Category Archives: Event

Film premiere “The Empty Grave”

Since October last year, the exhibition “MAREJESHO: The Call for Restitution from the Peoples of Kilimanjaro and Meru” has been running successfully at the Tieranatomisches Theater. In addition, on February 19th 2024, the political documentary “The Empty Grave” celebrated its world premiere at the “75 Berlinale”.
“The Empty Grave” documents John Mbano’s search for the human remains of his great-grandfather Songea Mbano, who was executed by the German colonial army in Tanzania. The filmmakers show great empathy for the protagonists and have managed to give a voice to the descendants of the executed, whose remains are still kept in European and American museums. A film about the colonial past and restitution – and a call for political action. Many thanks to Agnes Lisa Wegner and Cece Mlay.

Across Kilimanjaro and Meru in Tanzania, the legacy of resistance against the German colonial rule beats strong in the hearts of descendants. Only many ancestral witnesses and testimonies from that violent time are missing; waiting to be found languishing in German museum depots. In 1900, Colonial Officers publicly hanged leaders of the local communities and shipped dismembered body parts to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin for racist research. This was further compounded by the theft of personal belongings: local symbols of power, weapons, armory and jewellery. For over 50 years, relatives have been demanding the return of their abducted ancestors. But how to locate them? How to re-memorise belongings of cultural heritage that had been gone for over century? How to repair from the acts of dismemberment and rupture? What action do the descendants expect from Germany?

Together with the exhibition at the Tieranatomisches Theater and the documentary film, these questions are brought to light anew, and call for a first step towards coming to terms with German colonial history.

Image: Filmstill „The Empty Grave” (c) Salzgeber/kurhaus production/Kijiweni Productions

Language in the can. How language ends up in the archive

To mark UNESCO World Mother Language Day on February 21, art and cultural historian Uta Kornmeier will be talking to Mandana Seyfeddinipur (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities), Albrecht Wiedmann (Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv des Ethnologischen Museums) and Christopher Li (Lautarchiv der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) about linguistic field research and language archives, about the documents that are created in the process and what can be researched with them.

Due to illness, this event has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

When: Wed, 21 February 2024, 05:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where: Mechanical Arena in the Foyer of the Humboldt Forum
Free admission
Further information: „WeSearch Extra“ at Humboldt Forum

Image: Gramophone recordings in the Wahn prisoner-of-war camp by Wilhelm Doegen and Alois Brandl, October 1916, photographer unknown. Sound Archive of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

THEATRE OF MEMORY – A neuro-acoustic sound network by Tim Otto Roth at TAT

In the auditorium of the Tieranatomisches Theater (Veterinary Anatomy Theater), the “Theatre of Memory” forms an extraordinary microtonal ensemble: 70 spherical, colourfully illuminated loudspeakers ‘listen’ to each other and excite or inhibit each other via their characteristic sine tones, analogous to nerve cells.

In the immersive sound laboratory, current neuroscientific research can not only be experienced, but music literally becomes nervous: an entire room is transformed into a network of interacting sounds that reflect the fundamental processes in nerve cells that make us sentient and thinking beings. The walk-in sound space composed of communicating loudspeakers not only makes it possible to immerse yourself in the network structure, but also to interact with it via tones and noises.

Duration of the exhibition: 12 January to 10 March 2024.

Further information about the exhibition can be found on the website of the Tieranatomisches Theater.

Theatre of Memory @ TAT
Theatre of Memory @ TAT – Photo: (c) Tim Otto Roth, imachination projects, 2023

Call for Papers: “Music, Archives and Politics in East and West Berlin since 1963: Cosmopolitan, International, Global”

Dear colleagues,

We invite you to submit paper proposals for our conference “Music, Archives and Politics in East and West Berlin since 1963: Cosmopolitan, International, Global,” which will take place in Berlin 3-5 July 2024. The call for papers closes on March 4, 2024. To submit an abstract, please email us your proposal of up to 250 words at eastwest2024@web.de.

We are also offering a workshop program on July 5 in relation to the conference. The Ph.D. and master students can register for a specific workshop until February 17, 2024 at eastwest2024@web.de. All conference participants are welcome to join any one of the workshops.

The conference will take place at the Humboldt Forum, Berlin; workshops will visit other institutions in Berlin and Potsdam. In addition to the workshop track, the conference will also include a concert and several public interviews with eyewitnesses (Zeitzeugen). The conference sessions and workshops will take place either in German or in English.

Call for Papers: “Music, Archives and Politics in East and West Berlin since 1963: Cosmopolitan, International, Global” (PDF)

MAREJESHO: The Call for Restitution from the Peoples of Kilimanjaro and Meru

Exhibition MAREJESHO
Tieranatomisches Theater, Campus Nord, Philippstraße 13/Haus 3, 10115 Berlin

Opening October 12, 6 p.m.
Exhibition duration: October 13, 2023 – June, 2024

Across Kilimanjaro and Meru in Tanzania, the legacy of resistance against the German colonial rule beats strong in the hearts of descendants. Only many ancestral witnesses and testimonies from that violent time are missing; waiting to be found languishing in German museum depots. In 1900, Colonial Officers publicly hanged leaders of the local communities and shipped dismembered body parts to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin for racist research. This was further compounded by the theft of personal belongings: local symbols of power, weapons, armory and jewellery.

For over 50 years, relatives have been demanding the return of their abducted ancestors. But how to locate them? How to rememorise belongings of cultural heritage that had been far for a century? How to repair from the acts of dismemberment and rupture? What action do the descendants expect from Germany?

