PEGGY PIESCHE

Peggy Piesche is a literary and Cultural Studies scholar who’s work is centered in Black European Studies. At the Bayreuth University she is currently working in the Academy for Advanced African Studies. Her book-length research project there, “Concepts of Future in MediaSpaces” is exploring how Diaspora is negotiated through notions of race and digitalized collective identities. Her book publications include AufBrüche. Kulturelle Produktionen von Migrantinnen, Schwarzen und jüdischen Frauen in Deutschland (Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 1999), May-Ayim-Award: Erster Internationaler Schwarzer deutscher Literaturpreis (Orlanda Verlag, 2004), Mythen, Masken und Subjekte. Kritische Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland (Unrast Verlag, 2005 and 2009), “Euer Schweigen schützt euch nicht.” Audre Lorde und die Schwarze Frauenbewegung in Deutschland (Orlanda Verlag, 2012). Piesche’s areas of research and teaching include Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, Black Feminist Studies, Diaspora and Translocality, and the Performativity of Memory cultures (Spatiality and Coloniality of Memories). Articles on these subjects appeared in several journals and edited volumes. Peggy Piesche is also an activist member of ADEFRA (Black Women in Germany) and the Black community in Germany.

THE RESONANCE

We are proud to give you a little insight on another wonderful project of the exhibition, Ingrid LaFleur´s THE RESONANCE:

The Resonance is an investigation of healing intergenerational historical trauma. The human species is fraught with trauma because, as writer James Baldwin observed, its society is traumatized. As a result, future becomes an elusive goal that is forever tainted and chained to a painful past. No matter the material transformations or development in technology and design, as long as the human body holds trauma we are not truly free to imagine and manifest new visions. Like the resonance of sound, the reverb of trauma passes on from generation to generation through our blood. How do we reprogram cells within our bodies for true liberation? Where are there safe spaces for the imagination to expand freely without being tainted?
It is my hypothesis that by confronting the traumatic event, the pain can be transformed. This is not only the responsibility of the victim but also the perpetrator or liberation can not be fully attained and the future remains a fantasy. Using the genocide of the Nama and Herero peoples as inspiration, the installation pulls upon the landscape, cultures and history of Namibia. When Namibia was under colonial rule by Germany from 1884-1915, Dr. Eugen Fischer and his colleagues decided to conduct research on the Nama and Herero on Shark Island of Namibia, performing some of the most gruesome experiments upon their bodies. This is known as the first genocide of the 20th century by historians. Those experiments became the road map for the impending genocide to later take place in Europe, forever altering human consciousness. The human remains that were shipped from Shark Island to Germany, are still held by various institutions and within private collections in Germany. Namibia has asked for all of the remains to be returned as well as restitution, which Germany has denied.
The Resonance uses sound, sculpture and performance to create a space of transcendence and to honor the Nama and Herero who lived through the horror of genocide. Believing the cosmos becomes the safe place to be in full awareness and liberation, horned cow’s heads hanging in the center of the gallery will serve as a teleportation device to meditate upon in order to teleport into outer (inner) cosmic realms. The Namibia night sky will be projected unto the ceiling providing direction. The performance honors the Nama and Herero women who cleaned the bones of the tortured victims with broken glass. I intend to repeat this action to clean the cow bones. The broken glass will be incorporated into the installation. The room will be continually cleansed via incense and sound set at particular frequency to align consciousness with space and time.

KARA LYNCH

kara lynch is a time-based artist living en exilio in Brooklyn, NY. Born in the auspicious year of 1968. Ambivalent towards hyper-visual culture, she is curious about duration, embodiment, and aural experience ; and through collective practice and social intervention lynch explores aesthetic/political relationships between time + space. Her work is vigilantly raced, classed, and gendered – Black, queer and feminist. kara is a member of Interdiciplinario, La Linea, a feminist artist collective on the Tijuana/San Ysidro border. She completed her MFA in Visual Arts at UCSD, a Permaculture Design Certification from the Center for Bioregional Living, and and has been a research fellow in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, University of Texas, Austin and the Academy for Advanced African Studies at Bayreuth University in Germany. She currently earns a living as an Associate Professor of Video and Critical Studies at Hampshire College in Amhest, MA.

