Muna Mussie

Bologna St.173, Un viaggio a ritroso

Congressi e Festival Eritrei a Bologna

June 2 – September 10

Bologna St.173, Un viaggio a ritroso is a project by artist Muna Mussie that reactivates personal memories, historical and iconographic archives of the Eritrean Congresses and Festivals held in Bologna from 1972 to 1991. Attended by Eritrean diasporic communities from all over the world, these festivals were at the forefront of the armed fight for Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia since 1961.

At the end of the war, the new Eritrean government, proclaimed in 1993 by President Isaias Afewerki, wished to dedicate a street in Asmara—the capital of Eritrea—named Bologna St., for the recognition of the fundamental role that the city of Bologna had played in Eritrea’s independence movement.

The artist puts into dialogue archival materials from Bologna with works from previous researches and new works. A newly conceived performance that inaugurates the exhibition is a collective and propitiatory rite that follows a circular movement and recalls the traditional dances of Eritrean culture and the figure of the hoop snake. The hoop snake, an ancient symbol represented by a snake biting its tail, is a metaphor for an eternal return, and the snake, which cyclically changes its skin, reveals the essence of a new beginning.

The following organisations are involved: the State Archive of Bologna; Biblioteca Cabral; Home Movies—Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia—Fondo Giorgio Lolli; il Resto del Carlino archive; Archivio storico Paolo Pedrelli CdLM Bologna; the Eritrean Community in Italy; photographic archive of Mario Rebeschini, Massimo Sciacca and Luciano Nadalini.

Project supported by the Italian Council (11th edition, 2022), the program aims to support Italian contemporary art in the world promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity, part of the Italian Ministry of Culture. In this context, the project will be completed in 2024 and donated to MAMbo for its permanent collection. The exhibition at MAMbo, curated by Francesca Verga with Archive Ensemble, follows Muna Mussie’s solo exhibition entitled Bologna St. 173. Il sole d’agosto, in alto nel cielo, batte forte (Archive Milano 2021), curated by Zasha Colah and Chiara Figone.


Artist Muna Mussie 

Curator Francesca Verga with Archive Ensemble 

Producer / Quadricroma Lucia Olivia Principe 

Artist assistant Asmeret Yemane

Video shooting performance Uroboro Lino Greco, Lorenzo Castiello, Alessandro Pirotti / AirPixel

Administration Eugenia Sai

Graphic Design Yunhee Pak

MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna

Director Lorenzo Balbi

Curatorial Assistant / Project Manager Sabrina Samorì

Installations and Logistics Lorenza Cariello

Tecnical support Fabio Scarpulla, Rossano Barbero, Xaver Gunther Latiani, Massimiliano Tornabene

Press Office, Communication and External relations Elisa Maria Cerra, Melissa La Maida, Silvia Tonelli, Elisa Schiavina, Ornella De Carlo


Archivio Storico del Comune di Bologna; Biblioteca Amilcar Cabral – Settore Biblioteche e Welfare culturale del Comune di Bologna; Home Movies – Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia – Fondo Giorgio Lolli; Archivio storico de il Resto del Carlino; l’Archivio storico Paolo Pedrelli CdLM Bologna; la Comunità Eritrea in Italia; Mario Rebeschini; Massimo Sciacca; Luciano Nadalini

Performance participants/partecipanti alla performance

Asmeret Yemane, Wozenet Suwatu, Leteyosief Keleta, Ambasager Ghebremeskel, Nohemi Biniam, Emerald Biniam, Simon Negasi, Isabel tewolde, Miloda haile, Hawet Haile, Ferewoin Yemane, Abraham Gebrselassie A. Miriam, Yemane Tewolde, Meaza Beyen, Mihret Abraham Araya, Deborah Abrham, Ghidey Sile, Diana Tewolde, Ambleset Keleta, Mohammed Musa Giabir, Daliet Zaid, Haikel Zaid, Saba Haile, Rut Abraham Sium, Ariam Beiene Mebrahtu, Roma Yared, Hiwote Tesfamariam, Tesfalidet Habtom, Rezene Kifle Desta, Haben Selemun Gezu, Yemane Haile, Sali Methut, Birikti  Howanchiel, Alem Gheretathios, Alganesh Beyene, Miheret Hafte, Hiwote Tesfay, Hanna Ghetawon, Kidane Ghebreziabier, Demekesh tesfazghi, Lemlem Hafte, Yemane Habtemariam, Mhret Ghebresilasie, Alem Tesfamariam, Haddas  Ghebrehiwet, Gianfeli Hibrahim, Sara Gherekristos, Lettebrhan Sara Zeggay.

Thank you/Si ringrazia

Anna Maria Gentili, Elena Tripodi, Luciana Lai, Simona Brighetti, Anna Rossi, Irene Sarmenghi, Elena di Gioia, Claudio Mazzanti, Mauro Moruzzi, Milvio Micheloni, Umberto Saraceni, Gaetano Liberti, Andrea Melò, ELia Andreotti, Simona Serra, Matteo Nobile, Canedicoda, Valentina Lucchetti, Andrea Manni, Francesco Eppesteingher, Teckle Yakob, Filmom Yemane, Francesca Tiberio, Cecilia Bellinato, Michele Moi, Immagini e Suoni, Illumino Service, Circolo Sociale Ricreativo Culturale Giorgio Costa.

sonsbeek Council#4: A Blues for the Tired, Salty, Essential Worker.

August 28 2022

presented by sonsbeek20→24 and Archive Sites

on invitation of and in collaboration with DAI, at ZERO…
With respect to COVID-19 regulation in line with Italian Governement policies and DAI’s COVID-19 protocol, we are able to welcome in our midst members of the public. Face-masks are mandatory in all indoor program activities.
If you experience Covid-19 related symptoms prior to the event, please refrain from joining us. 

