La Palabre #4 – Learning Lessons. Decolonizing Academia

October 20, 18.00 h @Vierte Welt, Kottbusser Tor. For the LA PALABRE series, from July-December 2023, we invite Berlin-based researchers*, artists*, and activists to discuss the issues we have been working on over the past two years as part of TALKING OBJECTS, an artistic research project on decolonizing knowledge. In a small La Palabre group of 40 people, we meet and share snacks and stories.

The question of what knowledge can be today is at the core of our work in the Talking Objects Lab. American political scientist Cedric J. Robinson calls Black Studies a “critique of Western civilization”. Black Studies, African Studies, Afro-American Studies – how do these studies relate to each other and how can Black knowledge be grounded in (institutional) scholarship? How can “un-learning” work in academia? As part of the Talking Objects Lab Online Talks “Mapping Academia” in December 2021, we have already talked with scholars* about this. For the LA PALABRE evening in Berlin, we would now like to open up the topic and discuss it beyond the academic context. What is black knowledge–within and outside the academic context? What empowerment and mediation strategies are there?

Talking Objects Lab curators Isabel Raabe and Mahret Ifeoma Kupka will show excerpts from the talk “Mapping Academia” with Noémi Michel, Alexander Gehdi Weheliye and Franck Freitas-Ekué, followed by a panel with Mahret Ifeoma Kupka and Andrea-Vicky Amankwaa-Birago sharing experiences from their work and research. Agie Biwersi aka Gambian Cookbook curates the food for the evening and shares from her culinary practice and family history–and Andrea-Vicky Amankwaa-Birago leads us through a Resting Meditation. Finally, we will be watching the video work “these practices are done in sharing her stories” by Gladys Kalichini. Music will accompany us throughout the evening–each participant will bring a song. We invite all guests to join us in building a decolonial library–whether you bring a book, a poem, a smell, or an object that holds knowledge is up to you.

The evening will be moderated by Miriam Camara.

LA PALABRE is curated by Isabel Raabe and Celina Baljeet Basra.
Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.