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Grafting Resilience

With Alicja Rogalska, Platforma Výkvět, Saša Uhlová, Katalin Erdődi

As part of the upcoming Biennale Matter of Art 2024 and in cooperation with the Hraničář Gallery in Ústí nad Labem, tranzit.cz invites you to an encounter with Berlin-based Polish visual artist Alicja Rogalska, journalist Saša Uhlová, and Platforma Výkvět, a self-organized network of ecological flower farmers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia with whom Rogalska is collaborating for her new work for the biennale. The event will be partly in Czech and partly in English and is for free.

The event will focus on the working conditions and need for ecological change in agriculture. In the first part of the evening, we will talk about how seasonal agricultural work on industrial farms across Western Europe is done primarily by migrants—among them many Eastern Europeans—and discuss what possibilities of self-organization these precarious workers have, based on examples of Alicja Rogalska’s socially engaged artistic practice and Saša Uhlová’s approach to undercover journalism in her collaboration with the documentary filmmaker Apolena Rychlíková. How can the work of artists, journalists, and filmmakers intervene in these workers’ struggles in a generative way?

Program:

Alicja Rogalska will introduce and screen her video work The Royals (2018–2019), created in collaboration with migrant potato farm workers on the Island of Jersey (British Islands). The video documents a series of conversations about establishing a prize for the best employer in the agricultural sector and about starting a trade union. During each session, the workers made clay potatoes, relying on tactile memory. One of the potatoes was cast in bronze as the prize—yet to be awarded.

Saša Uhlová will show excerpts from her collaboration with Apolena Rychlíková on their new film Limits of Europe. The film asks: “Why are we still witnessing such glaring economic inequality between the ‘West’ and the ‘East,’ and why are so many people forced to leave their families to look for work far from their homes?” In a conversation with Alicja Rogalska and Katalin Erdődi (co-curator of Matter of Art 2024), Uhlová will share her experiences from working undercover alongside seasonal workers from Poland at a large farm in Germany.

The second part of the evening is dedicated to Platforma Výkvět, who will introduce their work as ecological flower farmers and share how to make a winter bouquet of dried flowers through a “florist show”, while talking about agroecological change and farmers’ self-organization. Why is it important to think critically about the globalized industry of flower farming (which perpetuates exploitative labor conditions in the Global South) and buy cut flowers that are locally grown? What does it mean to be an ecological flower farmer and how does Výkvět function? How do Výkvět members think about seasonality and about flowers as part of our everyday lives? What more ecological and emancipatory futures would they like to see blossoming?

The Výkvět members’ presentation will be followed by an open conversation involving all of the guests and the audience.

In collaboration with Hraničář Gallery.

This event is funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU and The City of Prague.

Free entry. Discussions will be held in english, film screening is in english with czech subtitles, performance will be in czech.

Venue:

Veřejný sál Hraničář
Prokopa Diviše 1812/7
400 01
Ústí nad Labem-město

Schedule:

17:00–18:15 in English

Screening of The Royals and artist talk by Alicja Rogalska

Screening of excerpts from Limits of Europe by Apolena Rychlíková (produced by Hypermarket Film, ARTE, Czech Television), with an introduction by Saša Uhlová

Followed by a conversation between Alicja Rogalska, Saša Uhlová, and Katalin Erdődi

18:15–18:45 break

18:45–20:00 in Czech

Presentation and florist show by Platforma Výkvět 

Followed by a conversation with all of the guests and the audience



External Links
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