7 February 2024

Countering Extractivism

CIVA, Brussels, BE

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

CIVA, Rue de l’Ermitage 55, 1050 Brussels
Supported by: Ambassade van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in België

‘Charging Tesla Crash, a Speculation’, Jean Katambayi, Sammy Baloji, Daddy Tshikaya, Marjolijn Dijkman (photo: Uriel Orlow)

The evening will be dedicated to what has been described as “green colonialism,” the development of renewable energy futures that often involves the dispossession of communities and the degradation of ecosystems. The event will focus on the consequences of the extraction of lithium, a scarce resource that plays a key role in the so-called green transition necessary for a more sustainable world.

Since 2005, Sammy Baloji has been exploring the memory and history of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work is an ongoing research on the cultural, architectural, and industrial heritage of the Katanga region, as well as a questioning of the impact of Belgian colonization and extractivism.

The artistic research group On-Trade-Off (whose members include, among others, Alexis Destoop, Marjolijn Dijkman, and Femke Herregraven) takes the recent appetite for lithium as a point of departure to investigate a broad range of questions surrounding raw materials for technological industries, financial speculation, and the history of electricity.

In her exhibition Compulsive Desires: On Lithium Extraction and Rebellious Mountains (Galeria Municipal do Porto, 2023), architect and curator Marina Otero Verzier addresses the entanglement between extractivism and exhaustion, productivity and burnout, taking as her starting point the lithium extraction plans in northern Portugal and the struggles sustained by local communities for their lives and rights.

The evening will be followed by a conversation, moderated by Nikolaus Hirsch and Silvia Franceschini, and Electrify Everything, a performance by Pom Bouvier-b and Marjolijn Dijkman (with a text by Jean Katambayi Mukendi).

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