Skip to main content
Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

By Verdensrommet
This is Verdensrommet's community channel podcast covering various immigration issues through a three-part series on Education–Labour–Solidarity for artists. Episodes feature informative and speculative talks with a group of local and international critical voices around the exclusionary conditions of non-EU/EEA art and cultural workers in Norway. We seek to redefine and create processes to sustain radical livelihoods and artistic practices in reaction to the multiple crises accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Host by artists Anthony Morton, Prerna Bishnoi, and Rodrigo Ghattas.
©2021
Where to listen
Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

Practices of Solidarity | Translocal movements w/ Tings Chak 翟庭君 | ep. 3

Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

1x
Labour | Creo w/ Christine Thomassen | ep. 4
In the Labour block of episodes of the podcast series, Conversations with  Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, we try to better understand the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector in Norway through  conversations with artist union representatives, researchers and  artists. In this episode, I (Prerna Bishnoi) speak to Christine Thomassen, the Vice President of Creo, the union for artists and cultural workers in Norway. We try and understand how the image of Creo has changed from being a union for musicians and teachers to encompassing performing artists, visual artists who are both self-employed and employed, the role they play and the policy goals they are setting. Christine speaks about the relation between Creo and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the social rights of self-employed workers and how the pandemic made the glaring gaps between the working conditions of self-employed creative professionals and the Norwegian welfare system so urgently visible.   Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Sound editing and mixing: Cirenia Esquivel Illustration: Anaclara Talento Producer: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
53:34
April 07, 2022
Labour | Artists Economies: As the State Sees It w/ Bård Kleppe | ep. 3
In the Labour block of episodes of the podcast series, Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, we try to better understand the working  conditions in the cultural and creative sector in Norway through conversations with artist union representatives, researchers and artists. In this episode, Bård Kleppe, senior researcher at Telemark Forskning and I (Prerna Bishnoi) talk about the artists economy survey they conduct commissioned by the Norwegian Cultural Ministry. What does the data show about how artists earn a living? What does it say about the working conditions in the cultural sector? How much do artists earn? Why are there so many artists even though incomes in this field are so low? And finally, how does this data influence cultural policy in Norway? Link to Telemark Forskning report on the consequences of Covid-19 on the cultural sector: https://www.kulturradet.no/documents/10157/e88d7f8e-acc1-438d-ace4-7583d912c0db Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Anaclara Talento Producer: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
42:16
February 14, 2022
Education | A Norwegian MFA in Palestine w/ Mujahed Khallaf | ep. 3
In the Education and Being  episodes we hear real stories that illuminate the situation many  international artists are faced with in and after graduating from MA  programmes in Norway. We focus on their experiences within the  education, labour and immigration systems. In this  episode, host Anthony Morton (RSA) meets Mujahed Khallaf (PS) to discuss  his experiences of what it is like to reluctantly repatriate after a  burning desire to establish an art business in Norway post-graduation. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Intro voice: Gabrielle Paré Illustration: Qianhui Qian Producer: Prerna Bishnoi & Anthony Morton Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
01:10:15
February 14, 2022
Education | Repatriation w/ Ted Folstad | ep.2
In the Education and Being episodes we hear real  stories that illuminate the situation many international artists are  faced with in and after graduating from MA programmes in Norway. We  focus on their experiences within the education, labour and immigration  systems. In this episode, host Anthony Morton (RSA) meets Ted Folstad (USA) to discuss what it is like looking for work after graduation and reluctantly having to repatriate. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Qianhui Qian Producer: Anthony Morton Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
