Precarious Art: Protest & Resistence

Bahati, Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Chantel C, Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo, Dr. Dr. Daniele Daude, Dr. Stacie CC Graham, Karina Griffith, Katharina Koch, Dr. Marie-Anne Kohl, Julia Lemmle, Sandrine Micossé Aikins, Njideka, Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega, Iris Rajanayagam, Lerato Shadi. Curated by Dr. Stacie CC Graham, Dr. Katharina Koch und Dr. Marie-Anne Kohl.

exhibition, events series

Ausschnitt Flyer, Grafik: Dorothea Nold

The Company We Keep

Exhibition by Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi
Opening & Artist Talk // 12.9.2015 // 19:00
Exhibition // 13.9.-16.10.2015 // Wed.-Sat. 16:00-19:00


Filmscreening & Talk with Danielle Marie Shillingford
16.9.2015 // 19:00

Spoken Word

Presentations by Bahati, Chantel C. und Njideka
18.9.2015 // 19:00


with Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Christa Hyun D‘Angelo, Dr. Daniele Daude, Karina Griffith, Julia Lemmle, Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega, Iris Rajanayagam, Lerato Shadi, moderated by Rena Onat
26.9.2015 // 10:00-18:00
27.9.2015 // 13:00-19:30


with 3 women
27.9.2015 // 20:00



Unterstützt mit Mitteln der Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie


Das Symposium findet in Kooperation mit dem Bildungswerk Berlin der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung statt.


Precarious Art: Protest and Resistance is curated by Dr. Stacie CC Graham,
Dr. Katharina Koch und Dr. Marie-Anne Kohl; graphic design and curatorial assistance: Dorothea Nold

The exhibition and event series Precarious Art: Protest and Resistance confronts the subject of structural and everyday racism within the Berlin art establishment. At the center of this inquiry is the concept intersectionality, meaning the interaction of various identifying characteristics (e.g., race and gender) that must be examined at their intersections rather than individually. It is necessary to effectively recognize these social constructs, in their entirety, as forms of discrimination. For this purpose we use an approach cemented by bell hooks, the US American feminist academic and activist, that consistently connects the structures of capitalism, imperialism, patriarchy and white supremacy in their entanglement and interaction. We would like to use this approach as our point of departure in order to subject the Berlin art establishment as a white, non-migrant, mostly male-dominated domain to a critical review and survey. With few exceptions, black women artists and women artists of color are not the decision makers in this sphere of activity. Further, there are few spaces in which they can present their work or in which they feel represented. They experience these structures not only as racist but also as sexist and therefore encounter their work area, “art”, in many respects as exclusionary and precarious.
On the basis of the question of possibilities to adopt, infiltrate, or produce alternative contexts, a dialogue on the different strategies should emerge, how Black women and women of color, as creative artists, can counteract structural racism, everyday racism, sexism, as well as their experiences of marginalization and non-representation in a white art establishment. Strategies can be practiced as an expression of protest; they can also implemented in form of resistance through creating new structures and spaces. At the same time, it should be discussed to what extent (art) spaces can provide true inclusion and what solidarity practices are imperative to do so. This discussion will include a critical self-analysis and reflection of actual perspectives on the part of white actors in the art scene in order to put their spaces and thereby their privilege at disposal.
The project seeks to highlight, break down, and introduce long-term changes in discriminating structures and representation practices. With an examination of racism and sexism, an enduring discussion should be strengthened around possibilities for more inclusive and joint practices as well as the formation of networks and alliances. We hope to achieve more than an exchange at one point in time, rather we strive for a continued discussion with participants. In bringing together varying formats in art, activism and academia, we aim to engage a diverse audience.


Melody LaVerne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi

Installation – Painting – Video

Opening: 12.09.2015 // 19:00
Artist Talk (engl. / dt.): 12.09.2015 // 20:00
Exhibition: 13.9.-16.10.2015 // Mi-Sa // 16:00-19:00

In ihren Arbeiten beschäftigen sich die Künstlerinnen mit den Themen Rassismus und Marginalisierung Schwarzer kulturschaffender Frauen und Frauen of Color sowie mit Strategien der Selbstermächtigung.

Artist Statement
As Black women living in white spaces that are not open to us, we wanted to thematize what it would be like or look like to live in a Black-friendly world, with the understanding that pro-Black does not mean anti-white, even though historically pro-white has meant anti anybody else. As Black women, as artists, as sisters, as mothers, we are cultural producers. As such we must deal with the fact that our perspectives are neither represented nor heard. The expectation when walking into a gallery space is to find white walls, just as it is expected to walk in to spaces of power and privilege and find that those spaces are white spaces. In Germany, Europe, whiteness equals “neutral”. We are questioning that.
Wir definieren uns selbst und lassen uns nicht definieren
. We locate tomorrow by becoming our own storytellers. We listen to the pain in Black knowledge. It is present in our growing consciousness. Our interconnectedness is our history and our strength. We invite the Black Atlantic to the table. Whether the Black women on the wall are famous or not is irrelevant. They reflect our complexity and our diversity. We are all of them and they are all of us.

This is the company we keep.

