|The opening evening has been designed - just like the encounters over the entire first weekend - to open up a perspective into the space of the Black Atlantic, into the histories of sounds and the backgrounds of images and narratives.
With Paul Gilroy, cultural scientist at Yale University, Edouard Glissant, philosopher, sociologist and poet from Paris/Martinique, and the Cuban writer Nancy Morejón; and with the Brazilian jazz singer Othella Dallas, a video by Keith Piper entitled "Go West Young Man", and a performance by Ismael Ivo.
The BLACK ATLANTIC programme explores a multi-dimensional and trans-cultural space, tracing lines of social, historical and cultural connection between the Americas, Africa and Western Europe, applying a similarly referentially networked concept to lend it plasticity - an interweaving of music and performance, scholarly and literary reflection, real images and imaginary worlds.
The centrality of music is reflected in the major concerts, sessions and sound landscapes. Multimedia installations, commissioned especially for this project from Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, Lisl Ponger and Tim Sharp, deal with issues around transatlantic and transcultural journeys, contemporary migration processes, and the specific BLACK ATLANTIC iconography.
BLACK ATLANTIC's key aspects have been brought together in three interdisciplinary platforms -
In "Another History", the first platform, dancer and choreographer Ismael Ivo presents a new performance project exploring the link between history and personal narratives, and the collective memory sedimented in the body. This is accompanied by a Symposium working towards a new historical discourse, starting from German colonial history and Black German history.
The second platform, "Congo Square", focuses on the power of music as an interactive and communicative medium. This open forum of encounter, curated by jazz guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly, explores sound improvisation and encounters. The concert series is accompanied by discussions on the political and social history of jazz, the "migration" of music and the significance of new technologies.
"Another Modernity", the third platform, questions the link between racial terror and modernity, with conference and readings focusing on issues around memory's defence mechanisms and colonial structures today. The spectrum of issues raised range from the significance of the Herero genocide to whether art after colonialism is possible.