ALZIRE

Kitso Lynn Lelliott’s work in the Neues Schloss resembles an artistic ghost-story. By means of images and sounds, the artist evokes the presence of Alzire, a young woman who worked and lived at the court of Wilhelmine of Bayreuth. There are few traces of the young woman. Not even her real name is recorded. “Alzire” is the name given to her by Margravine Wilhelmine, based on the tragedy by the same name, “Alzire, ou les Américains”. It was written by French philosopher Voltaire, who the Margravine adored. All we know of Alzire, the human being, is based on a burial script by Hofprediger Schmidt. Not even 25 years of age, she died in Bayreuth on May 22nd, 1751.

She had come a long way. As her country of birth, Surinam in South America is mentioned. At the time under Dutch colonialism Surinam was a place of slavery with many of its enslaved people being of West African ancestry. It had terrible conditions for people working on the sugar plantations and was a place of rebellion with people refusing the bondage they were placed under. The installation in the castle enacts, through this recalling of the disremembered Alzire, its own rebellion against the desolation of erasure. Her ghostly presence is recalled to fill a space and the narrative of a place she was otherwise forgotten from.

Alzire‘s story leaves many questions: What brought a woman from the Americas to the court of Wilhelmine of Bayreuth? What were the conditions of her journey? Did she act as a servant in Bayreuth, performing not only the duties of a servant but also being perceived through to the popular ‘exoticism’ of the time, when it was fashionable to have people from Africa and the Americas work at the European courts? Was she solely subject to being gazed upon? How did she look back? And did the eyes of the two women, Wilhelmine and Alzire, meet: seeing as both their migrations to Bayreuth were, most likely, not willful ones?

UNTITLED

James Muriuki’s installation work critically investigates a potential “middle class” in Nairobi.Following conversations between himself and several social scientists from the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, he developed a differentiated perspective on the term “middle class” and how it is being used to categorize and imagine a group of people and what this categorisation might lead to.

Questions about the people that might be considered belonging to a “middle class” emerged. What constitutes this grouping? What are their aspirations? What do they surround themselves with? And how is this group related to and perceived by people who are not (yet) considered as “middle class”?
Suggesting that neither science nor photography can explicate these complexities within a single narrative, Muriuki represents a “middle class’ home” through several hundred images.Together with these image the artist presents a video and sound piece related to the actual builders of “middle class” homes. Overlaying the sounds of labor are audio excerpts of the scientist’s thoughts on their research methodology which brings the academic production of societal knowledge to the fore.

UTE FENDLER

Ute Fendler holds the chair of romance cultural and comparative studies at the University of Bayreuth. Francophone, Hispanophone, Lusophone literatures and film/TV (Africa, Caribbean, Canada, South America). Her main research interests are: intermedial and intercultural phenomenon, migration, iconographies, popular culture, performance.

Director of the Institute of African Studies (2011-2015), Deputy Director of Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African studies (since April 2015).

Some recent publications include:

U. Fendler et al.: Transformations. Changements et renouveaux dans la littérature et la cinéma au Maghreb depuis 1990. München: AVM, 2015.

U. Fendler/ Liliana Feierstein: Enfances? Représentations de l´enfance en Afrique et en Amérique Latine. München: AVM, 2013.

DVD-Edition: together with INAC (Instituto Nacional de Audiovisual e Cinema) and ICMA (Instituto Cultural Mocambicano-Aleaao): Imagems do mundo. DVD-Edition 2012 and 2013. Material from the Archives of INAC.

Articles

  • “The missing people – the return of the „people“? Fictocritical positions in the art scene in Maputo”. In: OS INTELECTUAIS AFRICANOS FACE AOS DESAFIOS DO SEC. XXI, Actas da segunda conferência 2012, 2014, 317-330
  • “Cinema in Mozambique: New tendencies in a complex mediascape.“ In: Critical Interventions, 2014, 18pp (online)
  • “Narrating the Indian Ocean: challenging the circuits of migrating notions.” In: Michael Mann/Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger (eds): Beyond the Line. Cultural Narrations of the Southern oceans. Berlin: Neofelis, 2014, 179-198
  • “Nouvelles icônes: enfants-soldats et jeunes guerriers.“ In: Fendler/Feierstein (eds.): Enfances? Représentations de l’enfance en Afrique et en Amérique Latine. München : 2013, 275-287
  • “La question de l’universel ou Traveling Tales. L’exemple de Maryse Condé.“ In: Mourad Ali-Khodja/Jean-Francois Thibault: Des apories de l’universalisme aux promesses de l’universel : chantiers pour une réflexion. Québec: Presses Universitaires, “Mercure du Nord”, 2013, 73-85.

