let's recover
View of the exhibition Recovering the imagination to change history, at the Centro de Expresiones Contemporáneas in Rosario

O Project NUM is a group of feminist artists, managers and writers who have compiled a documentary book on the creative impulses generated around national mobilizations originally led by the #NiUnaMenos movement. The project occupies Center for Contemporary Expressions, in Rosario, Argentina, as part of BIENALSUR.

The exhibition, entitled Let's recover imagination to change history, proposes to be “a living archive, in constant movement, that relates very contemporary works, created in the heat of feminist action, which not only denounce the cisheteronorma (matrix of our system), but also enable alternatives and reinterpretations”. Another proposal that also highlights the empowerment  was inaugurated in Tucumán on the last weekend of May, the show Heroines, with works that include historical photographs of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo.

Check out an interview with Mai Lumi, member of the collective that carries out the NUM Project:

When did the project start? How are they organized?

Project NUM is a collective and documentary archive that captures the creative impulses generated and continues to generate the first #NiUnaMenos, on June 3, 2015. We are Nina Kunan, Lucia Reissig, Laura Harness, Eugenia Salama and Mai Lumi, and we work on the project since mid-2015. We called ourselves together with the specific idea of ​​capturing this content in a book, to make room for the creations born of our subjectivities in this context.

Where did the idea to artistically work the issues of the NiUnaMenos movement come from?

We realized that the context of sociopolitical urgency challenged us individually and collectively and that the demonstrations emerged beyond the militancy itself. It was inevitable not to see how the streets and social networks were full of content. Our mission was to condense and archive these works without hierarchies. The Ni Una Menos movement is politically a much broader experience than what we carried out in Proyecto NUM.

The idea of ​​working with the feminist problematic arises, at the beginning, from what I lived in the moments before the first June 3rd. In this context, with a loving, creative and rebellious impulse that was generated in the months before and after the first #NiUnaMenos appeared outside the museum – on the street, in the square, in classrooms and on social networks – images and narratives that brought to light issues related to sexuality, gender and sexist violence. The NUM Project sought to bring these things together, motivated by the belief that imagination has the power to change History, by the certainty that, in posters, murals, short films, reflections, urban performances, interventions in marches, there is a great transformative and destabilizing potential. not just from the literary and artistic canon, but from the heterosexist and patriarchal tradition.

When did the proposal to work with the biennial come about?

We sent the proposal to the BIENALSUR call and were selected. We always work on self-management. In fact, the book was crowdfunded with an Ideame. We always wanted to physically bring the works together in a large exhibition and were looking for a link that could meet our needs. But the production left a lot to be desired and, since the project, we ended up asking for a lot of material and economic resources.

What are the relevant themes in the project work? And what formats?

There are visual arts, performance recording, photos, literature, video and installations. The work is done by artists and non-artists. This is important: the NUM project was born from the desire to express creative impulses in response to a specific moment. In this sense, this project has a very strong charge in its diversity: the desire to imagine and reflect based on art pulsates. We are many and very different, but this desire challenges all of us, and that's what we work on. Both art and feminism are infinite in their subjectivity, we do not intend to represent an entire movement or express a special message, only to provide a space. Therefore, there are career artists such as Ana Gallardo or Fátima Pecci Carou, as well as plastic arts teachers, art and cultural workers, journalists, activists, students, etc. The works are collective and individual.

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