A daylong collective study, speaking, dancing and broadcasting together from Milan into the world.

DAI and sonsbeek20-24

The alliance between DAI and sonsbeek20-24 radiates outwards in multiple efforts, culminating into a joint program, a hybrid of sonsbeek20-24 ‘s councils and DAI’s Roaming Assembly (a recurring, guest curated public symposium).

Iterations revolve around, touch upon and articulate in different ways the connections between the educational efforts of DAI and the line of questioning around ‘labour and its sonicities’ that is central to sonsbeek20-24.

“wonder how i ever had fuel for those past travels / i rest / and i rise / and listen to the body that’s carried me here as it whispers the way forward – Camisha L.Jones

“If you see us in the alley please don’t give us a hard time by honking at us because we have a job to do.” – Paul Jamar

Which Side Are You On? A question that is slowly unfolding over a hundred year period of time, written in 1931 by union organizer and non-musician Florence Reece to address the societal inequalities that fueled this labor anthem in the United States. A question that echoes into the present, weaves in the living past and demands of  privileged and marginalized workers to acknowledge, reflect, engage and negotiate  solidarities in the ruins of capitalism and an ongoing global pandemic. It is here where the pandemic exposed the existing wounds and persisting societal inequalities that are cemented into every fiber of fortress Europe.  Wounds that have grown on top of colonial scars, nostalgia and global capitalism’s traumas. We wonder what wounds the pandemic produced, and we immediately think of the notion of essential labor. Echoing Dionne Brand’s poignant question; “could one even dare to think life was possible in the presence of so much historical and contemporary dying?”

“A testa alta e a passo deciso, con pugni tesi e voci sonore, abbiamo attraversato l’Italia per far cadere la maschere dei complici silenziosi.” – Kwanza Musi Dos Santos. August 8, 2022

A Blues For The Tired, Salty, Essential Worker returns to the traumatic start of the pandemic, where appreciation for the healthcare worker was proclaimed with loud applause, seasonal migrant workers were welcomed with flowers at the airport. Frontline workers of all kinds were lauded as essential to keep society going in what seemed a prolonged moment of crisis. Simultaneously, the status of essential work was denied to many others – domestic workers, sex workers, unhoused, cultural or legalized workers, with little or no compensation in place. Paradoxically, those who have been named ‘essential’ still happen to be some of the least remunerated and historically most exploited workers in our societies. Despite its acknowledgment of essentiality, the claim remains unsubstantiated; the essential worker remains the exploited worker, still. If dismantling labor injustices is an active rather than passive process, how is it implemented, what purposes does it serve, and what are the intended and unintended implications for fortress Europe?

With this daylong program, we envision together with artists, activists, neighbors, organizers and students what it means to show up for workers of all kinds – recognized or not recognized work, visible or invisibilized labor, blue or white collar jobs, and people of all walks of life – and to complicate the notion of essentiality in relation to marginalized, gendered and racialized laborers.



13.30: Poetic Offering through Voice Note by Wissal Houbabi

13.40-14.00: A Voice Note Is A Lecture by Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù & response by Selam Tesfai and Leila Bencharnia

14.00 – 14.30: A Sonic Lecture by Louis Henderson

14.30 – 15.00: A Sonic Lecture by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

15.00 – 15.45: A Conversation between Louis Henderson and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

15.45 – 16.00: Sonic intermezzo

16.00 – 16.45: Screening of Muna Mussie’s Curva Cieva with a response by Zippora Elders

16.45 – 17.00: A Voice Note Is A Lecture by Amal Khalaf

17.00 – 17.30: A Conversation between Hazal Koyuncuer, Rahel Sereke & Leila Bencharnia

17.30 – 17.45: A Voice Note Compilation by Aboubakar Soumahoro, Jean-René Bilongo (Alessandro Dessí & Marco Omizzolo), Yvan Sagnet (Associazione NoCap / lotta al caporalato)

17.45 – 18.00: A Recorded Conversation between Wissal Houbabi & Marie Moïse

18.00 – 18.30: Break

18.30-18.45: Intervention by Noura Tafeche

18.45 – 19.00: Break

19.00 – 20.00: Dinner with contributions by In Voice

20.00 – 20.30: Sonic Back2Back / intervention by Leila Bencharnia and Omar Gabriel Delnevo

20.30 – 21.00: Performance by Hazina Francia

21.00 – 22.00: DJ set by SAYRI

Production DAI

Senior coordinator Roaming Assembly

Nikos Doulos (in close conversation with Raj Sandhu, Head of Programmes sonsbeek20-24)

Co-ordinator facilities | technical support

Peter Sattler

Co-ordinator hospitality

Jacq van der Spek

Communication design

Lauren Alexander & Hanna Rullmann

Visual documentation

Baha Görkem Yalim

Guest writer

Zasha Colah

Artistic director DAI

Gabriëlle Schleijpen

Milano Re-Mapped

July 11,12 2022

Summer Festival

Via Chiese 2, 20126 Milano

Free admission, subject to availability, reservations are recommended.
Gates open at 18.30.


The festival is part of the project Milano Re-Mapped, a collaboration between Pirelli HangarBicocca and the Department of Sociology and Social Research of Università di Milano-Bicocca, supported by Fondazione Cariplo.

On the occasion of Milano Re-Mapped, Archive presents an activation of the formation Choreopoethics. This formation allows Archive to rehearse forms of collective movement, thinking through bodies in dialogue, encompassing choreography, poethics (Denise Ferreira da Silva), movement improvisation, traversing choreopolitics (André Lepecki) and choreography of protest.

In a world in crisis, radical imagination would require asking what we would risk together, to gain something altogether different. Choreopoethics allows us to experiment with forms of collective subjectivity.

