ON-TRADE-OFF: The Unbearable Lightness
Date: 30 March 2019
128 rue de LaFayette
With: Lotte Arndt, Sammy Baloji, Marjolijn Dijkman, Femke Herregraven, Georges Senga, Rosa Spaliviero, Maarten Vanden Eynde.
Participants of On-Trade-Off, initiated by Picha & Enough Room for Space are:
Sammy Baloji (BE/DRC), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (FR/CM), Alexis Destoop (AU/BE), Marjolijn Dijkman (BE/NL), Gulda El Magambo (DRC), Femke Herregraven (NL), Jean Katambayi (DRC), Frank Mukunday (DRC) & Trésor Tshibangu (DRC), Musasa (DRC), Georges Senga (DRC), Daddy Tshikaya (DRC), Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE)
Initiated by Picha (Lubumbashi, DRC) and Enough Room for Space (Brussels, BE), the point of departure for the research project On-Trade-Off is the raw material Lithium. A naturally occurring element (number three on the periodic table), Lithium is currently considered to be ‘the new black gold’ because of its crucial role in the global transition towards a ‘green and fossil fuel free economy’.
Focusing on this one chemical element (Li3) from the periodic table, allows the project to zoom in on particular social, ecological, economic and political phenomena that characterise the production processes that are currently in full development.
These phenomena show striking similarities with production chains as we have known them since the start of triangular trade in the 16th century: inhumane labour during the exploitation and extraction processes; a perpetuated economic imbalance to maintain economic growth; uninformed end-consumers that are unaware of both the devastating production chain that led to their purchased wholesale goods, as much as their afterlife in the sense of a lacking recycling scheme.
Exploring and exposing the full production chain around Lithium enables On-Trade-Off to connect the seemingly independent phenomena that sustain this recurring mis-balance, thus opening a field for reflection about alternatives. In the course of the next two years, On-Trade-Off will be developed and presented in various places, formats and contexts, which each presentation focusing on different parts of the storyline.
Participating artists in On-Trade-Off: Sammy Baloji (BE/DRC), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (FR/CM), Alexis Destoop (AU/BE), Marjolijn Dijkman (BE/NL), Gulda El Magambo (DRC), Femke Herregraven (NL), Jean Katambayi (DRC), Frank Mukunday (DRC) & Trésor Tshibangu (DRC), Musasa (DRC), Georges Senga (DRC), Daddy Tshikaya (DRC), Maarten Vanden Eynde (BE)