikal kärlek: omsorg som motstånd) som utforskar omsorgspraktiker inom konstnärliga och aktivistiska, queer- och BIPOC-gemenskaper.

Gäster under programserien kommer bland annat vara: Hil Malatino, Judith Kiros, Valerie Kyeyune Backström, Zafira Vrba, Jonelle Twum, Levi Appelton, Asynja Grey och Lynnee Denise.

Radical love: care as resistance. Illustration Hanna Böhm

I programmet som presenteras på IASPIS under sex fredagar under hösten undersöker vi vilka verktyg vi har för att svara mot bristen på omsorg i dagens nyliberala samhälle där neofascism/islamofobi/rasism/transfobi ökar. Vi utforskar hur vi kan praktisera omsorg, bygga motståndskraftiga gemenskaper och dela plats, kunskap och solidaritet med varandra. Under sex fredagskvällar kommer vi tillsammans lära oss och samtala om självorganiserad omsorg inom transgemenskaper, bell hooks, sorg, poesi, historieskrivning och den queera klubben som essentiell för queer kultur.

Radical love: care as resistance är curerat av producenten/curatorn Samuel Girma och konstnären Sam Hultin för IASPIS. Programmet uppdateras och presenteras löpande här på IASPIS hemsida och sociala media (se nedan engelsk text).

Samuel Girma är en Stockholmsbaserad film- och konstcurator, såväl som aktivist och medgrundare av den antirasistiska, intersektionella och feministiska plattformen Black Queers Sweden. Han är född och uppvuxen i Etiopien och flyttade till Sverige som 13-åring vilket har påverkat hans syn på svarthet och migration. Mycket av Samuels arbete, konst och skrivande utgår från och centrerar svarta kroppars erfarenheter.

Sam Hultin är konstnär och bor i Stockholm. Hens arbete utgår från ett intresse för queer historia, identitet och gemenskap och utforskar relationen mellan personliga erfarenheter och politiska och sociala strukturer. Genom stadsvandringar, allsånger och jubileum bjuder Sam in queera gemenskaper att tillsammans aktivera en del av en queer historia. www.samhultin.com


2nd September – 2nd December

Radical love: care as resistance

Welcome to Radical love: care as resistance, a series of events that explore practices of care in queer and BIPOC artistic and activist communities.

Invited guests include Hil Malatino, Judith Kiros, Valerie Kyeyune Backström, Zafira Vrba, Jonelle Twum, Levi Appelton, Asynja Grey, and Lynnee Denise. The programme is updated and presented at IASPIS website and through social media channels.

The programme will take place at IASPIS during six Fridays starting this autumn, and through it we want to look at what tools we have to answer to the lack of care in today’s neoliberal society where neo-fascism/islamophobia/racism/transphobia is on the rise. We explore how we can practice care, build resilient communities and share space, knowledge and solidarity with each other. During six Friday evenings we will share a space to learn and think about self organised care within trans communities, bell hooks, grief, poetry, history writing, and the queer club as essential for queer culture.

Radical love: care as resistance is curated and organised by producer/curator Samuel Girma and artist Sam Hultin for IASPIS.

Samuel Girma is a Stockholm based film and art curator, as well as a community organiser, activist and co-founder of the antiracist, intersectional, and feminist platform Black Queers Sweden. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Samuel moved to Sweden at the age of 13, a move that has affected much of his view on Blackness and the experiences that comes with migration. Much of Samuel’s work, art and writings depart from and center the experiences of Black bodies.

Sam Hultin is an artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. Their work is based on their interest in queer history, identity and community and explores connections between personal experiences and political and social structures. Through city walks, sing-alongs and anniversaries, Sam often invites queer communities to activate parts of a queer history together with them.  www.samhultin.com


All events are presented at Konstnärsnämnden/IASPIS

Adress: Maria skolgata 83, 2nd floor
Language: see each event
Accessibility: Accessible toilets and elevators are available in the building.
Free admission, no reservation needed
If you have any questions about accessibility, don’t hesitate to contact us on info@konstnarsnamnden.se

December  2, 5:30 – 8:30 pm Radical love: Black Queer Music
Black Queer Music
In English

Music has always played a central role in queer liberation. Queer bodies have sweated through warehouses, dark rooms, clubs, raves and marches with music as a part of the expressions of freedom. For Radical love: care as resistance part 6 we invite scholar and artist Lynne Denis to teach us about Black queer music and its roots. There is a generous amount of care in Lynnée’s work, from contextulizing the Black queer roots of house music to her artistic practice as a ‘DJ Scholarship’, she reminds us that the role of the DJ is not merely the reason for the dance floor but also an archivist and carrier of the stories found in music.

