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Lecture Performance + Screening | Species, Soil and Successors

15.Juli 2023 14:00 - 21:00

Lecture Performances, Screening and discussion with contributions by Hillside Projects, Julia Schuster, Devadeep Gupta, Lea Maria Wittich and Nilanjan Bhattacharya. Curated by Arijit Bhattacharyya

Oyouns curatorial focus Listening to the Land launches with Species, Soil and Successors by Arijit Bhattacharyya, a curatorial project consisting of three chapters.

Based on curatorial research and a remote art residency, the project shares its first creations at Oyoun Berlin on Saturday, 15 July, 2023, between 2 pm and 9 pm. In the presence of the curator and participating artists, the first chapter will be presented as part of a conference with lecture performances and a subsequent panel discussion. The second chapter of Species, Soil and Successors will also be opened on 15 July 2023 with a multimedia exhibition at Oyoun.

After kicking off the event with a screening by interdisciplinary artist Julia Schuster, Hillside Projects' lecture performance Searching For the European Roller maps the life, movement and disappearance of the bluebird – The European Roller – excavating the many layers surrounding the birds’ need for departure and the strong national desire in the context of Sweden for it to return. Devadeep Gupta’s work tackles the Baghjan Oil Blowout, which happened on an Oil-India Limited-owned site on 27th of May 2020 in an area home to a multitude of migratory birds and animals and which has caused the displacement of more than 1600 families who were in the vicinity of the site of gas blowout. In her performance Molluscular modes, artist Lea Maria Wittich is indulging in a political history of the snail and doing an associative research on slowness, spirals, slime, snails and slugs, whereas Nilanjan Bhatttacharya’s Of the Sun and the Moon, the Water, the Soil, and the Daily is a kaleidoscopic, live and solo reading performance intertwined with moving images and sound that reminds the audience and himself about our current disguised, dystopian order.

We are surviving through an epoch of spiralling ecological devastation, multispecies extinction and military extractivism. The notion of a collective future beyond human existence is still a far imagination. Though imagination is an essential practice. Imagination succors knowledge applicable in problem-solving and is elemental to integrating experiences in learning. How do we imagine a pluriversal multispecies future?

Species, Soil and Successors imagines framing a complex practice-oriented enquiry into intersectional climate justice by listening to people who are often sidelined. The project tries to imagine a world beyond the colonial touch.

Free admission!

Language: English


14:00 Doors
14:30 Julia Schuster (Videoscreening)
15:00 Hillside Projects – "Searching For the European Roller"
16:00 Devadeep Gupta – "Normalisation of a Disaster"
17:00 Lea Maria Wittich – "Molluscular modes"
18:00 Nilanjan Bhattacharya – "Of the Sun and the Moon, the Water, the Soil, and the Daily"
19:30 Discussion


Arijit Bhattacharyya

born in West Bengal, is an artist and independent curator currently based in Weimar. His practice revolves around contentious narratives of resistance through social engagements, design interventions and lecture performances. 

Through his artworks he deals with questions about the individual, power and history and how these manifest in social contexts. He is deeply invested in the conversations of postcolonial resistance, anticoloniality, social marginalization and community disobedience. His practice stirs up prevalent structures that determine the way we live, drawing resistance against different kinds of injustice and oppression.

His artistic discourse is deeply rooted in the dissecting trajectories of socio-political history and its implications in cultural practices. His practice can be perceived as a stance of speaking up to power. As a curator he is invested in artistic practices that investigate methods of social agitation and political imagination. Arijit triggers us to see what we want to close our eyes to, while inspiring us to re-imagine structures that define who we are.

Hillside Projects

is Emily Berry Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern. Situated within a conceptual framework, their work explores tales of disappearances in the natural world and the interrelated socio-political narratives and existential emotions that arise through these tales. Hillside Projects approach their subject matter by embracing the absurd, the comedic, and the tragic. Hillside Projects’ works are manifested as text, video, painting, sound, and large site-specific installations. Performance lies at the core of their practice, explored through performative walks, lecture performances and time-based presentations. Hillside Projects tell stories. Stories of ecological collapses and failed symbiosis. Stories about birds. Colourful birds on the brink of extinction, birds killed in aeroplane crashes, birds that eat the dead. In their making, the bird stories expand into larger narratives. Narratives about the cycles of life, of being eaten and eating, and of dust.