01:00:25
January 21, 2022
Labour | Norske Billedkunstnere w/ Ruben Steinum | ep. 2
In  the Labour block of episodes of the podcast series, Conversations with  Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, we try to better understand the working  conditions in the cultural and creative sector in Norway through conversations with artist union representatives, researchers and artists. In this episode, Ruben Steinum, the chair of Norske Billedkunstnere/Norwegian Visual Artists Association and I (Prerna Bishnoi) talk about how artist unions liase with politicians and influence cultural policy, what NBK's policy goals are, what is a "patchwork economy" and how artists fall through the chairs of the welfare system, and plenty more. Tune in! Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Anaclara Talento Producer: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
50:19
January 17, 2022
Education | After Brexit w/ Robert Carter | ep. 1
In the Education and Being episodes we hear  real stories that illuminate the situation many international artists  are faced with in and after graduating from MA programmes in Norway. We  focus on their experiences within the education, labour and immigration  systems. In this episode, host Anthony Morton (RSA) meets Robert Carter (UK) to discuss his experiences and what it is like to be establishing his practice in Norway, as a non-EU artist, after Brexit. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Qianhui Qian Producer: Anthony Morton Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
39:59
December 08, 2021
Labour | Unge Kunstneres Samfund w/ Steffen Håndlykken | ep. 1
In the Labour block of episodes of the podcast series, Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, we try to better understand the working conditions in the cultural and creative sector in Norway through conversations with artist union representatives, researchers and artists. In this episode, Steffen Håndlykken, the leader of Young Artists' Society/Unge Kunstneres Samfund and I (Prerna Bishnoi) focus on the goals and grounds on which UKS was founded, the influences they had from other labour unions like farming and fishery, the history of collective bargaining in the arts, the rise and transformation of the Guaranteed Minimum Income and its relations to the dream of a Universal Basic Income, and as UKS turns 100 years, what their future policies might hold. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Anaclara Talento Producer: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
54:21
November 27, 2021
Practices of Solidarity | Translocal movements w/ Tings Chak 翟庭君 | ep. 3
In this episode of Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Rodrigo Ghattas maps out together with international activist, researcher, and Chinese-born artist Tings Chak (Tricontinental) the emerging epicenters for the born of new transnational solidarity movements. Join us as we explore how art and culture are central to the creation of anti-crisis infrastructures. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Viviana Cárdenas Producer: Rodrigo Ghattas Postproduction: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere [THE STORY] This episode is the final in a 3-part series on Practices of Solidarity. Before listening to this one, you may want to catch up with Practices of Solidarity - Ep.2: Mutual support groups. With the help of international activist and artist Tings Chak 翟庭君, we map out some emerging epicenters for the born of new transnational solidarity movements. Join us as we explore how art and culture are central to the creation of anti-crisis infrastructures, both in local communities yet internationalists in nature — towards a socialist future. We will focus on recent transnational solidarity projects in the arts and how they understand solidarity as a national project. The lack of long-standing global political, economic, cultural, and health solidarity projects is an expression of a much wider historical and political movement of peoples' struggle for decolonization and liberation, to which the current sanitary emergency was recently added. Chak leads the Art Department of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, working on the legacy of OSPAAAL (the organization of solidarity for the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America).
