Online Book Launch

Thursday, March 11, 2021, 2 pm (UTC+1)

Elke aus dem Moore (Akademie Schloss Solitude), Chiara Figone (Archive Books) and Philipp Kurz (Wüstenrot Stiftung) will welcome you to the book launch of Untranslatable Words of Cultural Practices. Authors Vinicius Jatobá, Giuliana Kiersz, Viktoria Morasch, Haneen Naamneh, Vipul Rikhi, Natasha Tontey will read from their texts. Register for the event here. There is a limited number of participants.

Alternatively, you can follow the event live without registration on Vimeo.

Untranslatable Words of Cultural Practices
– A Shared Vocabulary

Untranslatable proposes a new vocabulary of terms that remain untranslated in their original language. These are words that convey cultural practices, attitudes and value systems and are explained from their respective language and word canon. Terms are presented that broaden perspectives, facilitate new perspectives, and thus enrich collective thinking as a global community. The Shared Vocabulary presents an expanded cultural and etymological understanding of the world and our cultural actions. This publication makes global knowledge systems visible and promotes the accessibility of valuable everyday practices.

Read more

Our screening room reopens its virtual doors with a selection of works by artist Laura Horelli. Namibia Today, Interviews 2017–2019, and Newstime will offer an insight into Horelli’s practice during the weeks preceding the presentation of her new publication Changes in Direction – a Journal at the end of March

INTERVIEWS, Video installation, three HD videos, 5 min, 5 min, 6 min 

The public artwork Namibia Today at the Schillingstraße Underground Station in Berlin became a starting point for an ongoing project on the history of the journal. In May 2017, Horelli travelled to Windhoek to nd out more about the magazine from a Namibian perspective. She was able to meet some of the persons she had come across in the archival material found in Germany. At the National Archives of Namibia she was advised to continue her research through oral history, as in the African context the archive is often in the community.

Interviews presents a selection of the sound recordings made in Windhoek – more precisely those with Peter Katjavivi, Tshoombe Ndadi and Tarah Shinavene. In 2018, the artist glued the transcribed interview texts on the outside, corridor and balcony walls of the building she was staying in close to Lisbon. The lmed texts were synchronized with the audio interviews. That same year the artist showed the resulting videos to the interviewees in Windhoek and further, small adjustments were made.

Through Interviews the artist learned more about the many entanglements between Namibia, East Germany and the Nordic countries. Several of the people she interviewed in Windhoek had studied at the International Institute of Journalism (IIJB) Werner Lamberz in Berlin-Friedrichshagen. 


NEWSTIME, 2019 HD video, 39 min

Newstime is a found footage lm, which discusses cultural di er- ences, being an outsider, the Namibian independence struggle, and Finland’s long-term ties with the Southern African country. The lm consists entirely of archival material from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. TV programmes showing everyday life are set against a voice-over by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila reading from her autobiography The Price of Freedom. Namhila spent seven years in Tampere as a refugee on a scholarship, studying library science. She recounts her experiences, ranging from single parenthood to observations on missionaries in Namibia and the church in Finland. Everyday scenes manifest how Namhila possibly saw the fairly homogeneous Finnish society she lived in. News clips about the Namibian independence struggle frame the narrative. They feature SWAPO students, visiting politicians, and representatives of the United Nations and NGOs. Since Namibia was under the apartheid regime until 1990, archival material about the history of SWAPO can be found in countries where members of the liberation movement were in exile.

Currently screening: Interviews

Screening period: February 21 – March 3

The public artwork Namibia Today hung as a temporary installation at the Schillingstraße Underground Station for ten months. Before it was taken down, Laura Horelli produced a film on the location. The eponymous lm dug deeper into the topic by introducing narratives of protagonists living in Berlin, both Namibians with a past in the GDR and former East Germans with relations to the Namibian liberation movement SWAPO.

We see seven people waiting in the underground station below Karl-Marx-Allee in former East Berlin. Billboards line the walls, each combining a front page of Namibia Today with associative material. Rushing underground trains pick up the slow-moving shot between the billboards and the protagonists, between fragments of image and speech. The participants stand still amongst the movement with their memories and diverse ways of storytelling. The underground station with one platform serving two tracks in different directions and opposite entrances / exits is a liminal, transient space. 

Watch the film here.


