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Dialogforum with Nathalie Mba Bikoro: „Future Monuments: Re-Inventing Human Memorials in Post-Colonial Gestures Towards Freedom“


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How can we challenge memories and histories of a colonial past, present and future? What space is needed to address collective memories and trauma and to facilitate a way of remembrance, that is based on interaction and participation? Nathalie Mba Bikoro is addressing these questions with her project „Future Monuments“ . Starting of a threepart series of interventions into the debate on (post)colonial remembrance in Germany, she discusses pathways towards a decolonisations of memories through visual experience and the re-invention of the human memorial.  

It has been often contested over the last 40 years why Germany’s past from the colonisation of Namibia to the First and Second World Wars has not been put into much public discussion and education. With her intervention „Forbidden Histories“, Nathalie Mba Bikoro is investigating this cultural amnesias and traces the history of generations of the African diaspora. She transgresses supposed geographical and cultural borders in raising awareness to the local and international communities involvement in the struggle for changes. Moreover, she traces the collaboration of African identities with other nationals from Europe, the Middle East and Africa within Germany.

The artist and scholar Nathalie Mba Bikoro narrates these counter-histories to start of a discussion that commemorates and remembers those who risked their lives to build our own in a different future yet to be written.. She uses methods concerning alternative historiographies and archives, along with case-studies of influential individuals who helped shaped human rights, and discusses how these contexts can be processed in education through visual interventions as living monuments of yesterday, today and tomorrow. By decolonising memory through aesthesis (visual experience), „Future Monuments“ proposes an active re-invention of legacies and human memorials. 

Nathalie Mba Bikoro, born in Libreville, Gabon, is an interdisciplinary artist, lecturer and curator. She develops her award-wining art pieces as projects in close collaboration with communities in different places. In her movements between Gabon, Germany, UK and Brasil, she collects fractured and dispersed narratives to foster a dialogue on identity, memory, history and multi-lingualism. Currently, she is living in Berlin on an artist residency research producing her first sci-fi feature film on decolonial histories on Berlin Tempelhof.  

She is an Associate Lecturer in Political Visual Cultures, Philosophy & Fine Arts and is curatorial director of Squat Museum centered around visual arts methods of decolonisation across cultures and geographies such as Brazil, Canada, Mexico, China, India & Africa. She also directs curatorial and artistic projects such as Future Monuments, Squat Monuments, and LAB Encounters Laboratory of Live Art in Senegal. Her most recent significant contributions have been shown in Dak'art Biennale Senegal (2012); Smithsonian Museum of African Art Washington DC (2013); Tiwani Contemporary London (2012); Kalao Pan African Galleries Bilbao (2014); 798 Art District Gallery Beijing (2015); Museum of African Art Johannesburg (2011); Michael Stevenson Gallery Cape Town (2011); Tate Britain London (2009); Oxford Museum UK (2014); Bedfordbury Gallery London (2010); South London Gallery (2010); and Art15 Fair London (2015). 

This series of events is a follow-up to the project „Decolonial objections against the Humboldt-Forum“ happening in 2013/14. In the framework of the campaign „No Humboldt 21!“, AfricAvenir provides space for critical interventions into the debate on the „Berliner Schloss / Humboldt-Forum“ by experts coming from Africa and the African Diaspora. 

The event will be held in English. 

In cooperation with Adefra, ISD, Berlin Postkolonial and the Gallerie Wedding/Raum für zeitgenössische Kunst.

With the friendly support of the Aktionsgruppenprogramm of Engagement Global. 

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