“The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show” at the Łaźnia CEA

The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show opens at the Łaźnia CAE on 27 June. The event will be accompanied by concerts, games and workshops. Søren Dahlgaard’s project prepared in cooperation with other artists became an important voice in the debate on climate change and the political and social situation in the Maldives.

The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show is curated by Melbourne based Danish artist Søren Dahlgaard with deputy curators Elena Gilbert & Microclima. First shown at the Official Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale. The exhibition has toured to Te Tuhi Arts Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, Silent Barn Art Center, New York, CCA Andratx Mallorca, Spain, ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE2015 Melbourne, Australia.

Featuring internationally well known artists such as Bik Van der Pol, Antti Laitinen, Christian Falsnaes, SUPERFLEX, Rirkrit Tiravanija and 10 artists from Maldives, The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show is a touring exhibition that acts to promote an expanded conversation about climate change and environmental awareness. Educational and aesthetically inventive, the exhibition consists of non-physical artworks such as performance, video, games & music.

The project was developd in response to the environmental and political plight on the Maldives. As a chain of low-lying atolls in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is gravely threatened by the rising sea levels caused by the climate change. Politically, the Maldives has also struggled for many years under dictatorship, up until a brief period of democracy under the presidency of well-known climate and political activist Mohamed Nasheed from 2008-12.

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In 2012 members of the former regime forced Nasheed to resign at gunpoint and the old dictatorship is now back in power and more ruthless than ever. To get the only hope Maldives has for democratic and environmental responsible future out of the way, Nasheed, also know as the Mandela of Maldives, received a 13 year prison sentence in March 2015 on false terrorism charges in a trail which has been heavily criticised by EU, UN, Amnesty, US, UK, Denmark and many more.

Søren Dahlgaard, lived with his wife Amani Naseem on the small coral island Hibalhidhoo in the Maldives 2002-04 where they initiated the first vegetable farm in the country, which systematically tested which plants and crops could grow in the extreme conditions of the Maldives. “Exodus” both refers to the climate change issue the Maldives faces, which could potentially turn the entire Maldivian population into climate refugees and also on the exodus of democracy, human rights, institutional transparency, independent courts, corruption control.

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The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show serves as a platform for art as a tool for environmental and social change and currently focuses on the Free Nasheed campaign.

The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show
Curator: Søren Dahlgaard
Co-ordinators: Anna Szynwelska, Michalina Domoń
Venue: Łaźnia CEA, ul. Strajku Dokerów 5, Gdańsk – Nowy Port
Date: 27.06 – 26.07.2015

Artists and cooperation: Viktor Bedo, Else Marie Bukdahl, Christian Falsnaes, Funko, Mark Harvey, Antti Laitinen, Harry Lee, Virginie Moerenhout, Fathmath Nadira, Amani Naseem, Mohamed Nasheed , Mariyam Omar, Tom Penney, Bik Van der Pol, Alexander Ponomarev, SUPERFLEX, Meir Tati, Rirkrit Tiravanija

Venue Yard of Łaźnia 2 CEA, ul. Strajku Dokerów 5, Gdańsk / Nowy Port

2 pm – 4 pm Mark Harvey GROUP CLIMATE │ performance

2 pm – 7 pm EXODUS board game

2 pm – 7 pm DREAMS IN THE BOTTLE game – Lena Mechtchanova

2 pm – 7 pm Artistic workshop for children │making a paper model of the caravan

3 pm – 4 pm JELLY STOMP street game│ moderated by Amani Naseem

4 pm – 5 pm Søren Dahlgaard: curated walk-through of the exhibition and lecture

5 pm – 6.40 pm THE ISLAND PRESIDENT │ film screening in the caravan (1h18 min.)

5 pm – 7 pm Mark Harvey POLITICAL CLIMATE WRESTLE │ performance

7 pm – 7.45 pm 1988 │ concert

8.30 pm – 10 pm THE SHIPYARD │ concert


Jelly Stomp game by Amani Naseem

One game duration: 1-2 minutes

The number of participants: 4

Jelly stomp is played in teams of two. Players fight to stomp each others jelly fish and protect their own. When the Playstation Move controllers are plopped under water the bluetooth connection breaks. Three times under water kills a jelly fish.