About the Book

Changes in Direction – a Journal provides multivocal and transnational African-European statements to current decoloniality debates from different perspectives. The Finnish-German artist Laura Horelli engages with the traumatic and complex histories of colonialism and international solidarity between East Germany, Finland and Namibia, staging micro-historical interventions in public spaces. Her films transform the archive into a space – and publication – of reflective engagement.

The artist’s compilation of research, interviews and discussions in this bilingual German-English volume are enriched by contributions by the Namibian performance artist Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja, the German theorist Doreen Mende and the Finnish writer Olli Löytty. Initially an exhibition project and film screenings shown in Berlin, Freiburg i. Br., Malmö, Helsinki and Windhoek, Horelli and the curator Heidi Brunnschweiler put together a volume that celebrates and critically reflects on art as a process.

Read more about the publication here.

Past events

Jane Jin Kaisen
Community of Parting

Book release and online conversation
January 23rd, 2021 

On the occasion of the release of the book Community of Parting, Archive hosted an online conversation conceived to unfold different trajectories emerging from the book. This conversation brought together Jane Jin Kaisen, curator Heidi Ballet, who contributed to the book, as well as curator Anne Kølbæk Iversen, co-editor of the publication.

A selection of films by Jane Jin Kaisen were made available in our screening-room until January 23rd. The films included: Community of Parting, Strange Meetings, and The Woman, The Orphan, and The Tiger authored with Guston Sondin-Kung.

Jane Jin Kaisen works with video installation, photography, performance, film, and text. Her practice is informed by extensive interdisciplinary research and engagement with diverse communities. She represented Korea at the 58th Venice Biennale and has shown her works at venues such as Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Arko Art Center, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Times Art Center Berlin, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul Museum of Art, Kunsthal Aarhus, the Liverpool Biennial, and the Jeju Biennale.


Anne Kølbæk Iversen, PhD, is a researcher, curator, and writer based in Copenhagen. She obtained her PhD in 2019 from Aesthetics and Culture at Aarhus University as part of the research project The Contemporary Condition. 2019-20 she was affiliated with ARKEN Museum of Modern Art conducting the research project From a Grain of Dust to the Cosmos, studying works from ARKEN’s collection informed by discussions around the Anthropocene and notions of cosmos. Publications include “Visualising the Invisible, Imagining til (Im)possible,” in ARKEN Bulletin, vol. 8 (2020); “A Parting Ways While Being With. Critical Investigations and Acts of Assembling in Jane Jin Kaisen’s Practice,” in Jane Jin Kaisen. Community of Parting (2020) “Bodies and Rhythms,” with Sevie Tsampalla, in The Contemporary Research Intensive (2018).

Heidi Ballet is a curator based in Berlin with a research interest in the geopolitics of oceans and the psychology of climate chaos. She is currently preparing the 2021 Beaufort Triennial, a public art triennial along the Belgian coast. Exhibitions that she recently curated include the 2019 Tallinn Photomonth Biennial, the 2017 Lofoten Biennial (LIAF) and the exhibition series Our Ocean, Your Horizon at Jeu de Paume Paris and CAPC Bordeaux (2016). Between 2012 and 2015, Ballet worked as a research curator on After Year Zero, an exhibition project shown at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2013) and the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art (2015).

About the book

Community of Parting is an extension and continuation of the artistic practice of Jane Jin Kaisen. Bringing past and present, the eternal and the temporal into play through layered, performative, and multi-voiced feminist works, Kaisen explores topics such as memory, war, migration, and borders in a field where individual experiences and collective stories intersect. Her works negotiate and mediate the means of representation, resistance, and reconciliation, thus forming alternative genealogies and sites of collective emergence.
The book is composed of several interwoven voices: oral testimonies with poetics by Kim Hyesoon, poetry by Mara Lee, and shamanic ritual chants by Koh Sunahn, accompanied by essay contributions by Heidi Ballet, Anselm Franke, Pujita Guha and Abhijan Toto for the Forest Curriculum, Anne Kølbæk Iversen, Jane Jin Kaisen, Hyunjin Kim, Soyi Kim, Yongwoo Lee, and conversations with Mary Kelly and Kim Seongnae.

Read more about the publication on Archive Books


Ongoing Projects in Berlin

Publishing Practices

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.  

Wild tongues

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 2021.

* “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


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


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


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


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.