- Ahmad Denno ‘22 organizes “Art for Survivals” charity art exhibition to benefit Syrian earthquake relief efforts
Eed Be Eed e.V. will exhibit “Art For Survivals
,” a fundraising exhibition to benefit relief organizations in northwest Syria following a series of devastating earthquakes. Eed Be Eed is collaborating with approximately 30 artists to organize the sale of paintings, photographs, and handicrafts made by people in Syria. All proceeds will go towards supporting earthquake relief efforts. Eed Be Eed was co-founded by Bard College Berlin alumnus Ahmad Denno ‘22, who currently serves as Executive Manager.
Speaking to the importance of the event, Ahmad says, “In such disasters and crises, the power of civic engagement appears through everyone's solidarity to help those affected with any available resources. And this charity exhibition is evidence of that.”
The Eed Be Eed mission
states, “Eed be Eed, which means 'hand in hand' in Arabic, was founded in September 2016 by a group of both locals and refugees. Our mission is to build bridges of communication between newcomers and German society… We empower artists and journalists by creating accessible spaces to express their creativity and amplify their community-based voices.”
The exhibition will take place March 3-5, 2023 from 2:00-8:00 pm at MOOS Space, Moosdorfstrasse 7-9, 12435 Berlin. More event details can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
Photo: Photo by Nour Alabras
Meta: Subject(s): Human Rights,Community Engagement,Alumni/ae |
- Erick Moreno Superlano '22 and BCB faculty Dr. Ayşe Çavdar featured on recent episodes of Spatial Delight
The latest episode of Spatial Delight — a podcast created by BCB professor of migration studies Agata Lisiak — is written and hosted by Erick Moreno Superlano
(’22). In this Spanish-language episode titled “Geometrías del Poder
,” Erick talks about the concept of power geometries developed by British geographer Doreen Massey, and how it was adopted by Hugo Chávez as one of the five engines of the Bolivarian revolution. Massey regarded Venezuela’s communal councils as a promising experiment to imbue people with more political power. Erick talks to María Eugenia Freitez (activist, researcher, and writer) and Reinaldo Iturriza (activist, writer, and Venezuela’s former Minister of Popular Power for Communes and Social Protection) to evaluate how successful this political initiative has been.
An earlier episode, titled “Cities for the Many Not the Few
, features a conversation with BCB faculty Dr. Ayşe Çavdar
about mass housing projects in Turkey. That episode looks at different struggles to make cities more livable – and more just
– for the many, not the few. How do we agree on what’s best for our cities? How do we create open, inclusive, enjoyable spaces? Who takes charge? We need carefully designed infrastructure to make cities livable for all, and urban design itself is also a hugely political issue. Besides their conversation with Çavdar, Lisiak and her co-host for this episode, urban scholar Dr. Anna Richter, speak to geographer Prof. Ash Amin (Cambridge University) about urban commons and social empowerment and to urban scholar Dr. Carmel Christy K J (University of Delhi) about the intersections of social and environmental justice in the port city of Kochi in the Indian state of Kerala. Spatial Delight
is a ten-part podcast about the politics of space inspired by British geographer Doreen Massey. It is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and hosted by the Sociological Review Foundation. Erick’s episode was co-funded by the Experimental Humanities Collaborative Network.
You can listen to Spatial Delight on any podcast app or here
Meta: Subject(s): Faculty,Bard College Berlin,Alumni/ae | Institutes(s): Bard College Berlin |
- Aziza Izamova (‘21) interviewed about her path to a PhD program at Harvard
(‘21) was recently interviewed by the Center for Innovation, Technology and Strategy
about her path to pursuing graduate education at Harvard University. Aziza shares about discovering her passion for art history, and the perseverance and support that helped her achieve academic success. She provides valuable insights on the importance of personal motivation and being open to new experiences.
Aziza graduated from Bard College Berlin with a BA in Humanities, the Arts and Social Thought, and is now a PhD student in the History of Art and Architecture
department at Harvard University
. The following interview has been translated from the original Russian, and some edits have been made for clarity and context. The Path to Harvard after 18 Rejections
My interest in art history started at Bard College Berlin, where I did my BA. When I moved to Germany to study art history, I did not know anything about the subject, and was not aware of future professional prospects that this field of study may open and how it can help to improve the world. At university, I took an art history course that changed my life: Vision and Perspective with Geoff Lehman
. Geoff’s class introduced me to the field of art history, and then I took a course with Aya Soika
that showed me the opportunities for future research: Expressionism, Bauhaus and beyond: German Art and National Identity in the 20th Century. Geoff and Aya, and so many other faculty members at BCB were very supportive of my research and career interests. Aya curated an exhibition that piqued my interest in the field, and which encouraged me to continue studying art history by looking into ways I can contribute and integrate my background, my past and the history of my home country into my studies.What challenges did you face in your choice of study field?
