Public Programming

20.04.2024 Venice Biennale

Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice

Many words are walked in the world. Many worlds are made. Many worlds make us. [...] In the world of the powerful there is room only for the big and their helpers. In the world we want, everybody fits. The world we want is a world in which many worlds fit. — 'Fourth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle'
Quoted by Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser, A World of Many Worlds, 2018

We are excited to co-present ‘A World of Many Worlds’, a One-Day Assembly on Global Asias with Asia Forum, as part of the official Collateral Events of the 60th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. The one-day assembly will take place on Saturday, 20 April 2024 on the first public day during opening week at the historic cultural institution Fondazione Querini Stampalia. We are proud to be supporting this initiative together with Bagri Foundation.

‘A World of Many Worlds’ responds to the Biennale’s theme Foreigners Everywhere, to consider what it means to acknowledge the existence of multiple worlds rather than just multiple subjects, and what it might mean to put them in relation. The conversation asks us to imagine a multiplicity of social geographies, political positions, cosmologies, aesthetic perspectives, and temporal locations, while seeing them not as incommensurable, not as universal, but as pluriversal. By doing so, we reject false notions of universalism that centre the West and merely include other narratives, politics, and modes of expression. The flowing streams of our voices are instead multiple, connecting geographies and articulating new intra-related modes of being and knowing.

These flows issue from and through Asias. Not an Asia spectacularised for global consumption, but an introspective constellation of Global Asias that looks deeply at its difficult histories of colonisation, genocide, environmental devastation, displacement, diaspora, dispossession, and war, and seeks to imagine new worlds into being through a multiplicity of positions, connections, diasporas, and solidarities. ‘A World of Many Worlds’ offers a portal into different temporalities, allowing a glimpse into hopeful transformation, surprise, and joyful encounters.


10:00 - Registration

10:45 - Welcome

11:00 - Opening invocation
Blowing A Feather, performance by Yao Qingmei

11:20 - Conversation 1: Histories, mobilities, and intimacies in diaspora
Isaac Chong Wai, Rachel Dedman, Sandra Gamarra Heshiki, Yasufumi Nakamori, Hammad Nasar, Vidha Saumya

13:00 - Screening programme
Lap-See Lam & Wingyee Wu, Mother’s Tongue (2018, 17’42”)
Subash Thebe Limbu, Ladhamba Tayem; Future Continuous (2023, 14’50”)
Kang Seung Lee, The Heart of a Hand (2023, 13’13”)

14:00 - Conversation 2: Eco-cosmologies and climate/social/racial justice
Irwan Ahmett & Tita Salina, Yuko Mohri, Amol K. Patil, Sakiya, Mark Salvatus, Trevor Yeung

16:00 - Garden performance followed by aperitivo
PEARLS by Joshua Serafin, excerpt performed by Lukresia Quismundo

‘A World of Many Worlds’ is co-organised by Annie Jael Kwan, Michèle Ruo Yi Landolt, Hammad Nasar, John Tain, Ming Tiampo, and Nick Yu.

The Asia Forum for the Contemporary Art of Global Asias is a platform envisioned for discourse that brings awareness to and contextualises the fast-developing artistic practices and contemporary geo-politics of Asia/s. Its interdisciplinary approach and reflexive work will reveal and explore deep histories of exchange and flows, and overlapping concerns and heritages, to engage a ‘public’ eager for discourse on urgent issues of climate, democracy, anti-racism, and creative agency for addressing global anxieties through the lens and engine of 'Asia/s’.