Major projects include: ‘Invisible’ – an episodic, speculative installation and performance project; ‘Mouhawala Oula’ – a trio performance for oriental dance, live video and saxophone, ‘Black Russians’ – a feature-length documentary; and ‘The Outing’ – a video travelogue. Awards for her video and performance work include iFilms and PlanetOut and Individual artist grants from Lila Wallace, NYFA, NYSCA, Paul Robeson Foundation, and Franklin Furnace. She has participated in various artist residencies: Arts International Residency in Moscow; the Banff Centre for the Arts; el Laboratorio Fronterizo de Escritores/Writing Lab on the Border; and the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. She is published in XCP Streetnotes, Ulbandus Review, BFM, contributed audio to Cabinet Magazine, video to PocketMyths, and drawings/writings to the Encyclopedia Project v.II F-K. lynch is currently co-editing the forthcoming anthology: We Travelled the Spaceways Black Imagination, Fragments and Diffractions.

ACHIM VON OPPEN

Prof. Dr. Achim von Oppen is professor of History with special emphasis on the History of Africa at the University of Bayreuth. Geographically focusing on Eastern and Central Africa, his research interests include social, cultural and religious history in rural and urban contexts, history of space and history of knowledge. He is first director of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies as well as project leader of sub-project 1, “Narratives of Future in History“.

Among his publications are:

  1. (ed., with Silke Strickrodt): Religious biographies in Southern Africa. Thematic cluster in Journal of Southern African Studies, 2012
  1. (ed., with Ulrike Freitag): Translocality. The study of global processes from a southern perspective. (Studies in Global Social History, 4) Leiden: Brill
  1. (ed., with Beatrix Heintze), Angola on the Move / Angola em Movimento. Transport, Communications and History / Vias de Transporte, Communicação e História. Frankfurt/Main: Lembeck
  1. The painting and the pen. Approaches to Heinrich Barth and his African heritage” In: Mamadou Diawara, Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias und Gerd Spittler (eds.), Heinrich Barth et l’Afrique. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, pp. 105-132
  1. A place in the world. Markers of the local along the Upper Zambezi. In: Peter Probst and Gerd Spittler (eds.) Between Resistance and Expansion. Explorations of Local Vitality in Africa (Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung, 18), Münster: LIT Verlag, pp. 175-192
  1. The Village as Territory. Enclosing Locality in Northwest Zambia, 1950s to 1990s. In: Journal of African History 47 (2006), 1, pp. 57-75
  1. (with Ulrike Freitag) Translokalität als ein Zugang zur Geschichte globaler Verflechtungen. In: Matthias Middell and Rüdiger Hohls (eds.), Fachforum
  1. Terms of Trade and Terms of Trust. The history amd contexts of pre-colonial market production on the Upper Zambezi and Kasai (ca. 1790-1910). (Studien zur Afrikanischen Geschichte, Bd.6). Münster: LIT-Verlag

ZOHRA OPOKU

Zohra Opoku (DE/GH) is an Accra-based versatile artist whose work employs media including installations, photography and video to explore the sophistication of textile cultures in disparate spaces targeting fashion’s political and psychological role and socio-cultural dynamics in relation to African history and individualistic or societal identities.
This experience enroots her aesthetic practice into sculptural modules as her [in]direct social commentary as seen in THE BILLBOARDPROJECT, composed of big scale installations of second-hand clothes which were displayed in central Accra. She is employing metaphors of repetition and disguise in her portrait series TEXTURES and SIDESPECIFIC presented in specifically identified locations.
Opoku holds an MA (2003) in Fashion from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. Her residencies include Art OMI, Ghent (NY/2012)/, Iwalewa Haus Bayreuth (DE/2013) and Jan van Eyck Institute (NL/2014). Opoku was recently awarded a fellowship for the Kala Institute Berkeley (CA/2015). She is included in the touring group exhibitions Making Africa (2015-20) curated by Amelie Klein and Okwui Enwezor. Upcoming exhibitions include the Material Effects curated by Yesomi Umolu at Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan and Designing Futures curated by Christina de Middel at the LagosPhoto Festival 2015.

KITSO LYNN LELLIOTT

Kitso Lynn Lelliott is a filmmaker and artist based in Johannesburg South Africa. She has Bachelors degree in Fine Art and a Masters in Film and Television from The University of the Witwatersrand. Her work is preoccupied with articulations from positions beyond epistemic power and opening up spaces where the huge silences of subjectivities that have been written out can come into view. She is interested in ways that narratives and histories become privileged, those that proliferate being those that reflect and reinstate the power structures of globalisation as it has emerged from a colonial and imperial past. Her preoccupation lies in ways historical narratives shape our contemporary world and processes of revisionist re-membering of histories as a way of engaging memories, traumas and ghosts of the past.

