“Why make an installation about refugees being stuck at the border when you could design tools to cut through the fences?”
(We Are ‘Nature’ Defending Itself: Entangling Art, Activism & Autonomous Zones, Pluto/Vagabonds, 2021).
Isabelle & Jay take on age-old questions that have challenged artists: “What is art for?” & “Who is art for?”. In their lecture, Jay & Isabelle share with us their vision of art and activism that is firmly committed to the protection and regeneration of life.
• Isa Fremeaux (she/her) is an educator, facilitator and author. She has worked as a freelance journalist, French teacher and administrator of a community arts company, while completing a PhD thesis on the concept of community. She became a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck College-University of London (UK) where she worked for 10 years, before leaving academia to embrace freedom and collective life. Engaged in social movements for almost 20 years, she has facilitated assemblies gathering several hundred people, co-organised international mobilisations and climate camps and trained thousands of people to reinvent modes of disobedience.
• Jay Jordan or JJ (they/them) is an author, art activist, part-time sex worker and full time trouble maker. JJ is labelled a “Domestic Extremist” by the UK police, and “a magician of rebellion” by the French press. JJ has spent three decades applying what they’ve learnt from theatre and performance art to direct action. They have performed in museums and International Theater Festivals, trained people in squats, co-organised climate camps, choreographed carnivalesque riots, written a BBC radio play for today, and an opera-for-one.
• Isa and JJ live together on the on the ZAD in Notre-Dame-des Landes, and they both co-facilitate the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination brings together artists and activists to co-design and deploy creative forms of direct-action, which aim to be as joyful as they are politically effective. Creation and resistance, protest and proposition are the entwined DNA strands of their practice.