Melody Laverne Bettencourt, Karina Griffith, Lerato Shadi

Film & Talk ERIS

16.9.2015 // 19:00

36 min., UK 2012, engl.
Regie: Claire Hooper

“An exploration of strength, tracing the experiences of Danielle Marie Shillingford, a woman who has lost and struggles to regain custody of her children. In the film, the slippages between Danielle and her god-like alter ego Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, create a continuous blurring between the fantastical, the superhuman and the absolutely mundane.” (Claire Hooper)

Publikumsgespräch mit der Schauspielerin Danielle Marie Shillingford (in englischer Sprache)

Spoken World Presentations

18.9.2015 // 19:00

with Bahati, Chantel C. und Njideka

Das Genre Spoken Word hat seine Wurzeln in der mündlichen Überlieferung. Es kann sowohl Elemente von Musikrichtungen wie Rap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock, Blues und Folk als auch Konzepte aus den Bereichen Theater und Geschichtenerzählen beinhalten. Charakteristisch spielerisch im Rhythmus und Wortspiel sowie in der Wiederholung und Improvisation konfrontiert Spoken Word oft Themen der sozialen Gerechtigkeit, Politik und Community.


26.9.2015 und 27.9.2015

Das Symposium ist interdisziplinär angelegt und bringt sowohl Wissenschaftlerinnen als auch Kulturschaffende, Künstlerinnen und Aktivistinnen zusammen. Dabei werden Vorträge, Podiumsdiskussionen und Filmvorstellungen angeboten, die sich mit Themen des strukturellen sowie des Alltagsrassismus im Kunstbetrieb auseinandersetzen. Ziel ist es, Strategien und solidarische Praxen auszuloten, um rassistischen Strukturen entgegenzuwirken.

26.9.2015 // 10:00-18:00
Wann Protest, wann Widerstand?

Protest und Widerstand stehen beide am Anfang sozialer Veränderungen. Dabei findet Protest innerhalb, Widerstand außerhalb der bestehenden hegemonialen Strukturen statt. Wann und unter welchen Bedingungen erscheint die eine, wann die andere Strategie sinnvoll und wirksam?

10:00 Begrüßung / Einleitung
Dr. Stacie CC Graham, Katharina Koch, Anne Kohl (Kuratorinnen)

10:30 Race, Precarity And Artistic Labour In Berlin
Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega (Medien- und Kulturwissenschaftlerin)

12:15 Being is one thing… – Protest und Widerstand
Sandrine Micossé-Aikins (Kunstwissenschaftlerin, Kuratorin, Aktivistin)

14:40 Film / Diskussion: Die Umzüge (07 min., D 2013)
Karina Griffith (Künstlerin)

The film is a non-verbal exploration of the filmmaker’s reaction to witnessing blackfacing in Germany: one of confusion, fear, anger and compassion.

15:15 Performanz analysieren im karibischen Raum
Dr. Dr. Daniele Daude (Theater- und Musikwissenschaftlerin, Violinistin, Aktivistin)

17:00 Podiumsdiskussion: Wann Protest, wann Widerstand? mit Dr. Dr. Daniele Daude, Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, Dr. Onur Suzan Nobrega

Moderatorin: Rena Onat (Kunst- und Medienwissenschaftlerin, Gender Studies)

27.9.2015 // 13:00-19:30
Die Illusion der Post-Gender und Post-Racial Gesellschaft

Ist es möglich nur noch über Dynamiken, Prozesse und Strukturen zu sprechen, ohne auf die spezifischen Parameter der einzelnen Identifikationsmerkmale einzugehen? Mit dem Fokus auf Intersektionalität soll das Ineinanderwirken dieser Strukturen befragt werden. Dabei stehen u.a. Berliner Kunsträume, insbesondere so genannte off spaces, die sich häufig als aktivistisch verstehen, sowie deren Strukturen und Repräsentationspraktiken zur Diskussion.

13:00 Begrüßung und Zusammenfassung des 1. Tages

13:15 Weiße Räume öffnen?! Von Repräsentationskritik zu Selbstrepräsentation – Möglichkeiten und Grenzen. Praxiserfahrungen einer Kuratorin of Color
Iris Rajanayagam (Kuratorin, Wissenschaftlerin)

15:00 I am a white academic feminist artist. I’ve got no reason to cry
Julia Lemmle (Coach, Performerin, Aktivistin)

16:30 Film / Diskussion: PAST PRESENT TENSE (32 min., D 2014-15, dt. mit engl. UT)
Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo (Künstlerin)

The video essay examines the idea of German nationality and it’s racial borders within German society.

Publikumsdiskussion (engl.)

18:00 Abschlussdiskussion mit Bettencourt, D‘Angelo, Dr. Daude, Griffith, Lemmle, Micossé-Aikins, Dr. Nobrega, Rajanayagam, Shadi. (dt./engl.)

Moderatorinnen: Kuratorinnenteam (Dr. Stacie CC Graham, Anne Kohl, Katharina Koch)


27.9.2015 // 20:00

with 3 women
Jeannine Mayani, Gonza Ngoumou, Bona Ngoumou

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