Selected excerpts from Strauss's punk documentary about queer Aboriginal and Indigenous artists and their inventions of the “good life” will be accompanied by introductory comments and shared for discussion: Can the epistemologies developed as a response to Gaia's rage at the receiving end of the empire's wealth be seen as Ecologies of Care?
All Indigenous people have something in common ... They all embrace trees, drink the sun, talk to the plants, worship their ancestors, and have their own bridges to the sky, in order to daydream – like we will be doing during the presentation. We will be traveling from knowledge-rich island to knowledge-rich island, with Joulia playing an Ancient Greek lyre for you and narrating the Odyssey from an ecofeminist, Siren's perspective.
About the film Transindigenous Assembly
Here you will meet artists who have remained in their Indigenous communities or have rediscovered them for themselves, and are active outside and beyond the Western art institutions: masters whose outstanding teachings on light are as precise as any mathematics available to the Western world; Aboriginal cultural workers who emancipated themselves solely through the power of their art; and Amazonian curanderas who work miracles despite the shaman business. But also people who no longer see themselves as individuals but only through a collective, and who creolize the latest psychology-related techniques through the spiritualistic cults of their ancestors.
The film features filmmaker and activist Sonal Jain, co-founder of the Desire Machine Collective, Assam; Dharmendra Prasad, founder of the Harvest School; Surendar Kshatriya, founder of the Barefoot Nature movement; Syriademmah, who with his shamanic drum from Iran synchronizes the rhythm of our hearts with Gaia; Buffy Warlapinni and Nicole Miller, Tiwi Design Center, Tiwi Islands, Australia; Khien Phuc, founder of the Cambodian Lotus Center; Albenis Tique Poleska, Indigenous leader from the Pijao tribe in Columbia; Maestra Justina Serrano Alvares, who at home in the jungle is known as Niwe Rama; and Erika De Brown, a shamanic practitioner, holistic therapist, and yoga teacher – as well as a voice for Indigenous people – and others.
Joulia Strauss is an artist and activist. She was born Mari, one of Europe’s last indigenous cultures with a shamanic tradition, and lives and works in Athens and Berlin. Her sculptures, paintings, performances, drawings, and video works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions at the Pergamon Museum and Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the Tate Modern in London, as well as at the Tirana Biennale, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Athens Biennale, the Kyiv Biennial, the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, and documenta14, among others. She also plays on a reconstruction of an Ancient Greek lyre. Strauss is currently training for her fourth stripe in Việt Võ Đạo Kung Fu and is the founder and organizer of Avtonomi Akadimia in Athens. This durational art work and an open grassroots university in the Akadimia Platonos transforms the European educational system and works on the legislative agenda of environmental personhood toward the protection of urban biotopes from ecocide.
A Joulia Strauss film
Editing: Samurai Sword Marc Müller
Essay Joulia Strauss with the Magic Sword Maestra & Maestro Johanna Di Blasi and Luca Di Blasi
Dramaturgy consultant: Master of Rituals Thomas Oberender
Text editing and translation: Language Curandera Tania Hron and Transmission Shaman Steven Corcoran
Film Music: Dream Modulator Robert Lippok
Sound mixing and restauration: Dan Ra-Son
Producer: Rainbow Snake André Sauer
* Used image: Joulia Strauss, drawing by Marc Müller, film still from the Transindigenous Assembly
The Ecologies of Care 2023 lecture series is organized by Elke Krasny at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Urška Jurman at the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory in Ljubljana.