Berlin, new space in the neighborhood

After operating nomadically in Berlin over the past year, Archive has a new home. SAVVY Contemporary, an organization that continuously inspires us, will share its new space with us. From its inception ten years ago, Archive has grown into a decentralized organization. Three main sites – Berlin, Dakar, and Milan – are essential in shaping our program. Archive is a community of practice acting across – and connecting – different socio-cultural environments and imaginaries. The experience of producing through and from within a continuous conversation allows us to bring multiple voices to the forefront of each of our propositions. To respond to increasing precariousness, we rely on bonds with sister organizations and individuals that, like us, focus on nurturing new forms of imagination, practices based on sharing, co-learning, and cohabitation, moved by radical care and love. We are blessed that SAVVY’s new home is in the neighborhood of Wedding, whose community has been instrumental in Archive’s development.

From 2021 onward, Archive, in dialogue with other publishers, will set up a learning site for radical publishing. Based on the premise that the written word in its “published” form continues to exist within hegemonic systems of knowledge, we believe that publishing needs to be critically scrutinized with regard to its function to render visible, mediate, amplify, and disseminate — addressing such critique through the prism feminist and decolonial theories and practices.
Archive is conducting a series of preparatory sessions in 2020 which bring together practitioners from different regions. These groups will contribute to a transdisciplinary and transnational exchange, posing the question of how and for which purpose national and disciplinary modes of interaction can be overcome through publishing. The acts of translation necessary for these debates will be integral subject matter of Publishing Practices.

Part of a series of preparatory sessions for the ongoing initiative Publishing Practices. Organized in concert with Atelier Picha, Lubumbashi.

A sessions in Accra in connection with CritLab organized by Foundation for Contemporary Art-Ghana. (tbc)

Part of the series of preparatory gatherings for Publishing Practices, this session connect with the project In search of archives and it’s organized in concert with Les Archives Bouanani, Rabat.

Last gathering for Publishing Practices in 2020, this session activates the feminist library run by Radio AWU and Archive in Dakar.  

New sites

Milano, renovations begin

Archive will open its new space in Milan in the Fall. Italy, home to some of us, is the terrain of many struggles against, and manifestations of, racial capitalism, theater of perpetual violence in the wake of programmatic erasure. After long and careful reflection, Archive has decided to join the manifold of organizations actively working on making visible and counteracting the legacies of colonialism and fascism, fighting systemic racism and sexism, xenophobic and Islamophobic narrations, as well as processes of Othering. Fully inhabiting our own in-betweenness of place and identity we wish to challenge a monolithic idea of Italy based on the assertion of whiteness. With a focus on visuality, we propose a space for intertwining trajectories, taking into account a plurality of art, cultural and political forms, histories, legacies, and perspectives – among them, Milan’s anti-fascist tradition and its support of anti-colonial struggles. Archive is committed to respond to the complexity of Italian society through local, national and international collaborations and exchange, striving to be a polyphonic expression of its diasporic fabric.

Dakar, Ban + AWU + Archive

A growing number of Archive’s members are grounded in Dakar. Aspiring to collaborate more continuously with a constellation of practices rooted in the region, Archive has thus decided to have a base in the city. This new space has been made possible by our sister organization Ban Workshopan independent pottery workshop initiated by Imann Gaye and a collective of artists, potters, and social workers based in Dakar. Ban is a space developing the potential for pottery to be considered as emancipatory practice. Ban is also the home of AWU, a feminist radio that brings together voices of African women addressing topics and issues such as identity, gender, and sexuality from a feminist, queer, anti-colonial, and pan-Africanist perspective. AWU and Archive will run a feminist library where women can meet, read, and exchange stories. The library will be the backdrop for a series of workshops and seminars around forms of publishing.

Projects in Berlin

Wild tongues* is a recurring space for reflection and dialogue concerned with many kinds of borders – borders between nations, cultures, classes, genders, languages. This long-term research endeavor will stretch across various geographies and temporalities and will manifest itself in multiple forms. While addressing the complexities of the borderlands, of diasporic politics, physical and internal displacement, cultural dislocation and hybridity, production of Otherness, and the violence of border regimes – Wild tongues intend to establish a space to enact and rehearse forms of togetherness, radical care, and conviviality. The project draws from a genealogy of feminist writers, amongst them Gloría Anzaldúa whose work inspired the title, Cherríe Moraga, María Lugones, Chela Sandoval, Mariana Ortega, Emma Pérez. Wild Tongues will be launched in December 2020.

* “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” in Gloria Anzaldùa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 1987.

From the archive

Gaddafi in Rome

Gaddafi in Rome

14.07.2019

In June 2009 Muammar Gaddafi and Silvio Berlusconi met in Rome to celebrate the Italy-Libya Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation and discuss the Bilateral Agreements on migration and fuel trade. As the event sparked several protests, it caused a media frenzy in Italy that brought to the fore the controversial relations between the two countries. Attempting to turn an archive of live news updates produced during the meeting into a script, this performative lecture strives to dissect the memory of this event and the way it was reported.

In Search of Archives

In Search of Archives

23-26.01.2019

In Search of Archives inquires into contemporary notions and practices of the archive in postcolonial constellations. While the state of archives in former colonial settings is continuously marked by limited access, dispersed documents and repressed histories, contemporary art and research have been opening various ways of appropriating, (re)collecting and rendering visible the diverse traces and memories, creating new meanings of the past for the present and the future.

AntiColonial Records

AntiColonial Records

24–26.10.2018

A three-day programme including working groups, film screenings, presentations and discussions revolving around the question of social justice born out of the postcolonial situation. The encounter is set up to facilitate collaborative explorations of the potential of the creative work to disrupt ingrained ideas and representations through affecting the senses and imagination.

Discreet Violence

Discreet Violence

19.12.2017

Based on private and institutional archives, including the French Service cinématographique des armées, Discreet Violence: French Camps in Colonized Algeria features certain aspects of the massive forced resettlement of civilians during the Algerian Revolution (1954–1962), and disclosures the ways with which the French colonial regime attempted to divert the military purpose of the camps in the aftermath of a medial scandal of 1959.