Moving Into Sunlight: Decolonial Gestures, Embodied Archives

Friday & Saturday, March 12th & 13th 2021

A two-day event of live art performances and interventions that center body archives as sites of decolonial knowledge, resistance and self-empowerment for BIPoC, (post-)migrant, diasporic and queer communities in Berlin.

Gaphic Design by Imad Gebrayel

March 12th at xart splitta *online*

March 13th at Nachbarschaftshaus Urbanstraße *online*

Artists: Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Raju Rage + Nad MA, Nine Yamamoto-Masson, Sajan Mani + Aroh Akunth, a.s. sumukha

Curated by Kathy-Ann Tan in collaboration with xart splitta.

“When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of […] that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.” – Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power”.

Audre Lorde writes of the erotic as a deeply motivational and empowering force that lives within the bodies of womxn of colour. In centering the knowledges, histories, laughter, struggles, resilience and power of queer and BIPoC lives, “Moving Into Sunlight” disrupts and explodes the western, colonial gaze that has, for centuries, collected, “studied”, dissected, racialised, sexualised and regulated these subjectivities. Our bodies are our archives. They hold, store, keep safe, react to and process experiences of trauma, joy, shock, illness, excitement, pain, etc. For postcolonial, migrant and diasporic subjects, the body becomes a primary site for resistance and empowerment, for self-representation and transformation, for immersive experiences of connection with the lives and legacies of those who came before. The fight for social justice, accountability and reparations is far from over, and this event invites artists, cultural workers, activists, scholars and all those who feel this speaks to them in one way or another, to come together in the spirit of sharing, care and collective strategy.

The event will be held in spoken English and German and entirely online. BIPoC and (post-)migrant residents from the neighborhood of the venues in Berlin-Kreuzberg/Neukölln are especially welcome. Please send an email to by 10.03.2021 to register if you would like to attend. Please mention if you require sign language interpretation.


March 12th 2021

6:00pm: a.s. sumukha short intervention
6.30pm: Sajan Mani + Aroh Akunth performance
7.30pm: a.s. sumukha short intervention
8.15pm: Nine Yamamoto-Masson video performance
9:15pm: a.s. sumukha short intervention
9.30pm: End

March 13th 2021

1.00pm: Welcome remarks by Kathy-Ann Tan, Iris Rajanayagam and Bahar Sanli
1.30pm: Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro performance
2.30pm: break
3.00pm: Raju Rage + Nad MA performance
4.00pm: Break
4.30pm: Group sessions with facilitators on Zoom
5.30pm: Break
6.00pm: Q&A discussion and collaborative documentation
7.00pm: Wrap up and conclusion


Anguezomo Mba Bikoro merges archeology, sonic radio, writing, textiles, sculpture, live art performances, film & archives for immersive installations. The work analyses processes of power & science fictions in historical archives critically engaging in migrational struggles and colonial memory. The artist creates environments for alternative narratives and future speculations of colonial resistance movements led by African women of the German diaspora and indigenous communities. Sedimented in narratives of testimonial Black queer experiences of sonic nature archives, revolt, queering ecologies and postcolonial feminist experiences towards new monuments which reacts to the different tones of societies shared between delusions & ritual. The work offers complex non-binary readings pushing  new investigations about the architectures of racisms in cities, the archeologies of urban spaces & economies of traditional systems by exposing the limitations of technologies as functional memory records.

Photo credit: Roland Bisse Essomba 2018 RAVY Festival Goethe-Institute Yaoundé, Cameroon

“Where Is Your Fire?”
what to say to you now in the soft afternoon air as you hold us all in a single death i say “where is your fire?”

i say where is your fire?
you got to fight it and pass it on
you got to find it and pass it on from you to me from me to her from her to him from the son to the
father from the brother to the sister from the daughter to the mother from the mother to the child
i say where is your fire?
i say where is your fire?
can’t you smell it ?
coming out of our past
the fire of living not dying
the fire of loving not killing
the fire blackness not gangster shadows
where is our beautiful fire that gave
light to the world?

