Book launch: Solidarity Must be…

Book launch: Solidarity Must be Defended

de Appel, Tolstraat 160, Amsterdam

Join us in de Appel on 19 June for the book launch of Solidarity Must Be Defended, edited by Eszter Szakács and Naeem Mohaiemen. The anthology brings together projects on gestures and alignments within the visual arts around transnational solidarity during the Cold War.

In dialogue with, among others, the quietest tendencies of non-alignment and the radical vector of liberation movements, the book looks at both grand initiatives and tragic misfires from an entangled, decolonizing world. The point of departure for this anthology is a special issue of Mezosfera magazine (“Refractions of Socialist Solidarity”) edited in Budapest by Szakács in dialogue with Mohaiemen’s three-channel film Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017). This anthology proposes that transnational solidarity is always worth celebrating, but also extremely difficult to inhabit. For the launch, co-editor Eszter Szakács will be joined by contributor Sanjukta Sunderason for a conversation.

There is limited capacity for this event, please reserve a spot by clicking the button below.

Eszter Szakács

Eszter Szakács is a curator, researcher, and a Ph.D. candidate at ASCA of the University of Amsterdam, where she is taking part in the project IMAGINART—Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation. She has recently been appointed the 2025 Curator of the Guest Programme of the 41st EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art. Together with Naeem Mohaiemen, Szakács co-edited the recently published anthology Solidarity Must Be Defended. In 2023, she curated the exhibition DĂłra Maurer–SUMUS–We Are Together at de Appel, Amsterdam. Szakács was part of the curatorial team of the grassroots art initiative OFF-Biennale Budapest, who were lumbung members and participants at documenta fifteen (2022). Szakács was also a curatorial team member in OFF-Biennale’s second (2017) and third edition (2021), and a member of the East Europe Biennial Alliance team that collectively curated the Kyiv Biennial in 2021. Between 2011 and 2020, she worked as curator and editor at tranzit/hu in Budapest. 

Naeem Mohaiemen

Naeem Mohaiemen explores forms of utopia-dystopia (families, borders, architecture, and end of life) that span decolonization’s hopeful milestones and transnational collisions. Several contemporary conversations about the Non Aligned Movement pivoted around the premiere of his Two Meetings and a Funeral at documenta 14 in 2017. Naeem is the author of Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel 2014) and Midnight’s Third Child (Nokta 2023). He is Associate Professor of Visual Arts & Concentration Head of Photography at Columbia University, New York.

Sanjukta Sunderason

Sanjkta Sunderason is a historian of 20th-century aesthetics, working at the interfaces of visual art, left-wing thought, and historical transition. Her research focuses in particular on the entanglements between (left-wing) aesthetics and 20th-century decolonization in South Asia and across transnational formations in the Global South.

She studied History, a BA (Presidency College, Kolkata, India), MA and MPhil (both at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India), before doing her PhD in Art History (Department of History of Art, University College University London, United Kingdom). Her primary specialization is in South Asia (India and East Pakistan/Bangladesh after 1971), and she works with transregional scales of Afro-Asian decolonization and Third World liberation movements in the 20th century.