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Summer School of the Academy of Margins 2022

… cleaning and useless care, shadows, microbes and fermentation, contamination, bouquets, weather writing, flowing, floating, leaping and cascading, minerals and clay, watery bodies, the personhood of nature, pacifism and feminist activism, field-not-recording, the non-human right to space, landscape dwelling, ecopedagogy, care, weathering, vibrant matter, ecotone, hydrofeminism, kinship, Antropocene …


A week of lectures, workshops, explorations of different micro-landscapes surrounding Topolò/Topolove (Udine), readings, walks, conviviality and collective learning about topics related to the environmental humanities and environmental care.
The Summer School of the Academy of Margins is Robida’s culmination of the Academy of Margins, a scattered, whole-year project, a platform of events in Izba (communal space of the Robida Collective in Topolò) and Radio Robida. The main objective of the Academy is to invite relevant contemporary thinkers to a place usually excluded from their maps/travels/conferences and to stimulate the relationship with a younger generation of artists, curators, thinkers and public. The Academy of Margins stimulates the encounter between central theories and marginal places and the relationship between relevant authors and a younger generation that usually reads them and is developing itself through their ideas.

At the Summer School we will deal with the non-, other-than-, more-than-human actors inhabiting the landscape of Topolò/Topolove and through that discovering the possible meanings behind the term care. María Puig de la Bellacasa wrote in her Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds (2017): “Care work becomes better when it is done again, creating the specificity of a relation through intensified involvement and knowledge. It requires attention and fine-tuning to the temporal rhythms of an “other” and to the specific relations that are being woven together.”

The small caring actions – as weeding an old path crossing the abandoned fields, liberating a tree from ivy, cleaning the stones of a terraced wall – will take place in the mornings and will be accompanied by lectures, readings, conversations among invited guests. Learning moments will happen while care-taking landscape. We’ll try this way to “incorporate in the manner of telling a sense of place” (bell hooks).
Late mornings and afternoons will be dedicated to workshop, guided by different artists and practitioners focusing on the multiple micro-landscapes which surround the village: for each micro-landscape a site-specific workshop will be developed by a chosen artist. In this way the whole variety of small, different environments will be explored and each participant would realise the complex ecology which surrounds the village (and which only from a first sight, wrongly, looks a same wild forest).
The late afternoons and evenings will host lectures and talks, where words, reflections and theories will be at the center of the attention. With the day ending, a softer atmosphere will surround the place.


The forest, the abandoned terraces, the still resistant small grass fields, the streams of water won’t be used as a scenery, a background of the events and even not only as the site where the observations and reflections take place but these landscapes will be the central presence and focus of care and maintenance of the participants. The summer school will question the exploitative tendency the turistic and cultural system have toward landscape by going beyond the gesture of showing the fragile, abandoned, ruined ecology but will instigate doing – small, minimal, collective actions of care, shared among the participants, the guests, the public. “Caring about” will become “taking care of”, a gesture of responsibility toward the place that hosts the event.
Which is the specificity of curating in the outdoors, in fragile and abandoned ecologies? The specificity lays in the potential (maybe minimal) impact some curatorial approaches can have toward the environment which hosts them.
What if instead of being witnesses to a place, its abandonment and ruination, we are with-nesses? The guests, the public, the temporary and permanent dwellers of Topolò are not just witnesses, observers, of what surrounds them but they are included in the dynamics of the place, in its rhythm, sharing response-abilities and acts of care, being therefore with-nesses.

Read the text Doing & Thinking / Caring & Learning / Work & Theory: A personal reflection by Vida Rucli


The Summer School will take place in Topolò/Topolove, a small village of 20 inhabitants at the border between Italy and Slovenia, where Robida works and lives. The events will happen in the abandoned landscape which surrounds the village a Tiers Paysage (Gilles Clément) which hides – it its apparent wildness – many signs of a past human presence.

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Absurd care w/ Ola Korbańska and Tim Ingold

24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 30th of August, 7:30—8:30

​​What if we apply the household cleaning strategies in the landscape of Topolo? What would be the criteria and results in such a place?
Perhaps the unpaid female occupation of cleaning and care — usually focused on houses, family, children, elderly, men, nations, capital — could finally be liberated in an abstract and relaxing gesture of arranging sticks and gray leaves in order. The useless care, absurd care.
The next day we can start again — the landscape will do us a favor by making things messy during the night.

