Lecture (1/9) – The Migrant tells the turbulent life story of the Javan Mynah. A member of the starling family, the bird is originally from Java (Indonesia) and was introduced in Singapore via the songbird trade in the early 20th century. Following the Second World War, Singapore underwent rapid change, quickly transforming from a rubber trading post into a modern metropolis. In an effort to compete with the increasing urban noise, the mynah’s beautiful singing voice became a shrill screech. This story of a hunted songbird functions as a metaphor for the migrant. With a dash of magical realism.
López consciously chooses to step outside the well-known paths of presentation method and platforms traditionally suitable for the medium of photography. What fascinates her is how people try to find (or make) a place in an urban area. The main question she asks in her work is whether people define the city and society they live in or is it the other way around.
As her project, the De Migrant (the Migrant) links to larger urban themes as the difficult relationship between humans and animals, the consequences of the rapid urban development and the position of the unwanted stranger in the city. For this lecture López will discuss with the advocate of animal rights; Erno Eskens about the question, how manufacturable is the city actually? They will discuss several projects from López. After the discussing Geert Chatrou, the whistling world champion will perform.
Anaïs López (Amsterdam,1981) is a visual artist and works with still and moving images. The final presentation reflects the collaborations that she undertook during the work process of each project. She graduated from the Royal Art Academy in The Hague in 2006 and did a two year Masters at Art Academy St.Joostin Breda researching narrative structures and documentary strategies. Besides working for magazines as an independent photographer, she makes documentaries about things that matter to her. And she is co-director of Docking Station, a photography platform based in Amsterdam that helps international photographers to move their stories forward.
Erno Eskens (Obdam, 1964) is a philosopher and political scientist. Heis regularly in the media as an advocate of animal rights. He published the book Democratie voor dieren (Democracy for animals) in 2009.
In 2015 followed the richly illustrated book Een beestachtige geschiedenis van de filosofie (A beastly history of philosophy), about the changing views on human-animal relations from early antiquity to the present.
Geert Chatrou (Sint Odiliënberg,1969) never ceases to amaze and move those who experience his whistling artistry and always leaves his audiences wanting more. Chatrou has been touring non-stop since 2004. He has been invited to whistle on stages all over the world. From Tokyo to Boston, and Helsinki toBerlin he has been the featured soloist in many chamber orchestra’s, jazz ensembles, symphonic orchestras and string quartets. His whistling can be heard on several recordings including a children’s audio book written about his life, movie scores, and a collaboration with Klaus Badelt. Chatrou has recorded a variety of CD’s that have been distributed world wide including Ornithology, Chatroubadourand Strange Flute.
Poster design by Dayna Casey
Geert Chatrou, World Whistling Champion
Installation by Alexandra Dalavagka and Mirka Kachrimanidou
The Migrant - A Bird on the Run
For this weeks’ lecture, after having researched the work of the artist, we were motivated by the idea of the “unwanted stranger” in the city , and the concept of the migrant bird that keeps on changing locations and its environment of living.
We decided to experiment with the concept of the bird’s nest in relation to the “homes” that homeless people make for themselves; in the corners of the streets, pavements, bridges ect. The visual element of the homeless nest is something that came up as a normal thing to us, due to our country of origin. In Athens the “unwanted strangers” are becoming more and more, filling the city with their presence as well as their “DIY home” constructions.