October 13-14, 2017
Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg

The Colonial Neighbours team is invited to present and discuss S A V V Y’s participatory archive project on German colonial history at the symposium “Translating Pasts into Futures. Decolonial Perspectives on Things in Art, Design & Film” at Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg.

Speculations and fictions allow us to journey through time, drawing on the narratives of the pasts to craft and shape possible futures. These narratives have the potential to influence the present, and they call a linear conception of time into question. Stories shatter into fragments, bound together diagrammatically or as a bricolage, queering historical narratives, regimes, and geographies.

What sort of futures will be created in the rereading of past eras? Is the future already colonized? What sort of postcolonial strategies are being developed in contemporary design, contemporary art, and film for the shaping and creation of possible futures?

The conference focuses on observations of temporality with regard to the function, production, use, and significance of things in colonial, decolonial, and postcolonial contexts. Questions arising from this theme include: How does the temporal interchange of things come about? How should we deal with omissions and absences of things in archives? What sort of transformational potential is inherent in things, or assigned to them? Can things be translated, or do they themselves do the translating? Can things—or the way they are used and perceived—be emancipated from their contexts?

Full Program

Participation is free of charge.
Please register via email at




October 7, 2017
Neue Galerie Wünsdorf (Brandenburg)

From 3pm

A performative reading by Marlon Denzel van Rooyen and Jorinde Splettstößer from Colonial Neighbours at the finissage of exhibition and art festival I AM SAFE at Neue Galerie Wünsdorf.


A Strategy of Safety: 10 Acts of Resistance and a Letter.

When we find ourselves in a precarious situation, resistance offers the potential for us to feel safer. In the last centuries on the African continent numerous acts of resistance against colonialism have been born out of a need for safety – safety being defined by the possibility of living a bearable life. Strategies of resistance as strategies of safety – A reading of 10 Acts of Resistance and a Letter aims for political listening and rethinking of the notion of safety in times of ongoing colonial violence.





MADRASSA: programme régional de formation aux pratiques curatoriales contemporaines

October 5 – 9th 2015, L’Atelier de l’Observatoire, Casablanca, Marocco

We are very honored to participate in this wonderful programme by L’Atelier de l’Observatoire and present the project Colonial Neighbours in Casablanca!

Pendant 5 jours, les participants assistent à des modules de formations, des rencontres, visites, présentations, études de cas et ateliers pratiques menés par des professionnels régionaux et internationaux, pour penser collectivement les pratiques curatoriales contemporaines.

Interventions: Yasmina Reggad, Antonia Alampi, Gallien Dejean, Hicham Khalidi, Bérénice Saliou, Chourouk Hriech, Lena Monnier, Olga Rozenblum, Filipa Ramos, Maud Houssais, Yasmina Naji, Karima Boudou et Soufiane Ababri, Elisabeth Piskernik, Abdelaziz Idrissi, Hind el Ayoubi, Lynhan Balatbat et Marleen Schröder
et la participation de Hans Ulrich Obrist.



Colonial Neighbours Filmscreening

June 28th 2015, SAVVY Contemporary
Screening of Les Statues Meurent Aussi (R: Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Ghislain Cloquet, 1953, 30min)

Join us for a screening and roundtable discussion of Les statues meurent aussi by Alain Resnais and Chris Marker. We would like to use this screening as an opportunity to brainstorm the contextualization of objects, and to discuss other critical questions regarding the project Colonial Neighbours.

Les statues meurent aussi focuses on historical African artifacts and the distortions that occur when European colonizers take them into their own hands, turning them into lifeless objects that lose their original significance.


Visionary Archive Flyer

Colonial Neighbours at  Visionary Archive Festival

May 28th 2015, Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V, Potsdamer Straße 2, 10785 Berlin
Screening of Making of History (Constanze Fischbeck, Daniel Kötter, D 2012, Digital file, OmE, 48 min) with subsequent discussion.

Colonial Neighbours was invited to take part in the Visionary Archive Festival at Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. Visionary Archive is a combination of locally motivated research projects based on individual initiatives that examine highly disparate, largely unexplored collections of films in Berlin, Bissau, Johannesburg, Cairo and Khartoum. Colonial Neighbours embarked on a journey into Arsenal‘s collection of films. Constanze Fischbeck and Daniel Kötter‘s Making of History  serves them as a rich source for questions about the construction of memory.

For the festival program and more information, click here.


Colonial Neighbours featured on rbb Kulturradio

May 21st 2015, 07:04 – 07:30 pm

Radio Feature: KULTURTERMIN. Perspektiven aus Afrika: Das Visionary Archive im Berliner Kino Arsenal vorgestellt von Eckhard Weber.

On the occasion of our contribution to the Visionary Archive Festival (Arsenal Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V.), we were interviewed by rbb Kulturradio as part of a radio feature about the festival.


Bildschirmfoto 2015-01-16 um 11.58.26 

Colonial Neighbours exhibition at Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesvertretung

Jan 20th 2015, 6-8pm at SAVVY Contemporary
Closing Event

Colonial Neighbours is a participatory archive and research project about Germany’s colonial history. During the last year the project was invited by the Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung / M.1 to present an exhibition at the representation of Land Schleswig-Holstein in Berlin. The project was presented from January 2014 until December 2014 within the conference rooms of the institution. The Arthur Boskamp foundation and the representation of the Land Schleswig Holstein and SAVVY Contemporary would like to cordially invite you to the closing event on the 20th of January.



Colonial Neighbours as part of WIR SIND ALLE BERLINER: 1884 – 2014. 

15th Nov 2014 – 26th Feb 2015, SAVVY Contemporary 
Exhibition curated by Simon Njami

November 2014 marks the 130th anniversary of the Berlin Congo Conference and the official partitioning of Africa by Western (European, North American and Ottoman) colonial forces – in absence of African representatives. It is against this backdrop that the exhibition WIR SIND ALLE BERLINER: 1884-2014 reminisces this determining moment in world and its severe and ongoing repercussions and history and reflects upon Berlin’s historical and contemporary bond to Africa. As part of the exhibition the project Colonial Neighbours was pleased to present a first „archival draft“ of its participatory archive project.


CN Schleswig2

Colonial Neighbours exhibition at Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesvertretung

Feb 13th 2014, 6.30pm
Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesvertretung, Ministergärten 8, 10117 Berlin
Exhibition Opening

Jan – Dec 2014

The project Colonial Neighbours aims at addressing gaps in Germany’s politics of memory and challenging dominant bodies of knowledge by creating an archive of German colonial history. The archive serves as an information space, in which art, politics and science come and work together. Personalization of history encourages the deconstruction of threadbare perspectives. Historical and contemporary everyday objects, memorabilia and other artefacts narrating the entangled histories of the imaginary geographies of Germany and its former colonies, should be collected and worked on.

On February 13, in cooperation with Michael Bonk, the artistic director of Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung / M.1 in Hohenlockstedt, SAVVY Contemporary presented a preview of the project Colonial Neighbours, coordinated by Lisa Hillers and Bonaventure Ndikung, at the “Seitenflügel Vernissage“ in Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesvertretung. The evening featured short interviews with the Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein Torsten Albig, curator Michael Bonk, and Ulrike Boskamp, the head of Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung/M.1


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