terça-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2017

Work Samples

Decolonial Love, Antropofagia, and the 'Sound of Kuduro' (in making)

Performative lecture where I aim to dismantle the ''art plantations of modernity'' and make visible the entanglements and continuities of colonialism in the present.

Following Junot Diaz I ask the questions such as: How can we overcome the horrible legacy of slavery and find decolonial love? Can two broken by coloniality of power selves really love each other?

The Antropophagic Banquet (2016)

The Antropophagic Banquet is a screening and discussion with decolonial agenda that presents ten artistic positions in format of short videos and a series of drawings flying-in from Buenos Aires. 
It is triggered by ´antropofagia´ and imagined as a platform for future collabs. 
Antropofagia means colonialism and not cannibalism. The event sets to trace its presence around the globe. Since coloniality permeates life in its entirety, The Antropophagic Banquet is an offering for the public to think and act upon its present-day forms such as racism, exploitation and disposession through ´eating and digestion´of artworks by transnational artists. As someone said before: "Coloniality is not over. It is all over."


#Dame los Poderes (upcoming) :

DlP activates the potential of Haitian revolution in order to dismantle the continuities of colonialism in the present such as racialization,exploitation and disposession and redefine current migration waves by positioning them in relation to slave trade and future uprisings.

Slave revolution started as a voodoo ceremony and took the masters by surprise- Haiti was the most prosperous colony in the world and Christianity the only valuable set of beliefs therefore any kind of resistance was unthinkable. This powerful moment in history, when slaves organized themselves inside the plantations to fight against oppression and capitalist enterprise on their own terms, radically shifted the way things were supposed to be. How can we reenact it in the present- in the art context and beyond? 


Border Dwellers (upcoming) :

Border Dwellers is a platform on art and knowledge influenced by pan-Africanism, Negritude and Afro-Futurism done in collab with artists, theorists, and activists (many of them migrants, refugees and exiles). It has Haitian slave uprising as a backdrop and connects to current struggles around the world like the movement #Black Lives Matter. 

Shape-shifting in nature, Border Dwellers will appear along the route as online platform mixing theory, poetry and creative stuff, and culminate in art event. Various artistic and theoretical positions will be presented together, creating an open, relational and safe space for action, open to proposals on new ways of socio-political organization inspired by indigenous knowledges, often developed as a response to oppression and colonialism and practiced for centuries. 

I Salt and Pepper My Mango (upcoming) :

Dear Tejal,

I wish to spend some time at Balcao experimenting on a new project that doesn't have shape yet. I'd like to depart from my life-experience, having to reincarnate various times as a queer person, constantly migrating between worlds, and a recent passing away of a friend and lover. She, whose gender wasn't easy to grasp, and whose whole life was a sharp political statement of resistance, reminds on Escrava Anastacia and other powerful women on their way to liberation.

I'd love to spend a month playing, researching, and collaborating with the community, as well as interacting with garden plants and insects around the issues of life, vitality, vibrations, co-existence, and other possible worlds. I think Goa would be a perfect setting for that. It may sound strange, but I feel like I've been there before.
Let me know if this would be possible.
All the best,

research images: 
fka twigs + forensic architecture



Zami (upcoming): 

Zami is a Carriacou word meaning women who work together as friends and lovers. It is also a live event and platform on decolonial love that abruptly mixes art and theory to discuss the legacy of  ''poet, feminist, lesbian, mother and warrior'' Audre Lorde and black feminism in relation to liberation and healing. Throughout this journey, Zami stumbles upon triangular slave trade, marroon settings, art plantations, and slave revolutions.

image: ruby amanze 



One World in Relation (2013-15) :

A research, exhibition and publishing project with decolonial agenda digging on issues such as tropicality, colonialism and its resonancies, (unbearable) labor conditions and (forced) migrations.

image: Pascal Martine Thayou


Maison Tropicale (2014) : 

Proposal for art space and collaborative platform on Sao Vicente island in Cape Verd, triggered by a theft of African modernist house by Western art collector.

image: Annabel Gueredrat&Henri Tauliaut


Kusmi Tea Sweet Love (unrealized) :
In the midst of a black market, a town in town, a buissness spot with unlimited traffic, where micro economy based on exchange of all kind of goods except artworks, is performed daily by immigrants from India, Pakistan, China and Guiné Bissau. Thieves? Merchants? Speculators? In the centre of Lisbon a small narrow street, where the red letters on ringbells are exclusively in chinese. Some of the apartments, however difficult to say which, host illegal chinese restaurants that differ little from common homes in order to hide their activity. The owners/cooks don't speak neither portuguese nor english and the clients choose from untranslated menus. Located on the frontier with moorish and red light district, the zone is also known for delicious indian sweets of many colours.