Devadeep Gupta’s

artistic process is an exploration of regional ecological uncertainties through a critical examination of associated mainstream perspectives. Inspired by site-specific and vernacular occurrences, Devadeep delves into the intricate relationship between people and their land. His artistic practice encompasses the realms of film and sculpture, bridging the gap between conceptual and documentary approaches. Within this intersection, the artist is particularly interested in narratives that emerge from the convergence of mythology and contemporary experiences. Grounded in the rich cultural landscape of Assam, Devadeep draws inspiration from pragmatic practices, oral traditions, and folklore. Central to his artistic endeavors are performative processes that pay homage to meta-cultural practices. Devadeep is an active member of Northeast Lightbox, an artist collective dedicated to fostering exchange between regional archives and contemporary practices.


Lea Maria Wittich

In her artistic work, Lea Maria Wittich (*1994) explores questions of social and ecological justice and the coexistence of human and non-human agents. In her conceptual works, which are informed by intensive "random research," she uses a variety of media, particularly clothing, objects, and performance, and situates them in site-specific contexts. She studied Fashion at the Berlin University of the Arts as well as "Public Art and New Artistic Strategies" at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.


Julia Schuster

is an interdisciplinary artist from Vienna, Austria, currently based in Bollebygd, rural Sweden. She holds an MA in ceramics from the Royal College of Art in London and a BA in design from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy.

Her material-discursive practice manifests as clay and ceramic installations, which are combined with photography, sound, video and written work. She investigates clay’s unique cellular memory in relation to the memory that exists in our own human bodies. By exploring how materiality, writing and the body's inward and outward movements unite, she creates spaces that carry a grounding and deeply contemplative quality.

In recent years her practice has increasingly become site-specific and is often informed by learning new skills such as her training to become a doula, a birth companion. The intimate and hands-on care a doula provides for birthing people parallels the way she works with the material clay. At the core her artworks invite you to remember the connections between the sense of touch, caring for the body, and caring for the land.

Julia has undertaken residencies in Denmark, Nepal, the United Kingdom, Germany and South Korea. Selected exhibitions include the British Ceramics Biennial, Photo Kathmandu, Palinsesti, the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art and Röda Sten Konsthall. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics.


Nilanjan Bhattacharya

is a filmmaker, artist and writer from Calcutta, India. For the last fifteen years, he has been exploring biodiversity, food cultures and indigenous knowledge systems in India. His works include Johar Welcome To Our World, Ninety Degrees, Rain in The Mirror, Fishing Out of Time, and Quiet Flown the Stream; they were exhibited at Mumbai International Film Festival, Goteberg International Film Festival, European Kunsthalle, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Experimenter Art Gallery and Wellcome Collection Gallery. Nilanjan received the President’s Award of India in 2005 and 2010.


Artistic Director: Madhumita Nandi (Oyoun)

Concept: Madhumita Nandi, Samirah Siddiqui, Oyoun Team

Curatorial Team: Nina Martin (Oyoun), Ihisa Adelio (Oyoun), Dami Choi (Oyoun)

Implementation: Oyoun Team

Curatorial Collective: Madhumita Nandi, Samirah Siddiqui, Camilla Therese Karlsen, Zeren Oruc, Mojisola Adebayo and Nicole Wolf, Arijit Bhattacharyya

Design: Ezequiel Hyon

Photo Credit: Devadeep Gupta

Species, Soil and Successors: Hillside Projects (Emily Berry Mennerdahl and Jonas Böttern), Devadeep Gupta, Lea Maria Wittich, Nilanjan Bhattacharya, Studio 33/3 (Soumik Ghosh, Shibayan Halder and Suvojit Roy), Swagata Bhattacharyya, Binita Limbani, Julia Schuster.

Species, Soil and Successors is part of Oyoun’s curatorial focus Listening to the Land.



Oyoun is constantly working to make access to all events offered in the building as barrier-free as possible. For individual information on accessibility, please send us an email to access(at) We will get back to you as soon as possible. More information on this topic  here.


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15.Juli 2023
14:00 - 21:00
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