I applied for the BA program a year after I had completed high school, since I was preparing for various exams, including IELTS, during my gap year. I applied to eighteen American universities, but did not get accepted to any of them due to lack of grants and financial aid. I was ready to give up, but I decided to look into universities in Germany. Bard College Berlin, the university I got accepted to and which offered me financial aid, proved to be the best university for me and met my study interests.How did you overcome these challenges?
When I saw that I did not get accepted to any of the universities in the US that I applied to, I became discouraged. But I had my family and friends by my side who supported me. Of course, in the first place, these studies were necessary for me, so I had a strong personal motivation. At the same time, though, I wanted my parents to be proud of me. These are the things that helped me to persevere and search for other options, to do the best I can with the possibilities offered to me, and not to think back to what could have been. How did your parents react to your choice?
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to explain to my parents and family what I am studying. It was difficult to explain what profession I was studying for, and what I could do with this degree. However, when I started work on my final thesis, I understood I was no longer doing this for my own personal interest, but that I had a mission, which is the study of the history of Central Asia, and that this mission will be of use not only to me, but also to future generations in Uzbekistan, and to students who are perhaps also interested in studying the art history of this region. I wanted to pave the path for this, and when my parents realized this, they supported me fully.What is the source of your motivation?
I think I find motivation in the moment when I realize something interests me. I am not afraid of studying something new, and stepping out of my comfort zone. This satisfaction of studying something new and succeeding at it is the main motivation for me to continue.What advice would you give to those who are just starting their career?
I think, again, without the support of my friends and family, and of my professors at university, I would not have been able to apply to graduate school anywhere, or even think that I could apply to universities such as Harvard. I would encourage anyone not to be afraid to ask for advice, help, and guidance from their professors, mentors or friends. I would also encourage you not to be afraid to try out something new, because you can never know what area of study could interest you if you had the chance to find out more about it. There are so many things in the world which you do not yet know about, so do not hesitate to step into this unknown. And those who are interested in the field of art history or in the humanities in general, but are uncertain about their future with such a degree, I would encourage to continue reading, studying, and cultivating their interest and passion, and trust that this would lead to outcomes and accomplishments that you may never have envisioned before.
Watch the full interview in the original Russian on YouTube
Meta: Subject(s): Bard College Berlin,Alumni/ae | Institutes(s): Bard College Berlin |
- Agata Lisiak, Professor of Migration Studies, Produces and Hosts New Podcast Spatial Delight Inspired by British Geographer Doreen Massey
Agata Lisiak, Professor of Migration Studies, is the producer, host, and writer of Spatial Delight
, a new podcast inspired by British social scientist and geographer Doreen Massey. The podcast, released in ten parts (eight in English, two in Spanish) seeks to inspire listeners to think about space and place as full of power and to imagine political alternatives to neoliberalism.
In an interview with The Sociological Review, professor Lisiak said:
“While it is rooted in rigorous research, the podcast aims to present complex academic ideas in an approachable way and engage audiences in a lively conversation. [...] For Massey, any place – including her London neighbourhood of Kilburn – is never just one thing, but rather ‘a meeting-place, of jostling, potentially conflicting, trajectories’. As she wrote, ‘It is (or ought to be) impossible even to begin thinking about Kilburn High Road without bringing into play half the world and a considerable amount of British imperialist history.’ And that, as she insisted, provokes in us a global sense of place.”Spatial Delight
is hosted by the Sociological Review and funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung. In addition to Agata Lisiak, several other members of the BCB community were involved in the project. From the BCB teaching side, Janina Schabing
(video making) assisted with the production and Florian Duijsens
(Academic Director of the Internship Program) with the script editing. BCB alumni who contributed to the project were Adèle Martin ‘22 (production assistant), Reece Cox (visiting student ‘17) (sound producer), Bose Sarmiento ’21 (illustrator and host of a Spanish episode) and Erick Moreno Superlano ’22 (host of an episode on Venezuela, also in Spanish).Spatial Delight
premiered on October 28 and can be found on all major podcast streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and RSS. Click here
to access the full list of streaming possibilities.
- In conversation with artist Sam Zamrik (HAST ‘21), Wunderblock award recipient and author of Ich bin nicht
BCB alum Sam Zamrik has been making headlines as an up-and-coming member of Berlin’s art scene. Zamrik, a Queer Syrian poet and political educator, is the inaugural recipient of the Wunderblock Award
, a €10,000 grant issued by the Wunderblock Foundation established by artist Katharina Grosse. In a press release for the award, the foundation says, “Through their baroque, sometimes laconic images, Sam Zamrik finds expression for war and flight, for uprootedness and loneliness, for feeling non-existent and having no voice.”
