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Re-Enactment of Things
26.—31.10.2021 | M.Bassy & MARKK

It is well known that the city of Hamburg was significantly involved in the German / European colonial history: For instance that Hamburgs biggest ship owner and merchant A. Woermann was successfully convincing Bismarck to occupy territory in Namibia and to initiate the so called Congo Conference because his interest was to expand in order to secure new markets on the African continent.

An attempt to understand the silences of the Ongoma, the drum of the Owambo people. This project will take us to the Kingdoms of Ovamboland of Northern Namibia and Southern Angola. An animistic, intimate and subjective journey into the realms of the Ongoma. A powerfully threatening instrument to the extent of paganization. The drum itself has no gender (?) but its handler and the spirits attributed definitely natured masculine. The Ongoma will have to be found in museums and books, handled with care; maybe caressed or played by whom who dares! Little is known, perhaps always meant to be in that way. Did it really disappear? How or why? How did it look like? Where was it made? How and from What was it made from? And by Whom?

Hamburgs port also played an important role as it initially served to ship the materials needed for the settlement of countless Germans who moved to Togo, Kamerun, Tansania and Namibia (building materials, furniture, household goods - especially rails, which were used to build railway lines throughout Africa). Likewise, the Africa Terminal became the receiving point of all appropriated 'objects' like raw materials and tons of so-called 'research objects' such as: animals, plants, human skulls and bones, artefacts, spiritual goods, art, clothing, weapons and many more....A little later thousands of German soldiers were sent by ships, next to weapons and horses to fight the Herero / Nama uprising in Namibia. Zoo director Hagenbeck supported the war with 2.000 camels, for the Germans to be well equipped for the desert - in addition to the well known 'Völkerschauen'. Later Hamburgs university was founded for the purpose of researching colonial 'objects'.

Funded by Elbkulturfonds Hamburg and the Goethe Institut. In Cooperation with MARKK, CROSSINGS e.V. and M.Bassy e.V.

26.10.2021 | Re-Enactment of Things | female perspectives on decolonisation | Claude Jansen & Bisrat Negassi | Opening Talk | M.Bassy

To get a deeper picture of Hamburg's colonial history, the project “Re-Enactment of Things” focusses on all so-called ‚looted objects'. The countless items that German colonialists have stolen, appropriated and mislabeled.

Our work begins with a reflection on the concept of European identity: Humanism the so called great invention of the occident - based on the binary system of 'objects' and its counterpart the 'subject'. Only a subject is ‚human’, with the power to act, since it is capable of reason: „I think, therefore I am“ – the foundation of white, male, hegemonic power. A system that did not only legitimise colonialism - it actually fueled it: white man's carte blanche to take ownership of the entire planet and turn everything that doesn’t ‚think‘ into a category that doesn't ‚exist‘. Countless 'objects' have been exploited, enslaved, killed, humiliated, used for 'scientific' purposes like racial theories, or exhibitions. Now these 'objects' have opened up a debate about their colonial past. The last witnesses who become vital actors and narrators of a story that is ready to be told, to be re-enacted, to be re-enchanted, to be re-animated.

Re-Enactment of Things will tell the stories of THINGS in many ways. The narrative of THINGS will guide the curatorial work and define a different space of performative practices like conversations, lectures, performances and visual arts in relation to and in conversation with so called ‚objects‘.

With this work, we would like to present a different perspective of the world, away from provincial binary power concepts. Come in Tent and dive into a deep and complex world of interrelationships, entanglements and different knowledge systems.

26.10.2021 | Nana Oforiatta Ayim | The Voice of All Things | Film | M.Bassy

Although I have been working on a strategy of restitution for Ghana, the repatriation dynamic strikes me one of great polemics and an echo of the colonial dynamic in which white, male voices are the most dominant. What really is being done towards healing and repair? What are the things that were taken and by whom? How do we create spaces of cohesion and transition? Of all the things on the inventories of museums in the West, little is known of where they came from, how they came to be in these museums, and what their purpose or meanings is and was. I look at a few objects from the MARKK museum in Hamburg and try and tell their stories.

