Dis-otherinG As A Method

is a project within  DIS-OTHERING: BEYOND AFROPOLITAN AND OTHER LABELS – a collaboration between BOZAR–Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels), Kulturen in Bewegung (Vienna) and SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin) on the necessary deconstruction of “othering” practices in European cultural institutions. It consists of an exhibition, symposia, a festival, talks and performances, a residency program, mapping research, and a website, all manifesting in 2018 and 2019 in Berlin, Brussels, Vienna and Warsaw. These different formats share the bringing together of artists, communities, thinkers and people of all walks of life to reflect on contemporary processes and technologies of “Dis-Othering.”

We cordially invite you to a day of Invocations in the framework of the project  DIS-OTHERING: BEYOND AFROPOLITAN AND OTHER LABELS. 

The Berlin chapter  DIS-OTHERING AS A METHOD: LEH ZO, A ME KE NDE ZA (which literally translates from Ngemba as “Keep yours and I keep mine”), is conceived as a series of discourses, performances and an exhibition that stand out as platforms on and through which, contemporary processes and technologies of ‘Othering’ could be reflected upon. It is not about the “Other” – which is just the “product.” The project is a deliberation on the amoebic and morphed methodologies employed by institutions and societies at large in constructing and cultivating “Otherness” in our contemporaneity. It is about the commodification and the cooption of the “Other” and the reinforced acts of "Othering".

The exhibition of this project,  GEOGRAPHIES OF IMAGINATION  engages in confabulations to build connections between the varied and conflicting uses of imagination in constructing otherness and the role of geography as a tool of power. How is power situated at the core of processes of othering, and how are these processes connected to forms of belonging that we could also relate to notions of territoriality and possession? The other, writes Ta-Nehisi Coates, exists beyond the border of the great “belonging”, something that contributed to producing the sense of anxiety that brought white, patriarchal supremacists of the far right to politically emerge again in recent elections, in the US as much as in several European countries.

GEOGRAPHIES OF IMAGINATION is thought as an exhibition, a research, a cartographic time-line and above all a space where artists come together to weave, through very different positions, possible formulas towards a core question bell hooks poses and we want to pose over and over again: How can we –now understood as humanity– find a sense of belonging that will encourage and bring us to “embrace all of the conditions of the world”, even beyond the human species and towards the earth as a whole?

In a political moment defined once again by the need to identify an enemy as the cause of one´s own miseries from the micro to the macro scale, of identity politics either played against or in favor of someone´s practice, this project comes as particularly relevant.