Bani Abidi: They Died Laughing


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The artist Bani Abidi from Karachi, Pakistan is one of the most remarkable artists of her generation. As the daughter of Indian parents, Abidi grew up in Pakistan, lived in the United States for many years, and now resides in Berlin. In her films, she often assumes the role of the narrator and urban archaeologist. She addresses topics related to her own heritage and the geopolitical tensions between the neighbouring countries of Pakistan and India. Her artistic works are frequently characterised by humorous takes on political and cultural issues.
Her works have been regularly exhibited at international art shows for over a decade, e.g. in Calcutta, Dallas, New York, Berlin and at the documenta in Kassel. In the exhibition “They Died Laughing” at the Gropius-Bau in Berlin, visitors have had the opportunity to view her past works as well as the newly commissioned piece “The Lost Procession”. In this project, Abidi reflects on the experiences of the Hazara people of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, and their struggle to flee to Germany in recent months. Abidi portrays their stories of expropriation and how they have adapted their cherished rituals to the circumstances of their new home. In her film, she artistically explores the so-called Ashura procession which has taken place in the streets of Berlin for the past several years.
The exhibition has been supplemented by an extensive accompanying programme, tours and educational activities.

Curator: Natasha Ginwala (IND)
Artist: Bani Abidi (PK)


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 6 June, 2019 to 22 September, 2019: Ausstellung

    Gropius-Bau, Berlin

  • 6 June, 2019 to 22 September, 2019: Exhibition

    Gropius-Bau, Berlin



Niederkirchner Straße 7
10963 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)