Movements that involve one body moving with another, rooted in participatory as well as relational modes of choreographic thought, have much to offer to theories of social mobilization. Choreopoethics is our collective rehearsal of poetics, for political movements to come.

12 July 7PM-11PM
Programme curated by Archive


7PM: Fedoua El Attari | DecaDance of the mountain: dance decline decolonization 

7.30PM: Wissal Houbabi | Una gran puzza di merda nell’aria. Dedicated to Youns El Boussettaoui

8PM: Yon Natalie Mik | Songs from the Navel to the Spine

8.40PM: Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin | Premonition  

9.30PM: Padmini Chettur | line 10

Detailed Programme

& Participants

L-R: Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin (photo by Iman Salem), Fedoua El Attari, Yon Natalie Mik (photo by Daniel Kim), Wissal Houbabi (photo by Giovanni Tagliavini), Padmini Chettur (Singapore Arts Festival)

DecaDance of the mountain: dance decline decolonization

Spoken word

This new writing by Fedoua El Attari, in which spoken words hold many meanings, considers how various mountains are sites of memory of the mass suicides by runaway slaves. Today, these mountains have become a polyphonic landscape of a creole, collective memory of resistance. Movement is manifested through the conscious, free fall of the body. The rhythmic reverberation of the voice as it falls, remains in permanence. The choice of the human being to resist oppression, through the force of morality, is expressed as an ultimate act of liberation.

Fedoua El Attari studies architecture, museum and exhibition design. She is a cultural promoter of activities in museums, educational, socio-urban and publishing contexts. For El Attari, poetry is an empathic means of knowledge, sharing, denunciation and freedom, becoming the representative voice of populations that express, manifest, and share globally ethnic, ethical, linguistic and emotional symbolism in common. El Attari calls her writing “PoeTerapy: the word as a listening cure” | @fedua_elattari

Una gran puzza di merda nell’aria.

Dedicated to Youns El Boussettaoui
Spoken word


A spoken word action by Wissal Houbabi with elements of rap, hip-hop and storytelling.

«I’ll just ask them to sit in a certain chair, in a certain position: a way of feeling at the mercy of events, of the decisions of others. I was very inspired by the questura ». Translated from Italian, A colpi di rap contro il machismo: la lezione di Wissal HoubabiL’Espresso, 2021.

Wissal Houbabi, born in Khouribga, is a poet performer, artist, and freelance writer. She moves in various fields, from research on hip hop feminism to writing short stories that explore the condition of diasporic culture, and is among the authors of Future (effequ, 2019). She is the performer and voice of her oral poetry performances: Che Razza di Rap (2019), Taroots (2020), Scrivere con i piedi (2021), La Muta (2022). She has collaborated to realize workshops, courses, poetry projects with various cultural, artistic research and education institutions, including IUAV, Goethe Institut, and MamBo. She is on the board of the association Il Razzismo è una Brutta Storia (Milano), collaborating on projects and poetry events with the spoken music collective Zoopalco_ZPL (Bologna) and the poetry prize with Musica Alberto Dubito (Milano/Treviso). She has been published in various anthologies and magazines on hip hop poetry and culture from a decolonial and intersectional viewpoint | @wissalhoubabi

Songs from the Navel to the Spine

with sound by Gregory Lenczycki
Collective action


Yon Natalie Mik will mobilize a collective act of squatting for 1000 bodies through her new work Songs from the Navel to the Spine, a participatory performance as part of her ongoing project Studies on Squats (2019-2022). The performance invites everyone to take part in building a choreography of protest and mourning for the censored and marginalized bodies among us. While our squatting bodies conceptually and kinetically embody the history and resilience of these vulnerable bodies, it is their bodies that continue to inspire us to imagine other possibilities of (co-)existence.

Yon Natalie Mik is an artist, performer and dance scholar working across choreography, image and text. She grew up between Germany and South Korea before moving to Los Angeles and Berlin, where she is currently based. After studying classical ballet, Korean and Indonesian folk dances, she received a BA from the University of Bonn and an MA from Seoul National University. Since 2021 she is a doctoral candidate in dance studies and works as a research fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Yon Natalie Mik’s work has been presented internationally at museums, galleries and alternative spaces in Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Seoul and Taipei.


Collective Action Group: Shamooda Amrelia, Leonardo Bentini, Elisabetta Bottura, Harshitha Jois, Zhaoqing Kang, Munisa Kholkhujaeva, Gabriella Kolandra, Merve Korkmaz, Wenyan Liang, Isabella Pirro, Antonela Solenički, Vismayee, Valentina Vivani, Pan Yubing, Leonardo Zappal, Danzeng Zhuoji


with sound by F. De Isabella
Movement and writing


‘To live in proximity to death is to live in the space of the premonition

-Bahaar Ahsan, ‘Cut the apricot in half and remove the pit can only get in your way’, We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, eds. Andrea Abi-Karam & Kay Gabriel, 2020

Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin‘s performance explores the relationship between debris and the geographies inscribed in bodies. Working on the reappropriation of somatic geographies from a decolonial perspective, Premonition oscillates between language, movement and sound. Here, vibration becomes a method. The oscillation of a pendulum used as a divinatory object moves with underground currents, and is an antidote to the compass. The pendulum becomes an object of healing.

Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin is an artist and independent researcher of Armenian descent working in the contexts of movement and live performance. Their research is built of a collection of pedagogic and performative events that focus on experiencing pleasure as a form of resistance to systemic oppression, by relating a queer/transfeminist approach to somatic practices. Trained in dance, their work exists in the shape of movement-video-text-sound-gatherings and deals with narratives of hostility, survival strategies, rest, friction, sensuality, and healing.

line 10

with lighting by Jan Maertens and sound by Maarten Visser


Padmini Chettur performs line 10, a retrospective of lines she has danced as a soloist throughout her career. Light will travel with her along a 37-meter outer wall of Pirelli HangarBicocca’s “Shed”, as will the sound. The trajectory of her movement maintains a continuous internal rotation, and in the transitions between the two and three-dimensional body, the space itself may appear to move.

