The ARchipelago a collaborative archival platform for public space 

Artistic directors
Armina Pilav
Clarissa Thieme
in collaboration with Kaya Behkalam & Farhan Khalid (The Augmented Archive)

Project manager at the Goethe-Institut Bosnia and Herzegowina
Simone Voigt
Project coordinator at the Goethe-Institut Bosnia and Herzegowina
Ajla Eljšani Arnautlija

The ARchipelago Archive and Research Partners
CZKD – Center for Cultural Decontamination, Belgrade/Serbia 
Dokufest Prizren and the Naci & Nafis Lokvica Collection, Kosovo  
Library Hamdija Kreševljaković, Sarajevo / Bosnia and Herzegovina
Un-War Space Lab, Brač Island / Croatia and Mostar / Bosnia and Herzegovina

The ARchipelago Partners in the Project
The Augmented Archive
Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.
Österreichisches Kulturforum
Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina 
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe
French Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina    
Između nas, Berlin and Sarajevo

Public Relations
Jasmina Đikoli, archipelago.platform[ɛt]gmail.com

Graphic Design
Rafaela Dražić

Programming App & Website
Farhan Khalid

The ARchipelago project is funded by the EUNIC European Spaces of Cultures program 2023 and the Goethe-Institut’s Excellence Initiative of the Board 2023/24.


Biographies

Armina Pilav
Armina Pilav is an architect, artist, independent researcher and educator based on the Brač Island in Croatia. Her practice focuses on the politics of re-presentation and re-production of physical, mediated space, bodily experiences in extreme conditions of war destruction or other disaster conditions. Armina is cultivating experimental spaces using transmedia forms, natural habitats, psycho-spatiality, radical observations and feminist theory to expose ecologies of toxic transformation of architectures, rivers, lands and interspecies society. She publishes in magazines, academic journals and exhibits regularly. She is founder of the Un-War Space Lab, the toxic lands non-curatorial program, the Divja plant sanctuary focusing on plant pedagogy, healing landscapes while being in coexistence with the Brač island ecosystem. Armina is a member of the Association for Culture and Art Crvena in Sarajevo.

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Clarissa Thieme
Clarissa Thieme is a filmmaker and artist focusing on fissures between individual memory and its translation into processes of historical objectification. She is interested in the possibilities of a living archive as a commons. Since the early 2000s, several works and collaborations have taken her to the post-Yugoslav space. Her upcoming project, “Save the Amazon Production – Resumption” at the Video Archive Sarajevo, explores collective artistic practices in conflict across times and localities. Thieme is a co-founder of Između Nas / Between Us and with Armina Pilav, the artistic director of The ARchipelago.

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Kaya Behkalam
Kaya Behkalam is a visual artist, film maker, and writer, living in Berlin. His work is focused on memorial practices in the digital age. Recent projects in this context include the AR projects Vidness and The Augmented Archive and web-based collaborations such as A Walking Archive and Port Fiction. Since 2018 he has been the director of the non-profit art association Künstlerhof Frohnau (KHF Berlin), a space and network for artistic and curatorial production in the North of Berlin, where he initiated the Ruckhaberle Award for Arts & Politics as well as the Walden Festival for Contemporary Music & Performance.

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Farhan Khalid
Farhan Khalid is a programmer and artist from Pakistan, currently based in Istanbul. His app development work focuses on the use of augmented reality, image recognition, geolocation and other technologies. Together with Kaya Behkalam, he developed The Augmented Archive (an app that geolocates content, stories and images in Cairo and other places) and several other projects including Archipelago and Vidness for SPUR.lab (an avant-garde AR-based tool for 360 videos geolocated in historically important places). His collaborative artistic work using AR was shown at the Berlin Biennale in 2022. His artistic work focuses on the ultra-fine paper cut “Découpage”. He is currently the owner of the independent development company Takhleeq.

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Archival Initiatives and Institutions

CZKD / Center for Cultural Decontamination Belgrade
Established at a time of war and transitional devastation in 1995, the Center for Cultural Decontamination (CZKD) has managed to develop into an institution of resistance, with the firm belief that nationalism, xenophobia, and any violence can be questioned in the same way that they are developed – through culture, art, and public speech. Since then, the Center has been an institution of critical thinking and affirming the right to rebel without separating human rights, justice, art, culture, and truth.

