Germany has recently seen increasingly heated debates on the restitution of collection pieces from ethnological museums, in particular, on their return to those communities from which the items originated. The current possibilities of provenance research and legal-political aspects play a central role in this context. The independent art and discussion venue SAVVY Contemporary wishes to expand on this debate and sharpen our awareness to the fact that restitution does not only refer to the return of collection piece. Rather, restitution must also entail re-establishing and rehabilitating societies and locations, and so doing, pave the way to the reintegration and resocialisation of communities.
With its project “For the Phoenix to Find Its Form in Us”, SAVVY Contemporary suggests various formats that highlight the key topics “restitution”, “rehabilitation” and “reparation” in order to make room for the perspectives and voices of people from the cultures of origin. A series of laboratory events in Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East, in addition to an exhibition in Berlin will bring artists, intellectuals, activists, researchers and German institutions together to jointly reflect on concepts of rehabilitation and decolonisation. The project will explore to what extent historically-entrenched power structures and asymmetries between colonised societies and Germany influence the critical discourse on colonial history at ethnological museums. The organisers also plan to develop a digital platform to facilitate dialogue irrespective of one’s location.
Artistic director: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Artists: Tanya Aguiñiga, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Nora Al-Badri, Daniela Zambrano Almidón & Pablo Santacana López, Memory Biwa, Benji Boyadgian, Hamze Bytyçi, Nora Chipaumire, Julien Creuzet, Ndidi Dike, Gladys Kalichini, Maurice Mboa, Senzeni Mthwakazi Marasela, Noara Quintana, Michael Rakowitz, Gabriel Rossell Santillán, Akram Zaatari, Saitabao Kaiyare & Elena Schilling (SAVVY Contemporary); Pio Abad, Samia Henni, Jumana Manna, Oumar Mbengue Atakosso, Bhavisha Panchia, Michael Rakowitz (ifa-Galerie Berlin)
Laboratories: This project is being developed in local laboratories with international partners in Cameroon, Colombia, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Rwanda and United Arab Emirates (January 2021–June 2022)
23 June, 2021 to 22 August, 2021: Opening & Exhibition
Savvy Contemporary, ifa Galerie, Berlin
SAVVY Contemporary e.V.
Reinickendorfer Straße 17
www.savvy-contemporary.com (external link, opens in a new window)