We read a selection of Tim Ingold's texts, made by the author himself:

— Lines in the Landscapes
— Somewhere in Northern Karelia...
— In the shadow of tree being
— The mountaineer’s lament
— Scissors paper stone
— Are we afloat?

Ola Korbańska is a visual artist and writer, based in Berlin, born in Poznań; a graduate of School of Form and Design Academy Eindhoven.
Using various media such as installation or written text (recently textile and words), she explores the nature of objects in the context of changeability and social perception.
Her works were exhibited around Europe at various design and art shows, and texts featured in numerous publications.
Ola is always up for art collaborations, writing short stories, protests, tea-drinking, and some lols. / @olakorbanska

"È estate, è notte, la luna è d’argento, lo spazio si allarga nel silenzio..."

Collecting Shadows by Francesca Zoboli w/ Robida

25th of August, 22:00—00:00

It is summer, it is night, the moon is silver, the space expands in silence.
There is a drawing on the ground between herbs and leaves.
It is already there, we just have to pick it up.
The workshop that will take place between paths and woods, at night.
We will collect the shadows of plants and trees on large sheets.
We will do this using only white paper and black color.
Subsequently all the works will give rise to a new collective vision of the forest.

Francesca Zoboli graduated in painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
Parallel to her painting activity, she deals with interior decoration, designing and carrying out interventions in public and private spaces, such as the one commissioned by the designer Antonio Marras, created for the Kenzo concept store in Paris.
These two activities continually border on one another and feed each other. This is how her large-sized collages are born, always made on poor paper, painted with special techniques and using materials such as wax and inks, pigments.

Bouquet Immaginifico w/ Marta Olivieri & Roberta Mansueto

25th, 26th, 27th of August, 8:30—9:00; and 27th of August, 12:00—12:30

Within the research framework of bocche sorelle, Marta Olivieri and Roberta Mansueto are developing an apparatus of readings and practices, which in text and voice first and in practice and perception later, constitute the articulation of the languages ​​and relationships of sense, generating spontaneous mixes of knowledges coming from different theoretical, literary, social and geographical contexts.

The group of bocche sorelle was born from the non-authorial will, to create a dynamic group of artists, curators and theorists who put together artistic practice, natural-cultural knowledge, genres and sisterhood, making a new ecological experience of the use of voice.
“Contamination as a form of collaboration” becomes the central node of the textual research of this b.i .: a bouquet is a collection of fresh flowers that will soon wither - but we don't want flowers! - thus it is transformed into an imaginative collection of texts from different voices which collects these sounds, words, thoughts and theories, and find an opportunity to contribute to a reflected collaboration (which returns to who acts) of the participants.

Marta Olivieri is an author and a performer. Her artistic work wants to question the infiltrations that move a body. Writings, sounds, temperatures and asphalt are the areas of her research.
The body moves between the visible and the invisible and attempts a continuous happening on the sides of the structure it inhabits.

Roberta Mansueto is an independent curator and activist in the conservation of plant biodiversity.
In 2014 she was the co-founder of Tile project space (Milan) space for research and promotion of contemporary art and since 2018 she is the founder of takecare, a project that investigates the practice of writing in contemporary art, activating the text between performative research and independent publishing.
Since 2021 she is the co-founder of Salgemma, a project rooted in Puglia with the aim of enhancing and promoting the context of artistic research, through a platform of communication services, training and networking practices.

Teaming With Microbes w/ Philipp Kolmann

25th of August, 10:00—12:00, 14:00—16:00, 21:00—22:00: talk titled From spirit to Spirit w/ Philipp Kolmann, René Nissen & Aljaž Škrlep
26th of August, 11:00—12:30

During a three-part workshop we will team up with microbes, together we will transform grains, fruits and local botanicals into embodied data - helping us to better understand our close and unmistakable dependence with our symbionts.
Our goal is to share and strengthen the identity of place and a life sustaining bond between multiple species - in that quest we will rely on flavour and scent being our leading senses.
In the course of three moments, divided over three days we will learn how to capture local yeast and bacteria communities, unlock flavours and nutrients, fizz up and comfort our bellies.
On our final day, tasting collaborative efforts and uncovering a long awaited treasure that has been put under the soils of Topolò a year ago. Awaiting to be released and shared amongst all!