This project is archived on E-flux

sexta-feira, 13 de janeiro de 2017

''Scramble for Africa'' : Events commemorating 130 years of Berlin-Congo conference


A Commemoration of the Berlin Congo Conference
An Exhibition curated by Simon Njami
15th November 2014 – 26th February 2015

SAVVY Contemporary

Participating artists: Kader Attia, Sammy Baloji, Bili Bidjocka, Filipa César, Mansour Ciss, Theo Eshetu, Satch Hoyt, Cyrill Lachauer, Nadia Kaabi Linke, Henrike Nauman, Thabiso Sekgala, Katarina Zdjelar

This exhibition is dedicated to Thabiso Sekgala (1981-2014).

Concept (short): 

November 2014 marks the 130th anniversary of the Berlin Congo Conference and the official partitioning of Africa by Western (European, North American and Ottoman) colonial forces – in absence of African representatives. It is against this backdrop that the exhibition WIR SIND ALLE BERLINER: 1884-2014 reminisces this determining moment in world and its severe and ongoing repercussions and history and reflects upon Berlin’s historical and contemporary bond to Africa.

The exhibition proposes a space for deliberation on the repercussions of this conference on past and current socio-political and economic phenomena in a Europe of flourishing nationalism and racism, as it deals with issues like migration flow or border and identity politics.

More: Savvy

: : : : : 

Visions and Retrospection on the Occassion of 1884 Berlin Conference

 Ballhaus Naunynstrasse (Post-migrant Theatre)

Dance performance by Qudus Onikeku 


The contradictions and tragedies of our collective histories do not allow us to represent the “other” with certainty. There is nothing we could be more certain about than our self, our mortality and our ego – an ego that is able to draw clear demarcation lines between good and bad, until it gets wound up deep inside of us, not knowing distinction.

More: Ballhaus Naunynstrasse


Host: Joshua Kwesi Aikins

Afrikanisches Viertel (African Quarter) and Schlossplatz, “Mohrenstraße,” Wilhelmstraße and May-Ayim-Ufer: all of these very different places have one thing in common – they were the sites of German policies of enslavement and colonialism. This is where crimes against humanity were planned, committed or celebrated by honouring the aggressors. Goods, art treasures and also human beings stolen in the colonies came into this city. Up to the present day the colonial propaganda from the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich continues to have an effect in Berlin’s cityscape. And until this day people in Berlin, Germany and Europe benefit – unconsciously and self-evidently – from colonial continuities shaping everyday life – from the morning coffee to the smart phone. The bus tour provides insights into a history and present which are at the same time suppressed and existent, starting out from local vestiges while also addressing the resistance of Black people which quickly emerged.


 Theatrical Lecture by Prof. Wendy Sutherland

In her theatrical lecture, Das Übersehene sehen (Looking at the Overlooked), literary scholar Wendy Sutherland illustrates how 18th century global trade, colonialism and enslavement are reflected on theatre stages of that era.

Sutherland’s research demonstrates how Black presences were and continue to be marginalised in theatre and literary studies – and how this has the effect of their disappearance from the German culture of remembrance.

In the subsequent Artists’ Talk held in English, including Mmakgosi Kgabi, Branwen Okpako and Wendy Sutherland, the performer, the filmmaker and the academic, all of them retrieving the overlooked from archives, from the body, provide insights into their respective work.

Featuring: Mmakgosi Kgabi, Branwen Okpako and Wendy Sutherland


Curated by Jean-Paul Bourelly

The Spontaneous Town Meetings is an interdisciplinary jam session in the format of a talk show taking place every month in the context of the series WE ARE TOMORROW – Visions and Retrospection on Occasion of the 1884 Berlin Conference. Jazz musician Jean­-Paul Bourelly invites musicians and writers, DJs, historians and actors to an afro-futuristic meeting in order to open up the gates of a Black collective knowledge archive. In an interaction between language and music, guests and audience, emotion and didactics, current and historic discourses are negotiated so as to emphasise new aspects and develop perspectives which so far seemed limited by the framework of their negotiation. As a consequence, discussions on the situation of refugees living in Berlin, the destruction of family relationships owing to the continuity of colonial conditions, the power dynamics between Old Europe and New Africa obtain an unknown variety of fresh perspectives and possible interpretations.


Erste Indaba Schwarzer Kulturschaffender
Open Presentation

Indaba [in‘daba] – isiZulu term for:                  
(1) Gathering, assembly, conference;
(2) Issue, matter affair.

On occasion of We are Tomorrow, Ballhaus Naunynstraße will host a two-day conference of Black German cultural producers.

