When the Roots Start Moving: Film Screening & Conversation

with Alessandra Pomarico and Nikolay Oleynikov


Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 2pm
Heritage Hall, 83 Essex Street, Guelph, ON, Canada


Free admission
Register here


Heritage Hall is wheelchair accessible

2 pm: Film screening of People of Flour, Salt, and Water(2019)


3 – 5 pm: Book Launch & Conversation about When the Roots Start Moving—To Navigate Backward: Resonating with Zapatismo (2021)

Alessandra Pomarico is a co-founder and curator of Free Home University, an artistic and pedagogical initiative. She is a writer and educator working at the intersection of arts, pedagogy, social issues, and nano-politics.


Nikolay Oleynikov is an artist, punk, antifascist, contributor to the artistic collective Chto Delat, and band member of Arkady Kots. He is a co-curator of Free Home University.

When the Roots Start Moving, explores predicaments of rootedness and rootlessness, and notions of belonging and displacement across geographical and epistemological coordinates. Throughout the essays, Zapatismo—the insurgent movement of Indigenous peoples from Chiapas (Mexico)—emerges as a form of belonging, a home (or a homecoming) for hopes and political imaginaries, providing a place to learn from and with.


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The event will begin with a screening of People of Flour, Salt, and Water, a film by Chto Delat, as part of their ongoing Zapatista film trilogy. The film unfolds amidst multiple struggles in the Salento region of southern Italy: that of local farmer-activists who are protecting and regenerating their land, producing forms of sharing and commoning; that of refugees and people who migrated and experienced displacement; and that of young artists and activists trying to make sense of it all. Zapatismo was the lens through which Free Home University participants analyzed their own stories, conditions, and possibilities. A central part of the film is a large, painted imaginary table-top map titled A Land We Can Call Our Own, featuring rivers, mountains, fields, and the sea populated by characters and sets made out of dough. This land and its fragile inhabitants become the backdrop for stories and relationships, intertwining with those of the participants, resulting in a film that is a fiction deeply grounded in their lived experience.

Archive Books at Miss Read

The Berlin Art Book Festival 2022

Archive & SAVVY Contemporary

With Chiara Figone (Archive Books & Inventory / AWU library), Sagal Farah (Savvy Contemporary / Savvy.doc) and Paz Guevara (Archive Books & Inventory / Archive Inventory)

Sunday, May 1 at 3 pm on stage at HKW Berlin

A conversation around libraries, Archive Inventory and SAVVY doc., which coexist in Savvy Contemporary and Archive common space in Berlin Wedding, a space that wishes to bring together communities and foster discussion and cultural exchange. These shelves are home to hundreds of texts spanning from critical theory to literature, from art magazine to political analysis, from exhibition catalogue, making a much needed decolonizing and non-eurocentric literature accessible to the interested public.

Re-enchanting the World is a publication accompanying Małgorzata Mirga-Tas’s exhibition of the same name, shown in the Polish pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. The exhibit is Mirga-Tas’s manifesto on Roma identity and art, drawing inspiration from the Renaissance frescoes of the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara and thus attempting to expand the European iconosphere and history of art with representations of Roma culture.


This publication presents Mirga-Tas’s re-enchanting of the world as a way of recovering the idea of the Roma community, with consideration to transnationality, cyclicity and the evolution of meanings, proposing a new narrative about the continuous cultural migration of images and mutual influences between Roma, Polish and European cultures.


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“In the life of every human being, there is a need for magic and enchantment, but not always: at certain moments, we should disenchant the world, moments, situations, negative emotions and paradigms. Selecting a few selected related to the representation of Romani people in a stereotypical and stigmatising way, I try to disenchant and demythologise them by reversing how we are being seen.”

Holes Dug, Rocks Thrown is the first comprehensive presentation of the artist Line Skywalker Karlström’s work. It documents a practice, that over a period of more than twenty years have been committed to ‘queer feminist world making’ using a performative and embodied approach.

Correspondingly with Skywalker Karlström’s understanding of art as a chaotic and associative knowledge production, which unfolds as a collaborative and ongoing conversation, their book has become a bastard monograph, which describes an artistic practice through its relationships and its flock.


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Open Access

Trading Zones

Camera Work in Artistic and Ethnographic Research

Trading Zones is one of our open access titles, freely available for you to download, read and share. You can view more of our open access titles here.