In 2022, MAREJESHO (Swahili for return, restitution) travelled to six villages across Kilimanjaro and Meru as a mobile research exhibition. The aim was to exchange multi-sourced knowledge and reduce the gap between German museums and communities. Pictures of misappropriated local cultural heritage and historical photographs were presented and information on collections with ancestral remains was shared. Tanzanian artists accompanied the exhibition with live drawings, filmmakers documented oral histories from the villages. Eventually, as a result of the project, the remains of few missing ancestors in Berlin and New York could be identified.

The Berlin iteration of MAREJESHO at TA T focuses on the questions asked, the knowledge generated and the responses of the communities across Kilimanjaro and Meru. The films and artworks made in Tanzania show the necessity of repatriation and restitution, but also the rich oral histories and the complexity of (post-)colonial relations then and now.

MAREJESHO is a Flinn Works production with Berlin Postkolonial and Old Moshi Cultural Tourism Enterprise in cooperation with bafico and APC in collaboration with Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, Zentralarchiv der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Staatliche Ethnographischen Sammlungen Sachsen, Linden Museum Stuttgart and TA T / Humboldt University in Berlin.
Funded by TURN2 fund of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Funded by Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien. Further funding by between bridges.

TA T – Website MAREJESHO

Gesa Grimme and Sarah Elena Link discuss “Afterlives of Empire”

Gesa Grimme and Sarah Elena Link, both Coordination Centre for Scientific University Collections in Germany (HZK), discuss academic collections in general and their sometimes problematic, imperial contexts of origin. The panel discussion with art historian Jo Vickery (Princeton/Berlin) and literary scholar Birgit Neumann (Düsseldorf) will take place within the framework of the research project “Afterlives of Empire – Encounters of Art and Academia”, initiated by Gesa Stedman (HU).

Art students from Oxford and Berlin habe been invited to work at Lichthof Ost, turning the room into a temporary studio, before transforming it back into an exhibition space. The students show how their interaction with several scientific collections at HU as well as with Berlin museums, among them the sound archive, the geographical collections, and the Winckelmann collection, have led to a new understanding of some of the colonial legacies at HU and in Berlin.

The panel discussion will take place on 10 September at 6:30 pm in the Lichthof Ost of the HU main building.

Anthropologies of Technique / Techniques of Anthropology: Final student workshops

Ethnographers have to evolve their methods while investigating other people’s artful practices. How to make sense of other ways of making?

Contemporary multimodal ethnographic approaches are deeply rooted in fieldwork interactions with other knowing and making communities. Describing and theorizing making practices contributes to triggering new interests in material cultures. It also branches out to further studies on embodiment and on the techniques of the self. Telling better stories of making means sharpening our techniques for storytelling, experimenting with new media, and probing other ways of entering into collaboration with epistemic partners.

During the summer semester of 2023, we engaged in four collective fieldworks around technical activities: pottery, boomerang making, 3D sketching, and Iyengar yoga. We experimented with various ways to share the ethnographic experiences of “making” practices into text, drawings, workshops, and virtual installations. Students have also actively explored one technique of their choice during the course and documented their practice with a fieldwork notebook, using various techniques such as writing, sketching, 360° captures, etc.

Together on 14.07.2023, we will share our findings with the public in workshop formats, during which students will share their insights, their journals, and their newly acquired practices.

This seminar was taught by Prof. Sharon Macdonald and Dr. Maxime Le Calvé at the Helmholz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, part of the curriculum of the Master programme “Ethnography” at the Institute für Europeäische Ethnographie (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).

AnthroTech2023

EXTENDED HOURS

EXTENDED HOURS – A performance series in three acts.

Kleine Humboldt Galerie invites three young female artists from Berlin to show their performances in the historic buildings of the Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute and the Tieranatomisches Theater on Friday evenings during June and July 2023.

As a series, Extended Hours brings together three independent performances by the artists Lottie Sebes, Selin Davasse, and Elena Francalanci. After hours, the abandoned university buildings develop into sites for new, alternative knowledge practices. In the void, possibilities emerge: Embodied, narrative and sound-based expressions respond to the buildings in multi-sensory and exploratory ways. The artists make audible the histories embedded in the sites and invite both technical and animal voices to speak. Their interventions open up feminist narratives and explore the dimensions of silence.

Time becomes an individual sensation rather than a standardized unit, while the shared experience creates collectivity. Extended Hours provides a framework in which these potentials can reverberate and visitors can linger.

Further information and program: KHG – EXTENDED HOURS

KHG - Extended Hours
KHG – Extended Hours – Graphic © Ida Kauter

Curating as a cultural technique

Daniel Tyradellis, Vice Director of the Helmholtz Zentrum, will discuss in a panel discussion with cultural practitioners in Gera on 16 June 2023, starting at 6 pm: What can culture contribute to the cohesion of society today? What is the role of curating as a transdisciplinary cultural technique in a knowledge society?

Friday, 16.06.2023, 6.00 p.m.
Altes Wannenbad
Event space of the Kulturhaus Häselburg Gera

Keynote address of the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival

Daniel Tyradellis, Vice Director of the Helmholtz Zentrum, will open the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival 2023 on 9.6.2023 with a ceremonial keynote address: “In Friendship. Of family ties, fraternal strife and elective affinities in music”.
At the same time, a podcast on Spotify of a conversation between Tyradellis and Intendant Dorothee Oberlinger on the topic will be released.

For further information, please visit the website of the Music Festival Potsdam Sanssouci.

Photo: Accademia Bizantina, Ottavio Dantone © Giulia Papetti