Celebrating 6th issue of Obieg magazine

On Saturday evening, we cordially invite you to a meeting with artists from Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Congo. The program features a talk with the artists, a discussion, and a sound performance. The event marks the launch of the sixth issue of Obieg, which is devoted to terra-deformation, ecocriticism, and artistic links between South America and Poland.

The main theme of the issue terra-deformation is both a metaphor and a term that conveys the fact that rapid changes are currently underway in the natural environment. This process has resulted from the insatiable global hunger for resources also known as geophagia, driven by deregulated neoliberalism as well as by new illiberal variations of capitalism. From a lack of water to poor air quality, to natural disasters and mass migrations the effects of terra-deformation are both felt by developed countries and raise social costs in developing countries.

The situation seems irreversible although systemic anti-terra-deformation procedures have emerged on a small scale such as granting nature legal personality in the Ecuadorian constitution. One of the main topics of our meeting concerns the role that contemporary art may play in transforming the collective imagination in relation to terra-deformation.

November 2015 saw the greatest environmental disaster in recent years in South America when the Bento Rodriguez dam broke leading to a sludge spill. The disaster took place in the vicinity of Belo Horizonte in the mining state of Minas Gerais. More than 60 million cubic meters of toxic substances spilled into Rio Doce a river the size of the Vistula covering the whole area with brown mudflows, thus killing human and animal life as well as the life of the river for decades.

The history and current situation of terra-deformation in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and the Chilean region of Antofagasta provide the case studies with which to reflect on the ways contemporary art may bear testimony to rapid natural transformations as well as engage in a discussion with dominant narratives and PR activities pursued by giant mining companies. Both regions continue to function as centers of mining industry with the entire beauty of mining culture and the imprint of the superpower of terra-deforming corporations. From the perspective of Belo Horizonte and Antofagasta, Mabe Bethônico and Dagmara Wyskiel will talk about their artistic, research and curatorial practices shaped by the specific character of the environment and interactions with it, presenting activities that may provide an alternative source of knowledge and contribute to changing the approach to terra-deformation.

Presentations by Mabe Bethônico and Dagmara Wyskiel will be followed by a discussion that combines a talk with the artists with a debate on the themes of the sixth issue of Obieg as well as questions from the audience. Moderated by Inés Ruiz Artola and Krzysztof Gutfrański.

The evening culminates with two live sets by the Peruvian composer and editor of the experimental magazine Cyclops, Constanza Nuñez Melgar Molinari alias CAO and the Congolese producer and multimedia artist Sandra Mujingi alias 9Djinn.