Her work has shown at film festivals and exhibited in galleries and museum shows around the world including Africa in Motion, Cine Sud, Cap au Sud, Tri-Continental FF, Next Reel FF, the Uganda Museum, Galerija101 Lithuania, the Goethe on Main, Nubuke Foundation gallery in Accra and Johannesburg Art Gallery. She participated in the Durban Talent Campus and the Berlinale Talents. Kitso is alumna of the CCA Lagos Asiko art school residency at the 2014 Dak’Art Biennale. She was named as one of the Mail and Guardian’s 2014 leading 200 young South Africans, is laureate of the 2015 Visas pour la création Grant awarded by the French Institute and will exhibit in the Bamako Encounters 2015. She is currently working through video and installation dealing with socio-cultural formations that took shape over the Atlantic during the African slave trade, a project initiated during a two-month artist’s residency in Brazil supported by the UNESCO Aschberg Bursaries program and the Sacatar Foundation. She is pursuing her PhD, which is concerned with narratives of and enunciations form spaces of elision and the imaginative relationship between the African Diaspora in Brazil and the west coast of Africa.

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

Narratives of the Future in Modern African History

Beyond Europe:
Narratives of the Future in Modern African History

As key agents who built and are building the future of Africa, Africans and the African diaspora themselves developed significant narratives of that future throughout modern history. They often diverged from, but were also entangled with, alternative notions from outside the continent. This sub-project is concerned with writing the history of African and African diaspora visions of times to come and how they were connected with global debates about the future.

Description

Africans and the African Diaspora developed narratives of the future of Africa, which often diverged from, but also entangled with, alternative notions from outside the continent. Historical writing on European ideas for the future of Africa is rich and often innovative, shaping historical theory and practice. Particularly the concepts of ‘civilisation’, ‘progress’ and ‘development’ (as they were applied by Europeans to African societies) have been interrogated in detail. These teleological concepts reveal a particular understanding of the relationship between time, place and change applied by some to the African continent.

This rare portrait of a solitary mid-century African-American man reading by the fireside, depicts a cold and shadowed room while the man studies the newspaper and considers a possible brighter future in the colony of Liberia

The project will also analyse African, African-American and African diaspora concepts of time and show how they are related to ideas about space. In comparison to European linear and progressive narratives of a burgeoning civilisation or planned development, the project will demonstrate how African and African diaspora conceived of the future trajectory of the continent. The research puts an emphasis on social diversity and the “embeddedness” of narratives in power relations. Furthermore, we will consider links between religious and secular concepts, the manifold transfers and mutual appropriations of ideas between Europeans, Americans, and Africans, asking how “indigenous” or “authentic” concepts are, if we take into consideration the on-going process of transculturation. Lastly, we will inquire into the impact of past ideas on the times to come.

With Africans and the African Diaspora firmly at the heart of the research, as the agents who built and are building the future of Africa, our project is concerned with writing the history of these groups’ concepts and how they impacted on global debates about the future.

Picture:
Edwin White, Thoughts of Liberian Emancipation
This rare portrait of a solitary mid-century African-American man reading by the fireside, depicts a cold and shadowed room while the man studies the newspaper and considers a possible brighter future in the colony of Liberia

DÉLIO JASSE

Délio Jasse (Luanda, 1980) was born and raised in Luanda. He now lives in Lisbon where he settled in at the age of eighteen. His interest in different printing techniques was first aroused through his work with silk screens, although soon afterwards this led him to photography. He soon started experimenting with the different technical possibilities of this medium, especially the alternative processes such as the cyanotype, the platinum/palladium e the «Van Dyck Brown».

After his first exhibitions in Lisbon, in 2009 he won the ANTECIPARTE awards with the series Identidade Poética. Since then, his work began enjoying widespread international recognition, as evident in the several residencies and exhibitions in Portugal, Angola, Brazil and France. Among the group exhibition we recall, Present Tense (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, 2013), Pour un monde durable (Rencontres de Bamako – Biennale africaine de la photographie, Bamako, 2011) and África (Museu Nacional de História Natural, Luanda, 2010). We also remember the solo show Pontus (Galeria da UNAP – União Nacional dos Artistas Plásticos, Luanda, 2013) and Schengen (Baginski Galeria/ Projetos, Lisbon, 2010).

Picture by Herberto Smith (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/109704940899740878/)