The conference engages with the question of what the challenges, obligations, and the responsibility of Black cultural producers in Germany in the 21st century are. This includes the discussion around issues such as if it is possibly part of the “duties” of Black cultural producers to negotiate racism and colonial continuities; if and to what extent "reactive antagonising“ against existing injustices influences the development of artistic potential; in which areas of the cultural scene Black decision makers are present or underrepresented; to what extent stereotyping has an effect on casting for stage roles and what proactive solutions can be found for this.

Participants of this conference are exclusively Black cultural producers: writers, actors/actresses, performers, musicians etc. In its format the conference roughly corresponds with academic conferences, including roundtable talks, an accompanying programme and workshops. These are initially exclusive events for the accredited conference participants. At 4 pm the outcomes will be presented to the public in an open discussion forum.

The outcomes will be presented and subsequently published, including all the diverse and potentially contradictory views, but also the consensus that was developed. The conference aims for a strong voice power of heterogeneity as opposed to the conformity of opinions. The publication of the outcomes and discussion reports serves the purpose of documenting the status quo and setting up guidelines, suggestions and demands which can in turn be used during cultural policy negotiations to be presented to the respective “gatekeepers”.

CURATED BY Philipp Khabo Koepsell


A performance by Annabel Guérédrat

A Freak Show for S. is a solo performance. It is a tribute to Sarah Baartman, the “Black Venus,” a woman of Khoisan heritage who in the 19th century was exhibited naked and against her will as an exotic curiosity for the amusement of a European audience. Annabel Guérédrat enters the process of exploring the scope of action of a sexualised Black woman.

Guérédrat experiments with eroticism and surrender, with control and resistance, and the question, if these things cannot actually be the same thing after all. She breaks the mould of self-perception and external perception of the sexualised body, of the exoticised. And in doing so, she simultaneously criticises the shocking normality of sexist and inherently racist viewing habits.

A Freak Show for S. is the attempt of a performative transformation for both the audience and the performer; from the dehumanized object of sexual desire to a resistant and self-determined Black woman right up to a state of pure dancing energy.


More events HERE

: : : : :

 A Spoken-word performance 

 ''Before love there was gender / And before sex there was pleasure.'' DARK MATTER in a performance in Berlin. 

Watch their videos HERE

: : : : :


Decolonial Narratives
Curated by Alanna Lockward & Julia Roth

November 20, 2014, 13-22.30 hrs at Grüner Salon, Volksbühne, Berlin

In the course of the so-called “Scramble for Africa”, the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 was held. At that moment, the colonial powers already on the African continent officially divided it among themselves. Under the Nazi Regime, German Jews, Sinti, Roma, Black Germans and People of Color were stigmatized and systematically exterminated.

The heroic refugees in the protest camp at Oranienplatz are only one recent sad example of how German internal and external policies are actively involved in funding and expanding the racist delimitation of the EU’s external borders with institutions such as Frontex. “BLACK DIASPORA + BERLIN. DECOLONIAL NARRATIVES” is dedicated to exposing and critically discussing the continuities of this state of affairs, decentering hegemonic accounts on this matter. Until today, predominant self-representations of Germanness and especially the cosmopolitanism of Berlin are still presented as white. Black German and African Diasporas’ narratives are considered as belonging to a constructed “Other”. However, for a very long time, Black and African Diasporas have played a relevant role in this city.

This one-day symposium will introduce counter narratives of Black German legacies as well as art and activism interventions in Berlin and other European metropolis. A film screening, live performances and contributions on art education from a Black Diaspora perspective are also part of the program. The symposium aims at decolonizing established notions of knowledge, sensing and being and at enabling a dialogue on the current articulation of white supremacist discourses in Berlin and elsewhere, offering strategies and practices to dismantle it.

The series “bpb metro”, initiated and conceptualized by Julia Roth for the German Agency for Civic Education, takes the Berlin urban/metropolitan “space of struggle and negotiation” as a starting point. This sixth edition is a co-operation with Berlin-based Caribbean author, curator and activist Alanna Lockward, who has initiated and successfully presented BE.BOP. BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS (2012-2014) at Ballhaus Naunynstraße.

: : : : :  

BE.BOP 2014

Spiritual Revolutions and the ''Scramble for Africa''

Curated by Alanna Lockward (Art Labor Archives)

