Arnika Ahldag is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her artistic practice investigates work as performance and enquires into the changing notions of profession and labour, the transactional value of work, fictionalised accounts of future cities and societies. She also works with the Mobile Academy Berlin.
Meenakshi Thirukode is a writer, researcher and a 2016-17 FICA Inlaks Goldsmiths scholar at the M.Res program in Curatorial/Knowledge, Goldsmiths, University of London. Her area of focus and research is on the role of culture and collectivity in the sub-continent within the realm of a trans-nomadic, transient network of individuals and institutions.
Pact of Silence - How to break it? instigated by Arnika Ahldag and Meenakshi Thirukode (Instituting Otherwise), looks to mobilise individuals, and perhaps mobs, to imagine and articulate the idea that another art world is possible. The project seeks to raise consciousness about the inequity in the art world post the #metoo movement that revealed extreme instances of abuse of young art workers and students – some of the most vulnerable in the industry. The project will produce texts, listening sessions and an archive of a visual outpouring of an emotional architecture around this violence. The hope then is to have multiple layers through which a collective knowledge production will be accessible to those who build a future art world imaginary.
The workshop Pact of Silence - How to break it? took place at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan on 11.12.2019 as a one-day, closed door workshop and discussion around the prevention of sexual misconduct in the workplace. With a group of 15 participants they collectively thought about what it means to complain, to a friend or to an institution and from there they discussed the need and legalities of dissent, including the role of 'anonymity'. In the second part of the same day they were joined by advocates Shreya Munoth and Amrita Chakravorty who talked the group through the sexual harassment law in india, practicalities and possibilities of ICCs and made the participants aware of existing rights, laws and precedents set by case laws around sexual misconduct globally. Out of this workshop they will develop a manual that will hopefully serve as a helpful tool to institutions and ICCs and survivors who want to complain and need to know about their rights.