This book introduces camera-based practices at the intersections of artistic and ethnographic research that critically examine the means of their own production and social embeddedness. In shared practices such as recording in the field, editing in post-production and modes of presentation, the camera is involved as an agent rather than an innocent device. How does the camera grapple with the invisible and how does it reveal what the camerawoman is unable to see? How do films, videos and photographs provide access to vulnerable knowledges and what presentation formats can extend the linearity of narration?


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On Trials

a manual for the theatre of law

محاكمات قيد الفحص

دليل مسرح القانون

In On Trials: a manual for the theatre of law, Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk explore the performativity of the law within Egypt’s spectral legal reality. The publication dissects material collected for their film On Trials, a work-in-progress that uses modes of documentary and fiction making. In it, they reflect on sites where legal proceedings take place. And listen to all manner of actors from within the realm of the law including, lawyers, a TV camera operator who frequents courtrooms, a former inmate, on whose body the legal specter has left unutterable marks, and tailors who specialize in uniforms.


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It’s all in relations, connections…
the possible infrastructures
and the paths of agency
the energy transmitted or bounced off
waves diffracted
particles on the bottom of all elements


conversations as currents on
the planetary and the nano level

Pandora’s Box explores the form of conversation as a method of aesthetic solidarity and empowerment. As an online platform it collects and archives talks, stories, discourses and struggles to re-value and constantly reboot practices of solidarity. The conversations and texts published in this first Volume are starting and connecting points creating a web of support, exchange and dispersion being a catalyser for planetary solidarity and imaginary and real material nanocommunities.

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An Archaeology of Listening Series



Umashankar Manthravadi is an Indian self-taught acoustic archaeologist who, in the early 1980s, helped set up and maintain one of the world’s largest ethnomusicology archives, Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) in Gurgaon. His work investigates how sound can influence our understanding of ancient and contemporary sites. Building off of Manthravadi’s sonic explorations and archives, An Archaeology of Listening is a series that connects listening with history, space, knowledge and community.

A Slightly Curving Place asks what it means to listen to the past and its absence which remains. It responds to the practice of Manthravadi, who has been building ambisonic microphones since the 1990s to measure the acoustic properties of premodern performance spaces. Comprising a range of perspectives in which his propositions reverberate, the publication attends to what he does, and to the political and performative potential of the past that he opens up.


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Coming to Know asks how listening to the past together might transform our sense of the knowledge held in common. It sets aside the visual techniques of the archaeological site, the museum, and the larger project of colonial modernity, and instead constitutes itself as a resonant structure—a future-oriented monument to historically situated listening bodies as well as a dwelling place for community now.


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Arab Image Foundation series



Becoming Van Leo is a study of the life and times of the late Armenian-Egyptian photographer. Born in 1921, Leon Boyadjian would come to be known as Van Leo, one of the most singular twentieth-century studio photographers in the Arab world.

Van Leo left behind him a 60-year body of portraiture and self-portraiture work, as well as professional and personal documents. Drawing on this abundant archive from the collections of the AIF—its most iconic one—and the American University in Cairo, in addition to accounts of people who knew him, the publication intricately narrates the story of the photographer and the man, contemplates the complex practice of commemoration, and reflects on the task of the archivist, the curator, the designer, and the author at large.

The eclectic nature of the publication’s content will engage diverse audiences not only interested in photographic practices, but also in design and visual arts at large; Egyptian cinema and popular culture; contemporary history of Cairo, Egypt, the Arab world, and the Levantine Armenian community; the Second World War in the Middle East… and the numerous—related or independent—narrow-focus subjects that backdrop the narrative.

In 1941, Leon Boyadjian (1921–2002) and his brother Angelo (1917–2003) opened a studio in the living room of the family home. Angelo Studio commenced by catering to stage artists—theater actors, cabaret performers, dancers…—entertaining the Allied troops stationed in Egypt during the Second World War.

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From 1937 to 1995, Leon Boyadjian took hundreds of self-portraits. A fascinating body of work unveiled here in its near entirety: 410 shots and 82variations – reframing, hand-coloring, special effects, photomontage…

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Leon Boyadjian was a hoarder. Besides a vast body of work, he purposely left behind him professional and personal documents: books, periodicals, press clippings, certificates, letters, notes, lists, and assorted ephemera. With such a plethora of material, something had to be done. 

