WORKSHOP & STORY-TELLING
BY Zwoisy Mears-Clarke and Elena Polzer with Colonial Neighbours
WITH Fatin Abbas, Benita Bailey, Amina Eisner, Jules* Elting, Tjeripo Katjangua, Agnes Lampkin, Vitjitua Ndjiharine
LANGUAGES English, with German translation in word and text where needed
ACCESS Free entry, donations welcome. Our space is accessible by wheelchair.
2G+ rule applies: Please present your proof of full vaccination with a vaccination certificate (QR-code), or an official notice of the recovery (less than 6 months ago) as well as a negative Covid19-test not older than 24hrs (closest test center is a 2 min walk from SAVVY at Lindower Straße). Kindly respect distance and wear a mask.
16:00 OPENING OF THE VIDEO INSTALLATION
16:30 WORKSHOP With Vitjitua Ndjiharine and Elena Polzer (no registration needed, just join us.)
19:00 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
19:15 An Incantation for the Dead and the Living: On the German Genocide of the Herero and Nama READING With Agnes Lampkin of a text by Fatin Abbas (30min)
19:45 Unmenschlich DRAMATIC READING Of a play by Tjeripo Katjanuga (15min)
COLONIAL NEIGHBOURS together with Zwoisy Mears-Clarke and Elena Polzer invite you to “Warp and Weft” – an evening of storytelling that brings together the threads of research and creative exchanges of a two-year long project. The event focuses on how the relationship between Germans, Ovaherero, and Nama people were violently entangled at the time of German South West Africa (present-day Namibia), leading to the Herero and Nama genocide. What and where are the traces of this shared history still found in our day-to-day? Where has this thread of history been woven into our life’s fabric?
We invite you to hold different threads with us in the collective attempt of weaving and unweaving them:
THREAD 1 VIDEO INSTALLATION
In the process leading to this event, nine Namibian activists, Ronny Dempers, Sam Geiseb, Mbakumua Hengari, Ida Hoffmann, Tjeripo Katjanuga, Nandiuasora Mazeingo, Esther Muinjangue, Vitjitua Ndjiharine, and Michael Uerikua, were invited by Zwoisy Mears-Clarke to share the tracing of their stories, starting from the time of German colonialism. Excerpts of these interviews, which have been artistically transformed by POC Stories and Mona Okulla Obua, will be shared as a video-installation in the space of SAVVY Contemporary from 13.01.–23.01.2022 during the exhibition opening hours 14:00–19:00. Within the scope of “Warp and Weft”, these nine activists helped traverse through the aforementioned rip. The videos are in English with German, English, and German Sign Language subtitles.
THREAD 2 WORKSHOP
Join us for a hands-on workshop held by Vitjitua Ndjiharine and Elena Polzer offering a chance to reflect together on tools and strategies of decolonizing the self in relationship to historical and contemporary objects. Participants will also have a chance to embroider, sew or knit a contribution of their own to the archive of this project. Everyone is welcome, no sewing experience necessary, no registration needed.
THREAD 3 READING
In the evening, we will premiere two new works commissioned in the framework of this project. "An Incantation for the Dead and the Living: On the German Genocide of the Herero and Nama" is a text by Sudanese writer Fatin Abbas which will be read by English/Swiss actress Agnes Lampkin. In the text, the author traces the thread from German South West Africa, to sitting down at the computer finishing her doctoral thesis in Boston, to drinking tea while listening to interviews of the nine Namibian activists in her current home in Berlin, and everything else wrapped around, in, over, and under.
THREAD 4 DRAMATIC READING
The reading will be followed by the premiere of Unmenschlich, a short play by Tjeripo Katjanuga that is based on her experience of being Herero in contemporary Germany. She simultaneously traces the constructed edges of her time in Germany a few years ago, the colonially invalidated German citizenship of mixed German South West African children and their Namibian descendants with the realities of the “Bürgeramt”. Amina Eisner as dramaturg, Benita Bailey as director, Agnes Lampkin as actress, and Jules* Elting as actor* join this thread.
THREAD 5 ZINE
The event will be accompanied by the bilingual (German and English) zine “Warp and Weft” for you to take home. It is a gift wrapped by Kerem Halbrecht, Zwoisy Mears-Clarke, Elena Polzer, and Neda Sadai. And it is also a tracing. It is filled with threads from Ronny Dempers, Tjeripo Katjanuga, and Vitjitua Ndjiharine that trace and cross the Nama, Herero and German modern cultural spaces.
THREAD 6 CONVERSATIONS
This evening wouldn’t be complete without your, our stories. After watching the videos, sewing, reading, playing, reading the zine, we may sense back into our gathered weave. Before we all go home, let’s come together around conversations and maybe some warming tea.
Further reading on the concept:
CONCEPT & CURATION Zwoisy Mears-Clarke and Elena Polzer
CO-CURATION António Pedro Mendes (Colonial Neighbours)
PRODUCTION ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture
COMMUNICATIONS Anna Jäger
GRAPHIC DESIGN Juan Pablo Garcia Sossa (Visual)
ZINE DESIGN Elena Polzer, Kerem Halbrecht (Design Support), Neda Sadai (Audio Support)
GERMAN TRANSLATIONS Utku Mogultay
DOCUMENTATION TINT Filmmakers’ Collective
EVENT SUPPORT Lili Somogyi
A Warp & Weft GbR Production, in collaboration with SAVVY Contemporary and ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture. Funded by the Projektfonds Zeitgeschichte und Erinnerungskultur der Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa des Landes Berlin.