FROM BANDUNG TO BERLIN. If all of the moons aligned

September 24 - October 23, 2016 | Thu-Sun 2-7 pm

Opening: September 23 | 7 pm

Discursive Programme: September 24 & 25, 2016 | 2-6pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Designed by Natasha Gabriella Tontey.


Curated by Brigitta Isabella and Renan Laru-an

Participanting Artists: Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina, Annika Eriksson, Theo Eshetu, Lyra Garcellano & W. Don Flores, Ladislava Gažiová, Ho Rui An, Ho Tzu Nyen, Hiwa K, Timoteus Anggawan Kusno, Eva Olthof, Karol Radziszewski/Queer Archives Institute, Cathleen Schuster and Marcel Dickhage, Sina Seifee, The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, Mi You, Virlani Rupini with Leon Tan

From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned builds on the vocabularies of "political astronomy" by means of dis/connecting transnational narratives according to critical and geopolitical amplitudes during the Cold War. While revolving in the gravity of a multi­center world, From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned pins down incongruent points of these alignments, complicating desires for solidarity and cohesion through artistic forms, processes and contemporary thought practices.

At SAVVY Contemporary, the constraints of prevailing historiography and the impulses of democratism of the future are accessed through the curatorial period of From Bandung to Berlin (FBB). With collaborating agents, artworks, archives, lectures, reading groups, the bare gallery space accumulates sweats and breaths as bodies and objects struggle and recover from a place of weakness and fear. Each contribution presents as a ghostly figure and their task is to exorcise the unrepresentable narratives in history and engage with the ghostly through the spectral transformation of different objects, bodies and spatiality.

The enlistment of these knowledge­-based aesthetic interventions is foreclosed in the course of From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned in order to suspend timelines and alternatively procure waves of showing and discursification. From a place of toning, shaping, and even detoxification to the mesopolitics of protection and defences­­, From Bandung to Berlin: If all of the moons aligned lays over a political astronomy approximating the fictitious and factitious times and places of 1955 Bandung, 1989 Berlin, and our contemporary moment.

The exhibition is closely linked to a platform for knowledge accumulation:

September 23 | 7-10pm

Opening and performance by Ho Rui An

Solar: A Melt Down is a lecture that takes off from the sweaty back of a mannequin of the anthropologist Charles le Roux that the artist encountered in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. From this image launches a series of investigations that attempts to get to the “behinds” of Empire and more crucially, the merciless sun behind it, beating down on the imperial back. Probing this “solar unconscious” underpinning the European colonial project, the lecture further considers the white woman and the punkawallah (manual fan operator) as figures constitutive of a “global domestic”—an all-encompassing, air-conditioned planetary interior. Spiralling into the contemporary moment of terrestrial meltdown, it finally seeks to reclaim sweat as a way of getting out of ourselves and in touch with the Solar.

September 24 | 2-6pm

UNCERTAIN GEOGRAPHIES. With a lecture-performance by Irwan Ahmett and Tita Salina; and a talk with the curators

Cold War politics split the world into two large blocs and shed a new meaning to the term East and West, not only as a cartographic cardinal points but also a geopolitical symbol of place-making based on ideological alignment. “From Bandung to Berlin” is a loose framework that points out erratic transglobal-historical coordinates which were enabled by the political circuit of Cold War, the force of gravity amongst global ideological movement and the development of communication and space exploration technology. In this session, the spatio-temporal distance between Bandung 1955 and Berlin 1989 is revisited by tracing moments of alignment between the national and the international, the local and the translocal, the bilateral and the multilateral. The connections and disconnections of these encounters will supply an assemblage of meanings that gives new sense to the way we understand geography as a living border that are influenced by the mobility of bodies, capital, ideas and affect.

September 25 | 2-6pm

RESTITUTION AND VOCABULARIES. Discursive program with Ho Tzu Nyen, Sina Seifee, and others

The speculative approximations in From Bandung to Berlin gather processes of abstraction for a number of issues and parameters. While this procedure points us to alternative ways of showing and discursification, the project also recognizes how it has suspended timelines and procured foreclosures to constitute new vectors and references. Through artistic interventions, readings, and discussions, this open session leans on the question of restitution and its valences and limitations in projects of recomposing vocabularies.


