Negus by Invernomuto, 2013, photo: Moira Ricci
Image from 'Still Standing', a project by Jorge Leon
photo: Seth M. Holmes, used with permission of the migrant farm workers pictured
'Lost Inn', an installation by hoelb/hoeb
'Recollection', a film by Kamal Aljafari


The term ‘structural violence’ refers to implied systemic and latent forms of exclusion or oppression that emerge on social and political localities. The notion of inscription stems from choreographic concepts and practices of writing; inscribing in and into material and immaterial spaces. This notion draws viewers’ attention to the consequences of our individual and collective actions. It underlines the presence of structural violence - its narration and history.

Violence of Inscriptions questions the potency of artistic, discursive, and action-based practices to critically reflect on this subject. The project examines bodies that are subjected to structural violence, and focuses on the performative and physical aspects that surface as a result. It examines the role of the body in producing, maintaining, legitimizing, representing, and aestheticizing structural violence. 

Violence of Inscriptions was a collaborative project, facilitated by HAU – Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin between 2016 and 2018. It is a result of an ongoing dialogue between Arkadi Zaides and dramaturge, curator and scholar Sandra Noeth. Each chapter of the project aimed to break down the complexity of the topic by examining the ideological, personal, political and ethical dynamics that are at stake. It brought together artists, thinkers, and human-rights activists for an intensive work session. The diverse perspectives of each participant provide the initial material for the discussion. The sessions are followed by a public program at HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, which included lectures, roundtables, screenings, and installations.

The four different chapters of the project included: VOI (Violence of Inscriptions) #1 – On Experience & Representation, VOI #2 – On Resilience, VOI #3 – On Collectivity, and Its Boundaries, VOI #4 –  On the Integrity of the Body

Credits & Collaborators

With contributions by Kamal Aljafari, deufert+plischke, Alain Franco, Kat Francois, Jens R. Giersdorf, Simge Gücük, Núria Güell, Adham Hafez, Amira Hass, Hoelb/Hoeb, Seth Holmes, Invernomuto, Agri Ismaïl, Michaelina Jakala, Janez Janša, Avi Mograbi, Ali Moini, Shahram Khosravi, Jorge León, Nat Muller, Elisabeth Nehring, Sophie Nield, Sandra Noeth, Manuel Pelmus, Didem Pekün, Frédéric Pouillaude, Freddie Rokem, Farah Saleh, Adania Shibli, Tom Tlalim, Ana Vujanovic, Eike Wittrock, Arkadi Zaides, Zhenya Zakhar Production HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Institut des Croisements