Gropius Bau is currently presenting the exhibition Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora, which brings together the work of various contemporary artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and scholars. Through new works and existing projects, the group exhibition traces the connections between Africa and Asia, highlighting the intersections and diasporic transfers between the two continents, which are increasingly gaining global political, economic and cultural significance in this century. As a common horizon, the Indian Ocean makes visible the different shades of cultural, linguistic, political and historical transitions from antiquity to the present.
Fig. above: Adama Delphine Fawundu, Sopdet Illuminates, 2017 Archivpigment auf 100% Baumwollfaserp pier, 23 x 34 12 Zoll Courtesy die Künstlerin
The focus of Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora is an attempt to examine the long history of exchange across the Indian Ocean that has given rise to close cultural and social relations between the African and Asian continents.
At the Gropius Bau and SAVVY Contemporary, two exhibition sections will be shown in parallel, resonating with each other and forming the second chapter of Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora. They add a new perspective to the first chapter, which was on view at Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town from 20 June 2022 to 19 February 2023, and explore the movements of material, textual and acoustic elements connected to the city of Berlin across the Indian Ocean. The exhibition is accompanied by a public programme at both venues and includes works by international and Berlin-based artists including Shiraz Bayjoo, M’barek Bouhchichi, Nikhil Chopra, Köken Ergun, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Clara Jo, Jasmine Nilani Joseph, Jeewi Lee, Sim Chi Yin and Jennifer Tee.
“Germany is marked by various migration movements and Berlin is one of the centres of the African and Asian diaspora. Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora aims to evoke memories of these stories and give space to the reverberations of narratives told and lived across the Indian Ocean – stories whose echoes remain audible from Berlin across the Afro and Asian Diasporic communities to the Afro-Asian Ocean.
– Natasha Ginwala and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, curators of the exhibition
The ocean that stretches from the East African coast across the Arabian Peninsula to Western Oceania has many names: Ziwa Kuu, Swahili Sea, Afrasian Sea, Indian Ocean, Ratnakara, Eastern Ocean, Indic Ocean and Bahari Hindi. Hybridity, displacement and diasporic migrations have long shaped this body of water that connects Oceania, Asia and Africa. The exhibition traces ancient routes of trans-regional exploration and trade, seasonal migrations, and contemporary Afro-Asian exchanges on geopolitical, economic and cultural levels, languages, foods, sounds, winds, waters, economies and philosophies.
Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora brings together works by women artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers and thinkers working in a variety of media. The exhibition includes book art (Jack Beng-Thi), poetry (Tishani Doshi, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Haji Gora Haji, Abdourahman A. Waberi), VR installation (Sim Chi Yin), animated film (Köken Ergun and Fetra Danu), music (Dhow Countries Music Academy), mixed media installations (Shiraz Bayjoo, Adama Delphine Fawundu), installations (Rossella Biscotti, Jeewi Lee), painting (Oscar Murillo), performance (Nikhil Chopra), printmaking (Malala Andrialavidrazana), sculpture (Kelani Abass, M’barek Bouhchichi), textile painting (Lavanya Mani), mixed media sound installations (Kudzanai-Violet Hwami and Belinda Zhawi), print and installation (Jennifer Tee), drawings (Jasmine Nilani Joseph), research (John Njenga Karugia), photography (Adama Delphine Fawundu, Dominic Sansoni) and film and video (Clara Jo). The exhibition also features research on contemporary issues such as the economics of commodities and materials, working conditions and wage labour, the history and nature of epidemics and quarantine, climate and ecosystem disruption, cultural and material syncretism, migration, trade and economic routes, and the interdependence of human and non-human beings.
Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora aims to initiate reciprocal movements that shake established geopolitical systems of assessment and academic dominance around the North Atlantic – and open up spaces for acculturation, Afro-Asian imaginaries, an atmosphere of multilingualism and the monsoon cycles of the Indian Ocean.
Gropius Bau celebrates the opening of Indigo Waves and Other Stories: Re-Navigating the Afrasian Sea and Notions of Diaspora on 5 April 2023 from 19:00 with free admission to the exhibition and a DJ set by somali vendetta at Beba restaurant. The public programme for the exhibition begins with the performance One Water, Many Lands by Nikhil Chopra on 5 April from 10:00 to 20:00 and on 6 April from 12:00 to 18:00.
The second part of the exhibition will be on view at SAVVY Contemporary from 21 April to 4 June 2023.
Thursday, 6 April – Sunday, 13 August 2023
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri 11 am – 1 pm
Sat, Sun 10 am – 7 pm