FAINT TESTIMONIES

What are the interrelations between Africa and Europe in World War I? How is Bayreuth involved, which history is told and how many different versions of history exist and how do they influence the future(s)? Ultimately, the project Remembering the Future through World War I poses existential questions about power structures, memory and alternative histories. Download the booklet here.

Booklet Faint Testimonies

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CONCRETE AFFECTION – ZOPO LADY

Get involved with Kiluanji KiaHenda´s poetic video on Angola´s capital Luanda and its concrete manifestations, inspired by Ryszard Kapuscinski´s outstanding novelle Another Day of Life from 1976. What is being left behind? Download the booklet with reflections by Nadine Siegert here.

Booklet Concrete Affection Zopo Lady

AFRICANS IN THE SOVIET UNION

Africans in the Soviet Union. Visions of the future, memories of the past

This project is a fictional intervention into the past and pr
esents three documents. The first is a letter written by Kwawe Paintsil Ansah from Ghana in 1961, applying for a scholarship in the Soviet Union in 1961. The letter is part of the research archive of researcher Constantin Katsakioris. Ansah’s text describes the aspirations that made him consider Moscow in the context of Socialist Friendship at the utopian moment of African independence. His document is combined with a fictional letter: a response written by literary scholar Gilbert Ndi Shang which rejects/suspends Ansah’s application. The third text is a further response in form of a poem by the Mozambican writer Luís Carlos Patraquim. This fictional collage speaks about dreams and visions of a past future, its limitations and potential from the perspective of the present. The historic photographs displayed depict African students in Moscow and Kiev and add a visual layer. One in particular stands out, taken during the 1963 demonstration, when students protested against the unresolved deathcase of fellow student Edmund Asare-Addo.

CONCRETE AFFECTION – ZOPO LADY

This project by Kiluanji Kia Henda is a poetic journey into a moment in time and space, both utopian and dystopian: 1975 in Luanda, Angola’s capital. After a liberation war and the Carnation Revolution in Portugal, it is the year before Angola finally became independent from its colonizer. The film describes an choking condition from the perspective of a Portuguese individual who is about to leave the country where he lived his whole live and who contrary to the independent Angolans who lived a utopian moment, saw no future. But he also doesn’t know where to go. Inspired by the first chapter of the book of the Polish journalist and writer Rychard Kapuscinsky, “Another Day of Life – Angola 1975”, this film also transports the images of modernist architecture of Luanda into the past. At the start of the projection the narrator wakes up from a nightmare, only to see that reality is just as hopeless as his dream world. It is his last day in the city and he is hesitant to leave.

RECORDS OF AFRICAN BLACK QUEER (TIMES)

The Invisible Color of (V)Si(o)lence – Analogue Differences and Future Presences ‘n the Image is the third line of this project’s title. The collages are problematizing different strings of queerness that overlap, intersect and assemblage.  The photos narrate stories that make an other normality sound. They are about the normality of queerness and blackness. They are about ‘being-Muslim’ as culturalized ‘race’ and about ‘being not-Muslim’ and about African (Diasporic) gazes. The images are about all the things in-between where meaning always lingers and then vanishes away into its other sublime physical states in specific times, mo(ve)ments and about what all that means: a range of entirely different possibilities, living next to each other, raising out from each other. The photographs invite us to look at doors in the background. Doors which can be understood as spaces that one has left behind or wants to enter. Doors that can be regarded as visas and borderlines into (one)other(s) wor(l)ds, doors that one has left behind or about to open or long ago has been excluded from entering. And yet, they seem to suggest that there is an other world over there that cannot be touched by our gazes, by the world, from this site of the image. The Photo-graphs silently also depict ‘religion’ as item, fetish and geopoliticized ‘culture’ and the possibilities of understanding. They are about spaces, gazes, about capabilities and matterings that linger in the future that we cannot know.

The photos graph from this future, gazing here at us, reminding us of what here is – a whole range of miss-possibilites that cry out for a materialized ethical turn, in the face of borders, wrongs and violence to which we are compliant, that we must reframe in order to get there. In a way these photos are archives of heterotopias of human imagination and how it (may) materialize(s) – hopefully.

Mariam Popal

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.