Delegates from 29 independent African and Asian nations gathered in the Indonesian city of Bandung from 17 to 24 April 1955 to voice their rejection of colonialism and build an alliance of likeminded partners in the age of the Cold War. They issued an appeal for universal human rights, state sovereignty, cultural self-determination and international economic collaboration between equals. With the group exhibition “Bandung Spirits”, the Gropius Bau commemorates this first Asian-African conference against colonialist and racist forces which went down in history as one of the most significant events promoting Asian-African independence and solidarity. In the years that followed, many African countries in particular fought successfully to secure their own independence in the 1960s and 1970s. Despite its impact, the Bandung Conference has received little attention in Germany and Europe.
The international team of curators have chosen Richard Wright’s book “The Colour Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference” (1956) as the starting point for a research project. The aim is to discuss the hopes of the conference organisers, along with their disappointments and emerging contradictions. The invited artists, researchers and activists will investigate and reinterpret the resonance and legacy of the meeting from a historic, contemporary and artistic perspective. The exhibition combines historical photos, drawings and film material with contemporary artworks, some of which are being created especially for “Bandung Spirits” and will be presented for the first time. The Gropius Bau is producing an accompanying catalogue and a lecture programme featuring international guest speakers to provide deeper insights into the topic.
Artistic director: Philippe Pirotte
Curators: Elizabeth Asafo-Adjei, Karima Boubou Mzouar, Suman Gopinath, Grant Watson, Vera Mey, Grace Samboh and others
Artists: Noor Abuarafeh, Kofi Antubam, Binta Ayofemi, Basuki Resobowo, blaXTARLINES, Ntone Edjabe/ African Space Station, Mama Casset, Iswanto Hartono, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tracey Rose, Zahia Rahmani, Nathalie Muchamad and others
Exhibition: Gropius Bau, Berlin: 1 Oct. 2023 – 11 Jan. 2024
Tel +49 30 254 89-0 (Empfang)
Fax +49 30 254 89-111
berlinerfestspiele.de (external link, opens in a new window)