Yogurt and Other Spaces of Labor

By Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Zeynep Oz 

With: Arzu Sak Seyhun, Nazlı Pişkin, Otobong Nkanga, Long Litt Woon, Ibrahim Nehme, Farid Rakun (ruangrupa).

From June 3 to 19, Thursdays at 5:00 PM Beirut time, Fridays and Saturdays at 3:00 PM Beirut time

Registration Closed

This workshop will be held online

Yogurt and Other Spaces of Labor reflects on forms of invisibilized and more-than-human labor. The module starts by a concrete action of yogurt-making, initiating a process whereby microorganisms are at work for three weeks. Throughout that period, the module will accompany participants' art practices, and will reflect on the very notion of 'process' through a series of readings and encounters. If fermentation implies a cumulative understanding of labor, this module aims to use and expand this metaphor through topics such as co-evolution and co-imagination; the intertwinement of production and care; mushrooms, emotional labor, eco-justice, and unpaid labor. How to raise awareness about human and more-than-human networks of labor and collaboration that exist in a landscape, in a practice, and within art-related processes? Is visibility a prerequisite for empathy? The module ends with a last online session emulating a pop-up yogurt-bar, where the yogurt produced during the previous three weeks is served, accompanied by a public program presenting participants' research.

Week 1:

Thursday 3rd at 5:00 PM Beirut time: Introduction, with Arzu Sak Seyhun and Nazlı Pişkin 

This first encounter aims at accompanying the participants in fermenting yogurt, while understanding the chemistry of fermentation, and the history and politics of its diffusion in the region. 

Friday 4th, at 3:00 PM Beirut time: Otobong Nkanga

Saturday 5th, at 3:00 PM Beirut time: digesting session

Week 2

Thursday 10th, at 5:00 PM Beirut time: reading session, Anna Tsing’ Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species on mushrooms and fermentation

Friday 11th, at 3:00PM Beirut time: Long Litt Woon

Starting from her book The Way Through the Wood, on the temporality of emotional labor (mourning) and its analogy with mushrooms, this encounter with Malaysia-born anthropologist Long Litt Woon discloses a reflection on the non-linearity of emotional process.

Saturday 12th, at 3:00PM Beirut time: digesting session with Ibrahim Nehme

Week 3:

Thursday 17th, at 5:00 PM Beirut time: Caring labor: and reading session of texts by Gemma Justo & Ghiwa Sayegh, and by ILiana Fokianaki

Friday 18th, at 3:00PM Beirut time: lecture/presentation from Farid Rakun (ruangrupa)

Starting from the experience of GUDSKUL (Jakarta), the practice of collaboration, the lumbung concept and current work for documenta 15.

Saturday 19th, at 3:00PM Beirut time: digesting session, a temporary pop-up Yogurt Bar

The module ends with a temporary multi-location Yogurt Bar that reconnects the metaphorical and non-metaphorical use of yogurt as a space of labor. The yogurt produced in the three weeks is served with a presentation of participants' research.

The chapter is realized with the support of the Fund the Arts in Beirut - a campaign launched by Mophradat in the aftermath of the explosion which took place on August 4, 2020, and Norla -Norwegian Literature Abroad.