Shared History

– How can current historical events be interpreted and portrayed? Can culture save Europe from its current identity crisis?

SHKarta960x640What happens when we break the chronological interpretation of history? Can historical writing be made more inclusive? 

Shared History is an EU-funded project that brings together newly arrived and established artists in the Baltic Sea Region. The artists' views do not necessarily need to correspond to each other, but they must be able to relate to each other when they explore critical methods of narrative and co-creation in a time of polarized discussions of history and identity.

Shared History is a cross-disciplinary project with the goal of critically connecting and artistically interpreting the different reactions on the refugee situation that are strongly affecting, shaping and dividing the European Union, on both a political and domestic level. With a Baltic scope, the project's creative research process will approach issues such as policy making, judicial and geographical borders, statistics, identity, public opinion and post-truth information related to migration and integration in Sweden, Poland and Latvia.

Exhibition at Färgfabriken
The exhibition Shared History opens in Färgfabrik's project rooms on May the 5th. The exhibition shows two installations processed during several months of collaboration between the artist Valeria Montti Colque and the architect Hala Alnaji, as well as the artists Vanja Sandell Billström and Reza Hazare.

The architect Hala Alnaji and the artist Valeria Montti have explored how the relationship with nature is connected with integration and with people's thought and dreams of feeling at home. What does the ”Swedish nature" mean to those who recently arrived in Sweden?

The artists Vanja Sandell Billström and Reza Hazare creates a collective view based on questions of privilege, responsibility and how both memories and bodies are deformed by living under pressure as a result of stress and refuge.

The designers Gabriel Maher and Isabel Mager stand for a graphic deconstruction of the project application. By dissecting the bureaucratic graphical interface, the idea of measurable culture and its instrumental purpose is clarified.

About the artists:

- Vanja Sandell Billström (born 1983 in Stockholm, where she lives and works) received her artistic training at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and works as an artist and filmmaker. In her latest work, Sandell Billström mainly explores issues concerning community and seclusion.

- Reza Hazare (born 1987 in Zahedan, Iran, a citizen of Afghanistan, lives and works in Stockholm) is educated at the Visual Arts School of Tehran and the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts. Hazare works mainly with drawing, painting and sculpture, and in his art explores among other things, the human psyche, history and visual traditions.

- Valeria Montti Colque (born 1978 in Stockholm, where she lives and works) is educated at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and in her art she touches themes of power, violence, dreams and popular culture. Montti Colque works with sculpture, video, drawing and painting.

- Hala Alnaji (born 1988 in Gaza, Palestine, lives and works in Stockholm) is an architect but also works with artistic methods, primarily with themes relating to architecture and society. Alnaji is educated at The Islamic Univesity Gaza and Sheffield Hallam University. Right now she is studying the post-master course "Decolonizing Architecture" at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

Works produced by our project partner in Gdansk (The baltic Sea Cultura Center) shown in connection with the exhibition at Färgfabriken.

The Baltic Sea Cultural Center in Gdansk have produced works by Ibrahim Muhanna and Agnieszka Wołodźko, who through a close exchange of ideas have developed their separate artworks: A site-specific installation at St. John's Cultural Center in Gdansk, and a film, which is screened in the same venue. In connection with the exhibition at Färgfabriken you can see documentation films about how the works were created, as well as Ibrahim Muhanna's film UnderWeAre in it's entirety. The exhibition in Gdansk will be shown April 20 - June 3, 2018.

- Ibrahim Mouhanna (born in Damascus, Syria, lives and works in Stockholm) is a filmmaker and journalist and educated at The Media University in Damascus, Syria. The film UnderWeAre focuses on themes of control and power based on a deep personal, internal dialogue.

- Agnieszka Wołodźko (born 1961 in Gdańsk, where she lives and works) is educated at The Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and works with many different media, including curating, photography, installations, sounds and workshops. Wołodźko is also a writer and author, focusing on art and culture.

Date & Location

5th of May - 19th of August


Karin Englund

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Shared History's own website, which will be updated with in-depth material and project results from all partners throughout 2018.


Project partners

Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Riga
The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre, Gdansk


Supported by:

LogosBeneficairesCreativeEuropeRIGHT EN 1

 There are a large number of EU-funded cultural projects that try to alleviate the political contrasts in today's conflicting political landscape. By 2016, the EU announced funding for cultural projects that addressed the issue of refugees and integration, an issue that has greatly divided Europe and created highly infected debates. Färgfabrikens Shared History, in cooperation with partners in Latvia and Poland, was one of the 12 projects granted by Creative Europe of the Creative Europe funding. Exhibitions and public programs will be held in Stockholm, Riga and Gdansk in 2018.

The project is also supported by the Kulturförvaltningen vid Stockholms läns landsting (the Cultural administration at Stockholm County Council), Stockholms stad (the Municipality of Stockholm), and the Swedish Arts Council.

Thanks to: