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Chamber of Public Secrets

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Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS) is a production unit of critical art and culture: an informative, non-profit, independent contributor to the global cultural scene, established in 2004 by Khaled Ramadan and Alfredo Cramerotti.[1][2]

The unit works as a network of artists, curators and thinkers who have been collaborating since 2003 in the organization, production and circulation of film and video festivals, art exhibitions, TV and radio programs, political fictions and documentaries. CPS members also set up debate forums and talks and publish books and articles on issues like media representation, migration, mobility, aesthetic journalism,[3] colonialism, gender and difference. CPS helps to debate the position of artistic and media narratives, and the function and responsibility of both in relation to society.

As a consequence of political developments around the world and the withdrawal of a silent intellectual majority from the social spectrum into the narrow passages of academia, socially and politically motivated art has become the driving force behind CPS’ collective practices. CPS regards art as an agent of empowerment and involves viewers from all different backgrounds and communities. It works on the history of visual aesthetics, art and culture with diverse interests in the fields of social history, scientific research and critical theory. It engages with the public space and the way people use it; questions institutional thinking, thought control and authority-inflicted fear, and modes of instilling self-censorship in cultural producers, as well as socio-political apathy as a general public phenomenon. Since 2004 members of the network have conceived and implemented art exhibitions, film festivals, radio and TV programs set up conferences and talks, and publish articles and books addressing media representation and the position of art and media narratives.[4]

Members of the art collective Chamber of Public Secrets live and work in places like Cairo, Antalya, Beirut, Trento, London and Scandinavia.


Chamber of Public Secrets curated the first Maldives pavilion at the 55 Venice biennale 2013, under the title Portable Nation Disappearance as work in progress – approaches to Ecological Romanticism.[5] Chamber of Public Secrets was elected as one of three curatorial editorial teams of the Manifesta 8 Biennial in Murcia, Spain 2010.[6] The contribution ¿The rest is history? envisioned Manifesta 8 as a series of transmissions (including works of art and interventions in the mass media) that use artistic methods and the strategies of negotiation to explore the specific geographic and socio-political structures that define reality today, and its history. This way, CPS sought out and promoted dialogues which simultaneously occupied and interrupted the basic boundary conditions that defined the framework of Manifesta 8, placing them in the public realm through the practices of media production, documentary-making, artistic research and aesthetic journalism.[7]

In 2009, Al Jazeera TV produced a 28 min. documentary about Chamber of Public Secrets' history and activities.

2009 was the year of the MidEast Cut festival. It offered an investigation of the cognitive, cultural, social and political 'space' of alternative / experimental short film, documentary and video from and about the Middle East, Iran and Turkey. It reflected on a popular development within alternative film stemming from recent geo-political events around the world. This has led to widened awareness and resulted in independent electronic art produced mainly by film and video makers who have made the widespread usage of the (video) camera into a visual statement and an alternative to the information flow of the mainstream media.[8]

In 2008, Khaled Ramadan of Chamber of Public Secrets was appointed research curator at the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial in Beijing, China, and curated the Middle East Channel.[9][10]

The team's interest in art, history and representation led to the establishment of Immigrant Image Archive in 2007. The archive collects, preserves, and provides photographs and video films about immigrants to North Europe. It solely contains images with relation to immigration taken by the immigrants themselves. Hence, visitors to the archive and its activities are confronted with the social realities and experiences of the contributors who are conveying their own stories.[11]

The new international festival Made in Video was introduced by Chamber of Public Secrets in 2006. The festival focused on the way contemporary artists use video as a medium to approach political and social problems from new angles. Methods used included manipulated news clips, video as visual evidence and experimental interview forms. It featured independent media, not only as an artist's tool, but as every citizen's tool to suggest their views in an artistic, journalistic or documentaristic way with the aim of wrestling the mainstream broadcast scope and definition of news.[12]

Chamber of Public Secrets has also been a steady contributor to the artist-driven TV-TV channel. The team has produced more than 30 programs [13] for the TV station since its establishment in 2005.[14] CPS members started it first experimental TV broadcast on tv-tv / Copenhagen Channel. Tv-tv group inherited the TV Stop station from a group of political activists who established the channel in 1989.