Padmini Chettur began her contemporary dance career in 1990 as a member of the troupe of Chandralekha—the radical Bharatanatyam modernist choreographer whose own opus dealt with a rigorous deconstruction of the form. Over the past two decades, Chettur has defined her choreographic idiom—minimalist, abstract and formal—stripping movement down to an essential, anatomical investigation, prioritizing a sense of tension over emotion. Since her solo work Beautiful thing 2 (2011), and in later works—Wall dancing (2013), Varnam (2013) —her work has been seen in visual art spaces like steirischer herbst (Graz), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (Cochin), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Jejak-Tabi (Jogja), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Archive (Berlin), as her practice extended into film and durational works. Her most recent work, philosophical enactment with writer Aveek Sen was performed at Contemporaneity (Toronto), Akademi der Kunst (Berlin), and TPAM (Yokohama).

Practices of rupture.
Toward a reparative justice

November 21, 2021

From that disordering rupture, may, perhaps, come repair. A methodology for repair has been theorised by Anawana Haloba within an exhibition-artwork, titled, How to re(pair) my grandmother’s basket. An experimental opera (2021), open at Archive Milan till 28 November 2021. In this work, the artist proposes along with the poet and scholar Harry Garuba that decolonialism (or repair) can only happen if the needs and interests of the epistemologically disenfranchised can be put at the forefront of knowledge production. The idea of repair and healing, exceeds restitution, to seek how we narrate objects. The shorthand for Haloba’s method is to ‘(re)pair’, to pair together again, to bring a comparative, double-view to any knowledge. To pair any fact of history, with that from another episteme. If the museum needs to be repaired, it must be paired with other historic examples of the museum as it functions in other geographies, at other times. To repair opera, Haloba proposes we read it as a plural form, present in cultures around the world. In pairing knowledge, we non-violently, and movingly, break the epistemological foothold. (ZC)

Archive fellow, artist Alessandra Ferrini, curates the first section of the study day with artistic interventions and discussion with invited speakers Lucrezia Cippitelli, Benjamina Efua Dadzie, and Jermay Michael Gabriel. Their session is followed by interventions by local, recently formed artist collectives Ambaradan think tank and Poly Marchantia. The study day closes with a screening of a video by Chihying Musquiqui and an intervention by Anawana Haloba. Read more

Blacknèss fest

A three days festival

from October 1st to October 3rd 2021


Blackcoffee_pdc and Kirykou are pleased to present Blackn[è]ss fest, a three-day festival taking place at Archive Milano from October 1st to October 3rd, 2021.

With Silvia Rosi, Luca Neves, Ronke Oluwadare, Ariman Scriba, Alberto Boubakar Malanchino, David Blank, Emmanuelle Maréchal, Leila Belhadj Mohamed, Khadim Loum, Daphne Di Cinto and more, Blackn[è]ss fest will feature a diverse range of cultural events addressing the politics of representation of Black and POC people in Italy.

Blackn[è]ss fest wants to simultaneously celebrate Blackness and expose how Black and POC people are subjected to systemic discrimination and violence. In Italy, Black lives are perpetually framed by a Eurocentric gaze. Such a gaze contributes to the erasure of the complexities and nuances that form the Black and POC communities.

This festival was established to share Black people’s stories, journeys, and experiences from their lens, and it has to be conceived as a way to deconstruct the dominant narratives, but also construct new ones driven by a deep sense of self-determination.

The program seeks to leave a lasting imprint by opening up the discussion with multiple guests and moderators and engage with the public. The festival will offer them space to deliver their thoughts and critical views on the oppressive nature of Italian contemporary society.

6.00 – 7.00 pm
Event opening with an interview to Silvia Rosi by Blackcoffee_pdc (live podcast)

7.15 – 8:45 pm
The ART roundtable

What is art? A way to express oneself, a human necessity. However, despite art being such an instinctive and visceral need, it is undeniably a privilege to have access to it as audience and as an artist. Another danger for art is to be narrated by third parties, taking away from the main subjects the right to tell their stories, and therefore take over their right to self-determination.

Guests: Silvia Rosi, Marzio Emilio Villa, Muna Mussie
Moderator: Jermay Gabriel Michael

9:00 pm
Music session by Omar Gabriel Delnevo

9.45 pm – 12.00 am
DJ set with Kyrikou & Sayri

2.45 pm – 4.15 pm

Have you ever been stopped at a station, an airport, or on the street and felt you were the only one being stopped by the police among many people? If your answer is yes, it means you have probably experienced racial profiling. The expression describes the act of being identified as a potential danger/lawbreaker/undocumented immigrant because of your skin color. We will talk about the effects of racial profiling on the mental health of non-white people.

Guests: Ariman Scriba, Hilal Beraki, Ronke Oluwadare
Moderator: Khadim Loum

5.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Roundtable MUSIC

Music is life. This recreational activity is what brings humans together. Blackn[è]ss fest will tackle, with a critical approach, the Black and non-white Italian music scene. How many non-white musicians and singers are part of a big record label? What is their perception of the musical events? Do they face discrimination in the entertainment world because of their race?

Guests: Luca Neves, Adriana, Ismael Condoy
Moderator: David Blank

7.15 – 8.00 pm
Music session by Ismael Condoy

9.00 pm – 12.00 am
Concerts: Luca Neves, David Blank, Adriana
Dj set

2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Roundtable QTIBIPOC

The skin color is not the only trait that makes individuals subject to discrimination. Another particularly discriminatory element is sexual orientation and gender identity. Often, it seems one fight is excluding the other, when in reality race, sexual orientation and gender identity intersect with the lives of minorities. We will tackle the argument during the roundtable QTIBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Inter, Black, Indigenous, Person of Color).

