Dekoloniale Berlin Residency 2021 (Germany)

The cultural project Dekoloniale Memory Culture in the City is pleased to announce the first open call for the Dekoloniale Berlin Residency in 2021. They invite artists, architects, designers, writers, and urban practitioners to apply for a residency at Dekoloniale Memory Culture in the City in Berlin. Applicants are invited to uncover and transform historical colonial stratifications and dominant narratives in Berlin's public space as well as traces of its preceding histories of involvement in the European trade of enslaved Africans. They welcome proposals that engage directly with the sites or topics of the first Dekoloniale [Re]presentation exhibition, Gazing Back[wards], and with the colonial history of Berlin and Germany at large, while questioning the colonial connotations of exhibiting in general.

The year 2021 marks the 125th anniversary of the First German Colonial Exhibition. Held in 1896 in Berlin's Treptower Park, the show presented itself as a trade fair for Berlin's and Germany's colonial economy, enabling the German Empire to distinguish itself as a colonial power. Part of this staging was the display of people from the German colonies in the context of stereotyping Völkerschauen (human zoos). Scientists, including anthropologists, conducted studies on the people on display. The Colonial Exhibition exemplifies the importance of staging and performativity for the colonial project, but also illustrates various activities of self-assertion by the colonised against foreign categorisations. Moreover, it was an example of how politics, economics, the entertainment industry, and science functioned as reciprocal resources in the colonial era, mutually reinforcing one another.

The two selected residents are expected to co-create an artistic intervention in the public sphere and are encouraged to consider hybrid modes of thought, research, and practice. The organisers favour collaborative formats and forms of expression that expand disciplinary boundaries. The forms that the work produced might take range from a physical structure in the Treptower Park to a regionally distributed publication.

The two residents are expected to develop a collaborative work within the period of August to October 2021, with a final public presentation on October 16th. Speakers of all mother tongues are encouraged to apply, however please note that the two residents are expected to be able to communicate and collaborate in English. The residents are provided with travel costs, accommodation and a per diem in Berlin throughout the residency period, a production budget for the implementation of the joint project, and a fee. They will have full access to the Dekoloniale project space, curatorial guidance, and production support depending on needs and availability.

Deadline: 23 April 2021

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