An Installation by Karina Griffith
Curated by Andrea Caroline Keppler in conversation with Yvette Mutumba, Dafne Narvaez Berlfein, Shanti Suki Osman and Bahareh Sharifi
The archive is a portal to the past, but it is also a mirror of the present. We can only travel back in time from the current moment – through our memories, our oral histories and our engagement with documents in the here and now. In this sense, any decolonizing of the past requires a decolonizing of the present.
The filmmaker, artist and curator Karina Griffith is District’s Studio and Research Grant holder in the frame of the project Decolonizing 68. Decolonizing 68 aims to question the production of history and to (re)tell the movements of the 1960s from the perspectives of its anti-colonial, diasporic-feminist and black organizations.
Based on her research on the film They Call It Love (1972) by Ghanaian King Ampaw, she followed the traces of Black and PoC filmmakers* in German film archives to expand the genealogies of Black-Authored Cinema in Germany. At the same time, she examines the decolonial role of the moving image. A screen is something onto which we project, but it can also be something that obscures a view. The act of “screening” therefore is both to employ one’s gaze as well as to block the gaze of another.
When the access to the archive is being refused, the task of decolonizing history is made all the more difficult. Reflecting on this knowledge and experience, the installation We Call It Love: An Oppositional Screening combines fragments of her research and shows ways of making the archive visible and accessible again. She asks: How can we recover fifty years of lost spectators?
A project by District Berlin in the framework of Decolonizing 68, an intersectional alliance of the project Art of the Revolt // Revolt of Art, the art spaces Arsenal Gallery Poznan, alpha nova & galerie futura and District and the scholar Peggy Piesche (Gunda-Werna-Institut). Decolonizing 68 inspired the discourse and performance series Revolt she said which runs parallel to the exhibition.