HKW / Archive Books

The Nomadic Curriculum – A Manual Series

The concept and the practice of the Nomadic Curriculum relates transdisciplinary methodologies of knowledge production with situated archival contexts. On the theoretical level, it produces tools to analyse hegemonic relations of archival knowledge and institutional structures. Practically, it facilitates the development of alternative frameworks for collective research and sharing in and around archival institutions. The nomadic approach has the potential to relate holdings from different archival contexts and to connect the narrations that are usually limited by the boundaries of an institutional frame.
It is particularly the research beyond these peripheries and the constructive rendering of future alternatives of archival thinking that drives The Nomadic Curriculum – A Manual Series. The concept of this series in three episodes was developed and practised within the Whole Life Academy –an experimental research initiative within the framework of the long-term program The Whole Life. An Archive Project (2018-2022). Each volume is developing the approach of the Nomadic Curriculum further from a particular perspective and context: How can the Nomadic Curriculum be expanded into other existing and potential pedagogical settings? What can it propose in terms of a how-to for archival research? What are the contexts and contents of collective research and practice that form the foundation of such a curriculum?

In this section we will make books freely available to read, download, and share. We believe free and autonomous dissemination of knowledge is essential, especially considering the limitations of the distribution networks for printed publications.

The free release of these books does not imply that we undermine the energy and labor necessary to produce them but we believe making research freely available to the public supports a greater exchange of knowledges.

Readers are free to share these books if the contribution is properly attributed and used for non-commercial purposes. We hope you will be mindful of the authors while downloading and using the material from this section. We are open for your inquiries if you want to re-use or republish any of these texts, or just to share comments on our programme.

