That, Around Which The Universe Revolves. On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space

Chapter III: Harare | August 18-24, 2017


Cours, cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi - The Cinema of Med Hondo | Aug 26 - Sep 3


how does the world breathe now? | Wednesdays


THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE. On Divinity, Supra-Realities or the Exorcisement of Witchery


That, Around Which The Universe Revolves. On Rhythmanalysis of Memory, Times, Bodies in Space

Chapter III: Harare | August 18-24, 2017

Public Performances | August 19, 2-4 PM & August 24, 6-8 PM

With Gotta Depri, Monika Gintersdorfer, Hauke Heumann, Masimba Hwati, Knut Klaßen, Nancy Mteki, Lucia Nhamo, Gareth Nyandoro, Lloyd Nyikadzino, Tinofireyi Zhou

Njelele Art Station | 131 Kaguvi Street | Harare, Zimbabwe

Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm. - Henri Lefebvre. Rhythmanalysis

The research, performance and exhibition project That, Around Which The Universe Revolves brings together visual artists, urbanists, photographers, performers and theorists to investigate the interrelations of space and time, memory, architecture and urban planning through Henri Lefebvre’s concept of Rhythmanalysis. The cities of Lagos, Düsseldorf, Harare, Hamburg and Berlin will be engaged in a network that investigates their specific urban epistemologies and histories. The cities will serve as laboratories of an investigation into the temporal and spacial dimensions of everyday urban life, seen through the interrelations between the body, rhythm and urban structures.

The project's third chapter invites artists to examine Harare's historical and recent rhythms of sleeplessness, waking and dreaming. Their findings of the entanglements of past, hyper-present and (im)possibilities of future will be presented at Njelele Art Station in a 2-day programme of performances and installations.

Further reading for this chapter's concept:

Haarare by Tinofireyi Zhou

Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, derives its name from ‘Chief Haarare’, the Shona word directly translates to ‘The one who never sleeps’. Haarare was said to be a man of ‘stealth offensive’ who could never be caught off-guard. Always able to overcome his enemies, he was thus referred to as the one who never sleeps. One might question whether his apparent ‘refusal’ of sleep was in fact an inability to sleep that became Chief Haarare’s greatest strength. Whether lack or inability to sleep, it essentially means Chief Harare could not and did not dream. One then imagines what endless nights must have haunted this Chief.

If anything, it can be agreed/argued that Harare embodies within its (restless) spirit, a multiplicity of personas, various mythologies and dream states. It is a city that, at its core, does not sleep, the accumulation of countless sleep deprived nights gradually taking its toll on its once mythical, sterling frame. If Harare does sleep at all, it is only for brief moments – and only at the periphery of its self. Once known as the sunshine city, the city shrugged off this old moniker, abandoning it to fit what might be called Harare’s current persona. In Harare’s bustling night trade, from fruit and vegetables to new and second hand clothes, everything has become readily available on the informal, makeshift market stalls of the city center’s side streets. If the city is vibrant and upbeat during the day, it becomes even more so by night. Harare constantly questions, and upsets its circadian rhythm, overturning scientific research and municipal law in its wake.

Harare city continues to exercise its ‘stealth offensive’ to this day, it is loath to sleep, evident in the intense buzz of its centre. Nevertheless, the city is still somewhat able to dream vividly. The city’s dreaming is not only apparent in its creative heritage, but in its animated vernacular which is constantly modified and transformed and in its (innovative) informal trade, among many other things.

The dynamic is apparent upon closer scrutiny - a modern post-colonial city germinates over and around (its) colonial history, threatening to swallow it whole. Over historical sites and protected buildings, newer layers constantly sprout, names of black Pan-African heroes superimposed onto old streets lead and direct younger masses of citizens around the Nation’s capital. An informal public transportation system seems to set the pace as it races through the city, drivers rush to pick up the next group of passengers, their sole aim is to maximise the time spent on the city’s roads. If Harare was a clock work, the transport system would be its biggest cog. Other cogs, also responsible for the turning of the clock, are so called ‘‘women of the night’’ whom one finds standing in small groups around the avenues, cat-calling the odd passer-by. Gatherings of Christian folk who stand along 1st street, listening intently to preachers’ sermons, shutting their eyes as if to shoo the midday sun, and bring back night. In the city’s Northern suburbs where time seems to stand still, one can even hear their own heart, beating as it goes, attuned to a rhythm that has transcended time itself. Countless mechanics hover around broken down vehicles and stand beside tyres stacked against walls along Kaguvi street (formally Pioneer street). Their 24-hour availability, convenient to the city’s inhabitants, takes its toll on them – their weary bodies are kept awake by timely swigs of cheap whiskey from pocket size plastic containers. The kopje not too far from there, looks down on the scene, its quiet sturdy profile surveys the capital as it is today. One can imagine the spirit of chief Neharawa, for whom this vast city was named, standing on the kopje as he looks out towards the vast panoramic view set before him, silent.


