Margareta Kern is a visual artist and lecturer in photography at Falmouth University, based in London and Cornwall, originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Working at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary, her research-led practice explores the relationship between aesthetics and politics, making visible contestations and contradictions involved in its interplay. Continue reading here.

6th and 7th October 2017

They'll Never Walk Alone: Remembering Gastarbeiters in the Neoliberal Age
Conference organised by Lina Dokuzovic and Boris Buden.
Participants: Manuela Bojadžijev, Jana Dolečki, Keti Chukhrov, Amir Hodžić, Ana Hoffner, Margareta Kern, Katja Kobolt, Monika Mokre, Stefan Nowotny, Jon Solomon, HOR 29. Novembar
Depot, Breitegasse 3, 1070 Vienna

Screening of GUESTures (GOSTIkulacije, 2011) and a presentation by Margareta Kern alongside a contribution to the online journal Transversal.

Conference details can be found here.

Transversal Online Journal: The Gastarbeiter: In Search of an Afterlife

It didn’t take long for the so-called "migrant crisis" to fully manifest its political impact on Europe. Not only are the forces of the status quo – which guaranteed the stability of the old continent for decades – rapidly losing popular support as they are seriously being challenged by growing right-wing movements today, the very survival of the EU is now at stake. And again, the issue of migration appears at the very heart of all this political turmoil – not because it is the cause of a crisis, which the political elites must resolve to save Europe, but because it is used by these same elites to conceal their own inability to cope with the historical crisis of neoliberal globalization which is demolishing the European dream today.

Therefore, what is euphemistically called a “migrant crisis” today is in fact a means of historical forgetting. Moreover, it is, at the same time, itself the result of a forgotten history; for migrants are by no means newcomers to Europe. There is no better reminder of that fact than the old figure of the gastarbeiter – the so-called "guest worker" from the South who moved and worked throughout the spaces of North/Western Europe at the historical peak of industrial modernity.

The texts in this issue attempt to reawaken the memories of gastarbeiters in order to historicize the current experience of migration and its dangerous political appropriations. They aim at revealing a hidden genealogy of domination, exploitation, and manipulation, as well as a struggle for justice and emancipation. Those who cannot historicize the conditions in which they live will never be able to politicize them.

Read texts here.

14th June – 22nd July 2017

Margareta Kern, Božena Končić Badurina & Duga Mavrinac, Bosiljka Schedlich
Gallery Nova, Zagreb, curated by WHW

On Wednesday 14th June at 18h, Margareta Kern will be in conversation with Bosiljka Schedlich, whose words are re-enacted in the video GUESTures, and whose own exhibition from 1987 about the 'guest worker' women in Berlin will also be shown. Further info (in Croatian) here.

Poetics and Politics of Documentary: a documentary research symposium
2 - 4th June 2017,  Sussex University, UK

This symposium provides a rare and valuable opportunity to theorise documentary practice and to engage in dynamic discussion about documentary at the intersections between technology, aesthetics and ideology. This third edition of Poetics and Politics of Documentary will continue to explore the key themes of poetic praxis, with a particular emphasis this year on the theme “Beyond Empathy.”

'Thursday War', production still, work in progress, Margareta Kern 2017

'Thursday War', production still, work in progress, Margareta Kern 2017

Subversive Festival, Zagreb, Croatia
2 - 11th May 2017

Screening of GUESTures as part of the Subversive Festival and the exhibition Europoly. 

Kopf & Kragen
Galerie der Stadt Backnang, Germany
19 Nov 2016 - 12th Feb 2017

Graduation Dresses series of photographs is exhibited as part of 'Kopf & Kragen' group exhibition on portraiture. Artists include: Thomas Schütte, Grayson Perry, Caroline von Grone, Sabrina Jung, Jonas Englert, Gregory Forstner, Isolde Frepoli, Caroline von Grone, Wolfgang Kessler, Jan de Maesschalck, Loredana Nemes, Jacco Olivier and others.

Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies edited by Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings
I.B. Taurus, UK,  December 2016

Margareta Kern in collaboration with Anthony Luvera has contributed an updated in-conversation text on her project GUESTures and Luvera's Assisted Self-Portraits. The publication poses the question: how can we understand the variety and dynamism of contemporary cities and urban experience across the globe? UCL Urban Lab


Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins
SPACEX Gallery, UK
April - June 2016

In response to an invitation by Spacex and curator Claire Louise Staunton, the artists Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins were in residence throughout spring and summer 2016, critically exploring the new town of Cranbrook as a physical and psychological proposal for a new community, in an historical moment when the role of the state in shaping urban development and providing social housing is being dramatically restructured. 

The project culminated in a contribution to the symposium Living Together on 28th June 2016. The small publication produced by Hoskins and Kern for the event can be downloaded here

Unbribable Life. Art and Activism
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
3 - 4 Mar 2016

Margareta Kern, Damir Arsenijevic, Vanessa Vasic-Janekovic and Emina Busuladzic from DITA Factory, hosted an event on contemporary labour struggles in the former Yugoslavia, discussing new forms of direct democracy, like the Citizen's Plenum that emerged out of protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014, in relation to worker movements there and in the UK and Nottingham in particular.

The video from the event can be viewed here