Awkward Archives proposes a manual for academic teaching and learning contexts. An ethnographic research approach is confronted with the demands of archival research as both disciplines challenge their inner logics and epistemologies. Through fieldwork and ethnographic tools and methods, both analogue and digital, the editors take various contemporary archival sites in Berlin as case studies to elaborate on controversial concepts in Western thought. Presenting as such a modular curriculum on archives in their awkwardness—with the tensions, discomfort and antagonisms they pose.
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Archives on Show unfolds a curatorial approach in dialogue with questions on the archival. Bringing together a variety of approaches and positions, it looks into curatorial practices that take up the archive in its contemporary relevance against its social and political potentialities. The book itself can be read as a curatorial exercise, forming constellations of texts, images and keywords in a printed exhibition format.
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To enter a collective archive is to carry an anonymous corpse on your shoulders. You are not investigating how this corpse met its death but rather are trying to fill in the gaps that render it anonymous. The corpse is the researcher’s urgent, mysterious, or even inconsistent question that issues from the here and now but which lacks the language required to speak it.
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Navina Sundaram is sitting in the editing room in Hamburg. She has managed to reduce the complexity of the Kemal Altun case to the required 2 minutes and 40 seconds for the political magazine; a journalistic feat considering the legal terminology and the international political situation, which must be presented in simple terms. She places her interview with the judge at the back. The audience therefore first gets an impression of perhaps the best-known deportation prisoner of the republic on trial here.
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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.
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. With contributions from Camille Auer, Yvonne Billimore, Annet Dekker, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Aimi Hamraie, Hanna Helander, Jussi Koitela, Ali Akbar Mehta, Astrida Neimanis, Marietta Radomska, Marianne Savallampi, Laura Soisalon-Soininen, Minna Tarkka, and Touko Vaahtera. Rehearsing Hospitalities Companion 2 is a site for hosting and gathering, for coming together to re-visit, re-turn and re-configure worlds of hospitaties.
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. With contributions from Karen Barad, Ama Josephine Budge, Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide, Aslak Holmberg, Milla Kallio/FEMMA Planning, Christine Langinauer, Yates Norton, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez & Elena Sorokina, Nat Raha, Shubhangi Singh, Elina Suoyrjö, Rosario Talevi, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen, Eero Yli-Vakkuri and the series editors, Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela.
What are the possibilities and limitations of hospitality? Should we instead be turning towards “rehearsing” redistribution? This publication points towards the vast ways our lives and worlds could be organised through less hierarchical, extractive, and exploitative practices: with more love afforded to ourselves, one another, and our more-than human kin. It doesn’t provide all the answers, or a blueprint for a new world, but illustrates how people are doing this work now. Here redistribution is treated as a verb: a doing.
Contested Landscapes is dedicated to different rural regions—their landscapes, their producers, and their work. The paths of the family of the artist Sandra Schäfer and those of the famous German photographer August Sander cross in the Westerwald, a rural area in Germany shaped by farming and mining. Read more.
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? Read more.
China as an Issue is an ongoing lecture series organized by the Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum since 2018. Chinese scholars are invited to discuss topics related to China or the world, as well as foreign scholars to speak about China or international questions involving the subject of China. Read more.
Today, after Post-Communism has ended in chaos and confusion, we are entitled to ask: was it a condition, or a transition; a rise or a decline; progression, regression or simply a time-lag? Has it ever shaped its own form of social being, a unique mode of economic production, a politics of its own, a culture? Or was it just another interregnum of history, full of morbid symptoms we cannot get rid of?
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung’s expanded curatorial practice delineates the space of exhibition making as a space of critical thinking and of experimentation. By proximity, the texts in this anthology, echo each other, resonate with each other, interfere with each other, and present perspectives on the political, poetic, and philosophical potentials of exhibition making, beyond the tight corset of the discipline itself.
The institution of the ethnological museum seems to be in the midst of a serious crisis of choking. The delicacies that most of these museums have acquired, which is to say co-opted, which is to say ingested, seem to have collectively missed the track to the oesophagus and got stuck in the respiratory tract. They have been stuck there for as long as the history of mass collections, acquisitions and looting, for as long as the ruthless and ongoing extraction of cultural property in the former colonies outside of Europe. A twelve-act essay on the maintenance of supremacy, the ethnological Museum and the intricacies of the Humboldt Forum.
L’institution du musée ethnologique semble traverser une véritable crise d’étouffement. Les mets délicats acquis, ou plutôt cooptées, pour ainsi dire ingérées par la majorité de ces musées, semblent avoir été dépistés de la route vers l’œsophage et s’être coincés dans les voies respiratoires. Toutes ces choses y sont coincées depuis l’acquisition, le pillage, de ces objets. En somme, depuis l’impitoyable déracinement des biens culturels qui perdure jusqu’à nos jours dans les anciennes colonies hors d’Europe. Un essai en 12 actes sur la préservation de la suprématie, le Musée Ethnologiques et les complexités du Forum Humboldt.
Die Institution des Ethnologischen Museums scheint sich in einer ernsten Krise des Erstickens zu befinden. Die Delikatessen, welche die meisten solcher Museen meist unter zweifelhaften Bedingungen erwarben, mit anderen Worten genossen und verschluckt haben, scheinen kollektiv den Weg in den Oseophagus verpasst zu haben und blieben stattdessen im Atmungs- apparat stecken. Sie hängen dort schon so lange fest, wie die Geschichte von Massensamm- lungen, Erwerbungen, Plünderungen; so lange wie der rücksichtslose und fortwährende Abbau von Kulturgut in den ehemaligen Kolonien außerhalb Europas bereits andauert.
Universality and Particularity: What is Asianness? contains a small segment from the recent thinking of professor Naoki Sakai and professor Sun Ge. Together they elaborate on the transcendental perspectives that the notion of Asia could provide in terms of entering regional histories, and of re-examining the issues left out in the assumed relationship between universality and particularity.
The pamphlet Peace with the Earth was published by the Swedish suffragettes and peace activists Elisabeth Tamm and Elin Wägner in 1940, after the outbreak of the Second World War. Elisabeth Tamm served as one of the first women in parliament and was an organic farmer. Elin Wägner worked as a writer and activist on matters of women’s rights, peace, and ecology, and was a member of the Swedish Academy. The authors’ observations and proposals connect questions of agriculture to those of custody of land and habitats, where the ‘arrogant desire’ to own land must be overcome.