The game is part of a series of games and playful interventions designed for public spaces in Malé, the city capital of Maldives. In April 2013 Amani Naseem invited 9 game designers to her home country to create games and playful experiences together with the local creative communities, key artists, thinkers and organizers.

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Political Climate Wrestle – performance by Mark Harvey

You are invited to participate in this performance with the New Zealand artist Mark Harvey. It involves ‘arguing’ or constructively debating about your perspective on climate change, on politics related to it, and if you like, the situation in the Maldives. It also involves wrestling the artist over it.

Exodus board game by Harry Lee

One game duration: about 30 minutes

The number of participants: 1-6

Exodus is a board game, a puzzle, and a warning. In this 30 minute playable simulation of climate change in the Maldives, players must respond to rising sea levels and devastating tides by erecting breakwaters, relocating populaces, and responding to crises – all while balancing the resources at hand. There are no easy solutions in Exodus.

Group Climate – performance by Mark Harvey

Group Climate will be a three hour collaborational performance where Mark Harvey with local participants will collectively develop actions that promise to arrest and deal with climate change on the streets of Gdansk surrounding the Maldives Exodus Caravan Show. The work will follow a process of guided consensus, a process Harvey has developed in his previous works Productive Bodies and Productive Promises. Group Climate will engage with physical actions in order to test out Harvey and the group’s climate change promises. While the work may on the surface appear humourous at times through its employment of absurdity, Harvey reflects through it on Maurice Blanchot’s (2001) notion of worklessness, over how authorship and thereby art making can be productive work. He also intends to ask through his practice if and to what degree can the artist as an object of spectacle and labour genuinely engage and cope the potentiality of climate change.

Dreams in the Bottle by Lena Mechtchanova.

In collaboration with Amani Naseem, this game was conceived during “Play Around Nature” in a series of public play events in the Maldives, 2013. The Dream Bottle was invented to preserve and help the fulfillment of dreams. Everybody is welcome to join the mission. Maybe you want to read the message from the inventor first.

And, how can you accomplish the mission? Find the Bottle, or wait until it finds you! Choose a dream from the bottle and make it come true for somebody you like. Then put your own dream inside and don’t forget to believe in it.

If you want to share your experience, or you are curious about other people’s stories, check the website:

Displays in the caravan

“Tiny Planet”– Thomas Ingram & Maize Wallin (AU), 2015

The Launch pad is split in to sounds from four environmental elements – water, fire, mountains and humans. By triggering sounds and patterns, you breed more of these elements in to the digital Earth.

President Nasheed underwater cabinet meeting Maldives 2009 copy

„The Island President”- documentary movie show

directed by Jon Shenk 2011. 1:40 min.


Jon Shenk’s The Island President is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced—the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable.

The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed is unusually candid about revealing his strategies—leveraging the Maldives’ underdog position as a tiny country, harnessing the power of media, and overcoming deadlocks through an appeal to unity with other developing nations. When hope fades for a written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech, which salvages an agreement. Despite the modest size of his country, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.



Musician and producer from Szczecin. Currently lives and works in Tricity. Together with Robert Piernikowski he created the SYNY duo. After the recently published, widely acclaimed ORIENT, 88 began working on a solo album. We’re talking about the same quality trademark as Syny here: original, world-class production, honest hip-hop dirt, deep echoes of dub and the stench of analogue electronics. The atmosphere is so dense that it evokes vivid images, blurring the line between music and film.


The Shipyard formed in 2011 in the middle of Tricity, but soon began to extend further. They are fuelled by the smell of the sea and the sound of bending port steel. Although the group’s debut album We Will Sea (Nasiono Records), hailed as the album of the year by many journalists (including Piotr Stelmach from Polish Radio 3), revealed new-wave and post-punk inclinations, the current incarnation of the group is more related to guitar-based crossover. In 2014 The Shipyard released their second album entitled Water on Mars; the EP So Much to Win was played on most non-commercial Polish radio stations. In the autumn of 2015 they are going to release another record, this time containing mostly songs sung in Polish. The band consists of musicians known from such projects as Made In Poland, Sound Of Pixies, Heart & Soul, Vulgar and Kiev Office. This Shipyard is capable of launching musical torpedoes made-to-measure for the 21st century. Their concerts are explosive, which may be witnessed in only one way: live.

The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show and accompanying workshops are part of the Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdańsk project co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Exhibition is co-financed by the Danish Cultural Institute.