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DRIFT - a post-national digital pavilion

What is nation?

22 Apr 2022
  • Date

    Friday 22 April 2022

  • Time

    12:00 CET (running time approximately 90 minutes with Q&A)

  • Venue

    Room: Aula Magna,
    Don Orione Centro Congressi,
    Rio Terrà Foscarini, 909/A, 30123 Venezia VE

    The conversation will also be livestreamed via aabaakwad's website.

  • Admission

    Detail here: https://aabaakwad.com/current-gatherings/#day-2-2022

  • Artists

    Sonia Boyce

    Yuki Kihara

    Stan Douglas

    Zineb Sedira


iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) in partnership with aabaakwad (it clears after a storm) raises the question, ‘What is nation?’ in an in-person  conversation with artists Sonia Boyce, Zineb Sedira, Stan Douglas and Yuki Kihara chaired by iniva artistic director Sepake Angiama. The conversation is part of DRIFT– a post-national digital pavilion that troubles the notion of working within the constructions of nation and nationhood. This pavilion forms part of the European Pavillion project, a network of European arts and cultural organisations that radically reimagines Europeaness, through artistic and educational projects. 

What is nation? opens up the possibility to think beyond boundaries and borders of land and water, thinking through what is carried in the body to m/otherlands, to disperse diasporas, forge post-national imaginaries, identities, communities & formations of new fluid subjectivities. We ask the artists presenting in the 59th Venice Biennale, ‘what does it mean to represent a nation?’

You can connect to the wider project on socials by tagging #driftdigitalpavillion. 

The conversation will also be livestreamed via aabaakwad’s website here. 


This event part of a wider day-long event hosted by aabaakwad, titled aabaakwad conversations taking place on the 22 of April in Venice to coincide with the 59th Venice Biennale. For more information about the full programme and details on how to attend, please see aabaakwad’s website here.

DRIFT – a post-national digital pavilion

This conversation will be a part of iniva’s post-national digital pavilion – DRIFT. 

DRIFT is a post-national digital pavilion; a series of radical re-imaginings of Europeanness and what it means to be a nation, which reflect on the entanglement between land and water, movement and m/otherlands, in the forging of new identities and subjectivities.  

DRIFT will consider Europe from three vantage points, The River at Stuart Hall Library in London, The Island at Venice and The Coastline in Margate, and at these sites consider how water connects land, people and communities. Each site will generate three creative outcomes: a publishing project, a podcast and a commissioned soundscape, linked by the DRIFT microsite making our dialogue digitally accessible within and beyond Europe. 

The DRIFT microsite will launch in May 2022. 

DRIFT– a post-national digital pavilion is part of the European Pavilion: an initiative by the European Cultural Foundation that aims to support and promote artistic projects that imagine desirable and sustainable futures for Europe.  


aabaakwad (it clears after a storm) is an annual Indigenous-led conversation on Indigenous art by those who create, curate and write about it. A gathering that alternates annually between Toronto and international venues, showcasing dynamic dialogue examining themes, materials and experiences in Indigenous art practice globally. Founded in 2018, aabaakwad brings together over 70 artists/curators/thinkers from over 39 First Nations and 8 countries. We are Indigenous-led and artist-centred. 

aabaakwad has a global reach that develops the artistic field as a whole and enriches learning by audiences through deep listening. This is accomplished by connecting the networks of Indigenous artists, curators and thinkers to engage informal dialogue that is uncensored, accessible and cross-cultural. 

The environment and culture at aabaakwad is fertile for expanding new thought and dialogue around art, sovereignty, Indigenization and decolonization, alternative economies, languages, restitution/repatriation, survivance/resistance/resurgence and expanding notions of community. Indigenous led, aabaakwad contributes to developing new methods and histories through collective thinking that is guided by Indigenous philosophies and environmental knowledge systems, creativity and education. aabaakwad.com

