the lumbung will continue

letter from lumbung community

Dear Christian Geselle, Angela Dorn, Susanne Völker, Claudia Roth, Supervisory Board and shareholders of documents,

We are angry, we are sad, we are tired, we are united.

We have done everything possible to keep us above the chaos, hostility, racism and censorship that have enveloped this edition of documenta.

We have endeavoured to keep us focused and committed to our work and to the promises and hopes of the lumbung. We have been resilient, and in solidarity with our communities, friends, supporters, hosts and guests.

The press release published today refers to a preliminary assessment more broadly. We have seen this preliminary report of the advisory panel of scientific.

This report represents a new crossing of the lines, and we strongly reject: This line marks a drift racist in a structure pernicious censorship. We denounce the vicious attempts to censor the presentation of the Reels of Tokyo. The group of scientific advisors of Documenta gGmbH -in August 2022 - has developed its preliminary findings.[1] in Addition to the innumerable problems of the accusations, the report argues that "... the serious problems of documented fifteen consist not only in the presentation of isolated works with images and anti-semitic statements, but also in a structural environment curatorial and organizational work that has allowed that there may be an environment anti-zionist, anti-semitic and antilsraelí".[2]

Because we maintain our rejection of censorship, we objected strongly to the creation of this panel, the scientific adviser. We do not accept the accusations of his preliminary report, which reproduced without demur affirmations poorly researched media; also the report lacks the scientific evidence, academic references, of an argument, rigorous and integrity.

For months we have faced continuously to attacks of disrepute, humiliation, vandalism, and threats in the mainstream media, as well as on the streets and in our spaces. What is even more frightening is the dismissal standard of these actions. We have detailed these experiences in our previous statements, and this has been completely ignored by the Supervisory Board of Documenta gGmbH.[3]

In this hostile environment, the actors with a coordinated agenda have been struggling to find any indication of "guilt" preconceived, misrepresenting any detail critical in a reading anti-semitic simplistic and repeating the same accusation again and again until you accept it as a fact. It's obvious to us that the same mechanism of passing the ball from cyberbullies and bloggers are racist in the mainstream media, the attackers racist on the ground, politicians, and even academics, is reproduced in each situation. Has clearly informed of the mechanics of the consultative group "scientific".

We know what it means to be discriminated against because of the color, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, origin, caste and/or disability. We understand the ways in which crisscross our different anticolonialist struggles. And these struggles they face in the daily life of the society in general. We are committed to the role of art as resistance to these social injustices more spacious. And in the context of the documented fifteen, and of the specificities of the German context, we see that the targeting of artists palestinians is the point at which our anticolonialist struggles are, and have become a point of attack. Racism, anti-muslim, anti-palestinian, anti-queer, transphobia, anti-roma, abelismo, castismo, anti-black, xenophobia and other forms of racism are racism with which the German society must deal in addition to anti-semitism.

We are outraged, we are exhausted, but our fight will continue.

The preliminary report makes reference to the definition of anti-semitism of the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust.[4] using this definition is deeply problematic, which allows you to confuse criticism of the State of Israel and the critique of zionism with anti-semitism, the advisory panel scientist creates a framework that establishes a sentence of inevitable lumbung, its structure, to the artists, palestinians and their works, and, ultimately, of the documented fifteen as a whole. What kind of academic integrity is blind to the purpose to the story and the facts in the service of agendas by racist and hegemonic?

The preliminary report equates criticism of the current violent actions of the israeli State with hatred. Consider the following statement incendiary: "propaganda is anti-israeli, and his claim staged by the artists can incite hatred against Israel and the jews."[5] Indicates that the drafters of this report to reduce the practice of art to propaganda, a term extremely complex that the scientific panel is not defined. Its simplistic notion of "propaganda" allows a specious argument according to which the criticism of the State of Israel is an incitement to hatred against an entire people, a very serious charge that shock us and hurts us.

We reject categorically. We reject the maneuver deliberate policy that aims to separate the struggles and divide them among themselves, dividiéndonos between us. Join us, you unconditionally and without hesitation, our colleagues and jewish communities that have been the most vocal. They know, as we do, that we're in this together. We know that no struggle can succeed alone, that when the hostility has been high and the aggression is too hard to bear, are the voices of jewish in Germany that have come to embody and amplify the voice of palestine. You know, like us, that security is something that we build together, that safety is something that cannot be granted by the State. The State takes charge of the security, but security is not security: security can only be created in community with others.

The question is not the right of Israel to exist; the question is how it exists. The resistance of the State of Israel is the resistance to colonialism of the settlers, who used the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing and occupation as forms of oppression. The report states that "a number of comparatively large works dealing with the arab-israeli conflict. Almost all these works express a critical attitude unilateral or even strongly anti-israeli".[6] The documents fifteen is an exhibition that contains works of many artists who belong to grassroots movements more spacious that have fought and continue to fight against the colonial regimes. The anti-colonial struggle of palestine emerges in the works of many artists lumbung due to the solidarities historical between these anticolonialist struggles transnational. The report tries to discredit this transnational solidarity calling it one-sided view of a conflict (binary), reduced to a caricature historically complex and global.