Excerpt from “Catch the Fire” by Sonia Sanchez

Anguezomo Mba Bikoro presents “Where Is Your Fire”, a mourning ritual drawing on archival material of Black Abolitionist women retracing the story of a lost 19 th century court case of the murder of a Herero Princess and a stolen African German theatre script. The artist follows the multiple routes of Black Feminist writers interlaced through fictions of botanical colonial fictions transmitting testimonies of anti-colonial struggles and warnings in the mythical spirit of Drexciyan uprising.

Photo credit: Billie Clarken Photography

Sajan Mani is an intersectional artist hailing from a family of rubber tappers in a remote village in the northern part of Keralam, South India. His work voices the issues of marginalized and oppressed peoples of India, via the “Black Dalit body” of the artist. Mani’s performance practice insists upon embodied presence, confronting pain, shame, fear, and power. His personal tryst with his body as a meeting point of history and present opens onto “body” as socio-political metaphor. Several of Mani’s performances employ the element of water to address ecological issues particularly related to the backwaters of Kerala, as well as to the common theme of migration. His recent works consider the correspondence between animals and humans, and the politics of space from the perspective of an indigenous cosmology. Aroh Akunth is a Dalit-Queer Interdisciplinary artist currently based between Göttingen and Delhi. They hold a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and are currently pursuing their Master’s in Modern Indian Studies. They are also the founder of Dalit Art Archive and Dalit Queer Project initiatives that center the narratives of their communities. As an artist, they are interested in exploring Caste and Queerness as worlds through their experiments with words, sound, visuals, and performance.

Aroh Akunth is a Dalit-Queer Interdisciplinary artist currently based between Göttingen and Delhi. They hold a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and are currently pursuing their Master’s in Modern Indian Studies. They are also the founder of Dalit Art Archive and Dalit Queer Project initiatives that center the narratives of their communities. As an artist, they are interested in exploring Caste and Queerness as worlds through their experiments with words, sound, visuals, and performance.

“Shambuka” is a performance piece that locates the continuing legacies of Hindu Epics and Caste Apartheid within the politics of the Indian Subcontinent in the 21st Century. Over the years murder of Shambuka, has been of academic interest to Anti-Caste scholars like Ambedkar and progressive artists alike. Where Eklavya was penalized for dreaming as an Avarna person, Shambuka paid the price for succeeding in a Caste society. The performance encourages people to think of the ways in which Caste supremacy informs and interacts with Identities we embody and what it means for peoples whose bodies are marked by Caste to be stuck in a metaphorical loop.

Raju Rage is a tender Taurean. They are also an artist and creative educator working with healing and care processes and practices. Raju uses tools of transformation and resilience in the face of predation and extractivism of hetero and homo normative cistems.

Nad MA is a truly sensual Scorpio. They practice with corporeality and the politics of the body as a massage therapist, body piercer, shibari teacher, drag king and workshop facilitator. They are also interested in spirituality and healing of all beings.

Transistence: against bodies* we love
A participatory live stream drag – care – exchange with Raju Rage and Nad MA, two gender non conforming bodies, excavating what lies beneath the aesthetic and performance of drag, exploring non/sexual intimacy and erotic power beyond womanhood. Introducing alter-ego’s ‘Lola Love’ and ‘Hugo’, through the digital realm, we invite you to engage with us in solidarity, in acts of collective care.

Nine Yamamoto-Masson is a French-Japanese artist, theorist, writer, researcher, and translator. In academic research, artistic and activist practice, her work analyses the gendered necropolitics of (neo)coloniality with regard to the legacies of European and Japanese colonialism how they presently manifest as configurations of power and economies of knowledge that exert violence on bodies and futures. She studies the modes of organisation of networked resistance, and the workings of resistant memory challenging hegemonic dominant narratives, focusing on the role of art and inter-diasporic, internationalist, inter-generational solidarities. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.

“Nobody Died” traces the friction of different forms of confrontations over the grieving of lives that are systematically devalorised and violently harmed or taken, in the context of how racialised and gendered violence accumulates in individual and collective bodies, itching under the inflamed scars like glowing constellation maps that reach forward and back through time and across the globe, across generations. It incorporates a video an installation of collages and drawings based on photographic documentation of the tense changes (and corresponding messaging) at street-level in NYC in spring/summer 2020, where the artist was stranded due to Covid, being like so many forced to improvise mourning rituals to honour the dead in the face of an ever-intensifying white supremacist hierarchy of emotions. The video reading Is a Film a Bone (2020) is part of a ritual. It is about the labour of mourning, about how to do right by the dead, about the battles to reclaim the past and reappropriate the future. It is about the hidden wormholes connecting the different space-times the artist is entangled in. It is about how to live with fire, and its role in midwifing a new world.

