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Archiving the Mo(ve)ment by Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin

5 Jun 2020 – 13 Sep 2020

ACUD

Berlin
Berlin, Germany

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Omonblanks will document conversations with people from the Black and African communities living in Berlin, and make connections between Berlin and Accra/Lagos. the project will involve many different protagonists into online conversations, discussions and performances

About

#ARCHIVING #THE #MO(VE)MENT #ONLINE #EDITION

Presented by Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin & in collaboration with COLLECTIVE PRACTICES

ABOUT

This series looks into creating narratives of what it means to be Black and African today, as a collective practice. As part of a wider project (TAC - http://theartconcept.org/), Omonblanks facilitates and documents multifaceted and collaborative oral histories of lived experiences of Black and African people on the continent and in the diaspora. This chapter, taking place in the context of COLLECTIVE PRACTICES – focuses on the current pandemic moment. Previously planned as a weekend gathering of conversations, screenings, exhibition, music and food - the project now takes shape in the digital space.

With their long term conversation and archiving initiative, one of TAC’s aims is to expand narratives of African and Black identities, coming out of the multiplicities of African and Black communities. To the present day, widely available knowledge and attitudes about African people are so entangled with stereotypes, often shaped and told from outside of the continent, that they frequently remain confused or clichéd, even for the protagonists themselves. The overall documenting and archiving project is both a critical intervention, as well as a recapture and return of ownership of narrative, and an increase in volume, diversity and visibility of stories told by Black and African people of various backgrounds.

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In collaboration with COLLECTIVE PRACTICES, Omonblanks will document conversations with people from the Black and African communities living in Berlin, and make connections between Berlin and Accra/Lagos. And while not being able to create a physical gathering at ACUD, the project will involve many different protagonists into online conversations, discussions and performances – that will all form part of the multifaceted narratives and the growing archive by TAC of Black and African perspectives.

PROGRAMME

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The conversations with Berlin-based Black and African people of various backgrounds examine lived experiences during the current pandemic moment. How are we experiencing this period? What are we learning? What visions for the future are emerging? How are we addressing struggles and anxieties? What roles do collectives and community play at the current moment? The Berlin conversations form part of a wider series of conversations held with people internationally (https://www.instagram.com/omonblanks/).

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Photography is a way of storytelling. We meet Accra based visual artist Eric Gyamfi in his studio for a unique visit behind the scenes. Eric Gyamfi uses photography as a tool for social commentary, storytelling and documentation of the moment, as a mode of communication and social critique. The studio visit allows for a a wider audience to explore his images and the stories behind them, and interact with the artist.

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This conversation brings together Berlin-based artists and cultural workers with colleagues living outside Germany to reflect together on strategies to survive during times that do not allow for an audience or community to come together in a physical space. With shows and performances cancelled indefinitely, how are we as a creative community coping? How can we support each other collectively? What are our plans for the future? How does the current moment affect our creative practice? The discussion is open for the public to ask questions, contribute ideas, and interact with the speakers.

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The concert night brings sonic and musical expressions to contribute their narratives, in two special performances, from Accra and Berlin respectively. Musical contributions are particularly interesting to the project, as they hold the potential to expand expression into embodied, emotional and speculative spheres.

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With a panel of Black and African storytellers, curators, activists and archivists based in Berlin we talk about the practice of documenting, exhibiting, sharing and producing black stories, particularly in a white European context.
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In an online exhibition, all one on one conversations with Black and African people based in Berlin, that have been recorded over the summer, are presented.
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The audience is invited to a multimedia time capsule, transporting the attendees to Gold Coast/Ghana in the 1950s. This includes fragments from the country's music and visual archives, leading back to the scene of the independence movements, remembering Ghana as the first African country that was freed of colonial rule.

ABOUT

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Omonblanks is a creative director, festival curator, producer and programer; he has a 15-year career in music, film and as an indie label and record producer. He is the founder & creative director of TAC (The Art Concept) organisation, a documentation and archive-focused platform, interested in studying African and Black societies from community, city and country perspectives. This is where he researches, documents towards the building of an archive.

Photo by Selorm Jay

If you are interested to take part in a conversation, you can reach out to Omonblanks directly: omonblanks@gmail.com

Curators

Andrea Goetzke

TAC Organisation

Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin

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