I’m Not Who You Think I’m Not
The 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art in collaboration with Each One Teach One (EOTO) e. V, Berlin, will launch I’m Not Who You Think I’m Not by African artists Philipp Khabo Koepsell, Victor Osarobo Omere, Donna Kukama, George Shire, and Jota Mombaçaon on July 7, 2017.
I’m not who you think I’m not disavows assumed beingness and know-hows. Those assumptions are based on existing, constructed social frameworks and their associated speculations about particular subjectivities. Throughout the 10th Berlin Biennale until its conclusion in September 2018, the public program will create situations evading these assumptions. In performative gestures, the artists reflect on the relationships between visionary fictions, unteaching, monstrosity, and humanity as ways of resisting and nourishing potentials of self-preservation.
Donna Kukama was born in 1981 in Mafikeng, South Africa, and holds a Postgraduate degree from Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais in Sierre, Switzerland. Her work resists established ways of doing, often presenting institutions, book chapters, monuments, or historical archives that are as real as they are fictitious. Kukama has presented performances at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town; the Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp; the New Museum in New York; the 12th Lyon Biennale; the 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art; the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo; and at the 55th Venice Biennale, as part of the South African Pavilion. She received the Standard Bank Young Artist award (2014), for Performance Art, and she currently unteaches at the Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg.
George Shire is an independent Zimbabwean intellectual, decolonial thinker, cultural theorist, DJ, and Jazz saxophone enthusiast. He is associate professor at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway, and formerly a visiting scholar at the Institute for Art Education, Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland. Shire has for more than thirty-five years, taught at several universities and higher educational institutions across Britain, including the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham, Surrey; Richmond upon Thames College, Twickenham; the University of London; the Open University in Milton Keynes; and the University of the Arts London. Shire is on the editorial boards of Soundings – a journal of politics and culture, and of DarkMatter – a journal of post-colonial theory and culture.
Jota Mombaça was born in 1991 in Brazil, and holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree in social sciences from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. He is a writer and performance artist, whose writing, performances, and academic research focus on the relationships between monstrosity and humanity, kuir (queer) studies, decolonial turns, political intersectionality, anti-colonial justice, redistribution of violence, visionary fictions, the end of the world, and tensions between ethics, aesthetics, art, and politics in the knowledge productions of the global “south-of-the-south.” Mombaça’s recent work include a collaboration with Oficina de Imaginação Política, São Paulo, Brazil, and an artistic residency in conjunction with the Capacete program 2017 at documenta 14, Athens, GR/Kassel, Deutsch.
Philipp Khabo Koepsell was born in 1980 in Marburg, Germany. He holds a Bachelor degree in english and African studies from the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is an author and a spoken word performer, who works with various artistic formats, from lyricism, drama, performance and multimedial installation, linking academic and artistic content. Khabo Koepsell is the author of Die Akte James Knopf. Afrodeutsche Wort- und Streitkunst (2010, UNRAST Verlag), editor of the anthologies Afro Shop and Arriving in the Future: Stories of Home and Exile (2014), and The Afropean Contemporary (2015, all Epubli GmbH, Verlagsgruppe Holtzbrinck). He was the curator and dramatic advisor for Ballhaus Naunynstraße and is currently the project coordinator at EOTO.
Victor Osarobo Omere, born in Benin City, Nigeria, and based in Berlin is a spoken word performer. In Omere’s poems he gives voices to inanimate objects, empowers and encourages people to live a positive life. He has performed at several open mic events, including the Poetry Meets Series. Currently Osarobo Omere works as a Kiezläufer, passing on information between EOTO e. V. and the African communities, churches, and shop owners connected to the association.
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