Freitag, 12. November 2021

This is how we learn and grow - on (de-)colonization


Some of my 'older' works on my website feel outdated from a decolonial point of view and I would probably not make them the same way with the awareness I have by now: 
Also Ein Schwarzes muss es immer geben is certainly debatable, although it is deeply personal and emphazises the need for contrast.
I have learned a lot since then from the field I am in and from the discussion that is going on around me, e.g. from the people at SAVVY contemporary
But I decided to keep the works on the website anyways, as life is a constant learning process and part of being an artist.

The postcard project Grüße aus Kpalimé is a reenactment of the colonial habit of writing postcards from the colonies as an act of ruling, but it remains to the writer, of how conscious he /she uses this.
The work Koloniales Muster however shows full awareness of the colonial patterns we are still in nowadays: 
Colonial pattern is a sample for a larger project, which I realized with Kofa Bataka in Togo: 50/50 does't mean we're even now (not displayed on the website yet).
The project is about the imbalance between the global south and the global north, between CFA and Euro, but also between being an academically trained european midcareer artist and a young self-taught togoan artist, both struggeling in their own way with life and being a professional.

I thought up a concept and Kofa helped me to realize it. Through this I helped him to finance his apprenticeship as a hairdresser in Kpalimé, Togo.
One could say: A classical way of white saviourism, if one whishes to do so. 
Or one could say: A private form of development aid. This is certainly true. 
"That is so, Mommy"  (a lovely quote from: An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma)
The project derived from deep sympathy for a befriended young and extremely talented artist, in whom I saw myself. I wanted to create something to help him grow and at the same time create a form for expressing on how we are intertwined by our colonial history. 
No, it is not a project which decolonizes something. It rather emphazises the existing asymmetrical economic, as the result of the still exisitng colonial structures. On a deeper level the project deals with the universal question on how to thrive in the context in which we liive, be it Europe or Africa.
If I am going to sell the piece, I will split with Kofa 50/50. This will finance me for one month. He will be able to buy a plot of Land in Togo for farming - his dream.