From Bandung to Berlin (FBB) is an open and shared immaterial platform of collaboration that revolves around the interval of historical space and time between the first Asian ­African Conference in Bandung 1955 and the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989. The first iteration of FBB is titled From Bandung to Berlin: A Social Fiction and was materialized as an interactive website ( and was re­-lived as a new multivariable installation titled From Bandung to Berlin: The Guest and The Ghost, at Guangdong Times Museum, an expansion of its first socialization in an exhibition format at “South by Southeast” co­-curated by Patrick D. Flores and Anca Verona Mihulet for Osage Art Foundation in Hong Kong.

Since its launch in 2014, From Bandung to Berlin has expounded and worked around the contributions of Adjani Arumpac, Amanda Lee Koe, Brigitta Isabella, Chang Yuchen, Muhammad Al-Fayyadl, Renan G. Laru-an, and Tan Zi Hao.

Brigitta Isabella (b. 1989, Jakarta) is a member of KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, a research collective with focus on the intersections between theory and practice and experimentations to produce critical knowledge through cross-disciplinary encounter, research- action, artistic intervention and vernacular education within and across community spaces. She is also a co-editor of Southeast of Now, a new refereed journal to be published in late 2016.

Renan Laru-an (b. 1989, Sultan Kudarat) is a researcher and curator based in the Philippines. After completing psychology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, he founded DiscLab | Research and Criticism, a multidisciplinary platform and 'virtual' organization for writing, theory, discursive activities, and small-scale, long-term research on Philippine contemporary art and visual and network culture. He is a member of SYNAPSE - The International Curators' Network at HKW in Berlin. Recently, he is a Re-Directing East curator-in-residence at Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw.

FBB is partly supported by the Goethe-Institut Indonesia and the Goethe-Institut Phillipines.

Research Partners: The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center at the University of the Philippines-Diliman


FILM SERIES < how does the world breathe now? >

Session N°3 with Maria Theresa Alvez

September 28, 2016 | 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm)

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

< how does the world breathe now? > is a 52 week film series at SAVVY Contemporary inviting artists, thinkers, activists, poets, scientists, curators and other practitioners to select movies of our nows*

Info about Session N°3 will be updated soon

Next: Session N°4 with Mohamed Fariji | October 5, 2016

* how does the world breathe now?

In his seminal poem ‘Sebuah Dunia Yang Marah’ (An Angry World), written in 1960 and since then proofing its sad truth and profoundness, Indonesian poet, playwright and activist Raden Mas Willibrordus Surendra Broto aka Rendra laments in utter awe the inscrutable state of the world today. The term ‘today’ in its relativity and endless elasticity is that day, week, month, that moment in 1960 when the poem was written, as well as that point in time today, when you notice that the today of 1960 and the today of now could easily step in as a surrogate for the today of 1960. Rendra points at the hypocrisy and senselessness of speeches, conferences, institutions that offer lip service while the world crumbles under greed, betrayal, megalomania and kleptocracy. He writes of despair, viciousness and empty lives. Of impotent bitterness. Of forlornness on the face of the earth inhabited by hopelessness, hate, murder. Of a world haunted by lies, confusion and, for lack of a better term, sin. At some point he breaks down, breaks it down and asks in a state of desolation – ‘how does the world breathe now?’

That this question forces one to reminisce on Eric Garner’s “I can’t breathe” is neither a matter of haphazardness nor a footnote in a narrative, but rather the main stream in a constructed narrative of a world struggling under the burden of misused power, whiteness, manness, patriarchy, misogyny, capitalism, racism and coloniality.

The project how does the world breathe now? is an acknowledgment an acknowledgement of the artist’s role in society and as a reflection of his/her time as well as an acknowledgment of the fact that we are not islands. We learn from others and teach others. We exist because others exist - both the living and the non-living. This project is thus an effort to acknowledge a genealogy of artistic practice that engages with the social, the political, the bigger and smaller obstacles and beauties in the quotidian, but above all an acknowledgement of artistic practice that digs deeper beneath and beyond the visible reality.

It is to this end that the project how does the world breathe now? invites artists, curators, and thinkers of all walks of life to propose an outstanding film/filmmaker that aptly captured/captures the Zeitgeist of his/her/its epoque – besides the work of the invited. On a weekly basis for over a year, SAVVY Contemporary will be host to an evening of presentations, screenings and discussions around the work of a filmmaker. The invited will have the chance to present why he/she chose this particular work, its relevance to the time it was made and possibly to our time, and if need be, make a relation to his/her practice.