SONIA BOYCE OBE RA (b. 1962, London, UK) lives and works in London. In 2019, the artist received an OBE for services to art in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, as well as an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art. In 2016, Boyce was elected a Royal Academician, and received a Paul Hamlyn Artist Award. Between 2012 – 2017, Boyce was Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University and since 2014 she has been Professor at the University of the Arts London, as the inaugural Chair of Black Art & Design leading on a 3-year research project into Black Artists & Modernism, which led to a BBC documentary Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History (2018). Recent solo exhibitions include In the Castle of My Skin, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK (2020), touring to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), Middlesbrough, UK (2021); Sonia Boyce, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2018); Sonia Boyce: We move in her way, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (2017) and Paper Tiger Whisky Soap Theatre (Dada Nice), Villa Arson, Nice, France (2016). In 2015 she was included in All the World’s Futures, the International Exhibition of the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Her work is held in the collections of Tate, London, UK; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK; Arts Council Collection, London, UK; The Government Art Collection, London, UK; British Council Collection, London, UK and Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK. Sonia Boyce will represent the UK at the 59th Venice Biennale with a major new commission for the British Pavilion in 2022.


STAN DOUGLAS (b. 1960, Vancouver, CA) Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films and photographs—and more recently theatre productions and other multidisciplinary projects—that investigate the parameters of their medium. His ongoing inquiry into technology’s role in image-making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory, has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible.

The artist’s work was featured in the Venice Biennale in 1990, 2001, 2005, and 2019, and in documenta in 1992, 1997, and 2002. At the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, Douglas debuted his video installation Doppelgänger and also presented a selection of photographs from his 2017 series Blackout. The artist has been selected to represent Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022.


YUKI KIHARA (b. 1975, Sāmoa) is an interdisciplinary artist of Japanese and Sāmoan descent whose work seeks to challenge dominant and singular historical narratives by exploring the intersectionality between identity politics, decolonization and ecology through visual arts, dance, and curatorial practice. In 2008, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York presented a solo exhibition of Kihara’s work entitled ‘Living Photographs’ followed by an acquisition of her works by the museum for their permanent collection. Kihara’s works have been presented at the Asia Pacific Triennial (2002 & 2015); Auckland Triennial (2009); Sakahàn Quinquennial (2013); Daegu Photo Biennale (2014); Honolulu Biennale (2017); Bangkok Art Biennale (2018); Venice Biennale (New Zealand Pavilion 2022) and Aichi Triennale (2022). Kihara is a research fellow at the National Museum of World Cultures in The Netherlands. Kihara lives and works in Sāmoa, where she has been based over the past 11 years. 


ZINEB SEDIRA (b. 1963, Paris, France) lives in London and works between Algiers (Algeria), Paris and London. Over the fifteen years of her practice, Sedira has enriched the debate around the concepts of modernism, modernity and its manifestations in an inclusive way. She has also raised awareness of artistic expression and the contemporary experience in North Africa. She found inspiration initially in researching her identity as a woman with a singular personal geography. From these autobiographical concerns she gradually shifted her interest to more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission.  

Zineb Sedira’s work was shown in several solo exhibitions at the Bildmuseet (Umeå, Sweden, 2021), the SMoCA (Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art) (US, 2021), the Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2019), the IVAM‑Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (Spain, 2019), the Beirut Art Center (Lebanon, 2018), the Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces (UAE, 2018), the Art On the Underground (London, 2016), the Blaffer Art Museum (Houston, 2013), the Charles H. Scott Gallery (Vancouver, 2013), the Prefix‑Institute of Contemporary Art (Toronto, 2010), the [mac] musée d’Art contemporain of Marseille (2010), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2010), the Kunsthalle Nikolaj (Copenhagen, 2010), the BildMuseets (Sweden, 2010), the Pori Art Museum (Finland, 2009), the New Art Exchange (Nottingham, 2009), the Wapping Project (London, 2008) and at the Photographer’s Gallery (London, 2006). Her work will soon be exhibited at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon, 2022), at Dallas Contemporary (US, 2022) and at the De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill on Sea, UK, 2022-2023). 

Sedira is the founder of aria (artist residency in algiers), a residency program to support the development of the contemporary art scene in Algeria through international cross-cultural exchanges and collaborations. 

Zineb Sedira represents France at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. 

Image: Yuki Kihara (photographed by Sarah Hunter), Stan Douglas (photographed by Seham), Sonia Boyce (photographed by Anne Purkiss) and Zineb Sedira - all images courtesy of the artists