26.10.2021 | Lerato Shadi | Gatwe e rile | Story | M.Bassy

For RE-ENACTMENT OF THINGS Lerato Shadi will tell a story, centered around a figure that is in the MARKK depot. A white wooden sculpture with two snakes wrapped around it and with a third snake in its raised hand. Shadi is interested in the role that stories play. How the stories we tell and re-tell about who we are shape us, along with how the stories we create about who we are affect us.

26.-31.10.2021 | Wura-Natasha Ogunji | Bronze Casting in Benin City | Exhibition | M.Bassy

These images are from my research in the Nigerian city of Benin which has a long and rich history of bronze casting. I worked with a seventh-generation bronze caster to learn the entire process of creating metal objects from creation of the molds to building and firing of the molds in the kiln to pouring of the molten metal and careful finishing of the objects. I was deeply interested in the process and materiality of the craft, as well as the physical actions and gestures which have been repeated over generations. In most of my experiments, I used organic objects – instead of wax – to make the brass objects. While most discussions of return and restitution focus on historical loss, I am interested in historical presence and continuity. The traditions in Benin City offer a beautiful testament to cultural continuity, rather than absence, as they speak to practices that have thrived throughout.

26.-31.10.2021 | Jumoke Olusanmi | Silent Masquerade | Exhibition | M.Bassy

Fast, rhythmically complex jumps, the turning and rotating of the shoulders, violent contractions of the chest combined with precise footwork announce the arrival of the ancestors. The masked members of the Egungun cult of the dead connect with the deceased in polyrhythmic dances. In the Yoruba kingdoms, the Egungun gave life and took it. With the help of a scalpel, Jumoke Olusanmi perforates the silent murmuring and frozen swaying of the Egungun on paper.

26.10.2021 | L.I.N.E.S (former YOUNG DC) | Everything is Connected | Performance | MARKK

During the performance “Everything Is Connected” six young performers will interact with ‚looted objects' that are sleeping in museums for more than 100 years. The performers have chosen different Yoruba masks, with which (or with whom) they interact through music, dance, poetry.

„We have learned from the Yoruba believe system that everything has a natural asé - a life energy and that's why on earth everything is connected. Through art we will try to connect to the masks and their inner self – as a form of decolonization of them and us. By taking the pieces out of the boxes and shelfs, blowing away the dust, we will give respect to the old energies and ancient cosmic systems. We also worked on animal movements, the way animals behave and communicate. They behave and move naturally in their environment, what humans have lost with the time. The transformation from animal to human or mask to human – all the in-between states between different energies is something we have been working with.“

by and with Alex Andrews, Diana Arnhold, Maya Cechrak, Nishan Karki, Emma Marks, Luzie Wagenknecht Musicproduction Tobias Neumann Productionsdramaturgy Anja E. Redecker (PK3000) Artistic Direction Claude Jansen und Sarah Lasaki

Funded by Neustart Kultur, Fonds Soziokultur – A cooperation with “Re-Enactment of Things”, COME IN TENT and MARKK.

27.10.2021 | Anne Schönharting | The Heritage* | Talk | M.Bassy

Some families have a guest room, my family had a so called 'Africa room'. It was a place for the collection of my great-grandfather Willy Klare. He was a plantation manager on a cocoa farm in a place that is now called Equatorial Guinea. In the early 20iest century he collected numerous of objects: weapons, everyday objects, taxidermy and jewelry. In addition, there were hundreds of photographs, as well as letters and postcards from that period. For more than a hundred years (four generations), my family held on to this collection, it was (re-) arranged again and again, even when we moved houses, cities.

