Announcement
May 27, 2022

The Time for Denial is Over: Transnational Program on Restitution

Fondazione Studio Rizoma

Ruth Kemna, Kojack Kossakamvwe, Elia Rediger, 2022. Photo: Tobias Schütze.

Mbuti Wamba, 2022. Photo: Joseph Kasau.

Huguette Tolinga. Photo: Miguel Buenrostro.

Ecko Bazz & STILL, concert.

Lord Spikeheart (DUMA). Courtesy Fondazione Studio Rizoma.

GROUP50:50. Photo: Joseph Kasau.

Atrio Biblioteca Comunale di Casa Professa
Piazzetta Lucrezia Brunaccini 2
90134 Palermo
Italy

Complesso Monumentale di Santa Chiara
Piazzetta Sette Fate 11
90134 Palermo
Italy

Fondazione Studio Rizoma​ launches as an international hub in Palermo. Rizoma advances an independent cultural and social program while serving the broader development of its surrounding ecosystem, with a focus on the city of Palermo. It proposes an international multi-year program while aiming to be an artistic, social and political laboratory where new forms of communication can be experimented with—a meeting place where unexpected synergies can be developed via fellowships and residencies that welcome individuals from across the world. Original artistic production is combined with the direct engagement of social and political groups, embedding the production process in existing sites of struggle and political imagination.

The inaugural The Time for Denial is Over program runs from June 3–5, 2022. With the recent return of the Benin Bronzes by the two European museums with the largest collections of African art, it became evident–we are entering a new era of postcolonial debate. In this context, Fondazione Studio Rizoma and GROUP50:50 invite artists, activists and thinkers from Europe and Africa that represent the avant-garde of a transnational restitution movement. In a unique series of lessons, pieces, and interventions, they discuss artistic and political practices redefining African and European identities and transcontinental cooperation. How can objects be returned in their symbolic, social and historical significance linking contemporary contexts of knowledge production, social interaction and global justice?

The destabilisation of social structures through the expropriation of objects with symbolic power enabled the exploitation of humans and nature. Modernist ideas of progress and the subsequent separation of so-called “advanced” and “primitive” societies, the imperative of infinite economic growth and aggressive extractivism of natural resources annihilated any alternative cosmology that defined the relationship between humans and nature. Should the restitution movement also claim the restitution of natural resources, compensation and repayment of the ecological debt of the West? Who pays for the ongoing destruction of the ecology caused by the exploitation of natural resources? And would it not be better for humanity if alternative cosmologies could be restored?

After the first stage in Palermo, The Time for Denial is Over will travel to Leipzig, Lubumbashi, Kinshasa and Berlin in 2022 and 2023. In each city, they involve local artists and activists in their reflections and artistic production to take the transnational restitution movement forward.

With Bénédicte Savoy, art historian, Berlin / Mwazulu Diyabanza, political activist, Paris / Peju Layiwola, visual artist, Lagos / Leone Contini, artist + anthropologist, Rome / Sepake Angiama, curator + educator, London / Rete Anticolonale, artist + activist collective, Palermo / Christian Nyampeta, visual artist, London / Hervé Youmbi, visual artist, Douala / Rita Mukebu, visual artist, Lubumbashi / Ciraj Rassool, historian, Cape Town / Patrick Mudekereza, curator, Lubumbashi / Caterina Pasqualino, anthropologist + filmmaker, Palermo / Paris / Huguette Tolinga, percussionist, Kinshasa / Christiana Tabaro + Michael Disanka, theater makers, Kinshasa / Elia Rediger, singer + composer, Basel / Kojack Kossakamvwe, guitarist + composer, Kinshasa / Ruth Kemna, violist + performer, Palermo / Emilio Distretti, researcher + educator, London / Basel / Aterraterra, artist + farmer collective, Palermo / Remy Zahiga, climate activist, Bukavu / Alagie Jinkang, researcher, Palermo / Evelyn Acham, climate activist, Kampala / Lord Spikeheart (DUMA), musician, Nairobi / Ecko Bazz & STILL, musicians, Kampala + Milan

Fondazione Studio Rizoma is an international hub advancing an independent cultural and social program while serving the wider development of its surrounding ecosystem, with a focus on the city of Palermo.

GROUP50:50 is a collective of artists from Congo, Switzerland and Germany and a production structure based in Basel, Berlin and Lubumbashi that creates and produces transnational artistic cooperation projects. They tell stories of historical and current economic and political entanglements and critically reflect on the forms of their cooperation, which are disturbed by historical economic inequalities, cultural misunderstandings and the fact that the means of production always come from Europe, as African countries hardly have budgets for culture.

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