MY MOTHER´S MOTHER

We are more than happy to give you a little preview on the exciting project My Mother´s Mother by Syowia Kiambi.

The work My Mother’s Mother is a room installation that fuses women´s voices from both German and Kenyan urban spaces, women living in the middle class milieu. The domestic references created with wallpaper, floor laminates, curtains and ceramic cups symbolize both fragility and strength.

We all have aspirations for a better life that goes beyond the basics of food, shelter, income and love. Often the idea of what this life should consist of is influenced by the consumer market, is governed by our educational and work environment and influenced by political, business and social agenda´s. Thinking that we make choices completely on our own accord is wishful thinking. Gender issues are extremely coded and elusive to grasp in their entirety. Women are the backbone of social structures and they in various ways, hold varying degrees of influence, utilising often-subversive approaches in the shaping of our lives.

In the work My Mother´s Mother you will hear a few voices some content with their lives but most are in a battle of self-preservation.

DIETER NEUBERT

Dieter Neubert holds the chair in development sociology at the University of Bayreuth. His research areas include sociology of Africa (including social structure), sociology of violent conflicts, social change, and development policy. His regional research focus is Africa, particularly East Africa. He has also conducted research in Southeast Asia (Vietnam and Thailand).

Selected current publications:

Dieter Neubert: Die Fallen der „Rumsfeld Utopie“. Das widersprüchliche Verhältnis zwischen Mittelschichten, Zivilgesellschaft und Demokratie. . Festschrift für Reinhart Kößler. In: Hauck, Gerhard; Lenz, Ilse, Wehr, Ingrid; Wienold, Hanns (Hg.): Entwicklung, Gewalt, Gedächtnis. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot 2015, 128-141

Antje Daniel und Dieter Neubert 2014: Middle classes and political instability in Kenya: Civil society organizations during the post-election violence of 2007/8. In: Dominique Darbon (Hg.), Les classes moyennes en Afrique. Enjeux politiques d’une catégorie incertaine. Paris : Karthala, 155-184

Dieter Neubert 2014: What is “middle class”? In search of an appropriate concept. In: Middle East – Topics & Arguments Vol. 2, 23-35

Dieter Neubert, Christine Scherer (eds.), 2014: Agency and changing world views in Africa. Berlin, Hamburg, Münster: Lit Verlag

Artur Bogner & Dieter Neubert 2013: Negotiated peace, denied justice? The case of West Nile (Northern Uganda). Africa Spectrum, 48 (3), 55-84

Antje Daniel & Dieter Neubert (eds.) 2012: Translating globalization, world society and modernity in everyday life. Theoretical reflections and empirical perspectives. Special issue. Sociologus 2012, issue 1

Andreas Neef & Dieter Neubert 2011: Stakeholder participation in agricultural research projects: a conceptual framework for reflection and decision-making. Agriculture and Human Values 28, 179-194

FLORIAN STOLL

Florian Stoll holds a Magister in Philosophy and Sociology and received his PhD in 2011 from Albrecht-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg on “Forms of temporal habitus in Recive, Brasil. He teaches at the University of Bayreuth and since May 1st, 2013 he holds the Post-Doc position of the research Project Middle Classes on the Rise: Concepts of the Future among Freedom, Consumption, Tradition and Moral, which belongs to the Bayreuth Academy Project “FUTURE AFRICA – Visions in Time

He is also part ofthe transnational research group “Global Inequality, Social Classification and Existance” under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Boike Rehbein (Humboldt-Universität Berlin).

Some of his publications include:

Stoll, Florian 2012: Leben im Moment? Milieus in Brasilien und ihr Umgang mit Zeit. Frankfurt/Main; Campus.