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Dokufest Prizren
The International Documentary and Short Film Festival Dokufest Prizren is the largest film festival in Kosovo. Each year, it fills cinemas and pop-up screening venues around the historic center
of Prizren with a selection of more than 200 hand-picked films from around the world. In 2002, DokuFest was established with the vision of reinvigorating cinema and enriching the cultural landscape of Prizren. Over the years, it has evolved into Southeast Europe’s premier documentary and short film festival.

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The Library Hamdija Kreševljaković Video Arhiv Sarajevo 
The Library Hamdija Kreševljaković Video Arhiv Sarajevo is a collection of video testimonies recorded by the citizens of the besieged city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992 – 1996). In response to the aggression, friends around siblings Nihad, Sead Kreševljaković, and Nedim Alikadić began documenting their everyday lives as they drew on their pre-existing video practice. They produced essayistic film commentaries and fictional miniatures that critically examined their situation. Subsequently, they created a video archive and a space to share and discuss this material. Save the Amazon Production, emerging from the Video Arhiv Sarajevo, a loose constellation of amateur filmmakers who began making fiction films in besieged Sarajevo. They called themselves Save the Amazon Production. A T-shirt gave the name a witty commentary on the fact that no one saved them, but also a reminder that no struggle can be waged alone (Alikadić, Kreševljaković in an interview with C. Thieme, 2023). Their films, inspired by the famous pre-war Sarajevan comedy show Top Lista Nadrealista, were characterized by absurd plots, sci-fi borrowings, and gallows humor, refusing to give up hope or into nationalist ideologies. In their playful collective approach, they created an imaginary survival space resisting the war violence. 

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The Naci & Nafis Lokvica Collection
The Naci & Nafis Lokvica Collection was created by the brothers Lokvica, documenting events, customs, and the architectural transformation of Prizren through photo and video recordings. The Lumbardhi Foundation, Prizren – Kosovo, has recently digitized it. In 2015, the Lumbardhi Foundation was founded in Prizren to protect the Bistrica cinema building, built in 1952, against its privatization and demolition. Lumbardhi creates sustainable cultural conditions as a critical tool for a democratic public sphere. Its programs aim to create civic spaces for research, experimentation, and collective learning.

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Un-war Space Lab
Un-war Space Lab is a cross-media research-based practice on material transformations of rivers, land, architecture, interspecies society, during and after the war while creating Un-war archives, led by Armina Pilav, feminist, architect and researcher in ecologies of war destruction. It works as a fluid collective of researchers and practitioners across disciplines of landscape architecture, film, archaeology, visual arts, environmental humanities, to mention a few. Pluriannual research on Neretva river and her inter-species ecologies is developed in collaboration with Damir Ugljen – archaeologist and independent researcher who explores the cultural significance and ecological consequences of material transformation of landscapes, with a particular focus on adaptive responses of non-human and human subjects to newly formed conditions. Archival videos are edited and produced by dramaturg and filmmaker Karla Crnčević. She holds an MA in Film Dramaturgy (Academy of Drama Arts in Zagreb, Croatia, and Filmmaking (EQZE in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain). Karla explores diverse possibilities of image and sound, with a focus on archives with particular interest in concept and manifestations of margins, borders and frames as part of memory as a speculative space for envisioning the future. Her films and video works have been showcased and recognised in different galleries and festivals, such as Zinebi, Vision du Reel, FidMarseille, HamburgShort, Dokufest etc. The Un-war space lab in the framework of the ARchipelago project is contributing with the Un-war Archives of Sarajevo and Mostar during the war between 1992-1996. Sarajevo Un-war archive is focusing on the everyday life of the citizens and their survival strategies inside their homes and within the city under the siege. In the case of Mostar, we are diving into the Neretva river and exploring it as the flowing and interspecies Un-war archive of the war. The research itself is also represented as a written archive in the open document ‘Un-war Lexicon’ that proposes words and processes that are witnessing material transformation of the war violence.

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The Augmented Archive
The Augmented Archive is a project by Kaya Behkalam and Farhan Khalid, which they have been developing since 2016. It is a mobile archiving and storytelling tool, initially set up as a site-specific counter-archive of the Egyptian Revolution 2011.

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Između Nas / Between Us
The Open Archive Initiative, founded by Nihad Kreševljaković & Clarissa Thieme, aims to invite a broader public to engage with the Library Hamdija Kresevljakovic Video Arhiv and its video collection filmed by citizens of besieged Sarajevo (1992-1996). The project proposes to create a digital and physical public space beyond the local context and a critical platform where memories and people’s multiple perspectives are opened up, shared, and discussed.

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