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Film screening | Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood | Clara Jo

May 31 @ 15:00 - 16:30

The fictional documentary Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood by Atelier KITLV-Framer Framed artist in residence Clara Jo, is part of the exhibition Breaking Waves, which will be presented at Framer Framed in Amsterdam from 29 May until 14 July.


Through a story about epidemiological and maritime movement, the exhibition Breaking Waves subverts concepts of colonial erasure and questions our collective imaginations during global crises. Clara Jo’s research explores the myths and political entanglements around the distribution of disease across the Afrasian Sea (Indian Ocean), often recounted in ways that protect an imperialist narrative. She studies historical erasure in the collective memory during states of quarantine, emphasising its environmental effects, and examines how dominant narratives emerge and influence the collective imagination during times of crisis.

The exhibition marks the Dutch premiere of the film Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood. Alongside the film is the first public presentation of new work produced during Clara Jo’s research at the KITLV archives.


Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood combines animation with filmed footage. The work illuminates damage done to the island landscape, highlighting the human capacity to forget and favouring censored versions of the past. The film is narrated from the viewpoint of the Paille-en-queue bird, who inherited its history through oral accounts from its ancestors and brings attention to colonial histories and forced displacement across the Afrasian Sea.


Clara Jo has been the Atelier KITLV-Framer Framed artist in residence in 2023. She is a graduate of Bard College (NY) and the Universität der Künste Berlin. She works with film, photography and installation to reengage socio-political understandings of the world in ways that entangle the senses. She plays with speculative narratives voiced by allegorical protagonists to offer alternative readings of the terrain through their material imprints and deep erasures, and questions how these stories feed into collective imaginations and fictions during moments of crisis.

Her work has been exhibited and screened at Gropius Bau (Berlin), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Jeu de Paume (Paris), De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill On Sea), ARKO Art Center (Seoul), Spike Island (Bristol), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), and Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Oldenburg). She has previously held fellowships and residencies at Art Explora (Paris), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart), the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (USA) and KITLV (Leiden) & Framer Framed (Amsterdam).

Screening, Q&A and drinks!

Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood will be screened in Leiden on Friday 31 May, followed by a Q & A with Clara Jo. The event will take place in the Vossius Conference Room at the Leiden University Library (where the KITLV archives are located) from 15.00-16.30. There will be drinks from 16.30 at KITLV, in the new Herta Mohr building, Witte Singel 27A, Leiden.


Venue: Vossius Conference Room, the Leiden University Library

15.00 h Opening & welcome by David Kloos (senior researcher at KITLV)
15.05 h Introduction by Clara Jo
15.15 h Screening film Nests of Basalt, Nests of Wood (25 minutes)
15.45 h Q&A, moderated by David Kloos
16.30 h Drinks at new location KITLV, Herta Mohr building.


Please register if you want to join this event: [email protected]


May 31
15:00 - 16:30
Event Category:


KITLV & Framer Framed


Leiden University Library, Vossius Conference Room
Witte Singel 27
Leiden, Netherlands
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