Be Bop: Black Europe Body Politics

BE.BOP. BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS is a decolonial transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary curatorial initiative based in Berlin that began in 2013. It has had an international impact through presentations in major cities across three continents. These cities include: Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cadiz, Copenhagen, Dakar, Durban, Durham, Graz, Kassel, Johannesburg, La Habana, London, Madrid, Malmö, Middelburg, New York, Santo Domingo, Stockholm, Visby and Windhoek.

BE.BOP previous editions (2012-2013) have engaged European audiences in intricate detail with the outrage generated by Black/African Diaspora peoples when confronting a racist world order structured along the lines of coloniality. BE.BOP 2014 brought re-existence into the hallowed grounds of healing by means of drawing the spiritual map of Pan-Africanism before and after the so-called “Scramble for Africa”. The event will include for the first time an exhibition and a simultaneous presentation in Copenhagen in connection to “Say it Loud!”, Jeannette Ehlers’ first anthological exhibition at Nikolaj Kunsthal (15.03-25.05.2014).

After its outstanding debut in 2013, this second  edition of the series BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS was expanded with live performances and an all-day screening commemorating Malcolm X´s birthday at the Hackesche Höfe Kino, in cooperation with AfricAvenir.

DECOLONIZING THE “COLD” WAR is the first Afropean performance showcase and was accompanied by roundtable discussions on the aesthetic legacy of the Black Power movement in the radical imagination of Diaspora artists. Parallel to this, its influence in liberation and decolonization struggles in the Global South during the so-called “Cold” War was approached from the continuities of coloniality. According to Enrique Dussel, a liberation philosopher and decolonial thinker, this war was never “cold” in the Global South.

We are witnessing a kind of global revivalism on documentary material on the Black Power movement (a good example is the release (2011) of Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, by Göran Olsson) and dozens of seminars and conferences are mushrooming all over Europe on the so called “Cold” War. In these hegemonic narratives the global South is usually considered as a mere recipient of Western imperialism.

During this festival, the story was told from the perspective of the self-affirmation of Black Power. The emblematic figure of Angela Davis created a planetary movement of solidarity that went beyond the term “Black Internationalism”. These narratives of re-existence were analyzed in relation to Frantz Fanon´s fundamental role in global South liberation struggles during that period. His interactions with Jean-Paul Sartre were the focus of some of these unprecedented debates. The worldwide solidarities resulting from the Black Power movement united people beyond racialization and political agendas. BE.BOP 2013 celebrated a paradigm shift that transformed the Black Body into a source of inspiration and beauty prevalent until today.

A Project of Art Labour Archives + Ballhaus Naunynstraße

In cooperation with AfricAvenir + Heinrich Böll Sitftung

Alanna Lockward + Curator

Walter Mignolo + Advisor

Artwell Cain (Netherlands+St. Vincent) + Vaginal Davis (Germany+USA) + Teresa María Díaz Nerio (Netherlands+Dominican Republic) + Gabriele Dietze (Germany) + Simmi Dullay (South Africa+Denmark) + Moritz Ege (Germany) + Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark+Trinidad) + Jihan El Tahri (Egypt+South Africa+France) + Cecilia Gärding (Sweden+South Africa) + Quinsy Gario (Netherlands+Curazao) + Adler Guerrier (USA+Haiti) + Neil Kenlock (England + Jamaica) + Grada Kilomba (Germany+Portugal+São Tomé e Principe) + Adetoun Küppers-Adebisi (Germany+Nigeria) + Raúl Moarquech Ferrera Balanquet (Cuba+Mexico+USA) + Karen McKinnon (England+USA) + Mekonnen Mesghena (Germany+Eritrea) + Dannys Montes de Oca (Cuba) + Ingrid Mwangi Robert Hutter (Germany+Kenya) + Pascale Obolo (France+Cameroon) + Horace Ové (England+Trinidad) + Robbie Shilliam (England) + