Sreening, Performance and Conversations

11. – 12.11.2022
»Haunted waters, healing spaces«
with Memory Biwa, Meghna Singh, Greer Valley, Robert Machiri and …thabo thindi

A de-colonial encounter on the strategies and utopias of resistance, remembering and healing in the port cities of Hamburg and Cape Town.Curated by Cornelia Knoll

The element of water carries and connects. Especially in non-Western contexts, its healing effect is well known. The colonial connections between Hamburg, Germany and Cape Town, South Africa still exist today. Many of them invisible, but their effects still felt. South Africa, and especially Cape Town, a vacation destination considered by many to be 'hip', is at the same time a country still marked by the trauma of colonialism and apartheid. The two port cities have many visible and invisible connections and commonalities, such as the ships of the Deutsche Afrika Linie, visibly anchored in the harbor of Cape Town regularly.
Conversations and exchanges that started in South Africa with Memory Biwa, Greer Valley, Meghna Singh, Zayaan Khan and Toni Stuart have continued and resonated since and are now crossing over to Hamburg/Germany. Some of these artists are coming to Hamburg for this first encounter to engage in a collaborative exchange. Together, we want to create a temporary, open space to discover commonalities in a collective, informal gathering — to exchange about de-colonial practices of remembering and strategies of healing here in Hamburg and in Cape Town. Connected by water, via the port cities, let us explore these themes through the lens of this strong element, to mutually strengthen, learn and un-learn from each other and to be together.

If this resonates with you, please join us.

PROGRAMME ( In English)

Friday 11.11. 2022, 7pm – Filmscreening & discussion with filmmaker …thabo thindi

Black faces in white? space Film by ...thabo thindi - the documentary film Black faces in white? space explores the dynamics and complexities of being “Black” in a country that views itself as homogeneously white¿ as witnessed by the filmmaker striving to create new perspectives about Blackness. . What does it mean to be Black in Germany?

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Saturday 12.11.2022, 1pm – 3pm – Workshop by Greer Valley

Reflecting on colonial traces and haunted spaces. In the spirit of “Walking together as a way of feeling” we want to collectively engage with harbor sites. Collective walking, thinking and mapping. Registration required.
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Saturday 12.11.2022, 7pm – Talk by Meghna Singh about her work and Installation

Saturday 12.11.2022, 8pm – Connected by water?

Collective Reflection and Conversation with Memory Biwa, Greer Valley, Meghna Singh & Cornelia Knoll
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Memory Biwa & Robert Machiri
Video Installation/Projection: The Rusting Diamond, South Africa, HD Video 13', Meghna Singh

Installation by Meghna Singh

The Rusting Diamond presents the inter-related complexities of capitalism, labor and migration through the metaphor of a slowly sinking rusting deep-sea diamond-mining vessel that operated in Namibia. Caught up within global capitalist politics of diamond cartels making money in Africa, the ship has been left to decay at the port of Cape Town for the last 8 years. In its’ state of decay, it provides shelter to a few illegal Ghanaian immigrants who inhabit the ship. This space reflects on a certain debris of capitalism: a vessel used for the purpose of diamond mining, now abandoned due to business agreements between rich international companies. The half submerged ship focuses our attention to the creation of abandoned spaces and precarious lives in Africa. It brings our attention to the precarious nature of the existence of these men whose daily routine involves the pumping out of water to keep the ship afloat. Scared to venture out due to the xenophobic attacks against foreign Africans in South Africa, their lives are enthralled to a sinking ship.

Saturday 12.11.2022, 9pm – Sound performance by Robert Machiri

This encounter format in the form of a collaborative approach will mark the beginning of a longer-term creative exchange format and give the invited artists and curators a first opportunity to get to know the city of Hamburg and to exchange with local artists, activists and the wider public.


Memory Biwa

Memory Biwa is a historian, and artist. Her work addresses memorial and reparative processes in Namibia, which encompasses a wider discourse on restitution and reparations. Biwa’s focus on oral narratives and performance informs notions of subjectivity and the re-centering of alternative epistemologies and imaginaries.

Robert Machiri

Robert Machiri is a sound artist and hoarder of sound-related objects. Machiri’s work exists at the juncture of two streams of practice; curatorial concepts founded through the notion of conviviality and art as pedagogy. Biwa and Robert Machiri form the duo, ‘Listening at Pungwe’, and are recipients of the 2021 DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program.

Meghna Singh

Meghna Singh is a visual artist and a researcher with a PhD in visual anthropology from the University of Cape Town. Working with mediums of video installation and XR (extended reality), blurring boundaries between documentary and fiction, she creates immersive environments highlighting issues of ‘humanism’. Her focus is on the theme of critical mobilities, migration and oceanic crossings. She recently completed a post-doctorate on a project titled ECOHES European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cites where she focused on the work of arts and activists in South Africa. She is a National Geographic Fellow, an associate fellow at the African Centre for migration and Society, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg. Meghna has shown work at the International Venice Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival.

…thabo thindi

My life journey began in Huhudi township in North-West Province of South Africa where I was born. As a child I had many puzzling questions as to why white people treated us, Black people with such deep hostility accompanied by brutal violence and yet we were still regarded as dangerous devils and them as saints. Currently I am based in Berlin, the city that one could loosely say re-institutionalized the continuation of this oppression and exploitation of black people during and through the so-called 1884 Berlin Congo Conference. For the moment my life occupation which some might call work is focused on healing, empowering and connecting the Black masses using few tools at my disposal being photography, film, words and my body in order to continue the struggle to liberate us from the yoke of the white men. I personally prefer rather not to be boxed into any kind of categorization but instead to simply be seen as a human being who is a witness of life.

Greer Valley

Greer Valley is a lecturer in History of Art at the Wits School Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and an independent curator and writer. She currently serves on the Africa South Arts Initiative (ASAI) board and as a member of council and Vice President of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Society of Arts. In 2022, she was a guest curator at the Dak'art Biennial in Dakar, Senegal where she presented the exhibition, Unsettled. Her current research and practice interests include curatorial interventions and exhibitions that examine South African colonial histories. 

Cornelia Knoll

Cornelia Knoll is a sociologist and curator, who has worked on various cultural and educational projects in South Africa from 2009-2016, including at the District Six Museum in Cape Town. From 2017 – 2020, Cornelia was part of the team of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin. In 2018, as a fellow at ICA – Institute for Creative Arts at the University of Cape Town, she curated the collaborative art project “Untangling Colonial Ecologies”. Cornelia has been working as a research assistant at TheMuseumsLab since September 2022. Furthermore, she is an active counsellor at the Geflüchtetenberatung at Runder Tisch Blankenese – Hilfe für Geflüchtete.  


Kulturbeoerde Hamburg