Philipp Kolmann is an Austrian designer based in the Netherlands. His work is grounded on an expanded notion of terroir understood as a site-specific composition of symbiotic relationships between people and land that shape unique, locally-rooted identities in the form of flavour and scent.

Weather Writing after Astrida Neimanis w/ Nada Schroer

During the summer school we’ll experiment with different iterations of writing exercises that are inspired by Astrida Neimanis’ method of weather writing. In the course of several days we’ll explore how to attune our human bodies to the weather-world and climatic natures through different modalities of writing collaboratively with and through the environment and other co-species.

Nada Rosa Schroer studied Cultural Studies at the University of Leipzig, Staging the Arts and Media at the University of Hildesheim and Cultures of the Curatorial at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig.
​​With a preference for feminist science fiction narratives and posthuman philosophy, she focuses on curatorial and artistic practices that address the ecological, social and psychological consequences of the colonial capitalocene. Starting from an ecofeminist perspective, she seeks radical proposals to transform curation, research, and institutional practices under climate emergency.

On Electric Brine and On Elusive Earths w/ Jennifer Teets & Lorenzo Cirrincione

26th of August, 10:00—11:00
27th of August, 16:00—18:00

On Electric Brine
Flowing, seeping, leaking, cascading, shaping. Electric Brine is a volume of poetry and critical essays by women voices from diverse fields such as literature, geography, media studies, history of life sciences, sociology, and poetics of science and fiction, each of them central to the independent curatorial research entity The World in Which We Occur (TWWWO, 2014-ongoing) and its associated online study group Matter in Flux. Conceived as an anthology and a register, it serves as a testimony to the initiative’s long-standing work of creative adaptation and ecological inquiry through a quest to situate a vision of material politics through the lens of six punctuated pieces on flow and fluids. The literary and scientific fabulations found in these pages speak of the conjunction of lived embodiment, the materialized quality of language, and the ability to trigger political imagination through reading, writing and witnessing. Each of these strands polyperform under TWWWO, for they can be traced, retroactively, to the themes present in the live event series, to Matter in Flux’s private study sessions, to the initiative’s collective writing work presented in public venues and publications. The book features contributions by Dionne Brand, Barbara Orland, Sophie Lewis, Esther Leslie, Hannah Landecker and Lisa Robertson. Published by Archive Books, Berlin. Electric Brine is edited by Jennifer Teets and co-edited by Elise Hunchuck and Margarida Mendes. All visuals have been designed by Sophie Keij, Atelier Brenda.
This talk situates Electric Brine within a history of self-led curatorial entities and collectives, exposing their inner mechanisms and methodologies.

On Elusive Earths
This talk looks at the role of minerals and clay particles in human health via the work of Elusive Earths, a long term artistic inquiry and exhibition proposal-cum-dialogue between American curator/writer Jennifer Teets and French artist/philosopher Lorenzo Cirrincione. Taking the form of a “clay odyssey,” this talk will feature material from their upcoming book which is both an experimental travel record and a visual monograph. It associates earthly ways of making, knowing, and living, with the idea that the properties of natural materials are not attributes, but histories. How is earth consumption embedded in various levels of cultural forces both of the past and of today? How do forgotten earth trade stories challenge us to explore the circulation and entanglement between peoples, substances and places? In this talk, like the book, these questions are interwoven to form a narrative of a cottage industry under radical transformation.

Jennifer Teets is an American curator and writer based in Paris, working at the intersection of science studies, literature, and performance. She is a graduate of SPEAP (Sciences Po Experimentation in Arts and Politics, directed by Bruno Latour), SciencesPo, Paris 2014. Within her work, she addresses the roles of consumption and contamination as an embodiment of thought which then performs, spores, proliferates. She is interested in the “backstory” of matter, its conditioning as both ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ vis-á-vis materials such as milk and cheese (post trauma goat milk production), terra sigillata (sealed medicinal earth), and mud.

Lorenzo Cirrincione is a philosopher, curator, and artist living and working in Paris. He received a PhD in the history of science at the Université de Poitiers in 2015. His writing expands on how early modern scientific collections challenge us, stretching beyond ideas of artistic privilege and appropriation. He currently researches the spread of antique medicinal knowledge throughout the commercial world; the scholarly initiatives that long animated the Republic of Letters. As an artist, his work investigates new ways of exhibiting and performing knowledge, mirroring the social and cultural games in the rich history of trade relations and cultural transfers.

