Berlin Global Village has launched a new project: the art competition for the “Decolonial Memorial”. This is an open, anonymous and worldwide art contest for the realization of a decolonial memorial sign – an artistic work dealing with decolonization. The artwork will be permanently installed in a clearly visible location between or in front of the two buildings of the Berlin Global Village after it has been completed and presented to the public in the fall of 2024. The contest and the creation of the artwork will be accompanied by an extensive educational program as well as innovative public relations work on the topic of decolonization.
The art contest and project explained in a video
A short version of the video (1:00 min) can be found on our Instagram account @berlinglobalvillage.
The Art Contest
What happened so far:
671 artists from around the world have registered to participate in the international art competition until 07 May 2023. That is quite a lot! 30% of the registrations were received from the African continent – which we are particularly pleased about. Another 30% registered from Germany and the other registrations were received from Asia, Europe, North and South America.
The artists admitted by the external coordination then had the opportunity to anonymously ask all kinds of questions that could help them in the development of an artistic concept idea for the Decolonial Memorial. They had until August 13 to submit a design for the art piece. 244 of those designs were eligible for the competition.
On September 16th/17th, the high-class international jury reviewed all 244 designs and selected 20 finalists for the 2nd phase. The 20 artists now have until January 7, 2024 to prepare a detailed presentation of their design. The artists will be rewarded for their efforts with an allowance of 4,000 Euros.
What happens next:
On October 31, 2023, the first public event for a “Decolonial Memorial” will take place. A symposium that revolves around decolonial art, with greetings from Claudia Roth and Joe Chialo, a keynote by Gary Stewart, a discussion on “Art of the Global South in German Exhibition Spaces”, live-painting, performances and much more.
The 20 detailed designs will be presented to the public in an exhibition in February and March 2024 (vernissage on February 28, 2024). The jury will select one draft, which will then be produced and unveiled in front of the Berlin Global Village in fall 2024.
About the Background
The Land of Berlin (SenKultEU) will provide 750,000 Euros for the realization of the artwork. The competition, educational program and public relations work will be financed by the federal government (BKM) with a further 750,000 Euros. The Decolonial Memorial will be realized under the dual patronage of Claudia Roth, Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, as well as Joe Chialo, Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion of Berlin.
German colonialism and its consequences have long been marginalized in Germany. However, ongoing interventions from civil society have set a process in motion. To address colonialism, its effects until today and the continuities also in development cooperation, the international art competition is announced. Within the framework of the project, a dialogue is initiated to deal with the decolonial perspective. With the Denkzeichen, the Berlin Global Village will be marked and made strong as a place of reflection on decolonial issues for both Berliners and international actors.
- Kristina Leko (Universität der Künste Berlin, visual artist)
- María Linares (visual artist)
- Prof. Dr. Walter Mignolo (Duke University, literary scholar)
- Prof. Dr. Chika Okeke-Agulo (Princeton University, visual artist)
- Dr. Mithu M. Sanyal (author)
- Gary Stewart (Queen Mary University London, visual artist)
- Sylbee Kim (bbk berlin, visual artist)
- Michael Küppers-Adebisi (Berlin Global Village gGmbH)
The Decolonial Memorial will be realized under the dual patronage of Claudia Roth, Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media, as well as Joe Chialo, Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion of Berlin. This underlines the Decolonial Memorial’s significance as a pilot project: a unique artwork for memory culture in Berlin, Germany, and the world.
Berlin Global Village gGmbH (BGV), in cooperation with the Office for Art in Public Space
of the Kulturwerk GmbH of bbk berlin e.V.
Circle of supporters from decolonial civil society:
- AfricAvenir e.V.
- Afrika-Rat Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
- AFROTAK TV cyberNomads
- Berlin Postkolonial e.V.
- DaMigra e.V.
- Decolonize Berlin e.V.
- Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland ISD-Bund e.V.
- moveGLOBAL e.V.
Further cooperation partners:
- Neukölln District Office, Department of Culture
- KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art
- Black Berlin Biennial
What’s the schedule?
7 May 2023: Registration deadline
15 May 2023: Contest documents made available to applicants
14 Jun 2023: Deadline for written queries (first phase)
23 Jun 2023: Response to queries (first phase)
13 Aug 2023: Digital submission of designs (first phase)
16/17 Sep 23: Jury meeting (first phase)
18 Sep 2023: Notification of participants in the second phase
30 Oct 2023: Enquiry colloqium (second phase)
31 Oct 2023: Symposium
12 Nov 2023: Deadline for written queries (second phase)
24 Nov 23: Response to queries (second phase)
07 Jan 2024: Deadline for submission of designs (second phase)
27 Jan 2024: Prize jury meeting (second phase)
28 Feb 2024: Exhibition of submitted designs from the second phase
3 Sep 2024 Unveiling of the final artwork
Download the competition document in German
Download the competition documents English
Download the competition document Kiswahili
Download the competition document Francais
Download the competition document Espanol
Please direct all questions regarding the competition process exclusively to:
Press inquiries and other questions about „Decolonial Memorial“:
Tel: 030 49 96 64 00