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By Daniela Incoronato
200 years later - dance of the orixas

Arts & Culture

Since many years AfricAvenir has already been using artistic approaches to impart our messages and generally achieve a change of perspectives. Beyond our successful monthly film series at Hackescher Höfe Kino, which is documented on a separate project page, we host exhibitions, concerts, theater plays or poetry and dance events - depending on the context and project. Some of the past highlights include the impressive German premiere of the hip hop musical "The Forgotten Liberators" (2009) or the various artistic positions including video art, dance, poetry, literature and storytelling as part of the interdisciplinary art project Re/visions (2009). In 2010 we hosted the world premiere of the theater play "Traumata - Traumatismes", written and directed by Ousmane Aledji. And 2012 saw the Berlin premiere of the dance-theater piece "The Myth of God Money" - a highly topical discussion of the dynamics of global consumption.

The Myth of God Money

BERLIN PREMIERE: „Du Mythe du Dieu Argent – The Myth of the God Money“ Dancetheater by the Company „Dialogues Inévitables"

On 14 and 15 November 2012, AfricAvenir staged the Berlin Premiere of the Dancetheater „Du Mythe du Dieu Argent – The Myth of the God Money“, an Italian-Benin co-production by the group „Dialogue Inévitables“ dealing with capitalist world order and what money makes of human beings. The God named Money is a rogue – we knew this well before the financial crisis. Sent to earth to facilitate exchanges among human beings, the God of Money takes pleasure in playing with their weaknesses, becoming increasingly more powerful. Using ironic and symbolic language, THE MYTH OF THE GOD MONEY leads us into an imaginary but familiar universe. 

World premiere: „Traumata – Traumatismes“ by Ousmane Aledji, 27, 28 & 29.10.2010, Haus der Kulturen der Welt

In the framework of „50 Years of African Independences – A (self)critical Evaluation“ AfricAvenir invited Beninese director Ousmane Aledji to write a theater piece on "50 years of African In-Dependences" and and premiere it in Berlin with his company Agbo-N'Koko. Is it possible to celebrate 50 years of African Independence? What has happened since? With "Traumatism" Ousmane Aledji artistically takes stock. Sarcastic, sometimes resigned, then again angry, explosive, fierce, he stages the collective memory of the "common people". What has become of the pan-african visions of Césaire, Lumumba, Nkrumah?"Traumatism" combines theater with live video projection, dance and hip hop. This rhythmic interaction of metaphoric words serves as a medium of learning about Africa and enables the valorisation of historic knowledge. Ousmane Aledji proved once more that he does not stage any folklore. His theater is a theater of urgency, subtle and direct at the same time - a really contemporary work.

Read more on the Project Page

German Premiere: The Forgotten Liberators

On Sunday 20 September 2009 at 8 p.m. AfricAvenir presented the Germany Premiere of the Hip Hop Musical "The Forgotten Liberators" (À nos morts) in the framework of the International Literature Festival Berlin (ilb) at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Performed in french with German subtitles, the show received minutes long standing ovation by the more than 700 spectators in the sold out hall.

Influenced by the Hip-Hop-Culture of the suburbs of Strasbourg, this performance melts poetic texts with urban sounds as well as with a contemporary dance choreography - all this is taking place to the backdrop of historical film and photo material. The production is reminiscent of the millions of colonial soldiers from the former french colonies who fought for France in 1914-18 and helped rid the world of fascism during the Second World War. The "Mémoires Vives"-Project pays tribute to those largely "forgotten soldiers" by dealing with the topic in a contemporary and modern way.

Shailja Patel
AfricAvenir Projects Berlin - Re/Visions - Shalija Patel

RE/VISIONS: Contemporary Art Perspectives from Africa

RE/VISIONS: Contemporary Arts Perspectives from Africa presents a variety of works by African artists from different countries in Film, Contemporary Dance, Music, Video-Art and Literature. RE/VISIONS is an invitation to take a closer look and to confront one's own opinions and perspectives with the ideas, visions and imaginations of African artists.

AfricAvenir Projects Berlin - 200 Years Later - Evolucao

200 Years Later... In Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the official abolition of the European Slave Trade

On the occasion of the international commemoration marking the bicentenary of the official abolition of the "Maafa" (European TRansatlantic Slave Trade), AfricAvenir International e.V. and the Werkstatt der Kulturen presented an interdisciplinary commemorative event series entitled “200 Years Later...”. From November 23-30, 2008, we honored the men and women of African descent who had the courage and strength to resist and fight one of the greatest crimes against humanity. Through an exhibition, lectures, workshops, performances and films, the various resistance strategies against the deportation developed by the affected people on the African continent and in the Americas were celebrated. During the Opening Ceremony of the Festival, the President of UNESCO's Executive Council, Ambassador Joseph Olabiyi Babalola Yai awarded the organizers with the Toussaint Louverture Medal, which "celebrates contribution to the struggle against domination, racism and intolerance".

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