In the DDR, where I grew up, this room was a symbol for far away places and expanse, for the freedom to travel. Africa, for me as a child, has been a place of longing - the colonial background of the artifacts in relation to my own family history, remained largely unreflected, the provenance of the objects unquestioned. After the death of my parents I was confronted with this heritage. Being a photographer, I have worked with every single object and put it into different contexts, replaced it, travelled with it, worked with it. Through my personal arrangements of the surviving objects, my sighting and curating all these photographs and documents, a book came out - a seek for a perspective and an awareness of my own colonial family heritage.

*Trigger warning: colonial documents and pictures.

28.10.2021 | Opening Night | 30.-31.10., Shows: Zandile Darko – Dedicated to The Turtle That Never Was* | Performance | M.Bassy

Zandile Darko – or should we rather say a turtle? – mediates through different times and spaces, sharing her relations to humans, animals, ancestors and archives. The artist’s imagination is as much a source for stories as encounters with family members and one very specific turtle. It all started with colonial objects at the Zoological Museum in Zandile’s hometown Hamburg. Well, it started when she engaged with a specific turtle at the Zoological museum: the turtle that never was…

Concept, performance, text Zandile Darko Outside eye, concept, costume Jelka Plate Dramaturgy, concept Claude Jansen With texts by Bernard Darko, Grethlis Talvik Soundscape Freya F. Röbbert Special thanks to Yasmeen Ghrawi

Funded by Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Behörde für Kultur und Medien Hamburg – A cooperation with „Re-Enactment of Things” and COME IN TENT.

*after an article by Jef Akst

29.10.2021 | Aino Moongo & Sarah Lasaki | The Silences of the ONGOMA - the Drum of the Owambo People ONGOMATOLOGY: RESONATION | Performance | MARKK

“Have you ever heard or seen a drum from Ovamboland? Neither did I“ - says Aino Moongo, Namibian curator and initiator of the Ongoma Drum research project. "The drums disappeared not only in Namibia, but also in many other African communities. They were either destroyed or stolen, to erase our societies, our language, our secrets, our knowledge, our rituals.”

Aino found three drums in Hamburg. Together with the choreographer and body percussionist Sarah Lasaki, a journey of interaction will start. The two women will raise questions like: What stories can the drum give us? How far back in time will it take us? Will the ONGOMA guide us through stories of seeds, trees, honey, migration, skirts, beets, dance, songs, rituals, religions, and rhythm? Will it be a happy or tearful journey? Will we pick up its heartbeat?

This project tackles existence; being and becoming from deeply personal perspectives. As one with the Ongoma, the drum of the Ovambo people of northern Namibia and southern Angola; we will attempt to unearth forgotten and create new realities. Find concepts inside and outside written books. A temporal and spatially limitless journey into the unbeknownst. To begin the journey let us start by hearing patterns of the Ongoma; sound our bodies and praise ourselves in a three Step Performance:

1. COLLECTIVE-INTIMATE-RHYTHMIC HEIGHTS: Body Percussion with Sarah Lasaki and Performers. Instances to rediscover our collective bodies and resound the Ongoma basic beats. 2. SOUNDING THE ONGOMA Drumming with Jackson Wahengo 3. OKU LITANGA: TIME TO PRAISE ONESELF – GIVE RESPECT With Jackson Wahengo (in Oshiwambo), Aino Moongo (in English)

29.10.2021 | Jumoke Olusanmi & Block Barley | Dancing Into Futures DJ-Set | Ancestral communication in space and time with Jumoke Olusanmi & Block Barley | MARKK

31.10.2021 | Tea Talk & Embroidery with COME IN TENT | M.Bassy

Curation: Claude Jansen, Bisrat Negassi Dramaturgie / Produktion : Katja Kruglikova, Anja E. Redecker, PK3000 / Fotografie: Simone Scardovelli / Film: Manuel Marano / Grafik: JUNO Hamburg / Assistenz: Pauline Schönfelder, Leah Lomb