Wir Sind Alle Berliner: 1884–2014
Discursive Programme in commemoration of the Berlin Conference
Discursive Programme 26.02.2015–01.03.2015
With Manthia Diawara, Nana Adusei-Poku, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Kader Attia, Bilgin Ayata, Bili Bidjocka, Friedrich von Bose, Silvy Chakkalakal, Manthia Diawara, Paola Ivanov, Imara Limon, Sarah Mazouz, Renée Mussai, Kien Nghi Ha, Peggy Piesche, Anupama Rao, Dierk Schmidt, Alessandro Triulzi, Francoise Vergès, Larry Achiampong, David Blandy, Qudus Onikeku, Ahmed Soura, Charles Sammons, Kelvin Sholar, Eric Vaughn, Adam Bahar, Saraya Gomis, Jamie Schearer, Filipa César, Theo Eshetu, Bodil Furu, FOKN Bois, Dagmawi Yimer
Curation Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung with Elena Agudio, Anna Jäger, Saskia Köbschall
Cooperation ICI Berlin–Institute for Cultural Inquiry
Support Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Goethe-Institut
Media partner Contemporary And
Keynote Lectures with Simon Njami and Ann L. Stoler
Part I 17.02.2015 18:00
At ICI Berlin–Institute for Cultural Inquiry Christinenstraße 18–19, 10119 Berlin
In the lecture In the Heart of the Lights, Simon Njami–curator of the exhibition Wir Sind Alle Berliner: 1884–2014 at SAVVY Contemporary–will deliberate on the concept of the exhibition and the role and importance of artistic and cultural interventions in the context of shifting historical discourses and investigating politics of memory. Simon Njami is a writer and an independent curator, lecturer, art critic and essayist.
Ann L. Stoler’s keynote lecture Imperial Debris and Why it Matters Now will set the framework of the discursive programme by redirecting the attention of critical engagement with colonial aftermaths towards the “less dramatic durabilities of duress”, the less visible and perceptible repercussions of imperial dispositions and the complex ways in which they shape not only the material but also the psychic space in which we live today. Stoler's shift of focus from “left over” relics (ruins) as evidence of the past to what we are “left with”–the ongoing process of ruination through which imperial power occupies the present–allows for an account of those subtle durabilities. She challenges established assumptions about the way colonial pasts and colonial presents relate to each other, about the remnants of empire that do not only persist, but also continue to be reanimated. Stoler's lecture will take place against the backdrop of a Germany–and a Europe–that is experiencing protests and attacks against foreigners of an unforeseen magnitude and a sharpening of public anti-foreigner rhetoric. It will provide a crucial starting point to reflect upon the complexity of colonial presents and a basis to rethink contemporary socio-political developments in order to shift them. Prof. Ann L. Stoler is the Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at the New School for Social Research.
PART II: Symposium, Workshops, Performances
Part II 26.02.–01.03.2015
At Several locations (See schedule)
KEYNOTE SPEAKER Manthia Diawara
ROUNDTABLE PANELLISTS Nana Adusei-Poku, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Kader Attia, Bilgin Ayata, Bili Bidjocka, Friedrich von Bose, Silvy Chakkalakal, Manthia Diawara, Paola Ivanov, Imara Limon, Sarah Mazouz, Renée Mussai, Kien Nghi Ha, Peggy Piesche, Anupama Rao, Dierk Schmidt, Alessandro Triulzi, Francoise Vergès
PERFORMANCES Larry Achiampong, David Blandy, Qudus Onikeku, Ahmed Soura, Charles Sammons, Kelvin Sholar, Eric Vaughn
WORKSHOPS Adam Bahar, Saraya Gomis, Jamie Schearer
SCREENINGS Filipa César, Theo Eshetu, Bodil Furu, FOKN Bois, Dagmawi Yimer
The discursive programme Wir Sind Alle Berliner: 1884–2014 commemorates 130 years of the Berlin Conference and proposes a space for deliberation on the repercussions of this crucial conference, offering thereby an occasion to analyse the ideological, economic, political, and humanitarian justifications that underlay colonialism and still frame the asymmetric relations between the West and the non-West today. The accompanying programme to the eponymous exhibition will consist of keynote lectures, roundtable talks, screenings and workshops with students, as well as performances and concerts. Outstanding thinkers and artists will deliberate on the history of the Berlin Conference, as well as reflect on strategies of (non-) remembering.
November 2014 marked the 130th anniversary of the Berlin Conference and the official partitioning of Africa by Western (European, North American and Ottoman) colonial forces – in absence of African representatives. Against this backdrop, the exhibition Wir Sind Alle Berliner: 1884–20144 recalls this determining moment in world history and its severe and ongoing repercussions, as well as it reflects upon Berlin’s historical and contemporary bond to Africa.
The exhibition and the accompanying discursive programme offer a critical knowledge sharing platform on the Berlin 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.
The symposium as well as the workshops will address the political, cultural, economical and psychological consequences of this event of systematized colonialism, which still echo in various forms in our contemporary.
PANEL I Unsilencing (Colonial) Histories
with Bilgin Ayata and Alessandro Triulzi
Moderation Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
PANEL II Contested Geopolitics – Before and After the Scramble
with Vanessa Agard-Jones, Kien Nghi Ha and Dierk Schmidt
Moderation Saskia Köbschall
Keynote Lecture Manthia Diawara
Introduction Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
PERFORMANCE Media Minerals: A Spoken-Word and Sound Lecture
With Biters (Larry Achiampong & David Blandy)
Introduction Elena Agudio
PANEL III L’Intrus – On Enacting And Enacted Citizenship
with Nana Adusei-Poku, Akinbode Akinbiyi, Peggy Piesche, Sarah Mazouz and Alessandro Triulzi
Moderation Elena Agudio
PANEL V How to Read Between the Lines or a Brief History of Things That are not Mine: On Colonialism and Ethnologic Collections
with Imara Limon, Silvy Chakkalakal, Paola Ivanov, Friedrich von Bose and Renée Mussai 28.02.2015
Moderation Anna Jäger