D’EST Cycle #2: Post-Socialism as Method. Anti-Geographies of Collective Desires 

8 and 9 DECEMBER 2023

Hader Halal [With Regard to Presence] Sessions 

co-hosted by Fehras Publishing Practices with krëlex zentre, Nha San Collective, Ulrike Gerhardt and Suza Husse at Flutgraben e.V., Berlin

Flutgraben e.V., Am Flutgraben 3, 12435 Berlin

Video art programs 

Trời quê hương trong xanh như lời hát [The Hometown Sky is as Blue as a Song] with works by Nguyễn Văn Song, Nguyễn Duy Anh, Síu Phạm, Nguyễn Tan Hoang, Vu T. Thu Ha, Quynh Dong

Postsocialist Time Slips with works by Nazira Karimi, Bakhyt Bubikanova, Gulzat Matisakova, lucine talalyan, Anna Shahnazaryan / Tigran Khachatryan / Lara Aharonian / Lala Aslikyan / Are՛Martirossian / Olya Azatyan / Sevan Petrossian a.o., Katya Katipa-apai Nikonorova & krёlex zentre

Performances, gatherings, workshops, food, music, print shop, massages, publications

with contributions by Archive of Gestures/Elske Rosenfeld, AK Knol, Aziza Ahmad, Aziza Kadyri, Dilda Ramazan, Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Fehras Publishing Practices, Iskandar Ahmad Abdalla, Kim Bode/N*A*I*L*S*hacks facts fictions, krëlex zentre, Jules de Bog, Nancy Nasr Al Deen, Nha San Collective, Nino Bulling, Quynh Dong, Shaunak Mahbubani, Sina Ahmadi, Suza Husse, Ulrike Gerhardt, Vu T. Thu Ha and friends

D’EST is a nomadic platform and online archive for video art, experimental, and documentary film that maps artistic forms of historiography at the intersection of postsocialist, queer-feminist, and decolonial narratives and imaginaries. On December 8 and 9, Fehras Publishing Practices launches their D’EST chapter-in-progress Hader Halal [With Regard to Presence] and co-hosts the second public manifestation of Postsocialism as a Method. Anti-Geographies of Collective Desires. “Hader Halal” is a compound phrase in Arabic that places the present, whether it is time, body, or matter, in the foreground as an urgent need. On the occasion of the Hader Halal Sessions, the Cine Moon Mobilé, created by Aziza Kadiry and Kim Bode/N*A*I*L*S*hacks facts fictions for D’EST’s nomadic video art programs, takes residence at Flutgraben. Here the hybrid vehicle and mobile shelter accommodates a constellation of screenings, workshops, gatherings around food and music, a print shop, massages and performances. 

The phrase “Hader Halal”, which translates as “with regard to presence”, was coined by the owner of a small Aleppo-based bookstore and collector of publishing archives and private libraries in Aleppo out of concern for their disappearance. Fehras’ Hader Halal series critically investigates publishing strategies and cultural and archival practices in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa during the postcolonial period, seeking to reclaim forgotten collective memory in the region and rewrite narratives of modern Arab cultural history from a queer, migrant, and feminist perspective.

For their D’EST chapter, Fehras initiate collective fabulations in response to their collection of the quarterly literary journal Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings. Lotus journal was first published in 1968 in Cairo by the Permanent Bureau of the Afro-Asian Writers Association, an entity of the Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Organization. It published poetry, short stories, plays, cultural studies, book reviews, artworks, illustrations, resolutions and documents of the association in Arabic, English and French. A milestone outcome of several Afro-Asian Writers conferences (Tashkent 1958, Cairo 1962, Beirut 1967), the journal mirrors the interconnectedness of hopes, liberation struggles and resistance of Afro-Asian peoples. Fehras propose to interact with these inspirational experiences from the past, especially those of the feminists behind the Afro-Asian Solidarity Movement and their Afro-Asian Woman Bureau, to enact publishing as a solidarity practice in the urgencies of the present.

As part of Postsocialism as a Method. Anti-Geographies of Collective Desires the Hader Halal Sessions make a space for being present together and through interconnected legacies of socialist imaginaries and life worlds from different and sometimes contradictorily situated geographies that continued and/or emerged despite coloniality, totalitarianism, and capitalism. While during the day workshops, a printmaking station and performances initiate gatherings and processes of publishing and creating ephemera through friendship, memory, solidarity and re/imagination, each night presents a different video art chapter of D’EST’s cycle #2 Postsocialism as a Method. Anti-Geographies of Collective Desires: Postsocialist Time Slips consists of six video works from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Armenia curated by krёlex zentre. The screening chapter offers a series of falling-outs from the present, a sequence of short ruptures in the linear time grid of the modern capitalist order of things with a special focus on hidden histories and unimaginable futures. Creating glimpses of desire, nostalgia, sex, death, humor and chaos, Nha San Collective’s chapter Trời quê hương trong xanh như lời hát [The Hometown Sky is as Blue as a Song]gathers sonic memories of the late 1980s and early 1990s through the music and audio-visual image-worlds within films and video works by Vietnamese artists living in Vietnam, USA, and Switzerland. 

With the workshop contribution of the research platform Archive of Gesturesembodiments of revolt and revolution in East Germany and Eastern Europe get entangled with the forgotten stories from the Cold War from Central Asia, Vietnam, North Africa and West Asia and their creolizations in post-migrant Germany and Europe which D’EST traces in it’s second cycle. Resonating with Flutgraben’s historical location in East Berlin on the former border dividing East and West, Elske Rosenfeld’s workshop Archive of Gestures: Speaking takes its starting point from a collection of topical manifestos, statements and demand papers published by groups and individuals in the revolutionary autumn and winter of 1989/90. 

Link: https://www.d-est.com/program/dest-cycle-2-post-socialism-as-method-hader-halal-with-regard-to-presence-sessions/