Ebo Taylor in Concert

// SAVVY Contemporary Celebrates One Year at Richardstr. 20

August 9th

Doors open at: 6pm

Concert starts at: 7pm

Suggested Donation: 10-15 euro

Venue: SAVVY Contemporary, Richardstraße 20, 12043 Berlin

Post-concert Turntables: DJ Freak Ass E


After one year in the “Cathedral of Electricity” - built by the renowned architect Hans Heinrich Müller from 1926-1928 - SAVVY Contemporary will like to celebrate with you. Thanks to SAVVY Contemporary’s engagements in the arts and critical discourses in Berlin-Neukölln, the building was resurrected.

On August 9th we will commemorate this move with a concert by legendary Ghanaian highlife musician EBO TAYLOR! The versatile guitarist, singer and songwriter recorded his last and much acclaimed album “Appia Kwa Bridge” in Berlin with members of the Afrobeat Academy. This album is a sturdy set mixing Afrobeat and funk with traditional Fante songs and highlife sounds. Taylor rose to fame following the wartime big band highlife pioneers like E.T. Mensah and became a major figure in Ghanaian highlife during the 1950s and '60s as highlife exploded, cutting his teeth with leading big bands like Stargazers and Broadway Dance Band. Several decades later Ebo Taylor is still one of the most popular highlife musicians, tirelessly touring Europe, the US and Africa.

The new space enabled SAVVY Contemporary to expand its activities and realize a range of exhibitions, performances, science and art lectures, putting up an archive on German colonial history (Colonial Neighbours), a performance arts documentation centre (SAVVY.doc), an open library and a residency program for curators, writers and artists. The highlights of the past year include the research and exhibition projects “Giving Contours to Shadows”, “Wahala”, “Perhaps All Dragons in Our Lives Are Princesses: On Somatic Morphing” and “Rendez-Vous: Sortie de Mon Corps”.

We thank all our supporters, collaborators and visitors for making our move to the new space and the program of the past year possible and we look forward to realizing our 6-chaptered project for 2015 “The Eye of the Whirlwind – On Commodification and Desire” with you. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to the challenge of investigating the ‘threshold’ between the West and the Non-West, creating a platform for epistemological diversity, and critically reflecting on as well as questioning discourses around “Western art” and “non-Western art”.

Put on your dancing shoes!


but the sea kept turning blank pages looking for history

- On the State of Refugeeness –

A project by “To Whom It May Concern”*

08th – 22nd August 2014


According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, about 18,000 people have made the journey over the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of 2014 and it is estimated that some 20,000 people perished upon their attempt to get into Lampedusa.

These ‘facts’ and figures have become ‘normalcy’ and information and discourses with regards to the refugee situation, as championed by the media, the academia, lawyers, politicians and refugees themselves are more often than not caught up in stereotypical frames or are blocked in boxes accessible only to individuals of one of the aforementioned groups.

The project but the sea kept turning blank pages looking for history, whose title is a paraphrase of a line in Derek Walcott's “The Sea is History”, will provide a platform for plenary discussions, screenings, lectures, workshops and performances that reflect on the status quo and future, on the production of knowledge, on the creation and cultivation of imagery, on the role of the arts in such times of crisis, on the sociological implications, and on the history we are making regarding 'refugeeness'.
While public discourse and political agendas around the issue of refugees tend to concentrate on them as the loci of problems and solutions surrounding the topic, the fears and problematization of the status of “refugeeness” often have less to do with asylum seekers themselves, but with deeply rooted anxieties about “others” and migration in the German and European context in general. but the sea kept turning blank pages looking for history aims to take a self-reflexive position by unravelling the complexities of anxieties/ fears of both state and public towards refugees in a broader historical and socio-political context. It will thus offer a transdisciplinary platform within the context of an art space, where the balancing act between performing action and articulating speech, where public visibility and natural invisibility, as well as citizenship will be exercised. SAVVY Contemporary will bring together artists, art theorists, architects, philosophers, sociologists, lawyers, economists, politicians and people called refugees at SAVVY Contemporary Berlin to deliberate together, and exchange on the state of 'refugeeship'.


Panels and Workshops

I “Wer hat Angst vorm schwarzen Mann”?

On the Politics of Fear, Psychopathology1 and the Mobility of Bodies

II The Right to Reside with Rights: On the Nation State, Citizenship, and 'Cosmopolitics'

III On Welfare, Histories of Entanglement and the Ethical Dilemmas of Humanitarianism

IV Space Politics and Spatial Justice: Appropriating and Constructing Spaces

V Remonstrare – On the right to empathize

VI Workshop I - Legal Questions

VII Crafting Worlds. Autoprogettazione and Making Things Happen

VIII Workshop II – Thinking With Our Hands

1 See: Fanon, F. “The Negro and Psychopathology”, in: Black Skin, White Masks. 1952
* To Whom It May Concern is the SAVVY curatorial collective, which consists of Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Dr. Elena Agudio and Saskia Köbschall.