Stoll, Florian; Leithäuser, Thomas (Herausgeber; 2014) Mirian Geldenberg (Autorin) (Hrsg.) 2014: Untreu. Konstanz; UVK.

KATHARINA FINK

Katharina Fink works as researcher, writer and cultural organizer. She holds a Magister in Cultural Studies from University of Thübingen and a PhD from BIGSAS, University of Bayreuth. She is and has been engaged in various projects ranging from all cultural areas to research and teaching. Her particular interest is to combine theoretical and practical aspects of aesthetics with societal issues: What can ‘beautiful’ mean? She’s also facilitating the literary estate of late South African author, Bloke Modisane.

Currently she holds the position of a Post-Doc-researcher at the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, where she is part of the sub-project TP 5, Revolution 3.0. She not only was essential in developing a new method, used in this sub-project, called the Icon Lab, but also forms part of the curatorial and organisational team for the upcoming exhibition, Future Africa – Visions in Time. Keeping in touch with her second home university, she’s affiliated researcher at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Johannesburg.

frl_fink@gmx.net
katharina.fink@uni-bayreuth.de

www.sübkültür.de
www.revolvermaedle.wordpress.com
www.bayreuth-academy.uni-bayreuth.de/resources/TP5-poster-revolution.pdf

EMEKA ALAMS

Emeka Alams was born in Nigeria and his name has a strong meaning: God has done something wonderful
He has spent his life between western Africa, Europe and the States. He feels like a semi-homeless person, and can’t help but feel nostalgic about Africa from New York, city where he currently lives and works. The strong feeling of belonging to the continent fills his spirit and the one of Gold Coast Trading, the brand he has created.
Emeka sets a date in the story of his journey Live from the coast for when it all began, it’s 1444, the same year in which European colonists began the deportation of the first Africans. The first breaking point with a cultural world filled with suggestion that the African continent is trying hard to defend today and that those that have grown in the States or in Europe are loosing.

– See more at: http://www.vogue.it/en/vogue-black/the-black-blog/2011/04/gold-coast-trading#sthash.N3eK3Oxv.dpuf

picture: Amber French

INGRID LAFLEUR

Ingrid LaFleur uses multiple forms of media to investigate possible avenues for psychosocial healing. With a special interest in the idea of transcendence, LaFleur researches ancient practices of ritual and alter making, mythologies, alternative healing modalities and spirit science. Ultimately LaFleur creates receptive spaces for engaging “blackness” and dismantling the fear associated with the black body.

In 2012, LaFleur founded AFROTOPIA, an evolving creative research project that uses Afrofuturism as a social engagement practice. The project website is afrotopiaisnow.com

Based in Detroit, LaFleur has presented her work on Afrofuturism at Centre Pompidou (Paris), University of Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany), Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA), TEDxBrooklyn, TEDxDetroit, College for Creative Studies (Detroit) among others.

PICTURE:  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-139OB8Bgih0/T2X6udIQf2I/AAAAAAAADwY/60e3OZ-avpM/s1600/Ingrid%2BLaFleur.jpg

LUIS CARLOS PATRAQUIM

Luís Carlos Patraquim (Maputo, March 26, 1953) is a poet, playwright and journalist from Mozambique.

He moved to Sweden as a refugee in 1973. In 1975, he moved back to Mozambique, where he worked for A Tribuna magazine, the Agência de Informação de Moçambique (AIM), the Instituto Nacional de Cinema de Moçambique (INC) and Tempo magazine.

He has lived in Portugal since 1986.

Some of his works include:

Mariscando luas. Lisboa, Vega, 1992

Com Chichorro (ilustrações) e Ana Mafalda Leite

Lidemburgo blues. Lisboa, Editorial Caminho, 1997

O osso côncavo e outros poemas (1980–2004). Lisboa, Editorial Caminho, 2005

Antologia de poemas dos livros anteriores e poemas novos

Com um texto de Ana Mafalda Leite: O que sou de sobrepostas vozes

Pneuma Lisboa, Editorial Caminho, 2009

A Canção de Zefanías Sforza (romance) Porto, Porto Editora, 2010

Antologia Poética. Belo Horizonte, Editora UFMG, 2011. Coleção Poetas de Moçambique

PICTURE: https://sunshinesocialistcinema.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/the-birth-of-cinema-in-mozambique/