Welcome to the Relation(al) Matters Archive. This is an online collection of a series of conversations zooming in on questions of relationality as planetary condition. The scheduled conversations take place virtually and are open to everybody, yet it is required to register in advance in order to receive the link for the webinar. The event schedule and registration details can be found at the bottom of this page. The conversations will be recorded and will be uploaded to the conversations archive shortly after they have taken place.  

The project

What, if not relationality, characterizes today’s planetary condition? One only needs to think of the ongoing and globally interconnecting COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-deepening ecological catastrophes or the also ever-increasing systemic inequalities. Is it not obvious how relational ‘our’ situation is? And is it then not astonishing how different systems in which cures or handling of the entangled situations are envisioned (scientific, medical, socio-political or ethical) continue to work from the presupposition that what happens somewhere – a geopolitical region, a body-psyche or a specific life-form – stays in just one place and can be approached as an in-divi-dual-ized entity? Rather than acknowledging (and accounting for) manifold and differentiated entanglements, reverberations and consequences disseminating everywhere,  and in always in/determinate ways?

The Relation(al) Matters Archive aims to collect insights and divergent practices dealing with this mind-boggling situation. The archive is part of a project in which two claims are interwoven in the attempt to gauge what is going on: a) relational matters, expressing an insistence on the intra-active and messily entangled condition of current times, and b) relation matters as ethico-political wager to become more literate and more carefully attuned to what entanglement as condition implies, that is what such a claim asks from those enlivening it.

Via conversational encounters with scholars and cultural practitioners, this archive wants to provide its viewers with insights, tools and provocations regarding the current situation. It starts from a relational point of view. Yet, this does not rule out critiques of precisely such relation(al) matters. On the contrary, to take a relational point of departure does not propose relationality as solution. The encounters aim to inquire what relationality means in specific contexts and on different scales, and how a relational approach could offer a more adequate picture of what is happening. 


1 How does relationality figure in your work? From which angle are you engaging with relation(al) matters?

2 Which methodological shifts do you see emerging from a relational approach in your research, activism or artistic practice?

3 Where do you see dangers, tensions or limitations in taking relationality as starting point for your research endeavors or your artistic, activist praxis?

Time schedule for virtual conversations

Conversation VI – Cecilia Heil, Samira Hesse, Andromachi Koutsoulenti, Heike de Wit, and Noa Mes

Tuesday July 5, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

An engaged student group from the Research MA ‘Gender Studies’ in the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University who together completed a study tutorial on ‘Relationality’ in the last semester. The conversation will be a collective endeavor, experimenting with a more plurivocal approach to the relation(al) matters archive conversations.

Suggested readings:

Kimmerer, Robin. “Speaking of Nature: Finding language that affirms our kinship with the natural world.” Orion June 12, 2017.

Please register by email to

Conversation V – Yolande Zola Zoli van der Heide 

Thursday June 30, 2022, 13.45-16.00 CET at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven 

Exhibitions curator at Van Abbemuseum since 2020, curator of A Lasting Truth Is Change (2022) and co-editor of the eponymous publication with Taylor Le Melle and co-editor with Nick Aikens of I Think My Body Feels, I Feel My Body Thinks: On Corpoliteracy (2022). Her interests lie in joyous and equitable ways of being together as well as intersecting modes that decentre the oppressor in practices of freedom and liberation, to influence art institutional practices.  

Suggested readings:  

Excerpts from the A Lasting Truth Is Change book companion to the exhibition. Suggested additional study material: Octavia’s Parables podcast. Readings will be distributed following registration for the in-person event together along with further information about the event program. 

Please register by email to  

Conversation IV – Eva Hayward

Tuesday May 3, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Creative nonfiction writer and theorist in the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University.

Suggested reading:

Hayward, Eva. 2021. “Painted Camera, “Her””. E-flux Journal, Issue #117.

Please register by email to

Conversation III – Domitilla (Domi) Olivieri

Tuesday March 29, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Anthropologist, activist, teacher, researcher and Assistant Professor at the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University. For further info about research project “Slowing down (in) Academia”:

Suggested reading:

Olivieri, D. (forthcoming) 2022. “Slowness as a mode of attention and resistance: playing with time in documentary cinema and contesting the rhythms of the neoliberal university.” Contention, vol 10. Reading will be distributed with the event link upon registration.

Please register by email to

Conversation II – Anna Poletti

Wednesday March 2, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Associate Professor of English Language and Culture at Utrecht University and co-editor of the New Directions in Life Narrative book series for Bloomsbury Academic.

Suggested reading:

Poletti, Anna. 2020. “The Implied Rummager: Reading Intimate Interiors in Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules,” Life Writing, 17:4, 455-467.

Please register by email to

Conversation I – Vivienne Bozalek

Tuesday February 8, 2022 15:00-16:00 CET

Emerita Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Higher Education Research Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University.

Suggested reading:

Bozalek, Vivienne. 2022. “Slow Scholarship: Propositions for the Extended Curriculum Programme”. Education As Change 25 (January): 21 pages.

Please register by email to