Image: Green Tara. Credits: a.s. sumukha

a.s. sumukha is a poet, scholar and activist.

Sensing, reading and speaking against the grain, a.s. sumukha commits model minority suicide. Recalling the solidarity between Black civil rights movements in the US and anti-caste resistance in India, it turns towards ‘Black dharma’, an emergent strain of North American Buddhism which yokes together reformist post-Vedic practices with the Black Radical Tradition. Thus, a.s. sumukha considers different relations of power without domination, which it brings to bear upon a reading of Lorde’s erotic as power.


Photo Credit: Zara Zandieh

Iris Rajanayagam is a historian (MA Humboldt University Berlin). She works on post- and decolonial theories, intersectionality, politics of memory and social change; She is director of the organisation xart splitta and lecturer at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin. Besides this Iris Rajanayagam is board member of the Migrationsrat Berlin and was active in the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants for many years.

Rena Onat is a gender equality officer (Frauen*beauftragte) and an art and media scholar. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis on artwork by QTIBIPoC artists in the German context, highlighting expressions of queer of color critique in and through art and visual culture. She is a turkish-german femme of color who likes horses.

Yergalem Yagi Taffere has many irons in the fire. If she could, she would be in a different place every weekend, listening to the important stories of different people and their own diasporic realities of life. She is a director, photographer, performer and DJ. She is currently working on “Yagi’s Kaleidoscope”.

May Zeidani Yufanyi is a social scientist; in her work at Inssan e.V. she deals with antidiscrimination and postcolonial migration societies in Europe, asylum and migration policies. As a Person of Colour and migrant with Muslim and Jewish roots in Palestine and Europe, intersectional approaches play a central role in her work.

Magnus Elias Rosengarten is a writer and artist, currently based in Berlin. In his work he explores bodies and narrative—via text, performance, moving image, and the disembodied voice—that move and continuously manifest throughout the global Diasporas. He studied at Humboldt University in Berlin and completed his Graduate degree in Performance Studies at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

Sophya Frohberg is a curator and researcher based in Berlin. Her work attends on visibility of Black, queer and intersectional contemporary art, as well as radical decolonial practices within cultural institutions. She currently researches ways of responsible, non-hierarchal curating with her working group CCC – Curating Through Conflict with Care.


Kathy-Ann Tan is a Berlin-based curator, writer and independent scholar of visual art and performance, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and gender/queer studies. She is interested in alternative models of art dissemination, exhibition-making and institution-building that are attuned to issues of social justice in the contemporary moment. Her ongoing project decolonialartarchives aims to collaboratively build a forum for artists, curators and cultural workers to develop ways of interrogating colonial narratives.

Programme Flyer

Leaflet page I
Leaflet page II

Supported by Funds from the IMPACT-Funding 2021 program of Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe

The event is taking place within the framework of the project #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken, funded by the LADS.

Online Presentation „The Living Archives”

Credits: bureau zanko

Thursday, November 19th 2020, 6pm


The Living Archives is an online platform, which will primarily be used to document, archive and make available knowledge and content, that is generated within BIPoC communities. Integrating and referring to this knowledge, the platform will also be used as a learning space for these communities. In this event the project The Living Archives will be presented to the public for the first time.

We are looking forward to welcoming words by Peggy Piesche (Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany – Diversity, Intersectionality and Decoloniality  – D.I.D.) and two keynote talks by Fatima El-Tayeb (University of California, San Diego) and Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez (Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen) and a panel discussion with Arike Oke (Black Cultural Archives, London), Tayo Awosusi-Onutor (RomaniPhen Archive, Berlin), and Nicola Lauré al-Samarai (historian, author, curator) within the framework of this presentation.

