INVISIBLE BORDERS IN MARZAHN:
Presentation of work and talk with the artists
1st October 2014, 7pm
GALERIE M: Marzahner Promenade 46, 12679 Berlin-Marzahn
Images and stories are central to the way individuals and communities imagine and understand themselves. In contrast to the complexity and diverse realities of the neighborhood, images and representations of Marzahn-Hellersdorf have been dominated by clichés of high-rise concrete slab buildings, right wing extremists and a rude, white-trashy and unemployed “Cindy from Marzahn”.
The project “Invisible Borders in Marzahn” aims to investigate and vanquish the invisible borders of this representation and the socio-cultural power context that enables the production and distribution of this singular and cliché image.
Invisible Borders is a project of outstanding young African artists (photographers, writers, filmmakers and art historians) who head out each year on a bus trip across the African continent with the aim to question the discourses and ideas around borders and to create connections between different places.
From June to October 2014 their first intercontinental voyage from Lagos to Sarajevo leads them beyond the borders of the African continent with stopovers in Abidjan, Dakar, Marrakech, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Budapest, and other cities. In Berlin they will halt from 28 September – 2 October.
Their focus will be in Marzahn-Hellersdorf where they explore the neighborhood by means of photography, writing and creating works of art and get inspiration from the meetings and discussions with people from there. Invisible Borders deals critically with the (visual) representations of the neighborhood to create a more complex picture of the district by means of photographs, texts and works of art. The artists hereby revert to their reflections on the invisibility of constructed spatial and social boundaries and differences.
A cooperation of Invisible Borders, SAVVY Contemporary and Galerie M. Supported by mp43 projektraum für das periphere.
Supported by Förderprogramm Aktives Zentrum Marzahner Promenade and Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V..
2nd October 2014, 7pm
In his ‘Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte’, Hegel notoriously elaborated a teleological conception of Universal History, wherein civilization advances from the East to the West significantly leaving Africa out of its trajectory. From the standpoint of postcolonial critique, Hegel's Eurocentric teleology and his support of colonialism and Anti-Black racism raise a serious issue about how to deal with his controversial legacy.
The talk aims at examining the meaningful presence of Hegelian traces to be found in the Franco-Caribbean tradition of the 20thcentury, and more specifically in the works of Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon and Édouard Glissant, in order to illustrate their multiple strategies of re-appropriation of Hegel's words.
The topic would be the starting point for a broader discussion on how to relate to the cumbersome heritage of Western Modern thought from a postcolonial perspective.
African American poet Audre Lorde famously warned that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master's house”. Yet the “master's tool” cannot be simply dismissed and rejected altogether, and there may be good reasons to investigate the complex legacy of Enlightenment and Modernity together with their contradictory consequences for our postcolonial present.
“Postcolonial cannibalism” becomes then a watchword to explore such a strategy, with the aim of sabotaging modernity and decolonizing Enlightenment.
Jamila M.H. Mascat is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department “Normes, Société, Philosophie” (NoSoPhi) of the University Paris 1 – Sorbonne. Her research interests focus on Hegel's philosophy and the French reception of Hegel in the 20th century, as well as Postcolonial Studies and Feminist Theories.
Presentation of work and talk with the artists
9th October 2014, 7pm
Participating artists: Tom Saater, Emmanuel Iduma, Jumoke Sanwo, Emeka Okereke
Tom Saater: Gas Station Bamako (2014)
Invisible Borders stop over at SAVVY Contemporary on their way from Lagos to Sarajevo to tell us about their transcontinental road trip, works created thus far and impressions they gathered in Berlin:
The Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organization is a platform that assembles African artists (photographers, writers, video artists, art critics, art historians and performance artists) with zeal and passion for social change, that defiant energy that refuses to be bridled by obstacles of existing norms. The mission of the Organization is to be part of Africa’s story, by Africans, through photography and inspiring artistic interventions; to establish a platform that encourages Trans-African relationships within the continent, and to contribute towards the socio-political discourse shaping Africa of the 21st Century.
