Boniface Mwangi in Conversation with Mwangi Hutter

October 26, 2016 | 7 pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Boniface Mwangi's presentation will be followed by a conversation with Mwangi Hutter.

Boniface Mwangi is renowned for his powerful photographs and courageous protests calling for social justice in Kenya and beyond. His latest publication UnBounded is a collection of engaging personal stories that take us through some of the people, places and events that have shaped Boniface, one of Kenya's best known photographers and activists. It is a portrait of the child, the man and some of the human, harrowing and even humorous episodes that he has witnessed and photographed.

This book tells of the two remarkable women – his mother and grandmother – who influenced his character and inspired his drive to raise awareness about poverty, inequality and corruption. His work as a photo-activist is grounded in social engagement, collective action and the need for justice. This is the story of a man full of determination and warmth, a man who lives his life to make a difference.

“It is the youthful rebels, reformers and revolutionaries that must overthrow the global status quo. Boniface Mwangi's story is within this trajectory and is relevant to Kenya, East Africa, and indeed, the world. I believe his patriotic story has just begun.?A luta Continua! Vitoria é certa!” -- Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice and President, Supreme Court of Kenya

Boniface Mwangi is an award-winning Kenyan photojournalist and human rights activist. He was a staff photographer with The Standard, a leading Kenyan newspaper, for four years. He became the eye of Kenyans during the 2007/8 post-election violence and showed courage and compassion to capture thousands of images; some so gory they could not be published.

His work has appeared in leading publications in the world — from The New York Times to The Guardian and Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph and The Boston Globe among others.

He studied human rights and documentary photography at New York University, USA. He has twice won the CNN Multichoice Africa Photojournalist of the Year Award and is the youngest Prince Claus Laureate. New African Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2014 and he is also a senior TED Fellow. Time magazine recognized him as a Next Generation Leader in 2015.

Boniface runs PAWA254, a hub for creatives in Kenya where journalists, artists and activists find innovative ways of achieving social change

Ingrid Mwangi was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Robert Hutter was born in Ludwigshafen/Rhein, Germany. They both received New Artistic Media degrees from the University of Fine Arts Saar, Saarbrücken, and have received scholarships from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, and residency scholarships of the Rhineland- Palatinate studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Their work has been shown across Africa, Asia, Europe, United States and South America, at the Bienal de Sao Paulo, Venice Biennale, the Brooklyn Museum, DAK’ART, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of African Art, Mori Museum among others. In 2005, after working together for several years and marrying, Mwangi and Hutter merged their names and biographies and became a single artist, Mwangi Hutter. Working with video, photography, installation, sculpture, painting and performance, they use themselves as the sounding board to reflect on changing societal realities, creating an aesthetics of self-knowledge and interrelationship.


Third Space at SAVVY Contemporary

Three Days and Nights with Ahmed Al-Nawas and Christopher Wessels

October 27-29, 2016

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

End of October, SAVVY Contemporary will be taken over, amicably, by our colleagues from Third Space - a Helsinki based collective of artists and curators seeking to unsettle preconceived notions of the other. As cross-border transcultural operatives, the collective seeks to make visible the invisible lines that separate us. Armed with the intangible weapon of sound and the understanding of the power of visual culture, Third Space forms cracks in knowledges situated around us.

So how does one approach narratives that are interconnected but have a temporal break? Al-Nawas and Wessels will be unpacking their current research over a few evenings at SAVVY Contemporary. Talking babylon, migration, pipelines, Verdi, oil, maroons, the legacy of bohemia in Germany, Suriname and South Africa. Join us we will break bread and drink wine and infuse the madness with the funk.

Christopher Wessels (Internationalist, with roots in SA and branches in FIN) is a husla pimping subjectivities seeking to contest and unsettle the construct of 'western civilization'. He is located within the discourse of the Funk.

Ahmed Al-Nawas(IRQ/FIN) is in-between an art curator and an artist. He is located in the interstices of society, constantly examining and contesting the notions of margins and center.

And they'll bring us:

27th October | 7pm


Ahmed Al-Nawas and Christopher Wessels will be talking about their current research on '(re)positioning the center'. Al-Nawas & Wessels artistic and curatorial research and practice focuses on finding strategies and practices for looking at silenced narratives / memories and knowledges from the margins of the margin to the margins of the center. Part of their work asks what it is that is represented in archives and cultural history museums?

"Our research will investigate the possibilities of curators and institutions in the mediation of work that include the silenced and disregarded memories of marginalized communities from the global South. Our use of the global South here is not limited to a geographical location, but includes diasporic and displaced communities in Europe, as well as communities constructed as ‘Other’ by the coloniality of power. Our research is located in the Moravian Church Unity archives in Herrnhut Germany and three Cultural History Museums on three continents: the Bohemian Museum in Neukölln Germany, the Genadendal Mission Museum in South Africa and the Surinaams Museum in Paramaribo Suriname."

