Perverse Decolonization

A (self-)critical research project by the Akademie der Künste der Welt in Cologne with accompanying symposium, artistic programme and publication

This project consists of a working group of about 20 international artists, writers, researchers and curators. Their goal will be to engage in mutual discussion and research in order to gain a more precise understanding of the current crisis of identity politics and postcolonialism. All around the world, we are observing a resurgence of nationalistic and isolationist policies. In view of this phenomenon, artists and theorists wish to investigate the notion of “perverse decolonization” as a misguided emancipatory process. To what extent do new nationalistic approaches and movements make use of postcolonial rhetoric, and to what degree are they influenced by postcolonial thinking?
In a second step, the participants will discuss how to confront isolationist and nationalistic tendencies and investigate what new forms of solidarity are possible today. Starting in summer 2017, the working group will meet on a regular basis for discussions in Cologne and partner institutions (e.g. in Stuttgart, Bishkek, Warsaw and Chicago) and present their findings on a joint platform. The project will culminate in an international symposium, targeted at a broad audience and comprised of discussions and numerous artistic and performative formats. In preparation of the symposium, the project will commission a number of artworks and award research grants to artists, writers and researchers. The project will conclude with a publication in German and English.

Artistic directors: Ekaterina Degot (RU), David Riff (RU)
Participants: Saddie Choua (BE), Cosmin Costinas (HK), Georgy Mamedov (KG), Joshua Simon (IL), Jan Sowa (PL), Mi You and others

Venues and Dates:

Discussions, artistic presentations, symposium, publication, staged in Cologne in cooperation with international partner institutions based in Stuttgart, Bishkek, Holon, Warsaw, Chicago, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Utrecht: 1 Sep. 2017 – 30 Apr. 2019