Minna Henriksson: Politics, Economy, Racism, Fascism in Two Artistic Findings

University of Arts, Rectory Ceremonial Hall, Kosancicev venac 29

28. 06. 2018 14:00

Presentation and discussion of art works

The recent reemergence of far right and "populist" movements and parties across the Europe and the world, that shocked the political establishment by open ignorance or cancellation of many principles and rules of post WW2 parliamentary politics, brought to the rise of the interest for historical fascism/s and its contemporary meanings, origins and capacities. The old books are taken from the shelves, the new ones are written, the scientific conferences and research projects are permanently initiated and supported. Media sphere is tip-toeing between the objectiveness and the financial imperatives. In the midst of an overall fuss and related contradictory campaigns, the question about the possibility of art to deal with such situation is upon us (as it always was). Should an artist simply join the side in the struggle (supposingly antifascist) or simultaneously search for not so well-known insights and findings?

The ones that reveal the less obvious or the better hidden societal relations and connections, which are important for understanding of both the historical fascism and its contemporary more or less hidden ideological and political offspring. The recent works by Minna Henriksson enable us to recognize some of such relations and connections in the history of three Nordic countries („Scandinavian" is not very popular term outside of Sweden). Since these countries are frequently looked upon and cited as a role model for the co-existence of socialist standards and values in the frames of capitalist economy, it is interesting to see how the historical cases/examples artistically investigated by Henriksson, reflect on the relations between science, economy and art in such a specific context.   


Two works by Minna Henriksson will be presented on the June 28th, 2pm, in the University of Arts Rectorate Hall.


Works on Paper (book):

‘Works on Paper' (2015-2017) is a graphic story with forty linocuts on the political history of paper industry in Finland. The book has two chapters; one of which focuses on the role of the paper industrialists' support of the right-wing movements in Finland, and the other on controversial paper trade with the South African apartheid regime, and the boycott initiated by the trade unions. Designed by New Collectivism, the book is printed in an edition of 300. 


More information at: http://minnahenriksson.com/main/works/works-on-paper/


Unfolding Nordic Race-science:

‘Unfolding Nordic Race Science' (2016) is a collaborative project with archaeologist Fredrik Svanberg dealing with the topic of race science in the Nordic countries from 1850s up to 1945. The project was commissioned by the Swedish History Museum and presented in the exhibition History Unfolds. The installation by Henriksson includes a large wall drawing, which is a survey of central figures in the race science in the Nordic countries between 1850s and 1945, including anatomists, collectors of human remains, institutions, and patrons, as well as artists who produced images of the constructed white Nordic race and the ‘exotic others'. The close relation between fine art and race science proves how, in its time, race science also exerted great influence on many other fields. Prior to the Second World War, race science was promoted by the state structures and the scientists were respected members of the national elite. The Nordic countries were united in a web of connections around the science

More information at:




The presentation will be in English with possibility of informal consecutive translation. The event is realized in the frame of the project by Cultural center Rex/Fond b92 and PhD study program at the University of Arts, Belgrade.



The goal of the project is to provide insights, documentation and critical analyses of the contemporary national, regional and typical European practices of musealization and historization of fascism, as well as of the formal education on historical and contemporary forms of fascist ideologies and movements. By way of lectures, seminars, historical lessons, research visits, exhibition tours and other research and presentational activities the project offers an overview of the capacities, principles and methods of current historical and educational politics concerning fascism. The project is indirectly dedicated to unifying, condensing and applying scientific, artistic and activist practices and knowledge that have developed in relation to the recent period of reaffirmation of neo-fascist and "post-fascist" ideas, ideologies and politics on the European as well as the world political and cultural scene.

The project is being realized in the time when multiple European countries are experiencing coming to power, or striving to do so, of political parties and social movements that use smaller or bigger portions of historical fascist movements' repertoire. Judging by various research projects, this phenomenon is the result of powerful currents of relativization or even negation of the history of fascist movements, either in terms of their ideological foundations or political and militarist activities, and this is visible in trends promoted by various institutional, educational, media, and other political and cultural practices. The project strives to detect such trends and to critically-analytically present them to the public thus introducing potential correctives for the existing state of affairs.

The project endeavors, giving its potentials and formats, to map the current state of affairs in musealization and historization of fascism as well as to summarize certain experiences of the past political, activist, media and scientific activities and results in this field. The project points to and focuses on a need for rearticulating the concepts and goals of struggle against the obliviousness towards the history of fascism within institutional and overall public discourse and public space. Therefore, the project tries to bring about compiling and reaffirming of the best experiences in countering the erasure and suppression of the history of struggles against fascism and neo-fascism.

The project's mission is to stimulate a broad array of expert and activist potentials for providing critical responses to all forms of hegemony that favors the development of fascism and neo-fascism.

More information at rex.b92.net

Organization and production: The Rex Cultural Center/B92 Fund

The project is realized with the support of the Open Society Fundation Serbia.