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Tag: Colonialism

The history of the beat is a history of innovations in music technology and socio-historical developments. In the 18th and 19th centuries a square in New Orleans became a weekly meeting point for enslaved and liberated Africans, Americans, and Haitians. The musicologist Freddi Williams Evans on the historical appropriation of the site and its meaning for the emergence of Jazz. To article...

Environmental concepts have their own time. The media historian Orit Halpern describes the engineering-driven transformations of architecture and design since the middle of the 20th century and how they led to ideas of a technological habitat. To article...

Who has the sovereignty of interpretation over history? What new perspectives and approaches to it are possible? The artist, filmmaker, and theater creator Ho Tzu Nyen on the tiger as a metaphor for the historical entanglements between man, nature, and culture in Malaysia and Singapore, the meaning of language and song in his work, and the uncertainties generated by engaging with (colonial) history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...

The writer Rana Dasgupta questions sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos about the state organizing its own erosion and the lack of alternatives to protect our societies from the consequences. To article...

The historian Cemil Aydin about the effects of breaking up multi-ethnic societies and the Ottoman Caliphate as a symbol for Cosmopolitanism. To article...

Is democracy dead? For the launch of the program series Staat 1-4 (2016-2018) from Rimini Protokoll on the decline in state influence in the political sphere and the gaps in the system, the philosopher Boris Buden illuminates the historical “truth” of modern democracy. To article...

How should today’s European societies deal with the damage of the colonial era? With the consequences of the destruction of places, bodies, and identities? And what forms of “reparation” for contemporary injustices would be appropriate? Within the framework of the event Body the artist Kader Attia and the philosopher Françoise Vergès addressed old and new collective wounds, amputations and their associated phantom pain. Hannah Gregory attended the film and discussion evening for the journal and discusses here their complementary positions. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...