Sonia E. Barrett: Sculpting More Community

Sonia E. Barrett in collaboration with Ikram Ali, Abdé Batchati, Kahbit Enow, Catherine Wanjiku Muthoni, Laveria Mwai, Jane Kirogo Wamuyu; event with Dr. Sandrine Micossé-Aikins

Artist Talk, exhibition, presentation, workshop

© Stefanie Rau /


with Sonia E. Barrett
7.-9.11.2023 // 16:00-19:00

Opening & Artist Talk

11.11.2023 // 18:00



Decolonization in Action

Talk with Dr. Sandrine Micossé-Aikins and Sonia E. Barrett
13.1.2024 // 17:00-18:30
event in cooperation with the FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum




Bilder Eröffnung


Fotos: Katharina Koch (1-8) und Uta Ruhkamp (9-10)


Bilder Ausstellung



Fotos: Ivonne Thein


The closing event takes place in cooperation with

With the project Sculpting More Community, artist Sonia E. Barrett, together with a group of co-creators, creates an expansive, site specific installation out of paper maps that focuses on community and self-empowerment and interrogates the colonial division of the world.


Maps materialize and form our image and knowledge of the world. They simplify and generalize, and therefore cannot be understood as depictions of an objective reality, but always implicitly political. Maps have a powerful influence in that they define spaces, conditions, and relationships, produce inclusions and exclusions, and have been strategically deployed beyond the time of European colonization. Artist Sonia E. Barrett’s project Sculpting More Community appropriates the map as an object and material, using it as the basis for moments of collectivity and exchange.


Beginning with a workshop by and for Black women and women of color a community sculpture is created from approximately 40 shredded paper maps. The maps, some of which are antiquarian, bear witness to the Western hegemonic division of the world, which has its origins in European powers’ colonization and oppression of many regions in the world since the fifteenth century and whose disastrous consequences of racism, social inequality, and rigid nation-state border regimes define the post-colonial present. The act of shredding maps and self-determinedly remaking them into a sculpture, which both literally and figuratively functions as a large network, makes space and time to re-imagine/ re-configure maps and by implication the worlds that produce them.


Based on practices of care and beauty, which in communities of black women often braid or dreadlock hair connected with exchange and conversation, the participants operate beyond the constraints of dominant beauty norms; maps are braided instead of hair, creating a space where experiences, knowledge and skills are shared and other ways of being and knowing are practiced.


The exhibition will be discursively expanded through a supporting program of conversations and presentations that critically analyzes (urban) infrastructures in terms of racism and sexism and explores decolonial strategies.


Decolonization in Action

Talk with Dr. Sandrine Micossé-Aikins and Sonia E. Barrett

13.1.2024 // 17:00-18:30 (in German and English language)

event in cooperation with the FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum


The dialogical discussion with Sonia E. Barrett and the art scholar and curator Dr. Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, in which both report on their respective practices, explores the question of what “decolonization in action” can mean in concrete terms from an artistic, curatorial, activist and cultural studies perspective: How can different approaches and practices with their respective potentials generate synergies for other knowledge productions and contribute to exploring strategies of anti-discriminatory and decolonial memory work and (urban) history?



Of German Jamaican Parentage brought up in England, China and Cyprus, Sonia Elizabeth Barrett is a graduate of St Andrews University and the Transart Institute (both UK). Sonia is a MacDowell fellow and recipient of the Boss Harlan Foundation stipend. Her work has been shown at a number of galleries including the OCCCA California, the nGbk Berlin, The Format Contemporary in Milan and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery Philadelphia the Museum of Derby and the British Library she has been recognised by the Premio Ora prize, NY Art Slant showcase for sculpture and the Neo Art Prize.


Dr. Sandrine Micossé-Aikins manages the Berliner Projektbüro für Diversitätsentwicklung Diversity Arts Culture and consults the cultural department of the Berlin Senate. She is an art scholar, curator and equity manager whose work focuses on racism and empowerment in the arts. Her work also examines the power and effects of colonial imagery, politics of the body, and representation and equality in the German speaking arts and cultural sector.



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