The aim of the project is to capture and make accessible content and knowledge generated within BIPoC contexts in past and present. xart splitta understands The Living Archives as a “Resistant Knowledge Project” (Patricia Hill Collins). Archiving and documentation is therefore seen as a decolonial act – concepts and practices of archiving are redefined in terms of their colonial, racist, and heteronormative context of origin and used as a medium of “counter-narration”.

The first content for the site will be provided by the ongoing work of xart splitta as well as by texts, conversations and content that was created in the context of the project “Passing it On”. A project that was carried out by xart splitta in 2019 by  Nicola Lauré al-Samarai and Iris Rajanayagam; and in the context of which the idea for the online portal was born. The website will however remain a work in progress and we are looking forward to the collaboration with a variety of individuals and communities in the further development of The Living Archives.


6:00pm: Welcoming words: Peggy Piesche (Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany – Diversity, Intersectionality and Decoloniality  – D.I.D.)

6:15pm: Presentation The Living Archives with Iris Rajanayagam and Juliana Kolberg (xart splitta)

6:30pm: Keynote talks by Fatima El-Tayeb and Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez

7:15-8:45pm: Panel discussion with Arike Oke, Tayo Awosusi-Onutor and Nicola Lauré al-Samarai. Moderation: Iris Rajanayagam

This event will take place online and will be held in spoken English and German.

Pls. register by November 17th, 2020 at:

The access information to the event will be sent out on November 18th, 2020.

The link to the website will be available from November 19th, 2020 onward at

The Living Archives is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.


Arike Oke is the director of the Black Cultural Archives, in London. She has been working in the field of memory and heritage for over 15 years. She has been involved in the “Connecting Histories” project in Birmingham, UK and in the development of the archive of the “Wellcome Collection” and co-organised the first Black History Month in Hull. She is a board member of the strategic initiative “Unlocking Archives” of the National Archives, Richmond, UK and is a Fellow of the programme “Museums and Resilient Leadership” of the Arts Council England.
Tayo Awosusi-Onutor is a singer, author, director, political activist, mother and lives in Berlin. She describes herself as Afro-Sintezza. She interprets her music in English, German and Romanes. She also lends her voice to film and TV as a dubbing singer and voiceover artist. Tayo studied German and Multimedia. She is a board member of RomaniPhen e.V. and a member of the IniRromnja. She deals with the topics education, history and the civil rights movement. In 2017 she published the documentary “Phral mende – Wir über uns. Perspectives of Sinti and Roma in Germany”. Tayo is also politically involved in various Communities of Colour. Further information can be found at and
Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez is professor of sociology at the Justus-Liebig-University, Gießen. Her teaching and research focuses on issues of global inequalities and their local expression, particularly in Germany, Spain and the UK. She is also interested in (post)Marxist and decolonial perspectives on feminist and queer epistemology and its application in the fields of migration, labour and culture. She is currently working on affective labour/materialities, institutional racism, racist capitalism and the coloniality of migration. She is a member of the advisory board of “Wagadu. A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies” and the Research Group on Migration and Human Rights. She is also editor of the series Anthem Studies in Decoloniality and Migration.
Nicola Lauré al-Samarai is a historian and cultural scientist. Her areas of interest include Black and Diaspora studies, Critical Race Feminism(s), concepts of creolisation and poetics of relationship, and decolonising memory and cultural policies in the context of intersectionality and experience. She works as author, editor, mediator and curator. She was involved in the following projects, among others: Labor 89: Andere Perspektiven auf die Wendezeit (2019/2020), Grenzgänger*innen: Schwarze und Osmanische Präsenzen in der Metropole Berlin um 1700 (2018/2019), Decolonize ’68 (2018), conzepte. Neue Fassungen politischen Denkens (2010/2011), Homestory Deutschland. Schwarze Biografien in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2005–2012).
Fatima El-Tayeb is professor of literature and ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego. In her work, she focuses on the deconstruction of structural racism in “colour-blind” Europe and centres resistance strategies among racialised communities. In addition to numerous articles, she has published UnDeutsch. The Construction of the Other in Postmigrant Society (transcript 2016), Anders Europäisch. Rassismus, Identität und Widerstand im vereinten Europa (University of Minnesota Press 2011) and Schwarze Deutsche. Der Diskurs um „Rasse“ und nationale Identität 1890– 1933 (Campus 2001).