The event was attended by leading figures in art, activism, fashion, music and business including Emma Breschi, James Bridle, Joe Corré, Ellie Grace Cumming, Jeremy Deller, Olafur Eliasson, Brian Eno, Sophie Fiennes, Juliet Jacques, Andreas Kronthaler, Michèle Lamy, Daniel Lismore, Fatima Manji, Metahaven (Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden), Beatrix Ruf, Shahmir Sanni, Paul Soileau (aka CHRISTEENE), and Eyal Weizman.
Stefan Kalmár said: It’s a different world from the one we were in 20 years ago. The ICA can show love and camaraderie, lending our platform to others. We pay tribute to Chelsea Manning, who, at 23 years old, asked who owns information and what we are allowed to see.
Dame Vivienne Westwood said: In my mind, Chelsea Manning is the biggest hero that ever lived... As Chelsea said earlier, one person can make a world of difference, but there isn’t enough time for one person to make a difference; everyone has to get involved!
The dinner was preceded by a public Q&A hosted by the ICA at the Royal Institution during which Manning spoke about the need for collective action, for individuals to exercise their political agency, and the need to challenge systems of power.
This autumn also sees the appointment of Hadeel Ibrahim as the new Chair of the ICA. Hadeel succeeds Donald A. Moore, who has been on the ICA Board since 2011 and who has successfully led the search that concluded in the appointment of Stefan Kalmár as new Executive Director.
Hadeel Ibrahim said: The ICA is a safe space where difficult conversations can be had. To come to the ICA is to engage with the future and when you support the ICA you support the next generation of thinkers, artists and activists.
The event took place in concurrence with the opening of VERSION HISTORY, a major exhibition by Amsterdam-based artists, designers, and filmmakers Metahaven (3 October – 13 January) and QUEENS ROW, the first UK commission by American theatre director Richard Maxwell (28 September – 13 October).
Food and drinks were served by the ICA’s critically acclaimed restaurant, Rochelle Canteen, which opened in 2017.
The Friends of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Dinner is supported by Vivienne Westwood.
Thanks to Jen Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers, Nicolas Rollason, Matthew Hardcastle of Kingsley Napley, Dame Vivienne Westwood & Andreas Kronthaler, Elizabeth Jane Cole, Evil Twin Booking Agency, Daniel Buchholz & Christopher Muller, Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers, Sadie Coles and the inspiring donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
Chelsea E. Manning is a technologist and network security expert. She speaks on the social, technological and economic ramifications of Artificial Intelligence, and on the practical applications of machine learning. She is a vocal advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights. Manning worked as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, where she disclosed classified documents to the public that revealed human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon being sentenced to 35 years for leaking government documents, an unprecedented amount of time for whistleblowers, she publicly identified as a trans woman and asserted her legal rights to medical therapy. After serving seven years in military prison, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence to time served. She was released in 2017.
Hadeel Ibrahim is the founding Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, established in 2006 to support leadership and governance in Africa. Hadeel serves on the Board of the Clinton Foundation; Co-Chairs the Board of Directors of the Africa Centre, New York; serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology); and is a member of Amnesty International’s Secretary General’s Global Board.
Vivienne Westwood, who began designing in 1971, is one of the last independent global fashion companies in the world. Westwood continues to capture the imagination, and raise awareness of environmental and human rights issues. With a design record spanning over forty years, Vivienne Westwood is now recognized as a global brand and Westwood herself as one of the most influential fashion designers, and activists, in the world today.
The Friends of the Institute of Contemporary Arts are individuals who support the work of the Institute of Contemporary Arts, to deliver its internationally acclaimed programme of art, film, music and live arts and to help it to maintain its position as one of most innovative arts centres in the world.
This is the second Friends’ Dinner, established in 2017 by the ICA’s new Director Stefan Kalmár to pay tribute to a global public figure aligning with the historic mission as well as the current work of the Institute.
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