The multi-chapter exhibition INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER
STORIES: RE – NAVIGATING THE AFRASIAN SEA AND
NOTIONS OF DIASPORA is an effort to unpack and shed light on a long and continual history of water-based exchanges that have generated cultural and social affinities between the African and Asian continents. It brings together works by artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and thinkers.
Image above: Figures 1937, Telegraph and Underwater Lines 2018, Photo collage, Ultrachrome Pigment Print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, Ultra Smooth, 110 x 148 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
Combining new commissions with existing projects, the exhibition traces links between the Asian and African regions, manifesting overlays and diasporic transfers between two areas of increased
global political, economic and cultural importance in the 21st century. The space also called Indian Ocean emerges as a communal horizon that reveals shades of cultural, linguistic, political and historical passage from ancient times to the present.
Both exhibition parts, showing concurrently at the Gropius Bau and SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, have been composed in resonance. While moving between these venues, visitors can experience fluid associations that open up like the tug and swell of tides. The exhibition follows the first chapter at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, revealing a journey of material, textual and aural histories and connecting them via this ocean to the city of Berlin.
“Different waves of migration have shaped Germany, and Berlin is one of theNatasha Ginwala and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, curators of the exhibition
epicentres of African and Asian diasporas. With exhibition INDIGO WAVES
AND OTHER STORIES: RE – NAVIGATING THE
AFRASIAN SEA AND NOTIONS OF DIASPORA we intend to
awaken or reactivate the memories of these histories. As a pluriversal city, Berlin
must afford itself the luxury of encountering its multiple histories, which are
reverberations of narratives told and lived across the Afrasian Sea, and stories that,
from the land-locked space of Berlin, through the Afro- and Asian-Diasporic
communities, also echo on, in and through the water hemisphere.”
The ocean that stretches between Asia, Oceania and Africa – from Africa’s Swahili coast, through the Arabian Peninsula, up to Western Oceania – is known by many names: Ziwa Kuu, the Swahili Sea, the Afrasian Sea, the Indian Ocean, Ratnakara, Eastern Ocean, Indic Ocean and Bahari Hindi. This body of water has been continuously marked by hybridity, displacement and diasporic passage. The exhibition takes us from ancient routes of transregional exploration, trade and seasonal migration, up through contemporary Afro-Asian geopolitical, economic and cultural exchanges, from languages, foods, sounds, winds, waters, economies, philosophies and more.
It lends research on such timely subjects as the economics of materials and commodities, labour practices and indentured labour, the history and architecture of epidemics and quarantine, climate and ecological disruptions, cultural and material syncretism, migratory, trade and economic routes, and the interdependence of human and non-human entities.
As we transmit the knowledge that is harboured within many of us as water beings, INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES: RE-NAVIGATING THE AFRASIAN SEA AND NOTIONS OF DIASPORA seeks to set up reciprocal motions that unsettle established geopolitical assessments and the dominance in academia around the North Atlantic. Instead, we attend to open tides of acculturation, Afrasian imaginaries, an atmosphere of multiple tongues and monsoon cycles of the Afrasian Ocean system.
Exhibition at Savvy Contemporary
MIT Akinbode Akinbiyi, Malala Andrialavidrazana, Danish Bashir, CAMP, Quishile Charan, Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA), Tishani Doshi, Slimen Elkamel, Yee I-Lann, Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Luluwa Lokhandwala, Gail Mabo, Lavanya Mani, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, Oscar Murillo, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Thania Petersen, Shubigi Rao, Fahim Shad, Abdourahman Waberi, Euridice Zaituna Kala
Reinickendorfer Straße 17
Thursday, 20 April 2023, 7:00 pm
Friday, 21 April – Sunday, 04 June 2023
Thursday-Sunday 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
FREE ADMISSION Donations welcome