The first event from the Toxic Lands curatorial programme, ‘it could be poisonous’, introduced the exhibition and interspecies encounters to be held at different venues in Mostar and across social media from March to July 2021.

Toxic Lands aimed to spark critical discussions and analyse human destruction in a broad sense, exploring the effects of the Anthropocene (the current geological age where humans have been the dominant influence on the environment), military traces, ecology, cosmology, climate change, Western colonial practices, the extractive industries and vulnerable urban futures. Toxic Lands took as a source the toxic narratives and destructive practices of the landscape system of the Neretva river and the city of Mostar.

Along the introduction of the venues and artists within the Toxic Lands curatorial programme, the event will host Boris Filipić to reflect on the present forms of toxic materiality within the urban and river landscapes. As a response to the overview of polluted and destroyed context of Mostar caused by the war (1992-1996) and post-war destruction, Louis Henderson will share filmic context and methods for creating his film ‘All That is Solid’. Henderson’s work is anti-colonial and critical of the myth that new technologies and their matter have no impact on the physical world. In conversation with Boris Filipić and Louis Henderson, the physical and digital aspects of the Anthropocene, and how they produce alarming imagery and poisonous conditions, will be explored.

The Toxic Lands project website, designed by web designer Bojan Gagić and graphic designer Rafaela Dražić, is also presented. Toxic Lands, curated by Armina Pilav, is part of FUTURE ECOLOGIES, a programme from WE ARE HERE: Artists’ Moving Image from the British Council Collection and LUX developed by Tendai John Mutambu, British Council and LUX. In the Western Balkans, FUTURE ECOLOGIES is presented through a programme of exhibitions, screenings and public events, curated by curators from the region.

The event took place online on the Zoom platform and was live streamed on the Radio Abraš Mostar Facebook page and afterwards as a podcast on the Radio web:

Production: Un-war Space Lab, Crvena Association for Culture and Art – Sarajevo, Abraš Radio – Mostar

Video recording is below

Guest speakers

Amila Lagumdžija, Head of Arts Western Balkans, British Council - During her ten-year career in cultural relations, Amila has developed and led programmes that responded to needs and strengthened programming practices with most main cultural institutions in the region.

Boris Filipić, AbrašRadio, OKC Abrašević Mostar - Journalist, writer, translator and political scientist interested in post-humanist philosophy and Anthropocene perspectives and effects on politics, society and culture. Currently working as a journalist and editor of AbrašRadio, the radio and digital magazine of the Cultural Youth Centre Abrašević.

Louis Henderson - Filmmaker and writer who experiments with different ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racial capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. The working method is archaeological.



Armina Pilav, Un-war Space Lab/University of Sheffield, Toxic Lands curator - Feminist, architect, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Landscape Architecture, The University of Sheffield. Her research, practice and teaching intersects and focuses on politics of re-presentation and re-production of physical, mediated space, bodily experiences in extreme conditions of the war destruction or other disaster condition. Armina uses cross-media tools, psychospatiality and radical observations to expose ecologies of transformations of rivers, land and related natural forms, architectures and society. 
Armina is founder of Un-war Space Lab and member of the Association for Culture and Art Crvena in Sarajevo.