the roots of our hands deep as revolt
ACT #1: DAARAY SUUF (The School of the Earth), is a multidisciplinary and collective exhibition. By transforming the space of KENU into sacred wood, resembling the places of initiatory transmission in Africa, KENU invites us to revisit the links between humans and the other inhabitants of the earth, to return to the roots, to relearn to listen to the lessons of possibilities that the various Living Beings which constitute and inhabit the earth convey to us thousands of years. The intention is to decolonize the imaginary of modern ecology, by putting forward African perspectives and knowledge in the field of environmentalism, cohabitation and management of natural resources.
By highlighting the close links with the living, it sheds light on how African communities have developed sustainable methods to manage natural resources, long before the arrival of colonization, and how these practices persist today. In doing so, it emphasizes the urgency of valuing them as viable alternatives to the dominant approach of Western ecology. The artists are exploring these issues by focussing on "Takkamtiku" (The Art of Enjoying African Flavors); "Xam-Xamu-Makh" (Termite Knowledge); "I-Saas" (The Tree of Life); "The Ecologies of Sound" and "The Guardinas of the Temple".
Exhibited at KENU - LAB’Oratoire in Dakar
Grasping Things at the Roots
The struggles for nature access, clean air and water, public parks and open spaces in the ‘Red Wedding’ are as old as the neighbourhood itself. Its radical political history is closely linked to the struggle for ‘green’ spaces and environmental justice, as the neighbourhood was notorious for gloomy tenements and the pollution caused by local industry. Through artistic research, the project “Grasping Things At The Root: Red Wedding & The Green Revolt” explores environmental justice as a racial and classist crisis, taking the neighbourhood of Wedding as a starting point. From the colonial history of the Volkspark Rehberge and its “garden colonies’’ to the fight for a clean “Stinke-Panke“ and Plötzensee’s nudist beaches, the project explores how access to nature and health continues to be – and is historically – unequal. The project brings together artists, activists and agronomists for artistic research on the historical mechanisms of green inequity and to imagine future perspectives for equal access to nature in urban spaces. The results will be presented in the framework of interventions in public space as well as a one-day performance and discursive program.
One of the central themes of Nyabinghi LAB is to address the colonial-racist roots of the “green” (nature/eco/environmental) movement in Germany and its mechanisms of exclusion that particularly affect BIPoC and poor people. The Covid 19 pandemic has shown that our question of accessibility to “green” practices and places is literally vital: people exposed to high levels of pollution are at a much higher risk of becoming seriously ill. Moreover, in times ofAnd in times of quarantine, housing conditions and access to green spaces play a fundamental role in well-being. This fact inspired us to continue our longstanding research on decolonising 'green' practices and resources in this project. We all live in Wedding (in and around Müllerstraße) and have been engaged with the Wedding's turbulent history for quite some time.