East Europe Biennial Alliance: East to East

Online conversations in the framework of OFF-Biennale Budapest’s Living Room project


27.05 11:00 am

online event

The event is part of the Transperiphery Conversations series organized in conjunction with the exhibition Transperiphery Movement: Global Eastern Europe and Global South at OFF-Biennale Budapest 

May 27, 2021 

All times are in CET

11:00 – 12:30 

The East in East Europe Biennial Alliance (EEBA) 

The East Europe Biennial Alliance (EEBA) is comprised of Biennale Matter of Art Prague, Biennale Warszawa, Kyiv Biennial, OFF-Biennale Budapest, and Survival Kit Festival Riga. As contemporary biennials have become an important vehicle placing art in new contexts and reaching new audiences, the Alliance is designed to enhance the role of biennials in shaping new forms of international solidarity, expanding socio-political imagination, and developing alternative cultural solutions. Through connecting aesthetics and politics in a strategic manner, the Biennial Alliance aims to propose a different narrative of the East European region and redefine the way cultural institutions collaborate.

This discussion with EEBA members will revolve around the ways in which each biennale engaged with the geopolitics of Eastern Europe in connecting with the geopolitics of the Global South

Participants: Tereza Stejskalová (Biennale Matter of Art Prague), Bartosz Frąckowiak (Biennale Warszawa), Vasyl Cherepanyn, Serhiy Klymko (Kyiv Biennial), and Inga Lāce (Survival Kit Festival Riga) 

Hosted by Eszter Szakács (OFF-Biennale Budapest) 

12:30 – 13:30 Break 

13:30 – 14:15 

The Suits That We Have in Our Country Are Not Suitable for the Tropical Climate

Max Cegielski, Bartek Frąckowiak, and Inga Hajdarowicz in conversation with Marta Michalak

Similarly to other post-socialist countries, from the 1960s until its political transformation, Poland maintained permanent and close relations with Middle Eastern and North African countries. This quite improbable period of such geopolitical alliances is full of colorful examples of translocal solidarity, international relations based on the vision of the planetary common good, as well as friendships between people and between institutions. Could we revive some of these relations, and on this basis attempt to design present forms of alliances and solidarities between Eastern Europe and the Middle East and North Africa?

Inga Hajdarowicz collected stories of Palestinians and Lebanese, who studied and worked in Poland in the 1970s and '80s. Bartek Frąckowiak and Max Cegielski carried out the fascinating archival research: from visual footage and articles from magazines such as “The Polish Review” (1962-1972), “Poland,” to the archive of Michał Kalecki and "Polish school of development," Ministry of Foreign Affairs, LOT, Orbis, Budimex, Polservice, and other international trade companies, we can tell the story of colorful social situations taking place behind the scenes of the official politics and trade. 

14:15 –15:15 

The Question of Decolonization in Eastern Europe 

Conversation among Aziza Harmel, Rado Ištok, Piotr Sikora, and Renan Laru-an, moderated by Tereza Stejskalová and Veronika Janatková (

Aziza Harmel, Rado Ištok, Renan Laru-an, Piotr Sikora, and the collective have formed the Biennale Matter of Art curatorial working group. Over the course of this year and the next, the group will be preparing the concept for the second edition of the biennale, which will take place in the summer of 2022 in Prague. The conversation will revolve around the thematic foundation of the planned biennale, which builds on current discussions about how to address the historical entanglement of art museums in Eastern Europe and their collections in the global colonial relations.

Aziza Harmel is a curator and writer who currently lives in Vienna. Since January 2020 she has been a part of the curatorial team of Kunsthalle Wien. Rado Ištok is a curator, writer, and editor. He lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Renan Laru-an is a researcher. He lives and works between Sultan Kudarat and Metro Manila, Philippines. Piotr Sikora is a critic and curator of contemporary art. He is the curator of the MeetFactory AiR Program in Prague. He lives and works in Prague. is an initiative for contemporary art and a member of the network, founded in 2002 and working independently in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. In 2018 it established the institution Biennale Matter of Art, which is a member of the East Europe Biennial Alliance (alongside OFF–Biennale Budapest, Hungary, Kyiv Biennial, Ukraine, and Biennale Warszawa, Poland). 


Urban Ruins and Public Space 

Sambatas Stagings conversation 

Sambatas Stagings is a collaborative performative project that draws on the history, imagery, and context of urban ruin in present-day Kyiv to reinvent the uses of public space in the turbulence of the pandemic. 

Oleksiy Radynski, a filmmaker and participant of the Visual Culture Research Center/Kyiv Biennial in conversation about the work in progress with the participants of the project: Diana McCarty (Professor at the Merz Akademie, Stuttgart and founding editor of, Berlin), Mijke van der Drift (Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London and tutor at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague), David Muñoz Alcantára (founder of the research studio NÆS—Nomad Agency/Archive of Emergent Studies).

16:00 – 16:45 

Shared Histories and Unlikely Connections 

Santiago Mostyn, Behzad Khosravi-Noori, and Sári Ember in conversation with Inga Lāce

The conversation will reiterate some of the encounters and dialogues that took place in Riga during Survival Kit 10.1 in 2019, talking with its participating artists. This edition of the festival focused on personal stories of migration and unlikely connections between the regions, challenging the directionality of exchanges we are used to. What are the colonial bonds tying together Sweden, Latvia, and the Caribbean island Tobago? What is the historical relation between west and east, south and north in regards to image production and knowledge circulation? What is the future of the shared history between Hungary and Brazil?

The East Europe Biennial Alliance: East to East online event is supported by the Visegrad Fund. 

Living Room in Budapest is a precursory event to OFF’s participation, in the frame of lumbung inter-lokal, in documenta fifteen. Living Room is realized with the generous support of Goethe-Institut.