Artistic direction: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Curatorial team: Elena Agudio, Anna Jäger, Saskia Köbschall, and Dana Whabira (Harare)

The project is funded by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


Cours, cours, camarade, le vieux monde est derrière toi - The Cinema of Med Hondo

Exhibition by Sebastian Bodirsky and Guy Woueté

A collaborative project at Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Archive Kabinett, silent green Kulturquartier and SAVVY Contemporary

August 26 - September 3, 2017 | 2-7 PM (closed on Monday)

SAVVY Contemporary | Gerichtstraße 35 | 13347 Berlin

Free entrance - donations welcome

(c) Still: MENU, Guy Woueté 2015


OPENING | 26 August 2017 | 4 PM with a performance by Guy Woueté

ARTIST TALK | 2 September 2017 | 7 PM with Guy Woueté and Nathalie Mba Bikoro

Curators: Enoka Ayemba, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, and Brigitta Kuster

“Run comrade, the old world is behind you,” is one of the slogans hoisted by the French 1968 movement, which eventually found its way into SOLEIL Ô (1969), Med Hondo’s best-known film. Filmmaker, actor, and voice-actor, Med Hondo was born in Mauritania, subsequently emigrated to France where has been living in the Parisian suburbs for more than fifty years.

A truly self-made man, Med Hondo began to work in theatre, uncompromisingly making his way toward filmmaking. As a director, he has produced films that unveil the political topicality of the African continent’s history and of its diaspora, and to this end has come up with charged imagery that scuttles all codification. At the same time he set out to shift cinema as a representative apparatus and to develop alternative models to European and American production and distribution structures. Med Hondo’s films constitute escape routes from the ignorance of everyday racism, constraints, and prejudices; they open up a space for us, for anger, for powerful images, for pluriversal historiography, for stylistic autonomy, for differing physicalities, colours, and degrees of tension.

His work forms the epicentre of a wide-ranging, research-based and discussion-intensive film and exhibition programme. Curated by Enoka Ayemba, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, and Brigitta Kuster, the program aims to raise awareness about Med Hondo’s extraordinary body of work, to stimulate its appreciation, and thus contribute to making it accessible for future generations as well.

Med Hondo’s short film MES VOISINS (Our Neighbours, 1971) is the starting point for a multi-faceted exhibition with moving pictures and sound productions from Theo Eshetu, Sebastian Bodirsky and Guy Woueté. In strikingly contrasting forms and approaches, these artists question perspectives of self-determined media representation of the African continent and the African diaspora; they examine the impact and physicality of images, the history, and cultural codes attached to them.

MES VOISINS is a miniature of Med Hondo’s cinematic vision. Med Hondo interviews his migrant neighbours in Paris, migrants who live in hostels under catastrophic conditions and work in factories during the French post-war boom. He allows them share their view of the situation, to which he adds an edge by abruptly inserting drawings and political satire. Med Hondo speaks out from beyond the frame; we listen and see with him what he had witnessed more than forty years ago, forcing us to ask ourselves how we will now deal with these radical images. Med Hondo, his imagery, and the cast of his films, all insist upon a cinema that is aware of its reality-creating possibilities, and moreover that reflects about its working methods and power structures.

Every single one of Med Hondo’s films specifically frames the question, what does cinema mean from an African perspective. In “What is Cinema for Us?” published in Framework in 1979, Med Hondo reworks this incisive question, which reverberates in the exhibition’s video installations. Addressing structures and practices in which representations, cultural codes, art, history, and culture can be produced and questioned, the installations pick up on the reflective nature of cinema, rendering it inventive in a space outside cinema logic, thus interpreting affinities and frictions between languages, sound and image, between film and art.

In his internationally shown work, Guy Woueté brings together painting, sculpture, photography and video installation. Woueté sees art as a means of expressing social criticism. Many of his works revolve around everyday life in migration, questioning borders and the act of border demarcation. In response to the major ship disaster in Lampedusa in 2013, he undertook a foot march in memory of the more than 300 unnamed victims who lost their lives attempting to cross this border.

