The cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research project Srijan-Abartan aimed to develop new tools and methodologies for the production of culturally rooted, ecologically sustainable, and socially responsible forms of exhibition display. It brought together an international team of artists, designers, researchers, architects, engineers, exhibition-makers, curators, and producers from Bangladesh, Switzerland, and beyond, who discussed, critiqued, envisioned, and conceptualized display strategies, in light of sustainability as a core concern. Its results culminated in the exhibition design of the Dhaka Art Summit 2020.
This roundtable brought together four of the project’s core participants for some collective retrospection and analysis both of the challenges overcome by Srijan-Abartan and its shortcomings; for reflecting on lessons learned can clarify which of them are viable for future use.
Diana Campbell Betancourt (she/her) is a curator committed to fostering a transnational art world. Her plural and long-range vision addresses the concerns of underrepresented regions and artists alongside the more established in manifold forums. As the Founding Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of DAS since 2013, Campbell Betancourt has developed DAS into the foremost research and exhibition platform for art from South Asia. For Srihatta, an Art Centre and Sculpture park that will be the foundation’s permanent home, she is curating its inaugural exhibition from the Samdani Art Foundation’s collection that she has been entrusted with forming. Concurrent to her work in Bangladesh, from 2016 to 2018 Campbell Betancourt was the Founding Artistic Director of Bellas Artes Projects, a non-profit international residency and exhibition program with sites in Manila and Bataan. As an independent curator, she has realized many significant solo projects and group exhibitions at leading institutions and galleries. Campbell Betancourt was appointed to curate Frieze Projects in London for its 2018 iteration and will curate the 2019 edition. She chairs the board of the Mumbai Art Room, one of India’s leading non-profit spaces. She continues to write essays for various publications and lecture and teach widely. Through her exhibitions, artist commissions, education outreach, and scholarly cross-pollination in conjunction with academic research centres, Campbell Betancourt is laying the groundwork for valuable cross-cultural dialog, nurturing solidarity across the Global South, and the necessary rewriting of art history for our collective future. Educated at Princeton, Campbell Betancourt has been living and working across Asia since 2010. She currently lives in Brussels and Dhaka.
Dr Huraera Jabeen (she/her) is a development professional engaged in research, practice and teaching on critical issues of urban resilience, more specifically researching the intersection of gender and climate change in cities of the global South. Dr. Jabeen is assistant professor at BRAC University, and previously worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Population Council in New York. After completing her PhD studies in International Development and Policy Management from the University of Manchester, she has taught in architecture programmes for more than ten years in Bangladesh and lectured at the University College London, the University of Manchester in the UK as well as the New School and Columbia University in the USA.
Prem Krishnamurthy (he/him) is based in Berlin and New York. He is a partner and director of the multidisciplinary design practice Wkshps. Previously, he was a founder of the design studio Project Projects, winner of the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award. He is co-Artistic Director of FRONT International 2021, the contemporary art triennial in Cleveland and Northern Ohio. As an independent exhibition maker, he was an Artistic Director of the inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, ‘Ministry of Graphic Design’, and has curated exhibitions internationally including at P!, the acclaimed ‘Mom-and-Pop-Kunsthalle’ that he founded in New York’s Chinatown in 2012. He has written for numerous catalogues and magazines and has edited books with Berkeley Art Museum, Cabinet Books, Duke University Press, Paper Monument, and others. His first book, the experimental memoir/monograph/manifesto, ‘P!DF’, was published by O-R-G in 2017.