Ballhaus Naunystrasse, Berlin



BE.BOP previous editions (2012-2013) have engaged European audiences in intricate detail with the outrage generated by Black/African Diaspora peoples when confronting a racist world order structured along the lines of coloniality. BE.BOP 2014 now brings re-existence into the hallowed grounds of healing by means of drawing the spiritual map of Pan-Africanism before and after the so-called “Scramble for Africa”. The event will include for the first time an exhibition and a simultaneous presentation in Copenhagen in connection to “Say it Loud!”, so far the largest overall presentation of Jeannette Ehlers’ videoworks at Nikolaj Kunsthal (15.0325.05.2014).
Ehlers’ video “Whip it Good”, which premiered as a performance during BE.BOP 2013, will be projected in the Foyer of Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. The self-explanatory whipping action in Ehlers’ work brings up unsolved issues regarding enslavement in the Caribbean plantation system and the challenges of coloniality. These are concerns that have been discussed thoroughly at BE.BOP since its pioneering introduction of the theoretical perspective modernity/coloniality/decoloniality conceptualized by a group of thinkers and activists from the Americas, the Caribbean and the US Latino Diaspora in the 90’s.
In his keynote entitled “Spirituality, Subjectivity And (Im) Migrant Consciousness: The Tasks Ahead”, Walter Mignolo, one of the founders of this group and advisor of BE.BOP, will address how the combination of these entanglements has created the conditions for reversing migration movements: from the colonies and ex-colonies to Europe and the US. 
Another extraordinary public lecture will be given by Dennis Dickerson with the title “Religious Insurgency and the Long Civil Rights Movement in the United States.” in the framekwork of the Du Bois Lectures organized by the English and American Studies Department, Humboldt University Berlin.
For the first time in Berlin, Héctor Aristizábal, an internationally known theater of the oppressed practitioner, will create a space for collective meditation after his 30 minutes performance Nightwind”. Also premiering in Berlin, the moving-image work of  Anika Gibbons, Sasha Huber, Joy Elias Rilwan and Jane Thorburn will be presented along the photo series “Platos para los Muertos” (Meals for the Dead) by Yoel Díaz Vázquez dedicated to the Orishas. The exhibition will open with “Poison”, a performance by Charo Oquet , who will involve the audience with her characteristic usage of colour and video projections as healing devices, opening the way to an unprecedented meeting which in the liberating tradition of performance art is free and open to the public.
In the compilation of moving image from previous editions with groundbreaking works by Adler Guerrier,Teresa María Díaz Nerio, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera Balanquet, Mwangi Hutter, Tracey Moffatt, Pascale Obolo and Caecilia Tripp, among others, the public will be able to appreciate how BE.BOP. BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS continues its contribution to the radical imagination of European futures in which immigrants are becoming fundamental players.
More: HERE

: : : : :  

Return to Sender 
 Artistic positions from Egypt, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Mozambique and South Africa

HAU Theatre, Berlin 

 There is still a long way to go before Europe is able to look at the non-Western World without its colonial glasses. Perhaps the answer lies in repositioning Europe's role in the world, as voiced by one of Africa’s leading intellectuals, Achille Mbembe: “Europe is no longer the gravitational centre of the world.”

As a counter move to the Berlin Conference of 1884, which paved the way for the political and economic devastation of the African continent by the European powers, HAU Hebbel am Ufer has invited six artists to examine the foreign-dominated history of their home countries and the resulting consequences. Over 9 days artists such as Bouchra Ouizguen, Faustin Lynyekula, Boyzie Cekwana, Adham Hafez, Panaibra Canda and Adissu Demissie will present their work and, as co-curators of the festival, invite an artist from their home country to take part in the festival.

With Marie Al Fajr, Panaibra Canda & Maria Tembe, Boyzie Cekwana & Nina Støttrup Larsen, Adissu Demissie & Junaid Jemal Sendi / Destino Dance Company, Dinozord, Ntone Edjabe, N’Goné Fall, Mona Gamil,  Adham Hafez, Kapwani Kiwanga, Mehdi-George Lahlou, Faustin Linyekula, Sifiso Majola, Bouchra Ouizguen, andcompany&Co. and others.

Faustin Linyekula
Statue of Loss

What remains 100 years after the deaths of the Congolese soldiers who fought and died in Europe and Africa? In his latest dance performance Faustin Linkeyula will explore one man’s attempt to build a monument to the Congolese soldiers who fought and fell during World War One.

On 13 October 1923, Firmin Leclercq, president of the Congolese Volunteers, wrote to Paul Panda Farnana, a veteran and the first ever Congolese graduate from Belgian and French universities, to acknowledge Farnana’s wish to build a monument at the river Congo’s mouth to the unknown Congolese soldiers who died during World War One. Seven years later Farnana died under mysterious circumstances, never realising his ambitious project.

Through his distinctive choreography Faustin Linkeyula will question what remains of the memory of these Congolese and African men who fought thousand miles away from their native land. What acknowledgment has been made of their sacrifice and what’s left apart from the ghost of a monument that was never built?
What remains 100 years after the deaths of the Congolese soldiers who fought and died in Europe and Africa? In his latest dance performance Faustin Linkeyula will explore one man’s attempt to build a monument to the Congolese soldiers who fought and fell during World War One.

Artist's reflections (audio): HERE

 : : : : :  

GRADA KILOMBA / Writer, Theorist and Interdisciplinary Artist