28th October | 6pm


A discussion with Giulia Palladini, a researcher in Performance studies who recently co-edited the book Lexicon of an Affective Archive: To study an archive or archival materials is to encounter an affective and critical practice involved in the construction of memory. Lexicon for an Affective Archive, edited by Giulia Palladini and Marco Pustianaz, is an international collection of these encounters, offering glimpses into the intimate relations inherent in finding, remembering (or imagining), and creating an archive. Bringing together voices from a variety of fields across the humanities, performance studies, and contemporary art, and engaging in a multidisciplinary analysis, this beautifully designed and fully illustrated volume advances the idea of an “affective archive” as a useful conceptual tool—a tool which contributes to an understanding of an expanded notion of an archive and its central role in contemporary visual and performing arts."

Giulia Palladini is a researcher in Performance Studies based in Berlin. She was a Alexander von Humboldt fellow (2012-2014), and currently teaches at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee Berlin. She has taught seminars as Guest Professor in various international institutions, such as the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá and SNDO in Amsterdam. Her research focuses especially on performance labor and free time, the archive, and materialist theories of artistic production. Her texts appeared in several international journals, and she collaborated as theorist and as curator to a number of critical and artistic projects (e.g. Affective Archives, Vercelli 2009; Living Rooms, L’Aquila 2011; Taking Time, Helsinki 2013; Experimenta/Sur, Bogotá, 2014; Zu ICH um WIR zu Sein, Leipzig, 2014). Her book The Scene of Foreplay: Theatre, Labor and Leisure in 1960s New York will be published by Northwestern University Press in Spring 2017, and she edited with Marco Pustianaz the collected volume Lexicon for an Affective Archive (Intellect/LADA, forthcoming 2017).

29th October | 2pm


Ahmed Al-Nawas and Christopher Wessels are locating their practice based research '(re)positioning the center' as a joint PHD research at a Gender Studies department at Åbo Academy University as opposed to an Art institution. Their praxis of writing together does not guarantee their entrance, since entrance means the stretching of university rules.

“We will workshop about our attempt to do our PhD together. Here we will do a mind mapping of the process, obstacles and have the audience help us develop strategies to overcome these obstacles.“

At the end of the evening, Al-Nawas and Wessels will Talk to Kesivan Naidoo about his 'Zero Gravity Project', a jazz quartet playing only improvised music, with Bokani Dyer, Feya Faku and Shane Cooper, hopefully we will get to listen to the live recording of their first gig at the Orbit in Jozi.

Every evening will end with listening and dancing to some music, as it should be!


The "As If" of Poetry and other Discourses on Technology

by Stadtsprachen Literaturfestival, SAND Journal & The Reader Berlin

The workshop is booked out!

October 30, 2016 | 11-17 pm

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

"So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive" –– Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn, 1978.

"Cultivate a flavour that/grows from within/for the sake of our own/starvation" -– Marie Pascale Hardy, personal records, 2016.

“That the impossible should be asked of me, good, what else could be asked of me” –– Samuel Beckett, Unnamable, 1953.

Is the poem an artifact? Is technology a poetic medium?

This day-long workshop will serve as the platform for poets and all kinds of sound enthusiasts to come together and reason around the issues concerning the discursive and material intersections of poetry and technology.

As part of the Stadtsprachen Literaturfestival, participants of all backgrounds and levels of experience are invited to join a group of selected artists in creating and conceptualizing texts and sonic devices. During the first part of the workshop, Donna Stonecipher will help participants to familiarize themselves with alternative translation techniques that use sound, memory, and one's own relation to space as the tools to “translate” a poem and the potential for the translation of texts within a single language. Finally, all participants will have the chance to write their own homophonic poems and translations.

The second part of the workshop –led by the sound poets and performers of Rudolf Kollektiv– will focus on taking these poems and translating them again into pure sound. To do this, participants will learn to build a range of simple sonic devices; contact microphones, optical theremins (a light sensor noise device) and amplifiers. These devices will be used to intervene (an interfere) the texts created.

In the process of doing so, the workshop will ask: is sound the medium of that what resides outside the world of 'meaning'? The material that results from this day-long workshop will be presented in the exhibition "sound and cerement//technologies of decay" which will take place on the 4th of November at SAVVY Contemporary.

Invited artists: Marie-Pascale Hardy//Alan Mills//Sarnath Banerjee//Goksu Kunak//Jane Flett//Kenny Fries//John Peck//Klaas von Karlos

PLEASE REGISTER WITH EVENTBRITE -- The Workshop is already booked out.



FROM BANDUNG TO BERLIN. If all of the moons aligned

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

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