Guests: Loredane Tshilombo, Saya, Omar Gabriel Delnevo

4.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Sharing moments, collective reflections

5.30 pm – 7.00 pm

How Black and non-white people have been represented in the contemporary movie industry? How are they portrayed by traditional media? In Italy, a strongly racist language has been pervading the TV, newspapers’ headlines, and the radio. We are the spectators of a mediatic circus that has normalized the use of the N-word, or vilified terms such as “the immigrant,” “the migrant,” “the Nigerian,” “the Moroccan.” For the longest time, we have been described as stereotyped, violent, or hypersexualized subjects, who are unable to tell our own stories. We will talk more about this topic on Sunday 3/10 from 17:15 to 18:45 in via Tertulliano, 68.

Guests: Leila Belhadj Mohamed, Alberto Boubakar Malanchino, Sonia Garcia
Moderator: Lina Giselle Murillo Martínez

7.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Interview to Daphne Di Cinto, film director and screenwriter of “Il Moro”
by Blackcoffee_pdc + viewing of the short film

9.00 pm
Communal dinner

How to (re)pair my grandmother’s basket

Anawana Haloba

An Experimental Opera


Curated by Zasha Colah and Chiara Figone

September 15,  2021, 6 pm

September 19, 2021, 6 pm
Listening session with Anawana Haloba

Special opening hours
September 16–19, 2021
3.00 pm – 9.00 pm

Regular opening hours from September 22, 2021
Wednesday – Saturday
3.00 pm – 7.00 pm

The exhibition will run until November 28, 2021

How to (re)pair my grandmother’s basket is an experimental opera by the contemporary visual artist Anawana Haloba, drawing from African philosophy and operatic traditions. The opera is grounded in Ubuntu, the African humanistphilosophy of encounter to create a non-hierarchical method by which to interrogate rootedness and empathy.

Haloba’s opera is created and composed borrowing from operatic conventions, knowledges and sensibilities outside the European tradition, mainly from Southern Africa, such as Chiyabilo/Kuyabila and Budima from Zambia. The opera is a dialogue among non-gendered characters who transverse geographies, cultures, and societies, composed for these times. It engages with questions of environmental racism, the rise of nationalism in the Western world, and the plight of immigrants. Her experimental libretto and composition are an extension of her doctoral exhibition at Bergen Universityand teaching practice, in particular a course she taught at KHiO University in Oslo, based on a comparative approach. (Re)pair opens many possible readings: repairing the basket as a new pairing of histories side-by-side, as much as the idea of recovery, or reparation (though the basket, or history, may not be ever retrievable).

How to (re)pair my grandmother’s basket is part of Archive’s research stream (re)memberings and (re)groundings (2020–22). This stream is made possible by FfAi – Foundation for Art Initiatives

About Anawana Haloba

Anawana Haloba (Livingstone, Zambia, 1978) lives and works in Oslo and Livingstone. She studied at the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts in Lusaka, Zambia and completed her BA at the National Academy of Arts in Oslo in 2006. She was a graduate of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and an alumnus of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington DC. She is a doctoral fellow at the University of Bergen Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design.

Haloba’s work has been shown in institution such as Centre Pompidou, France; Oslo Kunstforening, Norway: GAMeC, Italy; SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand, Norway; National Museum of African Arts Smithsonian Institute, US; the Rauma Biennale, Finland; ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Germany; Museum Berardo Collection, Portugal; la Biennale di Venezia, 2009; Sydney Biennale 2008; Manifesta 7; the Sharjah Biennial 8th, 11th and 14th editions, as well as the biennales in Sao Paulo, 2016; Shanghai, 2016; Lyon, 2017; and the Bucharest Biennale, 2021.

She co-founded Livingstone Office for Contemporary Arts (LoCA) in 2014 as an artist-initiated non-profit library and research centre, collective/collaborative platform for reflections and an experimental think-tank, exploring histories (colonial histories, social and political histories and their legacies) and how they relate to language and contemporary art.

Movements of
Interweaving Threads

A Study Day

Sunday, September 5, 2021
12.30 pm – 11 pm

On the occasion of the closing of Muna Mussie’s exhibition Bologna St. 173, Archive Milano organized a study day featuring conversations with Fiori Berhane, Medhin Paolos, Angelica Pesarini, Alessandra Ferrini, Dagmawi Yimer and Filmon Yemane; the screening of Asmarina (documentary-film by Medhin Paolos and Alan Maglio); a communal dinner by Mosobna; a multipart listening session by Plethor X and a new performance by Muna Mussie.

The formulation of a study day revolves around the concept and practice of study as conceived by Stefano Harney and Fred Moten in their seminal book The Undercommons, namely a mode of thinking and gathering with others separated from knowledge production and rejoicing in the social world of doing something with and for each other or for others, like talking, walking around, working, dancing, cooking, dreaming, and playing.

The study day embraced the reverberations emanating from Mussie’s exhibition and expanded on some of the trajectories traversing the her work, unpacking pressing geopolitical, historical, and contemporary questions of exile, dispossession, migration, and belonging in the enduring entanglements between Italy, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. It unraveled the profound impact and trauma caused by the Italian occupation, the history of the Habesha community in Milan, up until the current political situation in Eritrea which has led to an exodus and a growing community of Eritrean refugees in Italy.

Movements of Interweaving Threads took place around “Structures in tune,” two inhabitable constructions created by Valentina Lucchetti e Canedicoda in collaboration with Muna Mussie. The program was organized with Alessandra Ferrini, as part of her three-year-long research fellowship at Archive.

Download full program
Download exhibition handout

The Fighter Mother.

