The Berlin Conference of 1884-5 discussed German colonization of Africa. Now 130 years later, this conference is meeting to talk about the present-day impacts of colonialism, featuring film screenings, panel discussions, and live performances. Following an exhibition curated by Simon Njami, this is the second part of the Wir Sind Alle Berliner project.
February 27 features a keynote lecture by the Malian writer, filmmaker and cultural theorist Manthia Diawara, followed by panel discussions, a spoken word/sound performance, and a screening of Coz ov Moni: The First Pidgen Musical Film in the World, a Ghanian film featuring rap duo Fokn Bois. This should be a highlight of the programme: the film is very unique in that it's entirely in Ghanian pidgin English (with subtitles), and Fokn Bois themselves are dropping by to talk about the film.
Panel participants are from a variety of countries and backgrounds – an incredibly diverse range of artists, photographers, curators, professors, writers, and more. The whole day on February 28 is devoted to discussion, problematising important topics such as the concept of citizenship, neo-colonialism, and ethnologic collection. March 1 ends the conference on a lighter note with an afternoon of film screenings. Several filmmakers, including Theo Eshetu and Berlin-based Filipa Cesar, will be there to discuss their films.
For anyone who wants to learn more about Berlin's present and past ties to Africa, and especially those who're interested in discussing colonialism and ways to enact to positive change, this weekend is an exciting chance to get informed.