The Exhibition Opening of the 20 Final Designs for a Decolonial Memorial

Full House at the exhibition opening:

The Foyer des Kulturstalls Gutshof Britz transformed into a vibrant space for artistic exchange on the topic of decolonization on the evening of April 26, 2024. Over 250 guests, some arriving directly from the HKW Conference "Remembering Colonialism," gathered for the festive opening of the exhibition "The 20 Final Designs for a Decolonial Memorial." These 20 concepts were selected out of 244 proposals by an international jury. The winning design “EarthNest” will be realized at the Berlin Global Village in Neukölln until Fall 2024. Alongside the chance to engage with the winners and attending finalists, there were insightful presentations on the international competition:

 

Dr. Matthias Henkel, Director of the Museum Neukölln, welcomed the numerous visitors as the host and emphasized the special significance of the collaboration between the museum and the Decolonial Memorial project team. This partnership was a logical extension of the thematic interaction with the "Buried Memories" exhibition, which had generated great interest last autumn.

 

Armin Massing, Managing Director of Berlin Global Village gGmbH, praised the symbolism of the winning artwork in his speech and stressed that global justice is impossible without decolonial thinking. Angelina Jellesen, project manager of the Decolonial Memorial, thanked the 244 artists who participated in the competition and particularly acknowledged the 20 finalists, some of whom were present at the opening.

 

Karin Korte, City Councilor for Culture in Neukölln, who participated in the jury-sessions as an expert underscored the project's relevance for the district and beyond. This was followed by an engaging panel discussion, moderated by Jeannine Kantara, where jury members María Linares, Maimouna Ouattara, and Michael Küppers-Adebisi provided insights into their work as a jury and the decision-making process.

 

Michael Küppers-Adebisi, initiator and advisor of the Decolonial Memorial, elaborated on the visions, expectations, and needs for the Memorial. Visual artist and deputy chair of the jury, María Linares, spoke about the criteria and challenges in selecting the final designs. She emphasized that a participatory process and the involvement of the Berlin Global Village community in creating the artwork was particularly important to the jury. Maimouna Ouattara, chairwoman of moveGLOBAL e.V. and member of the shareholders' assembly of the Berlin Global Village gGmbH, discussed the transition from the initial idea to project design and implementation. She noted that many designs appeared very utopian. The winning design, EarthNest, stood out not only for its poetic idea but also for its effective incorporation of jury feedback throughout the first phase of the competition.

 

A highlight of the evening was the conversation with the winners of the competition, Jeannette Ehlers and patricia kaersenhout. Their artistic design for a decolonial Memorial will be realized in front of Berlin Global Village by autumn 2024, in collaboration with advisor Rolando Vázquez and architect Max Bentler. The artists provided insights into their creative process and the significance of their work, EarthNest. (Click here for an interview with the winners "The people behind the winning design")

 

The evening concluded with a champagne reception, where guests had the opportunity to view and discuss the 20 final artistic designs. The exhibition ran until May 10, 2024.

 

Here you can find the Programm of the exhibition opening and this Instagram video by Kantara Productions shows a cinematic insight into the event.

 

Those who missed the exhibition in Neukölln can explore the artists and their designs in a digital exhibition: Link to the Digital Exhibition.

 

An event by Berlin Global Village in cooperation with the Foyer des Kulturstalls Gutshof Britz/ Museum Neukölln.

 

Pictures by Sedat Mehder and Katinka Theis
 

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