A trans-generational dialogue

A Screening Day

Friday, July 5, 2021


Muna Mussie’s Bologna St. 173 moors actions, affiliations, gatherings, and occupations. Research unfolds over the course of, and because of, the exhibition. Reverberating with Muna Mussie’s work, Archive Milan hosted an evening of moving images tracing the iconography, experiences, and legacy of the Eritrean women freedom fighters, as well as the sonorities of the struggle for independence.
The evening will start with a prelude by the curators. Muna Mussie’s installation will be occupied by music videoclips connected to the Eritrean struggle for independence and excerpts from the video documentation of some of the Congresses organized by the Eritrean communities in different cities. The program will continue with the screening of The Fighter Mother (2015) a documentary by director Weiny Tewolde, bringing together the voices of many women freedom fighters. After the screening, Ariam Tekle (director of Appuntamento ai Marinai, 2017) will discuss her views on the film while sharing extracts from her work. Closing the evening is a communal dinner organized by Archive kitchen accompanied by a listening session to the sonorities and music that played a vital role in the Eritrean struggle for independence – tunes by Tsehaytu Beraki, Wedi Tukul, Bereket Menghisteab, Tesfai Mehari, and Birikti Ghebreselassie amongst others.
This presentation is curated by Silvia Castagna, Yasemin Celtikci, Vincenzo Gulfo, and Xin Wenxiang (MA students of Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA, Milan). Muna Mussie’s solo exhibition “የቦሎኛ ጎዳና شارع بولونيا Bologna St. 173. The August sun beats down” is part of Archive’s research stream “(re)memberings and (re)groundings” and it is curated by Zasha Colah and Chiara Figone. The event will take place among “Structures in tune”: two inhabitable, protective, and inclusive constructions created by Valentina Lucchetti e Canedicoda in collaboration with Muna Mussie.
picture: Still from “The Fighter Mother” (2015). Directed by Weiny Tewolde

6.30 pm Video projections on the “Structures in tune” and prelude by the curators
7.30 pm Screening of the documentary “The Fighter Mother” by Weiny Tewolde
8.00 pm Dialogue with Ariam Tekle
9.00 pm Archive kitchen dinner and tunes

Ariam Tekle is an Eritrean-Italian director born and raised in Milan. Daughter of Eritrean immigrants, Ariam Tekle has developed a deep interest in the African diaspora. She is the author of the documentary, “Appuntamento ai Marinai.”
Weiny Tewolde is an Eritrean director, he is the author of “The Fighter Mother.” He has also directed “Amanit,” and “Amanit Manete.”
The Fighter Mother documents the lives of several female veterans who fought in the Ethiopian-Eritrean war. The interviewees talk about their experience fighting alongside the men, but also discuss personal matters, such as whether they wanted to have children or not since their duty was to make an independent Eritrea. That country was colonized for generations by the Italians, then the British, and then Ethiopia whom they were warring with at the time. These veterans give share thoughts as they describe how they became fighters and mothers.

Opening weekend

June 18–20, 2021

On the summer solstice weekend, Archive Milano opened its doors to Muna Mussie’s solo show የቦሎኛ ጎዳና | شارع بولونيا | Bologna St. 173. The August sun, high in the sky, beats down. Conceived and built over the course of Muna Mussie’s residency at Archive (29.01–31.03.2021), the exhibition is part of Archive’s research stream (re)memberings and
(re)groundings (2020–2022).

Curators: Zasha Colah and Chiara Figone
Artist liaison and artistic co-production: Soyeon Lee, Rebeca Pak,
Amelie Jakubek, Gaia Martino
Graphic conception: Lilia Di Bella
Translations: Emanuela Maltese
Communication: Matilde Doni and Miriam Gatt 

6.00 pm
Exhibition opening and
performance by Muna Mussie

A phantasmagoric body covered with Netsela from the waist up, prepares popcorn. The sound and the matter shooting out from it glides in the space, and drags with it the billowing-trailing-body. A prechosen point will be the base from which the arm of liberty emerges, the body abandons the molt and escapes into the uncovered open. There are small rites that accompany the life of all peoples. That of popcorn in Eritrea is a rite that finds space inside parties, birthdays, weddings, dances; but rather than something to be eaten, the popcorn here is thrown, made to fly in the air as if it were carnivalesque-confetti-snow and then flung to the ground, scattered as to mark an area of joy where thrift gives way to the sign of abundance and of the ephemeral. By design, popcorn is the result of small explosive reactions that translate into something particularly spongy and soft, both to touch and to view. The sound generated by this reaction, recalls that of shooting: fireworks or firearms. On this sonorous ambiguity plays the action of PF DJ: where the struggle for independence advances between gunfire and bombardment; at dusk – during the week of the Bologna Congresses – music and dance take over, revealing the more tender, recreational, crackling and playful phase of the struggle. (MM)

8.00 pm
Communal dinner
Food by Mosobna

9.00 pm
Sound performance
by Plethor X

Plethor X is a duo from Milan who make experimentation and musical research an absolute stylistic blueprint. From James Brown to Fela Kuti, to this day. The sounds that most characterize the sound of Plethor X are of Eritrean and Ethiopian influence, such as tigryna, Eritrean folk music, and the masinko, an instrument typical of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Without roots, neither musical nor territorial: everything blends under the name of Plethor X, which therefore symbolizes the presence of a mass, of a mixture of intents, of a crowd without name, without label, irrecoognized but real and anxious to express themselves.

3.00–6.00 pm
Diasporic Saturday School
Storytelling through and with fabrics
by Saidou Ndiaye and Chiara Figone.

The Diasporic Saturday School is a porous space for youth with diasporic backgrounds, a site where to practice an encompassing understanding of self, a laboratory of imagination, a space where the importance of community and conviviality are central. It is vital for children and young people to embrace differences, to unsettle the limits constructed by monolithic articulation of identity, it is essential to listen to the many stories and forms of knowing that can be part of their expecience of being in the world and build their world(s). As a space of co-learning, the social, emotional, intellectual balance of each child is of the utmost importance. The Diasporic Saturday School is initiated by Seydou Ndiaye and Chiara Figone.

