IMPULS x gfzk: No Time Like the Present

Rivers-Sisters, Foto: Tomasz Wiech
Rivers-Sisters, Foto: Tomasz Wiech

Against the backdrop of a shift to the right, war and the climate crisis, there is a growing need for useful art – socially engaged, participatory art, art that intervenes directly and practically. After the IMPULS Festival 2022 described the world from the future with Futur2, the current crises challenge us to act in the here and now. With this year’s motto No Time Like the Present, the festival in cooperation with the GfZK responds to the present and its pressing questions. In a diverse joint programme of concerts, workshops, films, discursive formats and artistic interventions, the focus is on socially engaged and collective art practices that intervene directly in social processes.


River Sisters – The Battle for Water
15 – 17h, Workshop in English language
17 – 18h, Procession to the river (starting point GfZK) with the Otucha Choir Collective in English language

The River Sisters (Siostry Rzeki) is an artistic-activist collective from Poland that calls on women* to give rivers a voice and join the struggle that is taking place between environmentalists and politicians, civil servants and the hydro-engineering lobby. It is a fight for wildlife, for a landscape and for clean water that is becoming the most precious resource of our planet. In this workshop, participants will gain insights into the artistic-activist practice of the collective and will be invited to join the fight for our environment in a subsequent procession together with the Polish choir collective Otucha from the GfZK through the park along the Elster Riverbed to the Palm Weir.

The Art of Protest – Sound and Activism
15 – 17h, GfZK
Workshop in English

Against the backdrop of a shift to the right, war and the climate crisis, there is a growing demand for socially engaged, participatory art – art that intervenes directly and practically. But what can art do? What possibilities does art open up, what are its limits? What role can sound and music in particular play in the transformation processes of our society? With her workshop, the researcher, curator and activist Hanna Grześkiewicz builds a bridge between art and activism that places sound and collective practice at its centre. Together, different perspectives from theory and practice are shared and sustainable artistic-activist strategies are developed.

19.30 – 20.30h, GfZK, Black Box
Instrumentalities – How does the climate sound?
Concert-lecture in English

In “Instrumentalities”, the Sono-Choreographic Collective addresses aspects of its artistic-scientific research “Common Grounds”. Summarising 20 years of environmental data in 60 minutes, this participatory concert lecture presents some of the methods developed to hear, feel and understand climate change from an embodied perspective. These include various sonic and somatic techniques that connect the planetary scale with the individual and collective sensory scale of the participants. The concert lecture unfolds around a table that is a hybrid surface for discourse, politics, strategy, negotiation, communication and community.

21 – 21.15h, GfZK, Black Box
Film: Memory of the Blind Elephant (Nguyen Phuong Linh)

Đa búp đỏ translates as “red buds”. They belong to a community of fig trees whose survival depends on symbiotic relationships with a species of wasp. Their fruit, leaves, sap, bark and roots are used to make medicine that relieves pain and inflammation and cures disease. In the extraction grammar of European imperial languages, both Đa búp đỏ and the Amazonian Sharinga are called gum trees. Natural latex, the milky white substance that permeates them, became the material prerequisite for the technical-industrial-military complex of colonial modernity. Botanical gardens in the colonial metropolises and in the colonised “peripheries” cultivated and tested both tree species and served as nodes in the imperial circuits of knowledge during the so-called rubber boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Set on a former colonial rubber plantation in central Vietnam, Phuong Linh Nguyen’s film Memory of the Blind Elephant is a tender portrait of the complex economics of inter-species trauma and resilience in the face of continued degradation and destruction. The rubber trees, the people, the animals and the land bear the silent marks of this history.

21.15 – 23h, GfZK, Black Box
Film: Foragers (Jumana Manna)
followed by a talk with the filmmaker in English

The film Foragers by Jumana Manna depicts the dramas surrounding the gathering of edible wild plants in Palestine/Israel with ironic humour and a meditative pace.
Shot on the Golan Heights, in the Galilee and Jerusalem, the film moves between fiction, documentary and archival footage to explore the impact of Israel’s
conservation laws on these customs. As coveted ingredients of Palestinian cuisine, the artichoke-like ‘akkoub and za’atar (thyme) have been collected for generations, but the laws have led to countless fines and court cases. Foragers follows the plants – from the wild to the kitchen, from the chases between the gatherers and the nature patrol to their defence in court, capturing the inherited love, joy and knowledge of these traditions and their resilience in the face of prohibition law.

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