an exhibition and research project

by SAVVY Contemporary
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Funded by the TURN Fund of the
German Federal Cultural Foundation
and Ernst Schering Foundation


The Roundtable programme for Giving Contours Shadows is conceived as discussion and conversation platforms intertwined with the exhibition project activities and thematics, and seeks to uncover, discover and recover narratives, memories, knowledges and histories. The Roundtables facilitates theoretical aspects of the project. For these purposes various complementary formats ranging in scope and scale have been adopted and invented to stimulate conversations, engender debates, robust discussions and ultimately, create positive and sociable contexts for exchanges between artists, curators, writers, thinkers and historians.

Thematically, the roundtables take as departure point themes explored by the exhibition, which question conventional narrations of history, and seeking alternative historiographical modes. The roundtable places contemporary art and artists’ practices at the centre of its discourses, and aims to exploit the potential for engendering new discourses.

The Roundtables have been conceived as a roving component of Giving Contours to Shadows, and intersects with the Satellite programme, performance and exhibition programme, over three main time periods, in various formats and intensity.

ROUNDTABLE I took place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 12 and 13 March 2014, facilitated by Jimmy Ogongo, Centre for Contemporary Art of East Africa (CCAEA, Nairobi, Kenya) and hosted by THE NEST. Conversation topics included Beyond Amnesia: Alternative Narrations, with contributions by artist and designer Ruth Abade, photographer and historian Jacob Barua, arts manager Danda Karoljmek, artist Wanja Kimani and academic Tom Odhiambo, moderated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. A session titled The Written, The Spoken: Legends, Myths, Fictions & Histories included contributions by the writer and editor Billy Kahora, artists Miriam Syowia Kyambi, Ato Malinda, Michael Soi and the writer Binyavanga Eric Wainaina, moderated by Storm Janse van Rensburg.

ROUNDTABLE II coincides with the opening of the exhibition on 23 May 2014, and provides an opportunity for the exhibition curators, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Elena Agudio and roundtable co-curator Storm Janse van Rensburg to present their thesis for the overall project.

ROUNDTABLE III takes place in Berlin, Germany, from 25 - 27 June 2014, and includes discussions and key-note addresses by more than 16 leading international thinkers as well as a performance programme. This platform encompasses an intensive three day programme, including closed and public sessions in Berlin, roving between both partner venues, n.b.k. and SAVVY Contemporary as well as Heimathafen, Neukölln. A joint session in cooperation with the TURN Meeting #1: On perspectives, facts and fictions of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes will take place on Friday 27 June 2014.



VENUE: Various
CLOSED SESSION: Invited participants, project curators and scribe
MODERATION: Nico Anklam (Curator and Art Historian, Berlin), Storm Janse van Rensburg (Curator, Berlin)

VENUE: Gemäldegalerie / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin
ARTIST: Marcio Carvalho, Reconsolidation Machine


10:00 – 13:00 IMAGINARY OF THE PRESENT: Current Images of African Worlds
VENUE: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Mitte
PARTICIPANTS : Simon Njami (Curator, Paris), Yacouba Konaté (Curator and Art Historian, Abidjan), Karen Fiss (Curator and Writer, San Francisco). Moderated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Curator, Berlin).

14:00 – 18:00 CARVING UP AND CARVING OUT: Ideologies of Making Space
VENUE: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Mitte
PARTICIPANTS: Paul Goodwin (Curator and Urbanist, London), Sarah Nuttall (Theorist & Academic, Johannesburg), Peggy Piesche (Academic, Berlin/Bayreuth), Sarah Rifky (Curator, Cairo). Moderated by Storm Janse van Rensburg (Curator, Berlin).


VENUE: SAVVY Contemporary, Neukoelln
ARTIST: Otobong Nkanga, Contained Measures of a Kolanut

13:30 – 16:30 FLESHING THE ARCHIVE: Performance/Orality/Embodiment of History
PARTICIPANTS: Olivier Marboeuf (Curator, Paris), Tavia Nyong'o (Theorist and Academic, New York), Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Artist and Curator, Berlin). Moderated by Elena Agudio (Curator and Art Historian, Berlin).

VENUE: Heimathafen, Neukoelln
PUBLIC SESSION: In cooperation with the TURN Meeting #1: On perspectives, facts and fictions of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes
PARTICIPANTS: Premesh Lalu (Historian, Cape Town), Elvira Dyangani Ose (Curator, London), Greg Tate (Writer & Musician, New York). Moderated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Curator, Berlin).

ARTISTS: Greg Tate, Satch Hoyt, Christina Wheeler
VENUE: Heimathafen, Neukoelln
PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: In cooperation with the TURN Meeting #1: On perspectives, facts and fictions of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes

21:30 to late: DJ GRACE KELLY
VENUE: Heimathafen, Neukölln


Nico Anklam (DE) is a curator and Art Historian working and living in Berlin.

Elvira Dyangani Ose (ES) is Curator of International Art at Tate Modern, London. She is a well-known curator and scholar in the field of contemporary African art.

Karen Fiss (USA) is a writer, curator, and professor of Visual Studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her current research examines the impact of nation branding on the visual production of citizenship and collective memory in the wake of political upheaval or trauma.

Paul Goodwin (UK) is an independent curator, lecturer and urban theorist based in London, UK. His curatorial and research interests span the fields of art and migration, urbanism and critical curation.

Satch Hoyt (UK) is an artist working with sculptural installations and sound, based in Berlin. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA, and is a member of the band Burnt Sugar.

Yacouba Konaté (CI) is a curator, writer, art critic and professor of Philosophy at the Université de Cocody in Abidjan.

Premesh Lalu (ZA) is a writer and Professor of History at the Centre for Humanities Research and Deputy Dean of Research University of the Western Cape.

Olivier Marboeuf (FR) is an independent curator, writer, illustrator and critic, and the artistic director of the experimental contemporary art space Khiasma, Paris.

Simon Njami (CH) is an independent lecturer, curator, and art critic, and a visual-arts consultant for Cultures France. He lives and works in Paris, France.

Sarah Nuttall (ZA) is a theorist, writer and academic. She has published widely and is the director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Witwatersrand (WISER).

Tavia Nyong'o (KE) is Associate Professor, Performance Studies at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, USA. He writes, researches and teaches critical black studies, queer studies, cultural theory, and cultural history.

Peggy Piesche (DE) is a scholar of literature and cultural studies. After teaching in NYS (Vassar college/ Hamilton college), she is currently a research fellow at the Academy for Advanced African Studies, Bayreuth. She is a member of ADEFRA e.V. / Schwarze Frauen in Deutschland [Black Women in Germany] and especially interested in questions on the cultural history of race, Black images, and Critical Whiteness Studies in Germany.

Sarah Rifky (EG) is a curator, writer and lecturer living in Cairo. She is a founder member of the art initiative and exhibition space ‘Beirut’ in Cairo.

Greg Tate (USA) is an African-American writer, musician, and producer. The focus of his writing has been African-American music and culture. He is a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition and the leader of Burnt Sugar.

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (DE) is an artist, curator and novelist who lives and works as a researcher and installation artist on site. She is currently a Humboldt Foundation Fellow, Germany.

Christina Wheeler (USA) is a vocalist and electronic artist, formerly located in New York and a member of David Byrne's band. She now lives in Berlin.