On nuclear pasts
and radiant futures
Artistic research
and exhibition

Research assembly DAY#1 - Nuclear waste as nuclear cultural heritage, anti-nuclear activism and resistance, connecting past and future struggles

nGbK Berlin

The two-year artistic and curatorial research project SALT. CLAY. ROCK. tackles the pasts and futures of nuclear infrastructures in Germany and Hungary. In the first year, curators and artists have visited places and communities that host uranium mines, power plants and radioactive waste repositories, or that have been important sites of anti-nuclear resistance.
From 17–19 November 2023, they will present the preliminary results of their research at nGbK along with contributions by activists, artists, researchers, and thinkers, who are invited to share their insights on nuclear cultural heritage, anti-nuclear movements, energy futures and the ‘green transition’.

Nuclear waste as nuclear cultural heritage, anti-nuclear activism and resistance, connecting past and future struggles

Welcome & Introduction to SALT. CLAY. ROCK.
Guided tour by curators and selected artists through the assembly's research display

Keynote by Dr. Eglė Rindzevičiūtė (online): Hosts and Hostages of Nuclear Infrastructures: Managing and Containing Nuclear Materialities in the Post-Soviet Space
Eglė will disuss how Russia’s war against Ukraine has created an unprecedented nuclear risk where the  Russian army threatens to use nuclear power plants and radioactive waste depositories as part of its military arsenal. What has been promoted as a “peaceful atom” is no more and all nuclear societies that host the legacy of the twentieth century’s nuclear modernity are forced to rethink their approaches to the nuclear present and the future. In this talk I explore the social and institutional dynamics of what I call an inheritance of radioactive environments in the post-Soviet space in order to demonstrate its deep social, cultural and political effects.
Dr. Eglė Rindzevičiūtė is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Sociology, the Department of Criminology, Politics and Sociology, Kingston University London, the UK. She is the author of The Power of Systems: How Policy Sciences Opened Up the Cold War World (Cornell University Press, 2016) and The Will to Predict: Orchestrating the Future through Science (Cornell University Press, 2023). Dr Rindzevičiūtė leads an international research project “Nuclear Spaces: Communities, Materialities and Locations of Nuclear Cultural Heritage,” funded by the EU Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage (2021-2024, AH/W000253/1).

19:30–21:00 (in German and Hungarian with whisper translation to English)
Conversation on the pasts and futures of anti-nuclear resistance, led by the artist Anna Witt
Participants: Ende Gelände / Kali, Gorleben Archiv / Gabriele Haas, Green Youth Pécs / Júlia Konkoly-Thege
Gabriele Haas is a journalist and TV author based in Hamburg. She has lived in Wendland since the mid-1970s and has a second home there. She has been actively involved in the protests against the planned nuclear facilities in Gorleben since the site was designated in 1977 and is now Chairwoman of the Gorleben Archiv e.V. (Gorleben Archive).

Kali is an activist with Ende Gelände and has been active in various social movements for more than 25 years. Ende Gelände is a Europe-wide alliance of people from various groups of the anti-nuclear and anti-coal movement that has declared war on fossil capitalism and has been organizing mass actions of civil disobedience in the German lignite mining areas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-9vETCJajE) and against LNG infrastructure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqhKlywbxVM) since 2015. As part of the climate justice movement, Ende Gelände is clearly anti-racist, queer-feminist and critical of capitalism. Ende Gelände's motto is: "We are going to the places of destruction and taking the energy transition into our own hands! What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!"

Júlia Konkoly-Thege works in Pécs, Hungary as a community organizer and activist for The City is for All, a homeless and housing advocacy group and the Green Youth, an environmental association of which she is also the head of board. Her main interest is in activating and empowering communities to promote the need for democracy and participation. Therefore she was one of the founders and organizer of several groups in Pécs: the Occupy Pécs group which has been operating in the city as part of a global system-criticizing movement; "Pécs has a Voice" anti-government group which organized anti-corruption demonstrations and actions; and she was one of the founders of the Pécs Community Foundation, where she also worked as a curator. Additionally, she has volunteered in student movements and environmental groups. 

Anna Witt, born in 1981 in Germany, lives and works in Vienna and Berlin. Her artistic practice is performative, participatory, and political. She creates situations that reflect interpersonal relationships and power structures as well as conventions of speaking and acting. Passers-by in public spaces, or specifically selected people and groups, are drawn into her experimental arrangements, usually in a directly physical way. The tasks range from repeated imitation of specifically coded gestures to the development of complex choreographies, and are developed in close collaboration with the participants. She has shown her work at numerous exhibitions and biennales in Austria, Germany and internationally. www.annawitt.net

Artistic contribution: PPKK listening session
PPKK invites you to relax, lay down and sleep while integrating essential information to be transmitted for the next 100 000 years. 
You are summoned to come and listen to our hypnoral set of lullabies PPKK 09.01, a poetic analogy between nuclear waste and human metabolism. The sound and musical compositions are the core of a broader installation commissioned for ‘My Last Will’ at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz in 2023, followed by Casino Luxembourg in 2024. 
PPKK is a casual nomadic lab founded in Berlin 2016 by Sarah Ancelle Schönfeld and Louis-Philippe Scoufaras, in the pursuit of analyzing and reflecting upon specific (local) contexts, generating mythological, technological and trickster outputs in order to shift perspectives and enable fruitful new interpretations PPKK is digesting different phenomena appearing within the globalized ‘western metabolism’. They span from colonialism to the greenhouse effect to fascism and nuclear waste management. PPKK explores ideologies behind the development of waste technologies through radical shifts of scale and angle, always on the verge of the nonsensical. PPKK develops systems stemming from heterogeneous fields and includes audience participation, addressing the human body and sensorial perception, resulting in installations and happenings. PPKK has an affinity to vibrations, humors and rituals. Exhibitions include Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Kunstverein Bärenzwinger Berlin, Herkulessaal Munich and Schwules Museum Berlin and Casino Luxembourg.

Photograph of the installation for PPKK 09.00, Chemnitz, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, 2023