We will move in triangular formations and step on each other's feet.

Focus for my work is a constant making/taking space. Space for dialogue, conflict, analysis of power, knowledge production and pedagogy – discussions and activities for change. I have claimed the space I have needed to make my every day as an artist not only meaningful, but important, also for others then myself. I have taken on the role of the curator, association and university, writer, politician and activist, performer, thinker and doer, educator, discussion partner and agitator, never a dictator, that would be too lonely for me. I have been part of a number of collaborations; since 2005 part of the YES! Association – lovers of institutions. 2006 – 2011, running the alternative Malmö Free University for Women together with Lisa Nyberg. In 2009 I collaborated with Jeuno Kim on a series of performance lectures at Malmö Konsthall. 2009 – 2010 I initiated and ran Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner in New York together with Malin Arnell. 2005 – 2006 I was part of the Production Unit.

Right now:
Malmö Free University for Women takes over art institution Konsthall C with the project Insisting to be part of this moment/movement (övertygade om vår storhet) April 1 – May 29 2011. We also just released the book Do The Right Thing – a manual from MFK.

Together with my American colleague Tia-Simone Gardner I am initiating Walking back, talking back – an investigation in 4 parts on the development of the Black Power Movement in the US and the UK; One is a basic mapping of the origin and organization of the movements in the US and the UK. Secondly, were where the women? We know that the term intersectionality grew out of the practical situation for black feminists of the 60ties and 70ties; the black power movement didn’t want to acknowledge that them being women meant dealing with another type of oppression then being black, and the white hegemonic feminist movement didn’t want to acknowledge that it meant something that they were black and women, the situation led to the forming of the black feminist movement. Where are we at today and what can we learn from this? Thirdly we want to look and compare the different developments between the US and the UK to the present day where (to simplify things) the UK movement moved in to academia and developed Cultural Studies whereas in the US the focus was on community building. bell hooks says: “When our lived experience of theorizing is fundamentally linked to processes of self-recovery, of collective liberation, no gap exists between theory and practice.” As we understand it was the founding goal of both groups to bridge this gap, so why this split? What influences do post-colonial histories, labor- and educational political programs and immigrant policies have on their different developments? Because each site has unique histories of oppression, it is interesting to look closer at the following resistance and possibilities for social struggles; the UK and its colonized people, the US and its enslaved. The fourth aspect is therefore to look at the pedagogical aspects of the movements. We know for example that it was obligatory for those who joined the Black Panther guerrilla section to also read Franz Fanon and Karl Marx, but Fanon and Marx are not the easiest thinkers and writers so how did they organize that? How did they connect the writings with the doing? How were they able to make Fanon and Marx understandable and relatable, especially under the U.S. Empiricism and anti Communist politics?

During fall 2011 I am developing a series of performance lectures together with artist Jeuno Kim.

2011 I am part of a collaborative writing project called Schackrummet (The Chess Room) initiated by Sinziana Ravini.

JOHANNA GUSTAVSSON CV.pdf(in Swedish)

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  • YES! Association / Föreningen JA! is an art collective, an artwork, an association, an art worker, an institution, a group of people working to overthrow the ruling system of heteronormative, patriarchal, racist, and capitalist power structures by putting into practice a structural redistribution of access to financial resources, space and time within the (art) field.
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    YES! Association / Föreningen JA!

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