4.00 – 7.00 pm
Deep Listening session with Kirykou collective.

Kirykou is a collective formed by Jermay Michael Gabriel Yhonnas Cappellin, Leila Bencharnia, Ismael Condoy, Giuliano Pascoe, and Ronke Oluwadare. A cultural and diasporic project born in October 2019 in Milan. Through music, art and literature, Kirykou embraces the differences between bodies and cultures. Kirykou’s music is a vindication, contaminated and powered by diversity, a sonic force that crosses and transcends boundaries. Ismael Condoy plays on the mix of Andean and electronic sounds, Jermay Cappellin with those of Ethiopian rituals, Giuliano Pascoe aka Dj Droven builds on the sonorities of Western music, and Leila Bencharnia incorporates Berber sounds into classical music. Ronke Oluwadare is the wordsmith of the collective.

Archive thanks Muna Mussie for her inspiring work and and the several artists and collectives who worked together in the making of this solo exhibition and performance. The artist and curators deeply thank: the duo, Canedicoda and Valentina Lucchetti, for their essential contribution to the show and for the inhabitable structures; Nicole Colombo and Stefano Serretta for the installation; Matteo Nobile for the soundcomponent; Dotdotdot and Opendot studio and Fab Lab, Milano, for a hundred small asks; the artist space and collective Standards, Milan; Sarvesh Jasuja; Amol Patil; Monia Ben Hamouda for the visual documentation; Irise/Wenxiang Xin, Yasemin Celtikci, Silvia Castagna, Master students at NABA, Milano; Xing Bologna; Simone Lorini for loaning sound equipment.

About Muna Mussie

Muna Mussie (Eritrea, 1978, lives in Bologna) began as a performer with Teatrino Clandestino (1998–2001), and with Cesare Ronconi of Teatro Valdoca (2002–10). She was a founding member of the research collective Open (2001–5). Her work has been presented, amongst others, at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Turin, Museo Marino Marini Florence, Workspace Brussels, MAMbo Bologna, Santarcangelo Festival, Viafarini Milan, Museion Bolzano, Biennale Atlas of Transitions, Studio Arts College International in the frame of Black History Month Florence, and at the Italian Cultural Institute, a collateral site of Manifesta 2020 Marseille.


sigla /sigil

by Zasha Colah

In Muna Mussie’s solo exhibition, Bologna St. 173 – whose essence is a single movement of braids rising horizontally from the force of swiveling bodies – a millisecond-movement is expanded to reverberate through the entire space, encompassing twenty-three years of annual Eritrean political congresses and festivals at once. Attended by diasporic Eritreans from several continents, and held in Munich, Nuremberg, Pavia, but mostly (uninterrupted from 1974 to 1991) in Bologna, these festivals were a front of the struggle to overthrow military dictatorship and gain an independent new nation.

While inhabited since prehistoric time, the nation-state of Eritrea is so much an imagined community. It was severed out from many kingdoms by the Italian nation, who ruled Eritrea as a colony from 1886 until 1941. The Italians gave it the name in 1890 from the Greek words for the Red Sea. In 1942, the colonial army was defeated, and Eritrea passed from the Italians to the British, who administered it until 1952. That year, Eritrea was federated to Ethiopia by a vote in the general assembly of the United Nations. The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), began an armed struggle in 1961. In 1962, Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, casting Eritrean identity as under siege, or occupation, leading to thrirty years of secessionist guerrilla militancy to overthrow Ethiopian rule – that of Emperor Haile Selassie till 1974, then the military govern- ment known as the Dergue. The left-wing nationalist Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), broke-out of and then fought the ELF, and it was the EPLF who overcame the Dergue to achieve independence in 1991, through guerrilla armed struggle, and the intellectual, organi- sational, moral, and financial support of the diaspora. EPLF aided a coalition of Ethiopian rebel forces take control of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. In 1993 a referendum of the Eritrean people declaring this new nation was supervised by the United Nations. ELF’s successor was the EPLF, whose successor is the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). They formed a National Assembly, and a constitution was written in 1997, which provided for multi-party elections the same year. The constitution was never implemented. PFDJ is the only political party of Eritrea. Disappearances, crises, wars, have dogged its independent history.

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A note from the Notes

by Muna Mussie

“Hundreds of people descend from buses and cars, whole families make their way toward the congress hall, they hug tightly, manifesting an intense joy, so much enthusiasm and so many smiles. Exchanging greetings: How are you?.. It’s been so long. Where are you coming from? Tell me of those who came with you, and the situation of the struggle? (this is the one most frequently heard). It’s normal to see tears well up in eyes, spontaneously and naturally, struck with emotion. As the sun moving higher shines more intensely, so grows the smile on each person’s face.”1

Testimonies of the struggle of the Eritreans exiled in Europe is a book that narrates an event, singular and extraordinary to me, and for the history of Eritrea, where I was born and the city of Bologna, where I grew up. From 1974 until 1991 in Bologna, during the month of August, there was the Congress-Festival by the E.F.L.E. (Eritrea For Liberation in Europe). Here hundreds, thousands of Eritreans from all over the world (USA, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Northern Europe) gathered for twenty years in support of the struggle for the liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopia.

Le Caserme Rosse (the Red Barracks), the site that hosted the Festival – located in a large public park in Corticalla, in the peripheral neighbourhoods of Bologna – goes down in history for having been a concentration and sorting camp of the Nazis, active from 8 September 1943 to 12 October 1944. I remember attending some of these festivals during the eighties, when I was still a little girl; what remains of that experience and that fascinates me still, is the festivity of the event: a tenacious political resistance that passed especially through commonality, the music, the dances.