Up to the closing of tv-tv in 2010 members of CPS collective has produced more than 55 programs about 200 hours of TV documentaries addressing the consequence of socio-political developments around the world and the withdrawal of a silent intellectual majority from the social spectrum into the narrow passages of academia.

In 2009 and beyond CPS’s TV production took a serious turn and development. When the collective starts its independent video journalism activities andproduced film and documentary for different international TV stations, like TV North, DR, AlJazeera, Press TV, Almasriah and Alarabiah.

Projects curated by CPS

Maldives Pavilion - Portable Nation, Italy

Disappearance as work in progress – approaches to Ecological Romanticism.

The project addresses the history of the artistic aesthetics of the Maldives. The island nation is not known for its visual arts activities however rather for the beauty of its ocean, ecology and environment. The art collective Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS) combines the two aspects by treating the culture and nature of the Maldives as the central subject of the Maldives Pavilion.

The colletive CPS present the Maldives Pavilion as an eco-aesthetic space, an the pavilion as a platform for environmental campaigners, artists and thinkers who brought about an chain of event presenting Environmental Romanticism in relation to the nature and culture of the Maldives.

Manifesta 8 The European Biennial, Spain

Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, is known to be as Europe only roving, contemporary art event, showcasing the most innovative work by artists and curators from around the world. Manifesta an early 1990s Dutch initiative took shape as the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM), an independent and not-for-profit organisation with offices in Amsterdam.

In 2010 CPS co-curated the Mainfesta 8 in Murcia, Spain under the theme of the Rest is History. CPS aimed at specific way to curate the project, to make use of the location and its particular reality, not merely to utilise it for site-specific projects but rather to integrate the sites into the broader artistic project as a resource of intellectual capital to provide all participants with an ample opportunity for research and innovation as according to curators Khaled Ramadan and Alfredo Cramerotti.

The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China

The Middle East Video Channel

‘The Middle East Channel’ at ‘Farewell to Colonialism’ was CPS contribution to the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial. The focus was on how the Middle East region viewed and documents itself, primarily at the hands of its own cultural practitioners.

The Middle East Video Channel focused on categories like sociological or anthropological video trends, short illustrative documentary and video as a tool of political activism.

The Middle East Video Channel project was on display simultaneously to the Third Guangzhou Triennial at the UCCA in Beijing.

CPS, Khaled Ramadan was a Research Curator, 3rd Guangzhou Triennial

CPS new media production center in Turkey

Media Art Research Center (MARC)

MARC is CPS’ research-based, media art production and exhibition space located in the city of Antalya, Turkey. CPS collective established the center in 2016. MARC is an event-driven space dedicated to innovative visual content, collaborative projects, and educational endeavours. MARC’s mandate is to develop and promote aesthetical experiences related to human history. It bridges and nurtures the relationship between cultural institutions and the public by ways of collaborating with artists from Europe, Turkey and the Arab world.

CPS establish own publishing house

Secret Chamber Press

In 2017 Secret Chamber Press (SCP) was established in Copenhagen. SCP specializes in publishing academic books related to contemporary visual culture and social history. SCP thus extends the work and network of the founding association, the art and curatorial collective Chamber of Public Secrets.

Books by Secret Chamber Press (SCP):

From a Common Word to Committed Partnership

Danish-Arab Interfaith Dialogue

Edited by Mads Christoffersen, Stine Høxbroe & Niels Valdemar Vinding

Published by Secret Chamber Press, SCP, Copenhagen, 2018. ISBN 978-87-970144-0-0

Journalism in Times of War

Edited by Awad Joumaa and Khaled Ramadan

Research, Stine Hoxbroe, Dorian Batycka and Elyas Rama

Contributors among other: Hamid Dabashi, Aidan White, Peter Greste, Zeina Khodr and Noam Chomsky.

