Studio 44, Berlin, Germany
28 Feb 2014 - 26 Apr 2014


Intended as an intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange program between South Africa and Germany, the aim of  ‘ON FIRE ‘, curated by Constanza Macras and Tamara Saphir is to appeal and sensitize through artistic means both a German and a South African Public, to promote action and raise awareness through an intense exchange on these issues.

A special focus in the program will be given to south african LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi -and Trans- Intersex) activists that are questioning the norms of gender/sexuality identity constructions, working in the space between the most progressive legislation of Sub-saharan Africa to this regard and a reality that remains conflictive. In a country that belongs to the so-called world’s “Champions League” in terms of gay marriage, the phenomena of corrective rapes and the specific vulnerability to violence for LGTBI’s and women are still a severe reality. Moreover, homosexuality is considered by some as “un-African”, namely a “decadent” import from North America and Europe. Paradoxically, this homophobic belief is a relic of a Puritan legislation inherited from the period of British colonial era. Yet, in order to craft narratives of a south-african identity that includes LGTBI it seems still hard to avoid dealing with more complex processes related to religious practices and powers, as well as the cultural and political interpretations, re-interpretations and sometimes an instrumentalization of tradition and heritage.

On the other hand, the re-evaluation of heritages and traditions long related to segregated cultural groups are being articulated in new ways with urban life, and with self-defined contemporary practices and productions, that we want to include in this program. This often links to a subaltern reflection on post-colonial/post-apartheid ongoing power struggles and the artistic deconstructions of colonial/patriarcal imageries of the other.


All showings are going to be presented in english language. Reserve your tickets at
Ticket price per Show 14€ / reduced 9€ or ask for a combined ticket for both showings (16,00€ / reduced 11,00€).

28.02.2014 & 01.03.2014

19h30 – Showing of Mmakgosi Kgabi & Juliana Piquero * (AIR)
“She is not a girl, she is not a boy” will question the interstices between the public space of performativity and the intimacy of the body’s inner perceptions. What remains once ambiguity has exploded all categories? An exploration of the significance or in-significance of words and movement. A language within language haunting us back, as the fantom of what it should and should not had been.

21h00 – Showing of Kieron Jina, Miki Shoji & Jan Sebastian Suba * (AIR)
Kieron Jina did an extensive field research on the “invisible” male sex workers from Cape Town. Sebastian Suba collected statements, anecdotes and legends of male porn stars. Miki Shoji joins them for creating an interdisciplinary performance work about hidden transactions and overexposed bodies, confessions and professions, witnessing and peeping. On the performativity of sex and the instability of gender.

Follow Kieron’s, Jan Sebastian’s and Miki’s process of creation on their tumblr: ONFIRETOO

22h00 – Opening Party with DJ Zhao/ Ngoma Soundsystem and DJ Dorfdisco (only 28.02.2014)


07. – 08.03.2014

19h30 – GATES OF HELL, Dance Solo by & with Fana Tshabalala
Beyond every point is a sense of discovery and what we discover at one point in time determines our perception of future discoveries. Therefore it is our past experience that fully allow us to appreciate the future we discover, resulting in a change of direction both physically and mentally. A soul finds itself beyond and within the unknown, where vision is limited and language foreign. This is a place where discovery transforms humanity and revolutionizes self – a place of familiarity and exploration.

Director and Performer: Fana Tshabalala / Composer: Christian Zanesi


07. – 08.03.2014

21h00 – SHADES OF A QUEEN, for those who are departed…
those whom departed before their time /
Solo Performance by and with Mmakgosi Kgabi
Shades of a queen… is an experimental work investigating the constructs of identity. It evolves around rituals as important signifiers, and a fascination with intercultural exchanges that is certainly rooted in globalization. The creative process is based in personal experiences in public spaces i.e. conversations in taxi ranks, subway stations, airports, markets.
“Omang? Who are you?…Who am I? I am a dusty feet traveller…An immigrant, a refugee, a traveller, a transient being, moving, shifting, crossing, riding, giving, taking, displaced and removed, a spawned street kid.” ‘I was spawned as the shoot of a veined directive relieved itself. Spawned as regret settled before rushing rivers of blood quietened. Spawned before whispers of my coming were ever muttered. Tuunikohaa!’


28. – 29.03.2014

19h30 – Showing Mamela Nyamza * (AIR)
A hoe is a traditional tool historically used by women to suppress weed and control the ploughing of seed in a straight row. A “hoe” might be confused with a “ho” (whore). A “hoe” is used to dig under. An understudy is a back-up for the person starring the dance role. A person below. During the residency, Mamela will work on traditional tools, with hoes and ballet points. A research going below and under, about good and bad seeds, endurance and bitterness.


28. – 29.03.2014

21h00 – Showing Lucky Kele & Ronni Maciel * (AIR)
Between the inhabited body of the ritual and the rituals of the technical performance, a duo work at the moving edges of trans/cendant states and immanent formal virtuosism. Lucky Kele and Ronni Maciel will interrogate what moves them and how to move together.



12h – 18h – “It all depends”: On Fire @ VISIONARY ARCHIVE
Film Program at Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, Postdamer Strasse 2.
The films MUEDA, MEMORIA E MASSACRE (Mosambik 1979) and COME BACK AFRICA (SA/USA 1958) inform a debate with four South-African artists on body politics, history making and the role of performance art in “stating the plurality of singularity” (A. Mbembe).

Co-curated by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Tobias Hering



19h30 – Zanele Muholi’s Exhibition Opening * (AIR)

Live-Performance Zanele Muholi & Jelena Kuljic * (AIR)
During March and April STUDIO 44 is hosting renowned artist and activist Zanele Muholi. At the end of her residency, the new production will be presented along with former bodies of work in the form of a video and photo installation and a live performance.


25. – 26.04.2014

20h00 – Showing of Athena Mazarakis & Anouk Froidevaux * (AIR)
The notion of the body as an archive underpins Athena’s choreographic practice, interested in the ways in which improvisational strategies excavate memory and experience that is inscribed in the body and how the intelligence of the body translates this somatic knowledge into motion. She will collaborate with Anouk Froidevaux to explore the idea of choreography as ACTIVATION: an activation of the individual audience member; the activation of site / place; the activation of memory through motion; and the activation of probing questions. An investigation of alternative choreographic formats which allows for a transaction between the performers and the audience. Concerned with making work that remembers the audience as embodied beings, they will use the power of the physical presence with differing levels of proximity to the audience to engage challenging social issues.




Klosterstraße 44
10179 Berlin Germany


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