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Muna Mussie Curva (2019), Photos by Luca Ghedini.

Artist in Residency

29.01.21 – 31.03.21

“The concept of trespassing is close to me because it relies on my roots-uprooted. I belong to a feeling of de-construction, of non-belonging that is the filter with which I look, live, and operate; the constant search for aesthetic cohesion is my daily, salvific exercise.”

—Muna Mussie

Sharing a dialogue with Muna Mussie since the very beginning of our embarking in Milano, we’re thrilled and more than grateful to announce her residency at Archive, from January 29 to March 31. As an artist, she explores her own ways for (Re)membering and (Re)grounding with a performative and situated practice addressing memories, languages, and world making through the constant refounding of experience in reciprocity, and multiplicity of stories. Muna will work on a site specific and practice-based research, involving and enlightening our space in Milano as a space of participation, and as one force at stake, an active part of the engagement.

Filmon Yemane Talk

Residency Program


In the context of the artist, Muna Mussie’s residency at Archive Milan, Filmon Yimane spoke about the recent violence in Tigray, Ethiopia’s border region with Eritrea, through the lens of the intertwined history of the region over the last twenty years.

Filmon Yemane (Eritrea, 1995, lives in Bologna since 2008) is working on a thesis critically analysing the federal and constitutional system of Ethiopia for a master’s degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Bologna since 2018. He has participated in several cultural activities and artistic projects, including the realization of a documentary film within the project Atlas of Transitions–New Geographies for a Cross-Cultural Europe, and is a contributor to LUMI a book by the Bologna-based artist collective ZimmerFrei (Mousse, 2020). Currently he is collaborating with the artist Muna Mussie to develop a performance work, Curva Cieca (trans. Blind Turn).

(Re)memberings and (Re)groundings.



A gathering with Silvana Carotenuto, Zasha Colah, Lilia Di Bella, Binta Diaw, Giovanna Esposito Yussif , Chiara Figone, Paz Guevara, Soyeon Lee, Lisa Lindsay, Emanuela Maltese, Muna Mussie, Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju, Beya Othmani, Rebeca Pak

About the Event

Conceived as a rehearsal for togetherness, consisting of meditations, performative readings, and collective listening, this hybrid gathering continued an ongoing series of dialogues on theoretical and spiritual (re)memberings and (re)groundings.In this context, (re)membering within and across archives is a praxis of activating memory (re)deployed to unsettle violent systems of oppression.
Following a public conversation between the artists Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa and Alessandra Ferrini and workshops by the artists Alessandra Ferrini and Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, (Re)memberings and (Re)groundings pauses to unpack the recurring terms, theory, and debates underlying this year-long research project that began in December at Archive’s new space in Milan (extending radicles and first roots) that will carry through 2021.
The long-term research project “(Re)memberings and (Re)groundings” finds one such radicle in the library of the former Centro Documentazione Frantz Fanon, that was active in Milan throughout the 1960s and whose traces persist in a body of material housed by Panetteria Occupata, an occupied space since 1991. The Centro Documentazione’s main purpose was to create a network of support for anti-colonial movements and to actively research, translate, and publish documentation of their struggles. By (re)membering this archive, a manifold of narratives and strategies emerge as tools to use in the struggle against the coloniality of power.

About the Program

(Re)memberings and (Re)groundings was conceived by Archive in the framework of “Vulnerable Archives: On Silenced Archives and Dissenting Views,” a project by SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin in collaboration with R22 Tout-Monde (together with Atelier Medicis, Clichy/Montfermeil, Un Lieu pour respirer, Les Lilas, Rester. Etranger, Saint-Denis), After the Archive?, Istanbul, and Archive, Milan. 
The project is funded by and in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung and in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in the framework of the Archive Project.

Muna Mussie Punteggiatura (2018), Photo by M. Ben Hamouda

From the archive

Publishing Practices

Publishing Practices

Publishing Practices is a yearly program committed to an expanded idea of publishing not confined to the production and dissemination of printed matters but open to a multi-sensorial reflection on other ways to know and exist. 

How can we dismantle the way we know the world? What if the iterative power of knowledge as affirmed and reinforced by patriarchal, colonial and capitalist paradigms is replaced by publishing virtuality, its capacity to re-imagine the wor(l)d as “contingency and possibility” rather than “necessity and determinacy” (Denise Ferreira da Silva)? In which ways can publishing be activated as the ground for collective solidarity and inseparability, and participate in the undoing of fixed marginalities and boundaries? 

Practices of rupture. Toward a reparative justice

Practices of rupture. Toward a reparative justice


Archive fellow, artist Alessandra Ferrini, curates the first section of the study day with artistic interventions and discussion with invited speakers Lucrezia Cippitelli, Benjamina Efua Dadzie, and Jermay Michael Gabriel. Their session is followed by interventions by local, recently formed artist collectives Ambaradan think tank and Poly Marchantia. The study day closes with a screening of a video by Chihying Musquiqui and an intervention by Anawana Haloba.

Monsters, Catastrophes and the Anthropocene: A Postcolonial Critique

Monsters, Catastrophes and the Anthropocene: A Postcolonial Critique


Gaia Giuliani presenta il suo ultimo libro Monsters, Catastrophes and the Anthropocene: A Postcolonial Critique, (Routledge: London, 2020), in un percorso che esplora gli immaginari occidentali su disastri naturali, migrazioni di massa e terrorismo secondo una lettura postcoloniale, dalla quale emerge lo sguardo europeo su mostruosità e catastrofi.




Undercommons. Pianificazione fuggitiva e studio nero is the first book of the series Ante-politics published with Tamu Edition. In this essential book, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten draw on the theory and practice of the black radical tradition as it supports, inspires, and extends contemporary social and political thought and aesthetic critique.