40:16
September 19, 2021
Practices of Solidarity | Mutual support groups w/ No More Later & MSP | ep. 2
In this episode of Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Rodrigo Ghattas is joined by Netherlands-based artists Harriet Morley (MSP) and Lila Bullen-Smith (No More Later) to share perspectives on the financial and emotional emergencies of immigrant artists both in The Netherlands and Norway. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Viviana Cárdenas Producer: Rodrigo Ghattas Postproduction: Cirenia Esquivel Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere [THE STORY] This episode is the second in a 3-part series on Practices of Solidarity. Before listening to this one, you may want to catch up with Practices of Solidarity - Ep.1: Local perspectives.  As we continue to discuss the practice of solidarity within immigrant artist communities, an important question emerges: how do collective infrastructures and alternative economies inform our current economic, social, and cultural justice environment? Verdensrommet welcomes guest hosts Harriet Morley from the Mutual Support Platform (MSP) and Lila Bullen-Smith from No More Later (N.M.L) to share perspectives on the financial and emotional emergencies of immigrant artists, and its related simultaneous crises and systemic failures both in Norway and the Netherlands. Verdensrommet, MSP and N.M.L are triplets grassroots movements born at the heart of a global pandemic, we exchange perspectives from both geopolitical sites on the current immigration challenges for artists, focusing on self-organized welfare practices. The Mutual Support Platform (MSP) is a space for conversations and actions by/between/for students, alumni, and teachers of the MAFA HKU, Utrecht. It emerged as a collective effort in response to the crisis of COVID-19. https://mutualsupport.hotglue.me No.more.later (N.M.L) is a platform that was initiated by Gizem Üstüner and Julie Yu from HKU Master of Fine Arts in Utrecht at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic addressing the rights, needs and concerns of non-EU/EEA students in Dutch art academics. https://www.instagram.com/no.more.later
51:09
September 19, 2021
Practices of Solidarity | Local Perspectives w/ Tatiana Lozano & Mehdi Torkaman | ep. 1
In this episode of Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, Rodrigo Ghattas is joined by Tatiana Lozano and Mehdi Torkaman to talk about their immigration experiences in Norway: from visa triumphs to temporary expulsions and all along the support and solidarity they received from friends and institutions. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Illustration: Viviana Cárdenas Producer: Rodrigo Ghattas Postproduction: Prerna Bishnoi Support by Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere [THE STORY] This episode is the first in a 3-part series on Practices of Solidarity. Guest artists Mehdi Torkaman and Tatiana Lozano explore perspectives on organized solidarity actions and the complex issues at play when artists seek to permanently relocate to Norway. Mehdi had faced temporary expulsion by the immigration services in Norway, having to resettle in his country of origin, Iran. Tatiana, surprised with a 1-week permit after 7 years in Norway, had to leave the country for five days and come back as a tourist to pack her life. Now we listen to their experiences as immigrant artists, sharing their routes back into Norway and their own strategies of immigration persistence. As well, we discuss how effective demonstrations are as political tools for change and their importance as solidarity devices within the arts. How we, as artists, might prepare collectively for the uncertainty of migration in the future, especially since the pandemic has fast-forwarded right-wing populist immigration politics in Norway and the rest of Europe. The art communities in Oslo and Bergen were in solidarity with the artists through demonstrations, letters of support and care. Two years later, in 2020, Medhi was allowed to return to Norway; Tatiana, after a week in Zagreb, came back to pack her bags until she found out through our network a new possibility to stay. We listen to their experiences as immigrant artists, sharing their routes back into Norway and their own strategies of immigration persistence. As well, we discuss how effective demonstrations are as political tools for change and their importance as solidarity devices within the arts. How we, as artists, might prepare collectively for the uncertainty of migration in the future, especially since the pandemic has fast-forwarded right-wing populist immigration politics in Norway and the rest of Europe.
51:16
September 19, 2021
Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability | Pilot Episode
Conversations with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability is a community channel podcast. The episodes feature informative and speculative talks with a group of local and international critical voices around education, labour and practices of solidarity with immigration being the red thread running through them all. We seek to redefine and create processes to sustain radical livelihoods and artistic practices that emerge as a result of – but also in resistance to – the multiple crises triggered by the pandemic. *This conversation includes the voices of artists and members of the VR working group Gabrielle Paré, Rodrigo Ghattas, Prerna Bishnoi, and Anthony Morton. They discuss the origins of the Verdensrommet network on the occasion of its first anniversary and shed some light on the work being realized in favor of non-EU artists working and living in Norway. Credits: Intro, outro and transition sounds by Emilie Wright Logo design: Martin Schor Producers: Gabrielle Paré, Rodrigo Ghattas, Prerna Bishnoi, and Anthony Morton Postproduction: Prerna Bishnoi Support by: Billedkunstnernes Vederlagsfond, Unge Kunstneres Samfund, and Norske Billedkunstnere
38:27
September 19, 2021