During the last four editions of the Road Trip the group has explored African countries from the West to the East and Central Africa. The vast impressions led to reflections surrounding the complexness of borders. The road trip project is an attempt to draw a tangible line of connection across chosen geographic locations in order to transcend the limitations proposed by the existing demarcating lines.
In its 5th edition the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organization embarked on their first Trans-Continental Road Trip from Lagos (Nigeria) to Sarajevo (Bosnia) which leads them through 21 countries in Africa and Europe. The journey will last 151 days (22 weeks) from the 2nd of June until 31st of October 2014. During their stopovers the artists develop photographic, video and text works that deal with the notions of border and separation, while at the same time reflecting on their interactions with local artists, cultural operators and residents. The road trips are supplemented by exhibitions, workshops and events in which the works of the journey are presented and discussed.
To explore the politics of Berlin spaces they chose to work in the neighborhood of Marzahn to look at the stereotypes and realities that manifest themselves as a different kind of powerful borderlines. Furthermore they are planning to learn more about the vigorous struggle by refugee activists all over the city.
Further information: www.invisible-borders.com
Supported by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V..
OMAR GHAYATT. THE CASTING.
About honesty, prejudice, freedom, the fiction and the truth
Saturday, 11th October 2014, 7pm
Live Performances and Artist Talk
Artist: Omar Ghayatt
Curator: Chiara Cartuccia
Art directors: Dr. Bonaventure S.B. Ndikung, Dr. Elena Agudio
SAVVY Contemporary | Richardstr. 20 | 12043 Berlin-Neukölln
© Mariusz Marchewa Marchlewicz
On Saturday, 11th October 2014, within the framework of Present Tense Series, Egyptian performance artist, scenographer and theatre director Omar Ghayatt will present his internationally renowned interaction performance piece The Casting, a real casting arranged among the spectators and the artist to fulfil several roles, in order to stage a short theatrical representation of a love quadrangle. In this scenario Ghayatt covers the double-role of director and actor.
The performance aims at testing the viewers and their inclinations towards aggressive behaviours under the influence of emotions associated with the acted scene. The Casting is a more subtle investigation of the theme human violence, a topic widely inspected by Ghayatt in his latest works. The spectators/actors are pushed to their limits, forced to experiment with their own social attitude, to deal with their most hidden mental barriers and prejudices. Covered by the role of the actor the spectator is free to unveil his/her secret nature, to be “more real than reality”, as the artist states.
Together with The Casting an additional, one-on-one performative intervention, exclusively conceived for SAVVY Contemporary, will be presented.
During the same evening the audience will have the chance to attend an artist talk, in the context of which Omar Ghayatt will speak about his work in the field of performance art, and will discuss his artistic experimentations with post-dramatic theatre.
Omar Ghayatt was born in Cairo in 1976; in 1998 he received his B.A. in Arts and Education. An early interest in drama, combined with a strong sense for the visual, led him to develop his own characteristic blend of performance art, visual theatre, and scenography. In 2003 he received the first state prize ever awarded in Egypt for performance art. The following years, he performed in various countries such as France, Bosnia, Turkey, Korea and Poland. Alongside his travels, he organized a long-term project in Egypt, Sabeel Cairo, with the aim to promote performance art in the area. Ghayatt travelled to theatre Schlachthaus Bern as an artist in residence of “Pro Helvetia” in 2007. In March 2008, he initiated the project “Made in Paradise”, in collaboration with the Swiss artists Yan Duyvendak and Nicole Borgeat. Ghayatt obtained his Master of Scenography from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste Zhdk in 2009, and in 2010 received a studio in the “PROGR” centre for culture production as a grant from the city of Bern. In 2011 the artist ideated “If I Weren’t Egyptian”, a visual theatre project based on a text by Alaa Al Aswani. Ghayatt latest project is “Violence Lointaine”, a dance/performance piece, developed in collaboration with the Congolese choreographer DeLaVallet Bidiefono, and the French sound artist Maxime Denuc.
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