lumbung calling: Independence by Jumana Emil Abboud, Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt

Location: Online via YouTube und Facebook

Languages: English, Sign language


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The seven-part conversation series lumbung calling launches documenta fifteen’s Public Program, activated under the title Meydan. Each edition of the series is dedicated to one of the lumbung values: Local Anchor, Humor, Generosity, Independence, Transparency, Sufficiency, and Regeneration. The format dives deeper into the background of the artistic concept for documenta fifteen and illuminates the idea of lumbung from many different angles. Through conversations with a variety of guests, lumbung calling will explore the rich meaning of lumbung across multiple disciplines, points of view, and contexts within an artistic framing.

lumbung calling takes place on the first Saturday of every month over seven sessions, from April to October 2021. It is hosted by the artist Jumana Emil Abboud and ruangrupa member Mirwan Andan.

The third lumbung calling focuses on the lumbung value of Independence. In lumbung practice, independence can be perceived as interdependence, in order to avoid the binary approach that condemns and severely restricts the relationship to a hierarchical definition that favors always one part over another, in an always incomplete theorem. Taking its cue from ecological ways of thinking, in lumbung, relations between humans and other-than-humans weave independence and interdependence together. Independence from is rather transformed into interdependence between, which shows how relations are deeply complex and how nothing can truly thrive on its own, rather being mutually reliant on each other.


lumbung calling on Independence hosts a conversation between Tania Bruguera, founder of the Cuban Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR), and the Palestinian Agroecology scholar Omar Tesdell. Through their artistic efforts, artist Tania Bruguera and the Havana-based collective INSTAR are dedicated to promoting independence, democracy, fundamental civil rights, and social fairness, by offering workshops to strengthen the capacities of artists, intellectuals and activists. They also provide financial support for their independent projects.
Omar Tesdell is a Palestinian Agroecology scholar, who is engaged in a collective struggle for freedom and basic human rights. Tesdell’s perspective demonstrates how agriculture research should not only be limited to the biophysical dimension, rather how it transcends academic disciplines and how it is deeply connected to an interspecies and socioeconomic dimension.

Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR) emerged as an institution for civic literacy in 2015, from an artistic intervention, organized by the Cuban artivist Tania Bruguera, where people read and discussed Hannah Arendt’s book The Origins of Totalitarianism for one hundred hours. Bruguera is a political performance artist who explores the relationship between art, activism, and social change. Her work examines the social effects of political and economic power. Since its inception, INSTAR has been thought of as a democratic and horizontal space, where decisions are made by consensus. Its members claim social justice and rights in Cuba, such as fair wages, a working environment that is maternity friendly, supporting independent projects and artists, and respect for freedom of expression. INSTAR is a safe space that protects and connects other organizations, activists, and artists, offering workshops, financial support through prizes and scholarships, and visibility. INSTAR is a lumbung member of documenta fifteen.

Omar Imseeh Tesdell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Birzeit University, Palestine. He studies landscape and agroecological transformation in the Middle East and the Americas. More specifically, Tesdell is interested in the relationship between ecological change and built environment. Tesdell’s peer-reviewed research has been published in refereed journals such as Plants, People, Planet (2020), Frontiers in Plant Science (2020), Journal of Arid Environments (2020), Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (2019), Geoforum (2017), and International Journal of Middle East Studies (2015). Other recent publications include Garden Gathering in A Garden Among the Hills: The Floral Heritage of Palestine, The Palestinian Museum (2019). He has also edited an Arabic-English guide entitled Palestinian Wild Food Plants (2018), as part of a community-based research collective. In 2015, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University in New York.


Jumana Emil Abboud is an artist whose creative interests lie in oral histories, personal and collective stories, and mythologies, particularly folk tales and their sites of being and unbeing. Abboud uses storytelling, performative elements, and workshop methodologies in her artistic practice to investigate our relationship to time and place, to the human and non-human, exploring tools of memory, attachment, and dispossession amid the challenge for continuity within political, ecological, and cultural struggles. Her work has been shown at The Jerusalem Show (2018); Sharjah Biennale (2017); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2016); Biennale di Venezia (2015); and Istanbul Biennale (2009), among many others. She has participated in art residencies, including Sakiya – Art/Science/Agriculture, Ramallah; Delfina Foundation, London; Arts Initiative Tokyo; and Gästeatelier Krone, Aarau. Abboud is currently pursuing a practice-led PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Mirwan Andan is a member of ruangrupa, Artistic Direction of documenta fifteen.

Undine Schäfer is a sign language interpreter based in Göttingen.


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In English with translation into International Sign.


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All lumbung calling dates

Local Anchor, Saturday, April 3, 2021
Humor, Saturday, May 1, 2021
Independence, Saturday, June 5, 2021
Generosity, Saturday, July 3, 2021
Transparency, Saturday, August 7, 2021
Sufficiency, Saturday, September 4, 2021
Regeneration, Saturday, October 2, 2021


Online via YouTube und Facebook


Location: Online via YouTube und Facebook

Languages: English, Sign language


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