Floating with the stream w/ Zakole grupa

Eager to take off our gumboots necessary to move around Zakole Wawerskie wetland (our base in Warsaw) and to let our feet cool off in the clear waters of the mountain stream that runs near Topolo, we are looking into ways of understanding and celebrating its watery body. Curious about its biolife, its spring and its mouth, sounds from above and below the surface, its changing mood and force of the current, the way it mingles with environment all around and how circumstances such as drought change its being. We are setting ourselves up for a week long exploration where we will test out how the embodied methods we usually employ, translate to new circumstances – and, hopefully, will come up with new ones, hinted by the river itself.
What do we encounter along the continuous trough of the stream which escapes the linear thinking with all its different habitats and processes? We plan to carry on a daily practice of being at the stream, in specific times of the day, at concrete spots. While inviting the participants to walk with us we’ll exercise deep listening to the water environments and try later on to accompany them with sounds of our presence by/ in the water.
Beyond observation alone we are thinking about forms of gathering and celebration by accepting the river's generous invitation for our curious yet gentle presence. How to cherish and celebrate parts of the landscape without being intrusive – or careful to the point where it becomes detached and distanced?
Exploring this ceremonial value of the liquid body we’ll gather and feast by stone soup logic, maybe trying to collectively add to the river old stories and imaginings.

Zakole is a project rooted in a wetland located near the heart of Warsaw. The Zakole Wawerskie (Wawer Meander) area consists of mostly inaccessible marsh and vast meadows. Its inhabitants are a variety of creatures: beavers, birds, frogs, mosquitoes, alders, reeds, grasses, and people. Our goal is to explore Zakole Wawerskie, its inhabitants and visitors, and to identify and map its various meanings. Together with our collaborators from the fields of science, arts, philosophy, activism and policymaking we search for ways of telling the stories of such areas. By using different methods (empirical, embodied) of experiencing the wetland our aim is also to foreground the perspective of the creatures forming its complex ecosystems. We find it crucial to highlight the significance of similar sites in cities, primarily for the reasons of biodiversity and climate, while focussing on the complexity of relations and interests of various actors.

From Water to Nature: The Personhood of Nature w/ Marjetica Potrč

27th of August, 18:00—20:00

The vote for water rights during referendum in Slovenia last year pointed to a shift in contemporary culture, with owners becoming caretakers of water. In the eyes of a caretaker, a river is not an object but a subject. As a subject, it will eventually have its rights recognized by the law, which, no longer human-centred, will acknowledge the agency of nature. For the 23rd Sydney Biennale (2022) Marjetica collaborated with Wiradjuri elder Ray Woods, an activist and caretaker of the Lachlan River in New South Wales in Australia. Their common work focused on the Rights of Nature contributed to stopping construction on Wynagala Dam which would have deprived Lachlan River of water. We will look into Ray Woods's knowledge and practices which are similar to today's environmentalists stand. A new alliance between indigenous people and environmentalists ensures a more resilient future for all of us.

​​Marjetica Potrč is an artist and architect based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Potrč’s practice includes drawing series, architectural case studies and public art projects. Her on-site projects are characterised by participatory design and a concern with sustainable solutions. These projects often centre around infrastructure and resources such as water and soil. Her work emphasises individual and community empowerment, problem-solving tools, and strategies for the future that transcend neoliberal agreement and testify to the failures of modernism.

Projection of the film Landscapes of Resistence (2021, 96') w/ Marta Popivoda & Ana Vujanović

29th of August, 21:00—23:00

The landscape gains a voice when elderly Sonja talks about being in the anti-fascist resistance and escaping from Auschwitz.

The Dark Forest (2021, 33') w/ Aljaž Škrlep

29th of August, 23:00—23:30

»They’re wild and impenetrable, they’re black and rust-red, debauched, worldly, teeming with life, diametrical, dissipated, cruel, passionate and lovable, without yesterday or tomorrow. [...] The forests gobble up the horizon.«
— Max Ernst

The live-reading video-performance The Dark Forest tries to connects forests, philosophy and dark art, equipped with a montage of shots of forests from various horror and other films. By interweaving the two mediums, it attempts to uniquely examine and interrogate the important role that the forest plays in this neglected film genre, while at the same time situating itself within the wider critical plant studies field of research that examines questions related to plants and attempts to offer an answer to the question: Can humankind learn anything from plants and their eco-systems? A lot. But you'll probably not going to like it.

