O-Extra / Twists: Dance and Decoloniality (cancelled/postponed)

A Critical Research on Dance Institutions by Tanzfabrik Berlin in Cooperation with ada Studio, HZT Berlin, Uferstudios, Freie Universität and Humboldt Universität, advised by Diversity Arts Culture.

»Twists: Dance and Decoloniality« will raise the question of the consequences of colonialism for the dance, its actors and its institutions and tries to counter still existing (post)colonial hegemonies, structural racisms and cultural exclusions. The first phase of the year-round project is a 5-day workshop where existing approaches to decolonization will be introduced, discussed with the participants and together developed further for the field of dance. With Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Tahir Della, Yvette Mutumba, Jay Pather and Rolando Vázquez, who will each hold one workshop day.

The workshop is aimed at artists, curators, dramaturges, producers, journalists, academics and dance mediators. Participation is free, but only possible for the entire period. Please send an application of max. 1-A4-page in English or German with information on professional background, intention and motivation until 22.2.20 to:



14.4.2020 – with Rolando Vázquez
The workshop will explore the major propositions of decolonial thought, as developed by the modernity/coloniality/decoloniality network from Latin America. Then the importance of decolonizing western aesthetics as a move towards decolonial aesthesis will be explained. Decolonial aesthesis works in tandem with decolonial epistemologies. Finally, the workshop will address how decolonial aesthesis interacts with dance, particularly with regards to the end of the contemporary and exiting the body as a site of representation.

Rolando Vázquez is associate professor of sociology at the University College Roosevelt, affiliated to the research institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) and the Gender Studies Department of the University of Utrecht. With Walter Mignolo he has coordinated for eleven Years the Middelburg Decolonial Summer School. In 2016 with Gloria Wekker et. al. he wrote the report of the Diversity Commission of the University of Amsterdam. His work seeks to overcome the dominion of contemporaneity, heteronormativity and modernity/coloniality.

15.4.2020 – with Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro
»Performing With Darkness: Performing in Times of Liberation and Anti-Colonial Resistance«: This session investigates the narratives of black performers in theatre, film and public space and the political strategies of evolving dance into live art. The discussion amplifies on how colonial structures affected performance and memory in the global south and how the trans-missions of anti-colonial resistance led by Black feminists movements in Cameroon, Kenya and Nigeria transformed the way liberation movements developed in South Africa and elsewhere through the Diaspora in film and dance. The session includes a short film screening by Kathleen Collins, a reading of selected texts by Dionne Brand, Audre Lorde and Toni Morrison focusing on African women, memory and resistance within the body & reception of representational frameworks in Western practice; a talk and short exercises on ‘performing archiving histories’ position, movement & solidarity.

Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro merges installations, sonic radio, live art performances, film, and archives. She creates environments for untold narratives of resistance movements by African women and indigenous communities. Sedimented in this narratives are testimonies of sonic nature archives, queering ecologies, and postcolonial feminist experiences. She was among others awarded with Fondation Blachère & Afrique Soleil Mali for Best Artist Dakar Biennale (2012), Arts Council England (2016), Goethe-Institut (2018).

16.4.2020 – with Tahir Della (instead of Carmen Mörsch)
We are very happy to welcome Tahir Della with his important contribution instead of Carmen Mörsch who unfortunately is unable to hold the planned workshop.

This workshop will use quotes from different epochs to depict colonial contiguities. Colonialism is a form of rule that works on the most diverse social levels and therefore the entire society and its structures must also be considered. Only those who understand and know the past are able to understand the questions of the present and the future. The interdependencies of issues such as migration, trade fairness, climate change and social questions must be considered in decolonization and not viewed separately.

Tahir Della is an active member of the »Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland« since 1986. He is campaigning against police measures known as Racial Profiling, takes part in the coming to terms with the colonial past and participates regularly in the protests of the refugees and numerous activities in the field of human rights policy.

17.4.2020 – with Yvette Mutumba
Yvette Mutumba will talk about her practice as an art historian, curator and publicist, which is primarily dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and the global diaspora. With a selection of her projects, she will reflect on methods that attempt to navigate complex historical and contemporary artistic debates and make counter-narratives accessible. Yvette invites the workshop participants* to discuss resulting themes and questions through their own practice.

Yvette Mutumba is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the art magazine Contemporary And (C&). From 2012 to 2016 she was working as curator at Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main. Mutumba studied Art History at Freie Universität Berlin and holds a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. As author and editor she has published numerous texts and books on contemporary art from African perspectives as well as Global Art History. In 2018 she was part of the curatorial team of the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art.

18.4.2020 – with Jay Pather
Even though South Africa achieved its independence in 1994, it was not until 2015, with the Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall protests, that transformation with regards to arts curricula, decoloniality, statues and symbols gathered momentum. A significant outcome was the formation of the Curriculum Change Working Group at the University of Cape Town in 2017 which reflected on legacies and the continued impact of colonial power on the curriculum and chartered some ways to navigate the terrain of undoing colonial legacies. Working through some of the concepts contained in this document Pather will lead a workshop that comprises a theoretical and audio visual presentation as well as practical exercises and games. The latter is inspired by the words of one of the architects of the document Elelwani Ramugondo who wrote of ‘the need to adopt transgressive acts in what is done every day, in order to disrupt the cycle of oppression’ and undo institutional mimicry (borrowing from Homi Bhaba). Practical exercises will also be directed to engender small group discussions around the specific contexts that the participants emerge from.

Jay Pather is a choreographer, multi-media artist, curator, writer and teacher. He is a Professor at the University of Cape Town where he directs the Institute for Creative Arts (ICA). He is curator for the Infecting the City Festival; the ICA Live Art Festival, the Afrovibes Festival (Amsterdam) and co-curator for Body, Image Movement (Madrid), Spier Light Art (Cape Town) and Season Africa 2020 (France).

Uferstr. 23, 13357 Berlin

Level: Professionals
Admission free/With application
In English


Photo: eps51++