Conversations Across Place: Reckoning With An Entangled World

Conversations Across Place: Reckoning With An Entangled World

The Green Box

June 21, 2021
Conversations Across Place: Reckoning With An Entangled World
June 23, 2021
Launch and screening: June 23, 5:30pm, GMT, online

Order book here. The online book launch and screening will take place on Zoom.

Edited by Nicola Brandt and Frances Whorrall-Campbell.

Conversations Across Place (CAP) provides a research and publishing platform for international artists and writers engaging with landscape in the broader sense of geography, ecology, space, place, built and “natural” environments. Artists, writers, and architects converse across the borders that divide places and disciplines, enacting the tangling that already exists in our plural ecosystems.

The first volume, Reckoning with an Entangled World, grapples with the reflexive relationships of extraction, ruination and reverberation, working towards solidarity across places and perspectives. Together, the essays, conversations and artworks included here map new landscapes, producing images of liminal times and spaces that provide a critical opportunity to reassess diverse relationships to the world.

Contributions by Nicola Brandt and Solveig Lønmo offer two different investigations into how memorials and monuments act on space, from the multiple versions of G. F. Watts’ Physical Energy in London and Southern Africa, which underscore the continued legacies of imperial capitalism in the modern world, to Hannah Ryggen and Jonas Dahlberg’s “counter-memorials” to the terrorist attack of July 22, 2011.

Elisa Schaar reads the work of the Swiss artist Miriam Cahn through the lines that colonialism has drawn upon lands and bodies: drawing out Cahn’s interests in the gender binary and borders to connect the artist’s early and later paintings. Ama Josephine B. Johnstone also speaks to the entanglements of sexuality, gender and diasporic life. As a counter to the many violences encountered when researching from this complex positionality, she advances a new caring methodology: “Pollination as Praxis.”

Frances Whorrall-Campbell presents a re-reading of John Ruskin’s ecological criticism, witnessing the liberatory potential of queer and decolonial ecologies that grow through the cracks in his thought. Architect Lorenzo Nassimbeni offers a personal response to the city of Johannesburg, opposing the modernist grid with a sensitive and embodied drawing practice.

Sociologist Denise L. Lim and architect Sumayya Vally speak across their disciplines and subjectivities as women of colour with transnational heritage and intersectional identities. Through dialogue with each other, they consider how their research in African cities informs their understanding and reinvention of social architectural practice—a conversation that builds on Lim’s writing on Ponte Tower in Johannesburg, and Vally’s work on the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion.

Lipika Pelham meditates on the versions of Bengal encountered on the partitioned Indian subcontinent and in London’s East End, reflecting on the slippery borders in land and mind that have splintered these communities and forced a process of negotiation that is needed to build new forms of solidarity. Shruti Belliappa proposes a fragmented history of the Indian subcontinent—working through lyrical shards that shimmer on the horizon of memory and narrative, while confronting the harsh reality of contemporary working-class struggle and competition for survival.

Peter Coffin’s Untitled Rivers offer a different way of reading texts: one that is intuitive and imaginative, striking out on unexpected paths that intersect with, but do not follow, the dominant flow—enacting the entanglement that is this book’s project. Activist Hildegard Titus’s photographs of protests in Namibia, and accompanying interview, demonstrate the importance of collective effort, of responsibility for those near and far, in attempting to invoke change.

Conversations Across Place uses queer and decolonial methods as explicit tools of disorientation, questioning the clarity of time and space that rises from a Western cis-heteronormative and imperial context. Rather than a field guide, this book proposes a constellation of material—a horizontal network which points in new directions.

Film screening

The launch will be accompanied with a ten-minute film screening. The diptych montage—produced by South African and Namibian artists Jannous Aukema, Puleng Stewart and Nicola Brandt—draws on visual fragments of the past to try and illuminate tumultuous and entangled events and spatialities of the present.


Conversations Across Place
192 pages
54 images
140 x 240 mm
Design: Anja Lutz // Art Books

The Green Box, Berlin 2021
ISBN 978-3-96216-007-4
EUR 24,00 


Supported by The Kowitz Family Foundation.

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June 21, 2021

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