A Means to Render Our Lives Believable: Of Solitude and Solidarity, or the Whitewashing of Solidarity
Lecture by Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin )
Which lives are worth solidarizing for and with? How do we conceive solidarity bases that transcend our skinfolks and kinfolks? In view of an ongoing series of wars, coups, forced displacements and border crossings in Cameroon, Mali, Myanmar, Mexico, Ukraine and Yemen, to mention just a few, Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung discusses the discriminative nature of "solidarity". Shedding light on a few cases, including that of winter 2021/20, when thousands of Middle Eastern refugees fleeing from war were beaten up and left to die in the cold on the borders in Poland, or the more recent one of Africans, South Americans, and Caribbeans being stopped by Ukrainian army and paramilitaries from boarding trains to flee the war, he calls attention to the urgent need to build structures of solidarity that go beyond the power gradients imposed by coloniality.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon) is a curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and is the artistic director of Sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, NL. He is artistic director of the 13th Bamako Encounters 2022, a biennial for African photography in Mali. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk's documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany in 2017, a guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal in 2018, and artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters in 2019. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019.
He was a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020. He is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA programme at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin. From 2023 he will take on the role of Director at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin.
Internationale Sommerakademie für bildende Kunst Salzburg
Postfach 527, 5010 Salzburg, Österreich T +43 662 842113