Published by Al Jazeera Media Institute January 2018

Books published by CPS members:

Peripheral Insider: Perspectives on Contemporary Internationalism in Visual Culture

By Khaled Ramadan

Peripheral Insider examines the conditions of expatriate artists from various angles: the historical and colonial roots of the issue, positions among theorists dealing with expatriate artists in the west, the role of established art institutions, and examples of recent developments in the field.

Publisher: Museum Tusculanum Press; UK ed. edition (April 12, 2007). ISBN-10: 8772899670

Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform Without Informing

By Alfredo Cramerotti

Addressing a growing area of focus in contemporary art, Aesthetic Journalism investigates why contemporary art exhibitions often consist of interviews, documentaries, and reportage.

Publisher: Intellect Ltd (October 30, 2009). ISBN-10: 1841502685

List of CPS contributors and participating partners between 2004-18

Al Masson, Marina Grzinic, Alfredo Cramerotti, Amel Ibrahimovic, Anders Michelsen, Anna Hallin, Anna Zadros Hansen, Armen Matinjan, Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen, Bettina Furstenberg, Bulent Diken, Carsten Bagge Laustsen, Christel Lundgren, Cristine Candolin, Colonel, Danua Haremska, Dieter Buchhart, Dror Feiler, Ellen Nyman, Emil Madsen Brandt, Eric J. Fajardo, Faisal Samra, Finn Thybo Andersen, Frans Jacobi, Gavin Jantjes, Gunilla Skold Feiler, Hilda Hiary, Ian Charlesworth

Iben Bentzen, Awad Joumaa, Inuk Silis Hoegh, Jane Jin Kaisen, Jes Brinch, Jessica Winegar

Jouko Lehtola, Karima Al Shoumali, Katja Loegstrup Hansen, Khaled Ramadan, Kirsten Dufour

Lars Erslev Andersen, Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, Malene Natacha Ratcliffe, Marco Evaristti, Marita Muukkonen, Masar Sohail Al Kenani, Max T. Ryynanen, Melek Mazici, Miguel Vega Olivares, Mikala von Freiesleben, Nana Debois Buhl, Nanna Bjerre-Jepsen, Nanna Guldhammer Wraae, Naseem Khan

Nikolaj Kilsmark, Wooloo, Niran Baibulat, Nynne Haugaard, Osk Vilhjalmsdottir, Peter Dacke, Ria Lavrijsen, Rusudan Melikba, Sameena Basharat, Samia Jamouchi, Sanne Kofod, Sarat Maharaj, Sebastian Dufour Pedersen, Shujaat Ali, Simone Aaberg Kaern, Staffan Schmidt, Stine Hoeholt

Stine Hoxbroe, Susan M. Guerra, Tabish Khair, Tallat Shakoor, Tanja Ostojic, Tomasz B. Ozdowski

Torbjorn Rodland, Yudhishthir Raj Isar, larissa Sansour, Hanna Ljungh, Hyewon Lee, Abir Boukhari Khalid Albaih, Steven Lam, Dorian Batycka, Cathryn Drake, Ferhat özgür, Frank Brümmel, Medrar for Contemporary Art, Frans Stuber, Billedkunstnernes Forbund, Ehab Galal, Gunhild Borggreen,