Sebastian Bodirsky studied experimental design at Berlin's Universität der Künste and works as a video editor in the documentary and artistic field as well as a facilitator in various activist contexts. In 2012, together with Madeleine Bernstorff and in collaboration with Brigitta Kuster, he organized the exhibition René Vautier militant cinema, internationalism, anti-colonial struggles. In 2017, he was involved in the production of 23 spots in support of the Tribunal NSU-Komplex auflösen. (Tribunal set up to disband the NSU Complex.)

The film and exhibition programme on Med Hondo’s work is expanded in the venues Kino Arsenal, Archive Kabinett and SAVVY Contemporary with a series of specifically inserted commentaries, referred to as “footnotes”. Like footnotes to a text, the video annotations taken from found footage and the text material highlight specific points and themes in the programme, referring to an aspect that either goes beyond the scope of the main part of the programme or leads in a different direction. Footnotes follow a strict logic, containing sources and evidence. They also provide space within a greater whole—in this case the cinema, exhibition space or library—for detours and special features, using an appealing small form to accomplish this dual focus. As curatorial commentaries, they also provide a common thread that links the exhibition venues and the different programme points with one another.

For the other parts of the project, please visit

| Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art

| Archive Kabinett

| and silent green Kulturquartier.

The project is being supported by the TURN fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation. With thanks to the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, Goethe-Institut Yaoundé, Archive Kabinett, Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, and silent green Kulturquartier.

FILM SERIES: how does the world breathe now?

Session N°33: 40qm Deutschland presented by Nasan Tur

August 30, 2017 | 7 PM

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin

Free entrance - donations welcome

40qm Deutschland by Tevfik Baser (1986, 80 minutes, German and Turkish with English subtitles)

For our 33rd screening Nasan Tur brings us 40qm Deutschland, the story of Turna, the wife of a Turkish guest worker in Germany, restricted to their small apartment as she tries to adjust to life in a new country.

Established as a guest worker in Germany, Dursun brings his young wife Turna from Anatolia. Scared that she’ll get lost in the big city where she doesn’t speak the language or know the customs, Dursun demands that she stay home all day, confining Turna’s experience of her new country to the 40 square meters of their tiny apartment. Turna tries to adjust to her new life, her only communication with the outside world being shared gazes with a young girl who lives across the street. In an interview before the premiere of the film in 1986 Baser explained: “I want to try to show and clarify some of the thoughts and feelings of people who belong to a foreign culture, about which I criticize some parts but which I also understand because of its tradition. I want the Germans to get to know us, because the unknown is scary and produces hate….Because of that I show the circumstances of the foreign workers in Germany based on this example without even leaving the apartment.”

Tur first encountered this film by chance on television when he was around 10. However, it made an impression that has remained with him. A low-budget film produced and written by the director, and filmed only within the protagonists’ 40-square meter apartment, it is hard to find, and Tur hasn’t watched it since. For this reason he invites us to revisit the film with him to see what feelings it may provoke and to examine its continued relevance.

Nasan Tur was born in Germany in 1974, and graduated from the Academy of Arts and Design Offenbach, Germany (2003). His work reflects the social conditions in which it is produced, often exploring political ideologies, subliminal messages, and the symbols of power and dissent that are present throughout the urban landscape. An exploration of the tension between public action and inaction is intrinsic to his practice, with a participatory element often implicating the subjectivity or presence of the viewer. The boundaries of communication, as well as the tentative, or fragile nature of perception, are both driving forces behind the practice of the artist, and many of the situations that that he creates. He lives and works in Berlin.


THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE. On Divinity, Supra-Realities or the Exorcisement of Witchery

We have the pleasure of presenting you our new SAVVY Contemporary publication: THE INCANTATION OF THE DISQUIETING MUSE. On Divinity, Supra-Realities or the Exorcisement of Witchery edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Federica Bueti. The book is designed by Elsa Westreicher and published by THE GREEN BOX.

How do 'witchery' phenomena and practices manifest within cultural, economical, political, religious and scientific spaces in Africa and beyond? This publication is a compendium to the eponymous exhibition project and public programme curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Elena Agudio at SAVVY Contemporary, in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut South Africa in the framework of the project African Futures. Through an exhibition and a series of invocations, the project considered 'witchery' as an epistemological space and a medium of continuities between the African continent and its Diaspora. The publication includes essays by Erna Brodber, Seloua Luste Boulbina, Vladimir Lucien, Percy Mabandu, and Greg Tate a.o, and visual contributions by artists Georges Adéagbo, Haris Epaminonda, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Emeka Ogboh, Priscilla Rezende and Minnette Vari a.o.


312 pages, 34 illustrations, English / German

ISBN 978-3-941644-95-3

EUR 19,00

This publication has been generously supported by Goethe-Institut South Africa via TURN Fund der Kulturstiftung des Bundes.