23 August is a hyper/text work on transnational solidarity, inspired by the 4th World Festival of Youth and Students that took place in Bucharest in 1953.
Simina Neagu / London, UK / Bucharest, Romania — Aug 30, 2021
Taking a cue from the 23 August Stadium built for this event, I attempt to trace back a partly forgotten history. The festival, dedicated to anti-colonial struggles, was attended by Caribbean political and cultural activists John la Rose and Irma la Rose (née Hilaire). Using the archives of the George Padmore Institute in London, including accounts by the two activists, the work will combine fiction and archival materials. This will be the third in a cycle of text-based works exploring the disappearing histories of Bucharest. The first is a piece of autofiction looking at stray dogs, published in A-Z Bucharest. The second is a microfiction using archival material from the 1971 Congress of the Communist Youth Union, for Art Night 2021. I would like to position this within a conversation on histories of transnational solidarity between the Global South and ‚Global East‘. I would hope this work could be complemented by an online talk with Eszter Szakács or Naeem Mohaiemen on their project Solidarity Must Be Defended.
Simina Neagu is a cultural worker, curator and writer based in London/UK, currently working as Program and Operations Coordinator at iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts). Through public programming and text-based work, her practice facilitates critical reflection and collective learning. Previous projects have explored diasporic histories, networks of international solidarity, translation, labor and access in the arts, and the construction of public space.
The Web Residency projects from the call »Solidarity is a verb« will be launched end of October 2021.
© 2021 Akademie Schloss Solitude and the author