Reading On Empowerment I with Lotta Petronella


Reading on Empowerment | with Lotta Petronella

Laments choir - Photo Pauliina Runola Helsinki Biennial 2023
Laments (Materia Medica of Islands) by Lotta Petronella with Lau Nau and choir,
a still by Pauliina Runola

7 – 8 pm CEST
8 – 9 EET

We read together online at:
SEA Foundation, Tivolistraat 22, Tilburg

We read together on-site at:
Oksasenkatu 11, Apollonkatu 23 b 53, Helsinki

This reading group event is part
of SEA Foundations’ longer-term
research of art and sustainability
fold #09 Empowerment.

The event is free of charge,
organised by artists and volunteers
of the SEA Foundation.

Moderated by Michaela Davidova & Julia Fidder


Artist, filmmaker and curator Lotta Petronella will co-host our next reading on the 22nd of February. She will join with the performative reading of an excerpt from Experiments in Imagining Otherwise, a text by Lola Olufemi; a poem called Rant by Diane di Prima; and with the reading of the tarot card number 12 and 20 – the hanged and judgment.

This time we split the reading between two locations. She will read in person at Oksasenkatu 11, in Helsinki, during the exhibition If I Can not Cry in the Subway curated by Julia Fidder. If I Can Not Cry in the Subway is a collective story about loss and grief where individual experiences are allowed to exist together. It is elaborating on the research Grieve with Me published by Julia Fidder on our webiste and on the curated publication which is shown at SEA Foundation’s vitrine and can be purchased via our webshop.

Please mind, the reading is happening in person in Helsinki with the start time 8 pm EET and you can also join in person in Tilburg with the start at 7 pm CEST.

Attendants are asked to have something to write on and a glass of water ready with them.

Experiments in Imagining Otherwise

‘This is a book of failure and mistakes; it begins with what is stolen from us and proposes only an invitation to imagine.’ (Lola Olufemi).

The extract from book Experiments in Imagining Otherwise which Lotta Petronella chose, will introduce ‘a note on language’. This way we will come closer to the notion of the otherwise that Lola Olufemi is invoking. The next pages will take us along the lines of dreaming – when she, he and they are dreaming. By linking the grieving and dreaming, Lotta Petronella will expand on how one informs the other and how imagining otherwise leads to empowerment in collective grieving/dreaming.

Lola Olufemi

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and researcher from London. She is co-author of ‘A FLY Girl’s Guide to University’ (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of ‘Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power’ (Pluto Press, 2020) and ‘Experiments in Imagining Otherwise’ (Hajar Press, 2021). She is a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective and the recipient of the 2020 Techne AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership between The Stuart Hall Foundation, CREAM and Westminster School of Arts. Her work focuses on the uses of the imagination in revolutionary cultural production; its relationship to futurity, political demands and ‘imaginative-revolutionary potential’. Her short story, “Red” was shortlisted for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing prize. She tweets at @lolaolufemi_ and is represented by Emma Paterson at Aitken Alexander Associates. Alongside writing, she facilitates reading groups and workshops, occasionally curates and is volunteer co-ordinator at the Feminist Library.

Lola Olufemi website


The poem Rant is selected by Lotta Petronella. It was published in the collection of poems called Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems, in 1990. It is a revolutionary letter for the protection of the imagination.

Diane di Prima

Diane di Prima was an American poet, artist, writer, and activist who was part of the Beat Generation, a group of writers who explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-World War II era. One of her well-know literature pieces is a collection of poems called Loba, published in 1978.

Bio Lotta Petronella

Lotta Petronella is a filmmaker, artist and curator based on an island in Finland. She is co- founder of CAA Contemporary Art Archipelago and has worked with and on islands for nearly two decades. Since her internationally awarded film Själö – Island of Souls (2020), she has been leading a multidisciplinary collaborative research Själö Poeisis on the island of Seili. Her latest work Materia Medica of Islands was a new commission for the Helsinki Biennial in 2023. In addition to her filmmaking and art practice, Petronella is a devoted medicine and flower essence maker and tarot scholar. She also writes poems, makes soundscapes and runs a podcast called little screams.

Lotta Petronella website

The programme of reading sessions:

25.01.2024 reading with Eva van Ooijen
30.11.2023 reading with Danae Theodoridou ft. Fontys Akademy of the Arts
in fold #09 on Empowerment

26.10.2023 reading with Barbora Trnková ft. Vašulka Kitchen
28.09.2023 reading with Pam Virada
in fold #08 on Spirit

22.06.2023 reading with Golnar Abbasi
25.05.2023 reading with Charlotte Jarvis
in fold #07 on Solidarity

30.03.2023 reading with Doris Hardeman
23.02.2023 reading with Risk Hazekamp
26.01.2023 reading with Gladys Zeevaarders
in fold #06 on Reimagining

27.10.2022 reading with Anna Zvyagintseva
05.10.2022 reading with Jun Zhang
25.08.2022 reading with Christopher van Ginhoven Rey
in fold #04
on Awakening

02.12.2021 reading with Laura Castro
18.11.2021 reading with Sophia Holst

16.09.2021 reading with Amy Franceschini
in fold #02 on Commons

08.07.2021 reading with Sheng-Wen Lo
17.06.2021 reading with Katarina Jazbec
20.05.2021 reading with Mari Kesi-Korsu
in fold #01 on Empathy

logo Gemeente Tilburg
mondriaanfonds netherlands
Logo Kunstloc Brabant
Logo impulsgeld provincie Noord Brabant
Marked Trees 2021, Lotta Petronella, Seili
Moth Tarot, Lotta Petronella
Hyoscyamus niger - Sleeping with plants 2021- (ongoing perfromance), Lotta Petronella, Seili