Inspired by Edouard Glissant’s concept of opacity, the research and exhibition project “Giving Contours to Shadows” presented works by more than 20 artists and artists’ groups from ten African countries, Italy, Portugal and French Guyana which investigated how history can be presented from an alternative, non-Western dominated perspective. The invited artists, most of whom belong to the generation born after 1970, reflected on subjects pertaining to their own history and present-day situation, e.g. science fiction, the digital revolution, homosexuality and gender roles, the economic crises in Africa in the late 1980s and early 90s and the renaissance of a new cultural pan- and trans-Africanism. Several works, such as one highlighting the African diaspora in Berlin – were specially created for this exhibition. The accompanying programme featured parallel solo performances in Dakar, Nairobi, Morocco, Johannesburg and Lagos, which were broadcast in Berlin. The project also included discussions and lectures which have been published in a catalogue.

A project by Savvy Contemporary e.V. in cooperation with the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Maxim Gorki Theater, Gemäldegelerie Berlin and Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa (CCAEA, Nairobi, Kenya), Kër Thiossane (Dakar, Senegal), 5th Marrakech Biennale Satellite (Marrakech, Morocco), Video Art Network (VAN Lagos, Nigeria) and Visual Arts Network of South Africa (VANSA, Johannesburg, South Africa).

Curator: Bonaventure Ndikung
Co-Curator: Dr. Elena Agudio
Roundtable Series Co-Curator: Storm Janse van Rensburg

Artists: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (GF),
 Jelili Atiku (NG), 
Fayçal Baghriche (DZ), 
Neïl Beloufa (FR/DZ),
 Halida Boughriet (DZ),
 Marcio Carvalho (PT),
 Virginia Chihota (ZW),
 Chimurenga Lab (ZA), 
Em’kal Eyongakpa (CAM),
 Mounir Fatmi (MA),
 Serge Olivier Fokoua (CAM),
Badr el Hammami / Fadma Kaddouri (MA),
 Adelita Husni-Bey (IT/LYB),
 Wanuri Kahiu (KE),
 Bouchra Khalil (MA), 
Kiluanji Kia Henda (ANG),
 Kapwani Kiwanga (CA/TZ), 
Donna Kukama (ZA),
Ato Malinda (KE), Ingrid Mwangi / Robert Hutter (DE/KE),
 Otobong Nkanga (NG),
 Ahmet Ögüt (TR),
 Lerato Shadi (ZA),
 Alexandre Singh (FR/USA),
 Hank Willis Thomas (USA),
 Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (UK)


March 13 - 14, 2014, Nairobi, Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa (CCAEA)
May 23, 2014, Berlin, SAVVY Contemporary and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
June 25 - 27, 2014, Berlin, SAVVY Contemporary, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Heimathafen Neukölln

June, 27, 2014, 17-20 pm in cooperation with the "TURN Meeting #1 On perspectives, facts and fictions" of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Heimathafen Neukölln

May 24 – July 27, 2014, Berlin, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein and SAVVY Contemporary

Performance Programme:
May 25 – 28, 2014, Berlin, Maxim Gorki Theater
June 25 - 27 2014, Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

January – August 2014 Solo interventions in Dakar, Nairobi, Morocco, Johannesburg and Lagos
December 2014 Publication

TURN – Fund for Artistic Co­oper­a­tion between Ger­many and African Coun­tries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries

More about the TURN Fund


Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Chausseestrasse 128/129

10115 Berlin