Telling Trees

Once upon a time
There were trees
They could grow
Making us know
About the beauties
Of life

Once upon a time
There were trees
They could breathe
Making us live
Of Eternity

Once upon a time
Trees could tell
Tell about
Things we couldn’t see
They would go on telling
On growing

On living
On showing
The path Earth made
Carrying for us
A way
We could take on
Caring for the Earth

Once upon a time
A Time will happen

Let us taste from life. By telling trees. Let us build a life. Telling trees. From our ancestors. To our contemporaries. Planting seeds. Building soils. For the ones. Yet to come. Join us for this session of Telling Trees, a series of informal gatherings at  SAVVY Contemporary, around and among “sources of knowledge,” being scholars of the living who are rooted in African cultures. 

Telling Trees is inviting listeners and their gardens of joy – your friends and family trees, your parents and grandparents, children, and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. At this Session N°1, our Telling Tree Michelle Nze welcomes children with a painting session prepared for them. While listening to a tale told by Michelle, they can bring what they hear and imagine into a painting. These paintings will join Michelle's during the exhibition of her sculptures and paintings at SAVVY Contemporary that same day.

Michelle Nze is being recognized in Gabon as a painter and sculptress since the late 1990s,  her works travelled with several exhibitions in Africa and Europe. Among many projects, she shaped the „United Buddy Bear“ for Gabon. In 2000, Michelle Nze was granted the Nelson Mandela price of the Nelson Mandela Children Fund at the world exhibition in Hannover. The world citizen preserves in her works the precious historical and symbolic cultural heritage of Africa, while pursuing her own vision of Modern art. Thus, she brings tradition into accordance with spirituality. From her paintings to her sculptures, her works express pure strength and joy of life. In her works, the artist engages with the cycle of birth, life, and death. By doing so, she builds a relationship between our world and the metaphysical world of our ancestors, who provides us with strength, give us advice, convey comfort, and who we owe absolute respect. Michelle Nze lives and works in Berlin.

Arlette-Louise Ndakozeis an independent researcher-journalist primarily researching on sources of wisdom-knowledge, with radio being her medium of passion. For several years, Arlette looks out on artistic and intellectual movements in Rwanda and other African cultures, researching on philosophical disciplines, literature scenes, and on the ties that have been and are still connecting cultures. As a member of  SAVVY Contemporary, Arlette cultivates Telling Trees, an informal storytelling series on sources of knowledge in African cultures, proposing the various communities in Berlin a place of culture building and living.