Aljaž Škrlep studied philosophy at the University of Ljubljana and likes to write. He is still deciding if his love for life and children is stronger than his inborn pessimism and anti-natalism. He is inspired by obscure and commercial horror films, neglected philosophers, and more or less dogmatic metaphysics.

Alle radici dell’ecofemminismo. Un percorso bibliografico-esperienziale w/ Francesca Casafina & Bruna Bianchi

29th of August, 11:00—12:30: incontro introduttivo
30th of August, 10:00—12:00: laboratorio

​​L’incontro Alle radici dell’ecofemminismo. Un percorso bibliografico-esperienziale si propone di introdurre ai temi e alle pratiche dell’ecofemminismo. Nell’incontro di lunedì 29 agosto verranno fornite alcune coordinate essenziali per comprendere cos’è l’ecofemminismo, come nasce e cosa significa oggi. Bruna Bianchi e Francesca Casafina, curatrici del volume Oltre i confini. Ecologia e pacifismo nella riflessione e nell’attivismo femminista (Biblion Edizioni 2021), offriranno spunti utili per una discussione/confronto intorno al tema, che proseguirà con il laboratorio di martedì 30 agosto, tenuto da Bruna Bianchi, nel quale verrà offerto un percorso di letture attraverso le principali fasi storiche dell’ecofemminismo – a partire dalle lotte contro il nucleare negli anni ottanta –, i suoi concetti chiave e la sua interpretazione del nodo femminismo-ecologismo-pacifismo.

Bruna Bianchi ha insegnato Storia delle donne e questioni di genere e Storia del pensiero politico contemporaneo all’Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia. Si occupa di grande guerra e pensiero pacifista femminista in Europa e negli Stati Uniti. Fa parte dell’Historial de la Grnade Guerre (Péronne) ed è socia onoraria di WILPF Italia. Dal 2004 è condirettrice della rivista telematica “DEP. Deportate, esuli, profughe”.

Francesca Casafina è Dottore di ricerca in Scienze politiche presso l’Università degli Studi Roma Tre. Dal 2015 fa parte del comitato di redazione della rivista telematica “DEP. Deportate, esuli, profughe” ed è socia della Società Italiana delle Storiche e della Asociasión de Historiadores Latinoamericanistas Europeos. I suoi temi di ricerca riguardano la storia dell’America latina contemporanea e gli studi di genere.

Projection of the film Von Bienen und Blumen (2018, 96') w/ Lola Randl

30th of August, 21:00—23:00

The Birds and the Bees explores the soul seeking adventure of a family moving from Berlin to the countryside looking for the simple life and finding questions and answers on how we define work, love and family nowadays.

Field-Not-Recording Workshop w/ Attila Faravelli

30th and 31st of August, 14:00—18:00

We will explore listening to a non-human environment through the microphones, in real time and without recording.
In the context of field recording, recorders and microphones are often considered complementary, and yet the former can’t be used alone whereas the latter can; microphones afford real time listening but they are not a substitute for our hearing, they allow us to perceive reality in their own peculiar way. At the same time, as pretty much any field recordist can testify, listening to reality through microphones quite strangely informs the way that we listen to reality without them. Before even being bothered by the urge to record, we probably should appreciate the ability that the microphone, a tool born to fix the flow of sound into a recording, has to expose the dizzying aural complexity of reality.

Attila Faravelli is an Italian sound artist and electro-acoustic musician. Within his practice - which encompasses field recording, performances, workshops and design - he explores the material involvement with the world around us. His work has been featured in various festivals and institutions in Europe, USA, China and South Korea.
He has collaborated with, among others, Armin Linke, Rossella Biscotti, Riccardo Giacconi, Kamal Aljafari, Gürcan Keltek, Teatro Valdoca and Mariangela Gualtieri.
He is part of the sound research collective Standards in Milan.

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Summer School of the Academy of Margins is financed by Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia and co-financed by Urad Vlade republike Slovenije za Slovence v zamejstvu in po svetu.