Panel discussion - Migration and Agency in the Art Field

Migration and Agency in the Art Field

Cooperation and Panel discussion / 06.05.2021

Migration – Displacement – Deterritorialization.
A Conversation between Aline Baiana and Lisette Lagnado

in conjunction with the DFG Research Network:
Entangled Histories of Art and Migration: Forms, Visibilities, Agents

The talk will address Brazil’s reputation as a “country of immigration”, which has been forged throughout the 20th century to foster the myth of a “racial democracy”. This encounter aims to deviate from the image of a hospitable tropical country and unveil the structural racism that governs its society. The discussion is therefore intended to problematize the topic of migration merging it with the problem of displacement Artist Aline Baiana will present different projects developed in collaboration with local communities who are fighting expropriation and a criminal deterritorialization process. The acknowledgment of Brazil as an indigenous land is the necessary claim to encompass the ongoing anti-colonial struggle.

Welcome and introduction (Alexandra Karentzos, Mona Schieren)
Panel discussion between Lisette Lagnado and Aline Baiana

Public discussion

The event is public and free of charge and will take place via zoom.

06.05.2021, 4 to 6 pm
Online - Registration and Zoom-Access via:


Aline Baiana (1985 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil) graduated in cinema, studied environmental management and contemporary art. In her research she addresses what could be called the “ontological conflict” between the North and the Global South. Baiana has
participated in several exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Sharjah and was recently commissioned for the Berlin Biennial 11.

Lisette Lagnado (1961in Kinshasa, Congo R.D.C.) is a researcher, art critic, and independent Curator, holding a Master in Communication and Semiotics and a PhD in Philosophy from the Universidade de São Paulo. She was one of the curators of the 11th Berlin Biennale

(2019-2020) and chief curator of the 27th Bienal de São Paulo How to Live Together (2006). She curated Drifts and Derivations: Experiences, journeys and morphologies, together with María Berríos (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2010), among other exhibitions. From 2014 until 2017, Lagnado was director and Curator of Public Programs of the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. Lagnado holds a grant by the Goethe Institut Rio de Janeiro to conduct a research at selected museums in Germany, focusing on different topics related to decolonization and is currently teaching in the Program As part of a journey at Hochschule für Künste Bremen.


Further information: 
The Conversation is the opening of the 4th DFG Workshop “Migration and Agency in the Art Field” 6/7 May 2021, organized by Hochschule für Künste Bremen (Dr. Mona Schieren) and Technical University of Darmstadt (Prof. Dr. Alexandra Karentzos).

The starting point of the event is the question concerning conceptualisations of migrant 'agency'. In what ways do migrants appear as actors in the art field? What possibilities exist for them to communicate socio-political positions through art? The focus will not only be on the producers and products of art, but also on its institutions and institutionalisation.

The assumption of classification as a migrant is not rigidly predetermined; sufficient space is left open to write and to rewrite one's own migration narrative out of what has already been told. Precisely the incompleteness of the discourse means that its identity settings cannot be self-contained and rigid but are instead fragile, fragmented and processual. For art, this approach is productive as it relates to its potential to shape its own narratives and to draft multiple cultural identities through different media. By organising themselves in networks, numerous artists also evade purely biographical, reductionist readings: What political 'agency' can artists create through collaborative associations, also in transcultural contexts? Do such actions and interventions take on specific forms that are oriented towards different types of political protest?

One starting point for artistic work is how ‘subjugated / alternative knowledge’ can be produced and visualised. The workshop will therefore also examine the fields of action and visibility of activist positions and networks and ask about their own locations within or outside of art institutions. How do they find their way into art systems or encounter (institutional, art market and power-political) appropriations?

The aim of the event is to examine the complex interconnections of migration, 'agency' and their artistic locations along their fault lines and will also have Ayşe Güleç as a guest lecturer in an internal workshop.


BB11 Aline Baiana_installation view_01.jpeg
BB11 Aline Baiana_installation view_02.jpeg

Aline Baiana, The Cross of the South, 2020
5 stones (banded iron formation, auriferous conglomerate, ornamental stone, Itabirite, cupriferous conglomerate), metal wires, computer pieces, iron ore, epoxy resin, and mining waste resulting from environmental crimes in Brumadinho, BR
Installation view, 11th Berlin Biennale, Gropius Bau, 5.9.–1.11.2020
Courtesy Aline Baiana
Photo: Mathias Völzke


Panel discussion - Migration and Agency in the Art Field


06. May 2021, 16:00