Lynnée Denise was shaped as a DJ by her parent’s record collection. She’s an artist, scholar, and writer whose work reflects on underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Lynnée Denise coined the phrase ‘DJ Scholarship’ to re-position the role of the DJ from a party purveyor to an archivist, cultural custodian and information specialist of music with critical value. Through interactive workshops, lectures and presentations at universities, conferences and performance venues, Lynnée Denise harnesses music as a medium for vital public dialogue on how to transform the way that music of the Black Atlantic is understood in its social context and beyond entertainment.

September 2, 6 pm – 8 pm
Trans Arts of Survival – Hil Malatino
In English

“What does it mean for trans people to show up for one another, to care deeply for one another? How have failures of care shaped trans lives? What care practices have trans subjects and communities cultivated in the wake of widespread transphobia and systemic forms of trans exclusion?”

Welcome to the first event in the programme Radical love: care as resistance! We (Sam and Samuel) are thrilled to have author and professor of Gender Studies Hil Malatino setting the whole thing off with a talk based on his book Trans Care (2020).

Drawing on trans archival materials, Hil Malatino’s talk examines the strategies and tactics that trans communities have developed to resist medical gatekeeping, combat interpersonal and institutional transphobia, and provide mutual aid and collective care to one another. In a time of intensifying trans antagonism, it offers a lesson in what solidarity and transformative future visions of trans justice have looked like in the hopes that such a lesson might inform current struggles for trans bodily autonomy and just social transformation.

Hil Malatino is the Sherwin Early Career Professor in the Rock Ethics Institute and assistant professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Philosophy at Penn State. He is the author of Side Affects: On Being Trans and Feeling Bad (Minnesota, 2022), Trans Care (Minnesota, 2020), which won the Publishing Triangle Award and was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and Queer Embodiment: Monstrosity, Medical Violence, and Intersex Experience. He is also co-editor (alongside Cam Awkward-Rich) of the t4t issue of Trans Studies Quarterly. His work has been published in Signs, Hypatia, TSQ, Rhizomes, The New Inquiry, Ms. Magazine, and many other journals and edited volumes.

September 16, 6 pm – 8 pm
The Pedagogy of care in bell hooks
With Valerie Kyeyune Backström and Mmabatho Thobejane
In English

How do we remember Black thinkers who have left us? More importantly, what do we do with what they have given us? bell hooks passed away in 2021. As a radical Black feminist, thinker and writer, hooks has been pivotal to an entire generation of Black feminists to formulate and carve new ways of critical thinking around gender, race, but also subjects like popular culture, capitalism, love and friendships.

The second part of the programme Radical love: care as resistance!, will focus on all things bell hooks and center on what she teaches us about care. It is also a celebration and a call for a collective gathering to honor the many ways we have learned through the radical lens of hook’s pedagogy.

We have invited two of Sweden’s most radical voices to help us formulate how we can continue to be critical about our contemporary and foster care within our communities.

Valerie Kyeyune Backström is a critic and writer based in Stockholm. She regularly writes about literature and art for media outlets such as Expressen and published her debut novel, Ett nytt England in 2020.

Mmbatho Thobejane (she/they) is currently a producer at MDT, located on Skeppsholmen, as well as an independent curator and writer based in Stockholm. Her curatorial research and practice are engaged with Black and indigenous artists and theorists who excavate, map and mobilize an ‘otherwise’.

October 7, 6 – 8 pm
Grief as resistance
With Alexander Zadruzny, Steve Sjöquist and Zafira Vrba Woodski
In English

In a society characterized by oppressive power structures, marginalized peoples’ lives are treated as less valuable than others. What does this mean in the context of death and loss? With the help of poet and member of Kollektiv sorg Alexander Zadruzny, deacon and HIV activist Steve Sjöquist and death doula and artist Zafira Vrba Woodski we will, in the third part of the series Radical love: care as resistance!, explore how we can use grief as a tool of resistance and care.