Brazilian designer, researcher, and curator Nina Paim (she/her) holds a BA in Graphic Design from Gerrit Rietveld Academie and an MA in Design Research from HKB Bern. She has taught and lectured in Aruba, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy, Portugal, the UK, the US, and Switzerland. In 2014, she curated the exhibition ‘Taking a Line for a Walk’ at the 26th Biennial of Graphic Design Brno, Czech Republic, for which she received a Swiss Design Award in 2015. She co-conceived and edited the book ‘Taking a Line for a Walk’, published by Spector Books Leipzig in 2016 and supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Between 2017 and 2018 she was the program curator of the Swiss Design Network conference ‘Beyond Change, questioning the role of design in times of global transformation’. In 2018, she co-founded the non-profit ‘common-interest,’ dedicated to making research public through creative means of knowledge mediation and storytelling. As part of common-interest, she curated the 2018 exhibition ‘Department of Non-Binaries’ at the inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial in Sharjah.
Inteza Shariar (he/him) is a Bangladeshi architect, designer and artist. Since graduating from BRAC university he has been developing and experimenting with alternative material in his design practice. While at university he worked with BRAC research team and published a paper for the University of Manchester on low-cost housing and alternative building materials. Later he experimented with alternative materials in as part of the ‘Soi3’ project. He worked with the architect Salauddin Ahmed Potash, focusing on architecture, artworks, exhibitions and publications. Later he worked with the architect Saiful Haq. There, he was involved in a design and construction process of a floating bamboo school which later won the ‘Indian Jk Cement Green Architecture Award’. He is a Core member of Akaliko Artist Initiatives and Leads Akaliko’s- Visual, lighting & spatial designs. He also co-founder Ora Design Studio in 2013, and designs energy efficient low-carbon sustainable products. The studio’s focus are local craftsmanship and local materials such as bamboo, mud, reed, canes, ceramics, and biodegradable & recyclable materials.
Truwant + Rodet is a Basel based architecture office founded in 2013 by Charlotte Truwant and Dries Rodet. Their cultural background has been shaped by various experiences abroad such as studying in Switzerland and Belgium, working in Rotterdam, Denmark, Belgium, a residency in Japan… As a consequence, their objective is to stay as curious and receptive as possible and to open the field of investigation to architecture, landscape urbanism, exhibition, installation, furniture design, research and education. Truwant + Rodet develop projects without cynicism nor nostalgia, engaging with all available technologies and specialists while relying on territorial and landscape’s logics . The projects can be read as abstract ideas that crystallize and resonate with their environment. In 2017, they were awarded the Swiss Art Award for their project ‘A Pavilion’. And since 2018 they are developing the project ‘Fountain of Youth’ together with Fabian Marti for the Campus Santé in Lausanne..
→ This first part of the conference series Making and Unmaking Exhibitions — Sustainability in Times of Planetary Crisis can be watched on the Centre culturel suisse. Paris Youtube channel:
Making and Unmaking Exhibitions
Sustainability in Times of Planetary Crisis
The Centre culturel suisse. Paris and the design research and publishing platform Futuress now propose a series of lectures reflecting on a more sustainable cultural sector, which will take a self-critical look at the social and political ramifications of our quest for more just futures for all. Since sustainability touches on issues of climate, space, diversity, and social justice, the program invites curators, museum directors, artists, designers, and community organizers to tackle these topics from their varied respective perspectives.
A Coproduction by the Centre culturel suisse. Paris and Futuress.org
April 2, 2021 | 12:30 PM
Srijan-Abartan: Workshop for Exhibition Making and Unmaking
Roundtable with Diana Campbell Betancourt, Prem Krishnamurthy, Dries Rodet, Inteza Shariar, moderated by Nina Paim
April 6, 2021 | 9 pm CEST
More of what we don’t see
Lecture by Keyna Eleison, Co-Artistic Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro
April 20, 2021 | 9 pm CEST
Trees in Forests, Webs, Onions
Lecture by Lucia Pietroiusti, Curator of General Ecology at the Serpentine Galleries, London
April 27, 2021 | 12:30 PM
Exhibiting for Earthly Habitability
Lecture by Fiona Cameron, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
April 27, 2021 | 9 pm CEST
Lecture by Ramaya Tegegne, Artist and Cultural Organizer based in Geneva