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The Otolith Group

Presenting all bodies of work contained in the Xenogenesis  exhibition, this publication includes many materials and graphics from The Otolith Group’s (Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun) broader practice, including performance, lecture and research material. The outcome of over four years of collaboration, research and conversation, the publication is not a chronological exhibition catalogue or retrospective but a cross-section of their work which includes substantial contributions from the artists themselves, in the form of writing and direct engagement with its production.

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SAVVY Books series
A Launch Quartet

The publications in this series reflect, expand, and document the activities of the research, discursive, performative, and curatorial projects of S A V V Y Contemporary | The Laboratory of Form-Ideas. Savvy Books aims at promoting epistemological diversity, resonating with Boaventura de Sousa Santos’s claim that “Another Knowledge is Possible.” By acknowledging the limits and faults of academic disciplines and advocating for processes of unlearning, our effort is thus to create a platform which encourages extra-disciplinary knowledges and promotes the thinking and writing of authors, artists, philosophers, scientists, and activists whose practices challenge Western epistemologies: looking towards epistemic systems from Africa and the African diaspora, Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East and Latin America.

This publication unfolds as a collection of words, works, and images that informed, incited, and embodied SAVVY Contemporary’s project Ultrasanity. On Madness, Sanitation, Antipsychiatry, and Resistance, an exhibition and research project on the elasticity of sanity.


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Pianificazione fuggitiva
e studio nero

Stefano Harney
e Fred Moten

Una voce perentoria ci richiama in ogni momento a essere responsabili, efficienti, professionali. Anche i beni comuni sono stati colonizzati, l’università è una catena di montaggio e siamo costantemente in debito verso chi ci richiama all’ordine. Alla proliferazione della logistica capitalista e alle mutazioni odierne del controllo sociale, Stefano Harney e Fred Moten rispondono con questa raccolta di saggi che ci invita a sperimentare nuove forme di socialità nell’antagonismo generale. Attraversando le teorie e le pratiche della tradizione radicale nera e del post-operaismo, gli autori propongono un ampliamento dello spettro del pensiero socio-politico contemporaneo e della critica estetica, negli Stati Uniti e non solo. Il loro è «un intervento necessario e potente che ci invita a immaginare e a comprendere diversamente la vita sociale» (Denise Ferreira da Silva), dove «il grido di lotta non è mai distante» (Sandro Mezzadra). Undercommons è un manifesto d’amore, sospeso tra teoria e poesia, musica e sovversione, per la fondazione di una nuova società.

A series with and around
Med Hondo

A pioneer of African cinema and author of an uncompromising oeuvre, we have come to know Med Hondo over the decades as one who simultaneously gazes, belligerently and attentively, sharply, passionately and ironically, deep into the past, precisely at the present, but also far into the future. This three-part publication dedicated to his cinema and legacy. 1970—2018 Interviews with Med Hondo, On the Run, Perspective on the Cinema of Med Hondo and Das Kino von Med Hondo / Le cinéma de Med Hondo was published in the frame of the film research, festival and exhibition project Cours, cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi—Run, comrade, run, the old world is behind you—The Cinema of Med Hondo. To read Med Hondo opens us up to many perspectives: to his work and its time-historical contexts, to his interests and obsessions, to his standpoint with regard to the intertwining of politics, economics, and culture.


We are running into a great danger, my brothers, if we are not careful, this precious and cultural instrument of information, enjoyment, struggle represented by the cinema is slipping through our fingers forever.

—Abid Med Hondo, Les bicots nègres vos voisins, Prologue, 1978

Hospitality, care, safety and security are matters intrinsically entangled, not simply through their definitions and overlapping meanings but as acts, practices, institutions, industries, infrastructures and systems of power. But for whom and what is security offered in arts and culture? As cultural workers could we/should we become more hospitable and caring towards matters of security and safety? Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion 3 is a site for meeting around matters of security, safety and care.


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Now more than ever we need to be consciously (re)considering diverse forms of hospitalities and ways of being together. In these disconnected times marked by global crises, this edition of the Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion series turns towards questions of hospitality and access. Looking beyond normative and institutionalised understandings of access, this publication considers access from a manifold of approaches, perceptions and relations.


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Rehearsing Hospitalities connects artists, curators and practitioners in the field of contemporary art and beyond, to build up and mediate new practices, understandings, and engagements with hospitalities. It fosters critical discourse, pluralistic sharing and collaboration between divergent (artistic) practitioners in contemporary societies and supports the emergence of new paradigms and methods of political and cultural hospitality.


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