Spaces of Displacement – Negotiations of Migration and Refugeeism in Mass Media and Visual Arts

Goethe-Institut Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
21 Sep 2015 - 25 Sep 2015

Spaces of Displacement  – Negotiations of Migration and Refugeeism in Mass Media and Visual Arts

'Fabrik', German Pavillon at Venice Biennale 2015, Olaf Nicolai: GIRO, 2015, VG Bildkunst, photo by Manuel Reinartz

Multi-disciplinary workshop and public program with international guests on the occasion of the German Pavilion/La Biennale Arte 2015.

Starting from their varied reflections on the notions of ‘work’, ‘migration’, and ‘revolt’, the four artistic positions on display in the German Pavilion / La Biennale Arte 2015 – Olaf Nicolai, Hito Steyerl, Tobias Zielony, and Jasmina Metwaly / Philip Rizk – transform the building into a factory, into a vanished, virtual factory of the imagination, into a factory for political narratives and for analysing our visual culture.

Within this context, Tobias Zielony‘s installation The Citizen is an invitation to engage in dialogue. The work consists of three intertwined parts:
1) a wall display showing photographic portraits of refugees from different African countries who are now living in Germany; 2) stands presenting various African newspapers with texts by invited authors that take his work as their point of departure; and 3) a newspaper handout specially produced for the exhibition as a means to convey the voices of the people portrayed in the photographs.

The five-day workshop in Lagos, Nigeria, provides a platform to continue and deepen this discussion. From a transnational perspective, it focuses on mass media and visual arts as spaces of negotiating refugeeism and migration. What does it mean when journalists discuss these issues? How do the visual arts deal with these and interrelated topics? And what is the curator’s role within these dynamic narratives?

The workshop will end with a public presentation of its results in the form of a newspaper. The public programme that accompanies the workshop consists of lectures, artist presentations, film screenings, round-table discussions (‘Displacement Conversations’), and a final exhibition.

The cross-disciplinary group involves, among others:

Kunle Ajibade (journalist and editor, TheNEWS), Jahman Anikulapo (former arts editor, The Guardian Newspaper), Jude Anogwih (curator, CCA, Lagos), Roman Deckert (Media in Cooperation and Transition / MICT, Berlin, D), Ndidi Dike (artist, Lagos) Florian Ebner (curator, Museum Folkwang, Essen, DE / German Pavilion, La Biennale Arte, Venice, 2015), Gabriele Genge (art historian, University of Duisburg-Essen, DE), Invisible BordersPeju Layiwola (art historian and artist, University of Lagos) Azu Nwagbogu (African Artists Foundation, Lagos), Chika Oduah (journalist, Abuja) Sean O’Toole (African Centre for Cities, Johannesburg, SA) Rahina Zarma (legal protection officer, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and IDPs, Abuja)

A cooperation involving: African Artists FoundationLagos PhotoFord Foundation, German Pavilion/La Biennale Arte 2015, Goethe-Institut Lagosifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, NLELE Institute, Lagos

Concept: Florian Ebner, Kerstin Meincke, Marc-André Schmachtel