Kollektiv Sorg started through a campaign supported by Amnesty International in 2019. The project works to highlight the problem with the armed violence in Sweden as well as making the people behind the headlines visible. Through art, poetry and personal stories the campaign works to humanize the people who are affected by the violence and show the tragedy and grief of the death of young people. Alexander Zadruzny has been a part of Kollektiv Sorg since the start and works in several areas. Born and raised in Bredäng, Stockholm the poet Alexander has led the youth channel Tänk Till at UR (Swedish public service educational channel). He started the poetry competition “Röda Linjens Bästa Poet” and the nationally spread manifestation against street violence “Säg Deras Namn”.

Steve Sjöquist (b. 1956) has been an HIV activist for 35 years and as a part of his commitment he has written several books about living with HIV; Livsfrågor (1999), Innanför (2004) and Fotspår (2009). On September 25 2022 his book Vägen valde dig, came out. The book is a collection of stories from a long life living with HIV. As a hospital deacon at Capio Sankt Göran’s hospital he talks to patients and their loved ones as well as the staff about the existential issues that concern people that are ill. Steve believes that his own experience of being sick and vulnerable is a strength in his work as a deacon.

Zafira Vrba Woodski is a Death Doula, Interfaith Minister, artist and trans activist. For 20 years they have worked with portraying queer contemporary history with film, photography, performance, text and actions. As an Interfaith Minister Zafira offers queer and trans communities rituals and ceremonies to mark transitions, gender affirming care, memorials and celebrations of both relationships and breakups. Zafira lives with a large family in Solna and is just about to start Sweden’s first queer funeral home. More about Zafira can be found here.

Invitation: The evening will end with a light ceremony led by Zafira. For the ceremony everyone is invited to bring something that reminds us of someone we miss. It can be a photo or another object, a piece of clothing, a book, a dessert etc. After the light ceremony everyone gets to take their object home.
There will be some (vegan) food and drinks for cost price and, in this opportunity, some time to hang out after the event.

October 21, 5.30 – 8.30 pm
Poetry and Pancakes
With Audre Lorde, Judith Kiros, Essex Hemphill, and Samuel Girma
In English

In her seminal text Poetry is not a LuxuryAudre Lorde writes: ”Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest external horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.”

For Radical love: care as resistance part 4 we will celebrate the works of Audre Lorde and Essex Hemphill. Perhaps more than celebrating, we present their works and the care they embody. What lies in their texts, what do they tell us about care? How can we envision the promises they held and practice care and solidarity with each other?

We will do this with a screening of A Litany for Survival, an epic portrait of the eloquent, award-winning Black, lesbian, poet, mother, teacher and activist, Audre Lorde with a presentation by the poet Judith Kiros, and a presentation of the Black gay poet Essex Hemphill by Samuel Girma, perhaps the very first for an audience in Sweden. The presentations will be followed by a talk between Judith Kiros and Samuel Girma.

Judith Kiros is a poet, journalist and Ph.D. student in Literature at Karlstad University. Her debut book O, partially poetry and essay, is an extensive and rhythmic deconstruction of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Othello.

November 11, 5.30 – 8.00 pm
Finding ourselves in the archives
Framing Agnes
, With Levi Appelton and Jonelle Twum
In English

Welcome to Radical Love: care as resistance part 5 where we will think about history writing as community care and representation of trans people and BIPOC in archives. After a presentation by artist and activist Levi Appelton we will watch the film Framing Agnes (2022). After the screening there will be a talk between Levi and filmmaker and founder of Black Archives Sweden, Jonelle Twum.

Framing Agnes (2022)
In 1958, a young trans woman named Agnes entered a study about sex disorders at UCLA to get the gender-affirming care she needed, by any means necessary. Her story was long considered to be exceptional until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017. Directed by Chase Joynt (No Ordinary Man) and featuring an all-star cast of transgender artists and performers, Framing Agnes uses re-enactment and genre-blurring storytelling techniques to breathe new life into previously unknown people who redefined gender in the midcentury. Featuring Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Zackary Drucker, Silas Howard, Max Wolf Valerio, and Stephen Ira.

Levi Appelton is an artist, activist and organiser working with and within spaces of transness, Blackness, kinship and care.

Jonelle Twum is researcher, cultural producer and filmmaker who explores various ranges of questions through the perspectives and with the narratives of minor/disregarded/unacknowledged figures from a Black feminist perspective. Jonelle is also the founder and artistic director of Black Archives Sweden.

December 2, 6 pm: The queer club – an essential space of  queer culture