Deniz Guvensoy, June Dahy, Lina Khatib, Sawsan Kassis, Nicolas Khoury, Lana Cmajcanin, Anka Leśniak, Walter Seidl, Antje Weitzel, Erol Mintaş, Ryynänen Max, Suyeon Yun, Yücel Kobal, Özgür Yaren, Raed Yassin, Young-suk No, Ursula Biemann, Zuleyha Ali, Umaima Rasheed, Ximena Narea, Nisrine Boukhari, Bäckman Anneli, NTU CCA Singapore, Mohamed Allam, Staffan Schmidt, Tijana Miskovic, Hady Zaccak, Mounir El-fishawi, HedwigFijen, Mounira Al Sulh, Tanja Ostojic, Tanja Nellemann, Anahi Alviso-Marino, Anka Leśniak, Evan Magits, Jackie Salloum, Merete Jankowski, Jayce Salloum, Joachim Hamou, Joan Eroncel, Esraf Armegan, Esra Ersen, Ahmet Ogut Sanne Kofod Olsen, Amir Zainorin, Mohamad El Omari, Omar Amiralay, Aida Eltorie, Khaled Hafez, Hisham Bizri, Maria H. Guggenheim, Dermis Leon, Nat Muller, Ebru Nalan Sülün, Susanne Danig, Sofia Sundberg, Suzanne Russell, Rami kodeih, Mahmoud Hojeij, June Dahy, Rune Gade, Alex Castro, Lise Nelleman, Karin Sander, Katerina Gregos, Kate Deimling, Miriam Katz, Dorothee Albrecht, Dorothee Bienert, Samira Jamouchi, Samir Kadmi, Else Marie Bukdahl, Jonatan Habib Engqvist, John Kennedy, Nønne Mai Svalholm, Gulsen Bal, Gulsun Karamustafa, Nada Prlja Nanna Guldhammer Wraae, Birgitte Kirkhoff ,Ali Zaraket, Charlotte Haslund-Christensen, Gilane Tawadros. Pitkänen-Walter Tarja, Taru Elfving, Kati Kivinen, Achilleas Kentonis, Irmili Kokko, Charles Esche, Camila Rhodi, Camilla Boemio, Stefano Cagol, Rian Lozano, Kao Imran, Henry Meyric Hughes.

Cooperating partners in 5 Million Peace March

ATLANTICA Revista de Arte y Pensamiento

BergstublPROJEKT, Berlin

Carsten Niebuhr Institute, Copenhagen University

Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, University of Bergen

Chamber for Middle Eastern Visual Studies, CMEVS

Charlottenborg Exhibition Building

Christian Dam Gallery

Copenhagen County

Danish Center for Culture and Development, DCCD

Danish Film Institute

Du Store Varden, Oslo

Espace SD, Beirut

Fast Video Association

Free University

Institute for Modern Culture, Copenhagen University

Kirkhoff gallery

Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan

Lebanese Embassy, Stockholm

Lothringer Dreizehn, Munich

Malmo Art School

Malmo Konsthall

Minority Report, Aarhus

Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde

Museum Tusculanum, Copenhagen University Press

Nikolaj Exhibition Space

Nordic House, Reykjavik

Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, NIFCA, Helsinki

Pio Diaz Gallery

Pixel, Digital Art Gallery

RACA art space

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Sparwasser, Berlin


Vejle Museum of Art


Films & Documentaries[edit]


  1. "Alfredo Cramerotti / Home / CuratorWork: Website of Alfredo Cramerotti with texts, talks, videos, art & media festivals, modern & contemporary art exhibition curating". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. "About - Chamber of Public Secrets". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  3. chamberarchive (13 October 2011). "I Told President Mubarak". Retrieved 30 October 2018 – via YouTube.
  4. "Chamber of Public Secrets -". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. "Showcase - Maldives Pavilion - 55th Venice Biennale". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. "Curatorial video - Chamber of Public Secrets". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  7. "Manifesta 8". Manifesta 8. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  8. "MidEast Cut Festival". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  9. "3rd Guangzhou Triennial - Chamber of Public Secrets". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  10. "3rd Guangzhou Triennial". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  11. "Immigrant Image Archive". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  12. "Made in Video Festival". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  13. "CPS programs on tv-tv". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  14. "tv-tv". Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  15. "I Told President Mubarak". Vimeo. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  16. "Response to Platform 6 by CPS Chamber of Public Secrets". Ibraaz. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  17. "Published films «  Doculogia". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  18. Cramerotti, Alfredo (11 February 2011). "Manifesta 8: AGM Culture 10 feat. Comrade Alfredo Neri, excerpt from TVE programme Metropolis [English / Spanish]". Retrieved 30 October 2018 – via Vimeo.
  19. "Khaled Ramadan : Drug Alfredo Neri". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  20. "Alfredo Cramerotti / Works / Performance / Comrade Alfredo Neri". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  21. "Africiné". Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  23. "The 11th International Cairo Biennale". Retrieved 30 October 2018.

External links[edit]

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