CONF: Looking Forward, Looking Back – Itinerant artists between African and German-speaking countries, 1950s to 1970s (online / Universität Zürich, 16-17 Dec 2021)

The symposium aims to launch international research about itinerant artists who travelled between various African and German-speaking countries from the 1950s to the 1970s. It seeks to collate and analyse multiple transcultural exchanges between artists, institutions and other agents in the field of visual arts during the period of decolonisation and the Cold War. Looking forward/Looking back will address research and findings in the format of specific case studies. It will also discuss the broader theoretical frameworks of archives in a transmodern global world from art historical, artistic and curatorial perspectives.

Looking Forward, Looking Back – A Symposium Organised by the International Research Group MAM (Multiple Artistic Mobilities – Travelling Artists from/to African Countries and European German-Speaking Countries) –


THURSDAY 16th December—Part 1
Case Studies of Itinerant Transcontinental Encounters

9.00 am Coffee and Welcome

9.30 am Introduction Bärbel Küster (Zurich)

10.00–10.40 am Lea Nienhoff (Geneva) Cultural Diplomacy and the Arts. Alliances and Affective Relations between Mozambique and East Germany at the End of the 1970s

10.40–11.20 am Iheanyi Onwuegbucha (Princeton/Lagos) The Nsukka Printmaking Workshops

11.20–11.30 am Short Break

11.30–12.10 am Dominicus Makukula (Dar es Salaam) Jean Pruitt’s Nyumba Ya Sanaa Project (NYS-House of Arts)

12.10–12.30 am Open Discussion

12.30–2.00 pm Lunch

2.00–2.40 pm Frank Ugiomoh (Port Harcourt) Ulli Beier and Intersectionality in the Mbari-Club, the Ibadan, Ile-Ife Workshops and the Black Orpheus Journal (via zoom)

2.40–3.20 pm Bea Gassmann de Sousa (London) Dreaming the 2nd ‘African Renaissance’. Kofi Antubam at the Deutsche Afrika Gesellschaft 1960–61

3.20–3.30 pm Short Break

3.30–4.10 pm Aino Moongo (Windhoek/Bayreuth)—Thorsten Schütte (Ludwigsburg) Short intro to ‘Stolen Moments – Namibian Music History Untold’

4.10–4.30 pm Open Discussion

4.30–5.00 pm Refreshments

5.00 –6.00 pm Conversation Christian Kravagna (Vienna)—Berhanu Ashagrie (Vienna/Addis Ababa) Herbert Seiler. Modernism and Art Education in Ethiopia

FRIDAY 17th December—Part 2 
Looking/Archives: Matter/Substances

10–10.40 am Conversation Marie-Hélène Gutberlet (Frankfurt/M)—Filipa Cesar (Berlin/Stuttgart) Le Passeur: Cinema as Crossing and the Passages of Cine-Kinship (presence/online)

10.40–11.00 am Coffee

11.00–11.40 am Samuel Okoro (Port Harcourt) Post-Custodial Archives and Inclusivity in History Making. A Case of the UTC in Nigeria

11.40–12.20 am Romuald Tchibozo (Abomey-Calavi) Modern and Contemporary African Art in the Leipzig Museum. Analysis of a Collection

12.20–12.45 am Open Discussion

12.45–2.00 pm Lunch

2.00–2.40 pm Conversation Doreen Mende (Geneva) and Adjoa Armah (London) Resonances from The Black Star. A Film Realised in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana of 1964 by Joachim Hellwig/DEFA

2.40–3.20 pm Astrid Mania (Hamburg/Berlin) Narratives on Gavin Jantjes. His DAAD Years at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, 1970–72

3.20–4.00 pm Open Discussion

4.00–4.15 pm Short Break

4.15–4.45 pm Association of Black Art_ists e.V.: ASBA Installation Project as a Matter of Black Archiving (Princela Biyaa, Marny Garcia Mommertz and Fayo Said)

4.45–5.00 pm Refreshments

5.00–6.30 pm Roundtable The Productive Archive. New Epistemic Readings Annette Bhagwati, Iheanyi Onwuegbucha, Doreen Mende, Aino Moongo Moderator Bea Gassmann de Souza

Final discussion with all participants

Participation free of charge—hybrid event in presence and/or Zoom Registration for presence/Zoom is requested by 14th of December 21 
Registration online / for attendance in presence contact

Locations on 16th December: UZH Karl Schmid-Strasse 4, KO2-F 152, 
and on 17th December: UZH Häldeliweg 2, HAH-E 11