Despite the fact that its name evokes the "science", the panel does not use a clear methodology or a set of definitions to make their assessment. Bypassing the rigorous task of defining its terms, the panel chains, repeatedly, the terms "anti-zionist, anti-semitic and anti-israeli", blurring of fact their vast differences in a metonym. The conclusions of the scientific advisory committee on the alleged racism of the documenta fifteen are based on this reckless combination of terms. We reject the simplistic approach, oppressive and pseudoscientific of the Supervisory Board and the lack of rigor of the preliminary report. We understand that it is a way of designing and transpose the guilt and the history of German to the palestinian struggle, and to other anticolonialist struggles. We recognize that in place of a methodology meticulous, the arguments use a manipulation lazy and vicious that faces those who criticize the oppression, imposing false divisions between the communities in the identity. It is a tactic dark that presents itself to one community against another. We reject and condemn the selective use and implementation of the "science", the history and the suffering of the other.

We do not give permission to be defined, inspected, recolonizados by another institution.

We refuse -and we acted on our rejection - in the same way that the lumbung: we do it together, yes, and poetically. We affirm that the lumbung continues after the end of the documenta fifteen; our solidarity continues while they complete their games of superiority, arrogance, and power. From now on, in all parts, and for many years, we will practice our withdrawal of the documents and build the lumbung.

We reject the form of criticism and judgment aggressive, not verified and intentionally humiliating of the Supervisory Board and the shareholders. We reject the superiority eurocentric -and in this case specifically germanocéntrica - as a form of discipline, to manage and tame. We come here as equal. We come here in order, and came here to put ourselves in the public domain, without anything to hide or to be ashamed of. We came here for nothing less than the same as them, that can learn humbly to each other, that can help each other, caring about each other, because we know that our interdependence is the only path to a future planetary more fair.

We have worked with many groups in Kassel. We have shared our struggles and our fears. We have accepted the criticism where it is expressed, and we have made the critical where required; this has made us all more strong and more resistant. Thus it is that the art creates meaning, how it moves, how it should work and it works. Open our vulnerabilities and struggles to audiences and the public of Germany has been an act of trust in audiences engaged like us, the vulnerable, like us, who are struggling within their locality like us, calling for solidarity as us, and who are willing to be supportive, just like us. We have been witnesses of how the public is committed and critical, and dedicating time to the works and ideas presented in the documents fifteen. We have made the difficult questions and we have enjoyed many conversations inspiring.

The openness and inclusiveness of the lumbung is as we imagine it to our world. It is not merely a practice for documenting fifteen; it is a model that we've been practicing before you meet here, and that we will continue practicing as a way of being in solidarity, a way of being inclusive, a way of thinking, sharing, documenting, a form of combat, a form of resilience.


Abiye Okujagu
Agus Nuramal
Ahmed El-Faour
Ahmed El-Jumaa
Alice Yard
Amol K Patil
Andre Eugene (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Anna Sherbany / The Water Diviners
Another Roadmap Africa Cluster (ARAC)
Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie
Arts Collaboratory
Asia Art Archive
Baan Noorg Collaborative Arts and Culture
Black Quantum Futurism
Britto Arts Trust
Can Yalcinkaya
Carima Neusser (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Carlos Perez Marin / HIM 18
Centre d'art Waza
Chimurenga / Pan African Space Station
Clear Astiasaran / INSTAR (Instinct of Artivism Hannah Arendt)
The Warcha
Elisa Strinna / Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road
Erick Beltran
Ernesto Oroza / INSTAR (Instinct of Artivism Hannah Arendt)
Francesca Masoero / HIM 18
Frederikke Hansen / documents fifteen Artistic Team
Gertrude Flentge / documents fifteen Artistic Team
Graziela Kunsch
Iain Chambers / Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the side of the Road
Issa Freij / The Water Diviners
Jaroslava Tomanová
Jatiwangi art Factory
Joen Vedel / Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road
Jumana Emil Abboud / The Water Diviners
Kasia Wlaszczyk
Keleketla! Library
Kiri Dalena
Komîna Fîlm a Rojava
Krishan Rajapakshe
Laila Hida / HIM 18
Lara Khaldi / documents fifteen Artistic Team
Laura Heyman (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
WE 18
Leah Gordon (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Liam Morgan
Liz Woodroffe (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Lydia Antoniou
Maria Thereza Alves / Jimmie Durham & A Stick in the Forest by the Side of the Road
Marianne Dautrey
Marion Louisgrand Sylla / Kër Thiossane
Marwa Arsanios
More Art, More Action
Members of Sada (regroup)
Nadir Bouhmouch / HIM 18
Nailé Soda Aragon
Nakasujja Harriet, Nabwana Isaac / Wakaliga, Uganda (Ramon Film Productions)
Nancy Naser Al Deen
Nha San Collective
Nino Bulling
Noor Abed
OFF-Biennale Budapest
ook_reinaart vanhoe
Party Office
Paula Fleisner / The Technical Secretariat Holobiente
Paula Stone / Arts Collaboratory
Pedro Lasch (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Pınar Öğrenci
Project Art Works
Richard Bell
Roberto N Peyre (Atis Rezistans / Ghetto Biennale)
Sa Sa Art Projects
Safdar Ahmed / Refugee Art Project
Saodat Ismailova
Screen printers queer
Siwa plateforme / L Economat at Redeyef
Soumeya Ait Ahmed / LE18
Sourabh Phadke
Stefania Acevedo / Arts Collaboratory
Subversive Film
Tania Bruguera / INSTAR (Instinct of Artivism Hannah Arendt)
Taring Padi
The Black Archives
The Nest Collective
The Question of Funding
Trampoline House
Tyuki Imamura
yasmine eid-sabbagh
Yasmine Haj / The Water Diviners
Zeina Iaali / Refugee Art Project
ZKU (Center for Arts and Urbanistics)


ruangrupa curators

documenta 15