Season 3: Episode 2

Artist Mikala Hydig Dal housing politics and radical optimism.


Cultural worker, artist, curator and author Mikala Hyldig Dal’s work embodies a deep examination of current global political struggles and echo a call for social justice.

Mikala’s first solo, Who’s Afraid, looked at ISIS propaganda videos of 2014 and their relation to iconoclasm, bodies and political role plays.

Today she employs radical optimism combined with realism to engage with complex issues like housing politics and gentrification, where increasingly one person’s home is another person’s windfall.

I met Mikala on her Utopian Bus Tour, set in the year 2099. It was a bus tour around the Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg to places impacted by gentrification to see monuments for the future.

Where do I put my IKEA couch and where will it look better? That’s kind of what augmented reality is being used for. And for me, it has a potential that’s much greater. It’s a kind of utopian, futurist technology that we need to assign value to. A value that is actually quite political. 

– Mikala Hydig Dal

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Mikala Hyldig Dal is an artist, curator and author based in Berlin, Cairo and The Hague. She examines visual cultures through video- and text-based interventions. Many of her works are installations, but also performance, drawing and painting are among her artistic practices. The artist is represented in international exhibitions, e.g. in Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Cairo Townhouse Gallery, Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen, Fluxfactory New York and Azad Gallery Tehran. Mikala Hyldig Dal is interested in the connections between image production and the destruction of images (iconoclasm), processes of visualization and invisibility, structures of power in the field of the visual. In the words of philosopher Jacques Rancière: Mikala deconstructs “aesthetic regimes” with her artistic works, her curatorial projects and theoretical reflections.
– Introduction by Prof. Dr. Linda Hentschel, Institute for Art and Visual History (IKB), Humboldt University Berlin (translated from German)

Visit: Mikala Hyldig Dal Website


Photo credits: Ali El-Darsa

Places and organizations referenced in this episode – in order of appearance:

LAUSE: Household collective in Kreuzberg threatend by sale from Taekker
TAEKKER: Danish real estate investor who purchased Lause to sell for profit
GECEKONDO: Turkish Community Center at Kottbusser Tor, built overnight
MOSIREEN VIDEO COLLECTIVE: Egyptian media activist collective formed in 2011
THE AUGMENTED ARCHIVE: A mobile site-specific video archive for public space
KUNSTBLOK: Artists and cultural workers, working for a livable and just Berlin city
LIEBIG: House-project without cis-men, but all other (a-) gender-identities welcome

Book: OPEN/OCCUPY, Open House Flutgraben
available online at: Motto Distribution OPEN/OCCUPY