WHO WE ARE & OUR MISSION
Artlantic is a non-profit organization that produces and curates art/cultural clusters. These clusters serve as platforms to reflect upon Denmark’s participation in the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans.
Artlantic seeks to utilize the arts and cultural clusters to create trans-spaces, which are not bound to the specific time and place of the colonial period. These trans-spaces are where unsettled processes, as a result of colonialism, can transmute, transpose, translate, transmit, transform and ultimately transcend suffering as a form of healing.
Rather than mapping from the colonizing powers’ perspective, Artlantic’s trans-spaces aim to create alternative lineages, affective relationships as well as connecting voices and sensibilities that have hitherto been kept apart. Artlantic’s spiritual and affective map generates routes and relationships between our shared and interconnected histories and geographies by way of exploring the archives and repositories “Sea”, “Soil”, “Wind” and “Texture“.
‘Transfer Day’ March 31st. 2017 marked the day, when Denmark sold the former Danish West Indies to the US, a 100 years ago. It was a turning point where Denmark couldn’t any longer hide its dark past of slavetrade that has always been romanticized. But as 2017 marked the centennial of the sale, many events where scheduled both in Denmark and (the now called) US Virgin Islands, consisting of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, to highlight negative aspects of that dark era, and hereby making the Danish citizens aware about their colonial history and past.
Since the centennial Artlantic has launched several clusters, like emancipation day in Pumpehuset in Copenhagen and the NGO anticipated initiative to connect together well established visual artists from St Croix La Vaughn Belle and Jeannette Ehlers where the outcome of prolific creativity and shared efforts resulted in the sculpture “I AM QUEEN MARY” The project made it to international headlines and had massive media coverage.
Artlantic also has a focus point on Greenland and the Faroe Islands that now has the status and condition of a postcolonial reality.
The Kalaallit people of Greenland was originally people who lived in harmony with nature and great community of solidarity that many native people and cultures had for centuries. The natural DNA state was destroyed by the Danish colonizers through their oppression and exploitation that led to discouragement and loss of their own cultural heritage and identity.
Artlantic’s mission and aim is to ongoing bring together artists, musicians, dancers, students and scholars from Ghana (from where many slaves was shipped), the US Virgin Islands, Greenland, Faroe Islands and Denmark. The vision is that these various groups will ‘transfer’ experiences, stories and memories as a means of creating collective practices that will transcend suffering and arrive at healing.
By fostering these collaborations among the creative practitioners, these trans-spaces will explore what would happen if we dislocate the word ‘transfer’ from its stifling historical context and approach it as a conceptual, dynamic and artistic window for thinking about how culture, memory, and spirit can travel, adapt and take on new forms? How can art and cultural productions create spaces in which the transcendence of suffering will lead to healing? How can we explore new forms of subjectivity beyond?
Artlantic clusters of trans-spaces contain activities of residencies, exhibitions, performances, seminars and master classes, in collaboration with international and local museums, galleries, universities, art academies and cultural venues.