Unraveling The (Under)Development Complex, or: Towards a Post-(Under)Development Interdependence

Walter Rodney’s work and impact in a contemporary context – funded by the TURN2 Fund

Project description

In 1972 the Guyanese revolutionary and visionary activist, academic, historian and writer Walter Anthony Rodney published a book entitled “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”. He investigated the power dynamics of development and underdevelopment and its consequences as an unfair exchange of labour and resources on a global scale. Fifty years later, the project “Unraveling the (Under)Development Complex, or: Towards a Post-(Under)Development Interdependence” (external link, opens in a new window) pays tribute to this ground-breaking work of critical and enlightened thinking and offers the possibility of considering a world of “post-(under-)development”.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Walter Rodney’s work, SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin together with the Bandjoun Art Station in Cameroon, African Digital Heritage and the Goethe Institutes in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Abidjan have invited artists, designers, technologists and philosophers to critically examine what the development was and what other forms of being exist and co-exist beyond conventionally prescribed notions. By interlinking the longstanding activities of dependence theorists, post-development proponents, theorists of the degrowth movement and environmental feminists, the project will analyse the status quo and envision a world beyond the binarity of development and underdevelopment, the capitalistic economic model and universalised Eurocentrism.

The term “post-(under-)development” is defined to mean forms of coexistence in a world of inter- and intra-dependencies. It is an appeal for cooperation and models of coexistence between different species instead of a world based on competition and antagonism. It comprises an abundance of knowledge, arts, sciences, technologies and philosophies, all of which enable us to exist in the world together and in communion with others. The project is intended to become a research programme with public events, featuring a series of investigative forays, invocations, performances, lectures, workshops and an exhibition.

Project partner: Bandjoun Station, Bandjoun, Kamerun / African Heritage House Nairobi, Kenia / Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, Südafrika / Goethe-Institut Abidjan, Elfenbeinküste

Artistic direction & concept: Bonaventure S. Bejeng Ndikung (D/CM), Chao Tayiana Maina (KE), Barthelemy Toguo (CM)
Curation: Juan Pablo García Sossa, Hajra Haider Karrar
Curatorial assistence & production: Sagal Farah, Billy Fowo, Hubert Gromny, Kelly Krugman

With: Jess Atieno, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Sheila Chukwulozie, Christopher Cozier, Binta Diaw, Sènami Donoumassou, Sofia Gallisá Muriente & Natalia Lassalle Morillo, Rajyashri Goody, Karachi La Jamia, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Tracy Naa Koshie Thompson, Syowia Kyambi, Wallen Mapondera, Anna Mapoubi, Emo de Medeiros, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien, Kumari Ranjeeta, Moffat Takadiwa, The Victor Jara Collective, Munem Wasif, Guy Woueté

Chapter / Invocations
March–April 2022: Bandjoun Station, Bandjoun / Kamerun
September 2022: African Digital Heritage, Nairobi / Kenia
2023: Goethe Institut, Abidjan / Côte d'Ivoire 
2023: Goethe Institut, Johannesburg / Südafrika

Exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary Berlin


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 26 November, 2022 to 27 January, 2023: Exhibition "Unraveling The (Under)Development Complex"

    SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin


SAVVY Contemporary

Reinickendorfer Straße 17
13347 Berlin 
https://savvy-contemporary.com/ (external link, opens in a new window)