VLC Forum 2021: As for Protocols

VLC Forum 2021: As for Protocols

Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Conflictorium, Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression, 2019. Photo: Shristi Sharma. Courtesy of the Conflictorium Archives.

September 22, 2021
VLC Forum 2021: As for Protocols
In person and online
October 12–16, 2021
Vera List Center for Art and Politics
The New School
66 West 12th Street, Room 604
New York, New York 10011
United States


The Vera List Center (VLC) is pleased to announce the VLC Forum 2021: As for Protocols. An international, annual convening of key participants in the field of art and politics, this year’s Forum continues the VLC’s two-year investigation As for Protocols. 

Each day of the Forum highlights the protocols-related work of one of the 2020–22 Jane Lombard Fellows: Emeka Okereke and other Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organization members gather online and at UnionDocs for workshops, conversations, and screenings; NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati and Nepal Picture Library host a panel on feminist and children’s literature; Underground Resistance presents Nomadico, with a conversation and live DJ performance at Weeksville Heritage Center; and Jorge González of Escuela de Oficios creates an outdoor communal altar at The Clemente

Ahmedabad-based Avni Sethi is the recipient of the 2020–22 Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice. She is also the founder and curator of Conflictorium, a museum of conflict in the same city. The exhibition anchoring the VLC Forum 2021 is dedicated to Sethi’s groundbreaking project, with an installation and live exchanges on the political dimension of emptiness and infrastructures of care. 

All events, including film screenings, performances, and concerts, are free.


October 9–24, 2021 
Owed to a Certain Emptiness: Infra-structuring the Conflictorium

Open daily, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, 66 5th Avenue, New York
In an exhibition environment inspired by Conflictorium, the museum she founded in India just over ten years ago, Avni Sethi leads reflections on infrastructure and museum accountability. Resonating concepts of dialogue and community participation prevalent at Conflictorium, the exhibition at Parsons also provides a remote space of reflection, a “pause” which, this time, is self-chosen, not pandemic-imposed. Over the course of the exhibition, Sethi hosts various conversations and exchanges on the notion of infrastructure, presence, and emptiness. 

Events (EDT):

Tuesday, October 12 
VLC Forum day one: Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organization

10am, 12pm & 2pm, online workshops 
6:30pm EDT film screening and conversation at UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn
In a performance of coming together, Jane Lombard Fellow Emeka Okereke gathers members and collaborators of the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organization, an artist-led initiative that challenges the perception of borders within the 54 countries of Africa. Virtual workshops and conversations, as well as an in-person screening at UnionDocs reflect on notions and spaces of encounter, the poetics of relation, and the protocols necessary to translate these concepts into artistic practice. 

Wednesday, October 13 
VLC Forum day two: Nepal Picture Library

111pm, panel discussion, online
Jane Lombard Fellow NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati builds on the work of the Nepal Picture Library, a communitarian archive actively preserving the memory cultures of minority groups and social resistance in Nepal. Kakshapati and guests touch on feminist histories in Nepal with a conversation on how these histories arise in children’s literature and books. 

Thursday, October 14
VLC Forum day three: Underground Resistance (UR)

5:30–7pm, Underground Resistance and friends: a conversation
7–8pm, reception & visit of historical Hunterfly Road Houses
8–10pm, concert: UR presents Nomadico
Weeksville Heritage Center, 158 Dr. Joan Maynard Way/Buffalo Avenue, Brooklyn 
Jane Lombard Fellow Underground Resistance presents Nomadico at Weeksville Heritage Center for a DJ performance and accompanying public program, contextualizing the world-building and political project that is Underground Resistance, a techno music collective and label in Detroit. 

Friday, October 15
VLC Forum day four: Conflictorium

2pm, conversation & reception
Online and Parsons School of Design, The New School, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, 66 5th Avenue, New York
Daily conversations with different interlocutors animate the exhibition Owed to a Certain Emptiness: Infra-structuring the Conflictorium. On day four of the Forum, Avni Sethi engages in an in-depth conversation with seminal filmmaker and artist Amar Kanwar, followed by a gallery reception for New School students and faculty. 

Saturday, October 16
VLC Forum day five: Escuela de Oficios

2–4pm, Community Altar 
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk St, New York
Following a recent trip to Mexico to connect with his paternal roots and learn traditional tallow candle-making techniques, Jorge González sets up a candle-making site as an altar at The Clemente, enacting Escuela’s continuous, embodied work of community regeneration.

For more information, full program listings, and registration, visit veralistcenter.org.

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September 22, 2021

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