Zamrik’s first published volume of poetry, Ich bin nicht
(I am not), will be released by Hanser Berlin on October 15, 2022, in English and German. Ich bin nicht
explores themes of belonging and unbelonging, from Damascus to Berlin and beyond. Accompanying the launch, Zamrik will perform readings from the book at the Archäologie des Verlusts
Festival at the Roter Salon of Volksbühne on Saturday, October 15 at 8pm. To purchase tickets for this event, click here
. To pre-order a copy of Ich bin nicht
, visit Sam’s website
Additionally, Zamrik’s lyrical work will be featured in New Songs from the Earth
which will premiere at the Neuköllner Oper on October 15, 2022. New Songs from the Earth
seeks to “capture contemporary experiences, images and feelings about the concept of ‘Mother Earth’ in a musical-scenic mosaic that quotes the original music and continues it in new compositions – symphonic and chamber music, with vocals and also purely instrumental.” More information (including where to buy tickets) can be found here
Bard College Berlin reached out to Sam to ask them a few questions about art, culture, identity, and exploration.What about your personal and intellectual background informs your work?
I am queer, I come from a very poor and uneducated family, I grew up under a dictatorship regime, and I suffer from chronic mental illness, but I also came to have access to a university education and can speak three languages. Most importantly, however, I have always been an outsider. Each of these things plays a huge role in my work today and informs it every step of the way. For instance, I prefer to give workshops on topics that are relevant for the underrepresented, such as the series of workshops I conducted at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt on the topic of asylum and exile, or the creative writing workshops I co-led for disenfranchised refugee high school students in Brandenburg. Moreover, all of these influences converge in my poetry, which I like to believe is positive representation of outsiders like me. I like to craft poems that lend themselves to close reading, but I think that's a lot to ask of the reader, as the content is largely autofiction, so I rely heavily on political theory, philosophy, narratology, and linguistics in order to appeal to the reader, retain their engagement, and deliver my message while also keeping the poems accessible and free of (too much) jargon. Could you speak to Berlin as a creative, educational, or artistic space?
Though it can be unforgiving at times, Berlin is a patchwork of so many communities and worlds and that lends itself to creation, learning, and art, because Berlin itself teaches, creates, and makes art. One can learn a lot about politics, history, architecture, art, ethnology, post-colonialism, and so much more just by walking between its many Bezirke. Graffiti and other street art meets Renaissance and Romantic painting in the streets; 10 languages buzz together in a lively human loudness on any given train ride; one can walk by buildings that survived catastrophe and others that continue to cause it; home and exile coexist on the same street; the global south reproduces its localities in every part of the city and wears a North Face jacket. I can only wax poetic about Berlin, because Berlin itself is like poetry, and whatever you think of poetry will certainly apply to Berlin as well.How do you think interdisciplinarity in the classroom fosters creativity outside of the classroom?
Interdisciplinarity opens multiple entry points into any given topic and a broader, more varied perspective on each discipline that one wants to look into, as well as a sure footing when embarking on practical applications. It also delimits a person's capacity to work on a project by providing experience (even if only theoretical) in multiple mediums, which in turn frees up creative energy and allows significant possibilities for practical creation. In other words, interdisciplinarity gives a person multiple tool sets that are readily available for both creative and practical processes.How do you find—or make—opportunities in line with your interests?
As an outsider even among outsiders, I can't say that I was successful in finding opportunities in line with my interests, but certain opportunities definitely presented themselves to me during multiple phases of my life which I had to cease and tailor to fit. At Bard Berlin for instance, I found that a lot of my interests were at times too niche for a lot of people, so I had to rephrase and rework them in ways that facilitated building bridges between myself and others. To that end, the old adage "Know your audience" is paramount. A weird, albeit good example from my time at Bard, is my life-long interest in the occult. Naturally, it did not go over very well with many people, but couching it in more tangible, more relevant terms and weaving it into politics and philosophy essays seemed to do the trick, and it even began to pique the interest of some people who had previously rolled their eyes every time the topic was brought up, which allowed me to discuss it more freely both inside and outside class. Similarly in my professional life, I had to muster up the courage to make space for myself by learning how to present and pitch things to people in order to create opportunities not previously available to me. So I would say I make opportunities line up with my interests by getting to know who I am talking to and what might interest them as well, then by creating symbiotic, give-and-take relationships that I am ready to accommodate and are ready to accommodate me, with sufficient room for mutual, consensual compromise.
Bard College Berlin thanks Sam Zamrik for their thoughtful, eloquent response and their contributions to cultural discourse both in Berlin and across international boundaries.
Photo: Sam Zamrik, photographed by Paula Wrinkler.