Remembering Silences

If history is a narrative written by winners, where is the voice of the so-called losers to be heard? If we would have the chance to listen to repressed voices, how would everyday reality appear to us after that?

The three-part program curated by Ahmed Al-Nawas explores how power operates in silence and how memory and memories could act as counter histories. The program Remembering Silences aims to diffract the written history of Helsinki and to revise the outdated representations of the city. 

The program began in October 2015 with the two-day event Outlines of the Helsinki based Silta collective as a feminist film festival feat. a live talk show which reflected on the memory of collectives, collective remembrance as well as collective amnesia. 

On the agenda of the live talk show were, among other things, power. Colonialism. Now. Indigenous peoples. Black feminism.

Silta collective are Maryan Abdulkarim and Pauliina Feodoroff, who are the presenters and audiences of each other’s public talk. Abdulkarim is a central actor of antiracist feminism in Finland, a writer, educator, activist and event organiser. Feodoroff is a Saami activist and a theater- and filmmaker. The duo works together for the first time in the Silta collective.

The event is co-produced with the feminist film archive Cinenova in London.

A project co-realized by Afro-Diasporic theoretician Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur and visual artist Minna Henriksson which was made public in December. It centered on the VIII World Festival of Youth and Students organized in Helsinki in 1962. The collaborative work revisited the festival location and asked how the cold war Helsinki reverberates in us today.

The program ended in April 2016 with the Pan African Space Station (PASS) by the Cape Town based group Chimurenga. The Chimurenga editorial collective has since 2002 published the Chimurenga magazine which creatively presents Pan-African and Afro-Diasporic literature, art and politics.

Pan African Space Station (PASS) is a musical intervention which constructs a library inside of a library thus questioning the assumed neutrality, creates new paths to critical thinking and expands our understandings of what a memory organization can be.

The program is accompanied by a publication which assembles and at the same time further diffracts the problematics addressed in its course related to politics of memory and history. The editorial group is formed by researcher and writer Aino Korvensyrjä and curator Selina Väliheikki.