Participants, among many others: Dani Gal, Chuz Martinez, Nasan Tur, Antje Majewski, Vittorio Gallese, Binyavanga Wainaina, Theo Eshetu, Angela Melitopoulos, Anri Sala, Braco Dimitrijevic, Candice Breitz, Gertrude Koch, Jin-Heon Jung, Juan Pedro Fabra, Khlaed Kurbeh, Köken Ergun, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Maria Theresa Alves, Marion von Osten, Nino Klingler, Rachel O’Reilly, Simon Sheik, Sinziana Paltineanu, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Taiye Selasi, …

Concept: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

Artistic directors: Bonaventure Ndikung & Elena Agudio

Project coordination: Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein


Fanonian Ideas for Transformation: On Postcolonies, Art, and Political Imagination

Keynote Lecture by Lewis R. Gordon

October 1, 2016 | 8 pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Continuing the reflections from his 2015 lectures ("Decolonizing the City") at Studio X Johannesburg in Soweto, South Africa, Afro-Jewish philosopher and musician Lewis Gordon, building on themes from the thought of the revolutionary philosopher-psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, will offer a critique of moralism and conceptions of political action premised on determining outcomes before performance. Such views are antipathetic to the aesthetic dimensions of political life, wherein is the imaginative potential for building livable worlds. A sad feature of many postcolonies is the malediction of imitating colonial institutions and their infrastructure, and efforts at social transformation are often steeped in moralistic purges instead of affirmations of life and building institutions of human flourishing, which include their aesthetic dimensions. This talk will thus explore these themes through reflections on what could be called the art of power and empowerment as a creative feature of genuinely political commitments to the transformation of social life.

Lewis R. Gordon is an Afro-Jewish philosopher, musician, and political thinker. He is Professor of Philosophy at UCONN-Storrs and Honorary Professor at the Unit of the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa. He is also the drummer for the rock band ThreeGenerations. His most recent books are What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought and, with Jane Anna Gordon, Aaron Kamugisha, and Neil Roberts, Journeys in Caribbean Thought: The Paget Henry Reader (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016). His website is: and he is on twitter at:

Reviews for What Fanon Said: "In the hands of Lewis Gordon, What Fanon Said, becomes what Frantz Fanon says to us today. The book brings alive the revolutionary thought and practice of Fanon into the continuing struggles for structural economic, political, social, and psychic transformations of our world. The struggle against anti-black racism is an integral part of it, and Gordon's Fanon is the many-sided thinker who saw it all and give it words of fire in his works, particularly Black Skin, White Masks and The Damned of the Earth."—Ngugi wa Thiong’o

"Gordon is interested in understanding and correcting the systematic delegitimization of black intellectuals, both in philosophy and within the broader scope of theory…This is how Gordon pertinently introduces considerations of race and racism within the epistemological field, engaging his readers to be more perceptive with regard to what could be called a ‘colour line in theory’."—Lucy Kim-Chi Mercier, Radical Philosophy


SAVVY Contemporary, silent green, Conscious Pariah present:

Alsarah & the Nubatones

October 18, 2016 | 8 pm

silent green Kulturquartier | Gerichtstraße 35 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

©Nousha Salimi

Alsarah & the Nubatones were born out of many dinner conversations between Alsarah and Rami El Aasser about Nubian ‘songs of return’, modern migration patterns and the cultural exchanges between Sudan and Egypt. A common love for the richness of pentatonic sounds, and shared migration experiences, expanded the conversation to include Armenian-American Oud player Haig Manouki-An and French born Togo raised bass player Mawuena Kodjovi. Under the leadership of Alsarah, the Brooklyn based group’s sound grew into what they have dubbed as ‘East – African Retro-Pop’.

In March of 2014 the group released their debut album 'Silt' via Wonderwheel Recordings to international acclaim and great reviews. October of the same year saw the release of 'Silt Remixed' featuring remixes by Bodhisattva, Nickodemus, Captain Planet, and many others. It also went on to be selected by the prestigious Fact Magazine as one of the best remix albums of 2014.

Since their first show in October of 2011, the group has performed nationally and internationally at many prestigious festivals and venues. Currently they are on their Album Release Tour for 'Manara' which will be out on September 30, 2016.

Ticket at the door: 25 EUR

Pre-Sale Ticket: 22,50 EUR via KOKA 36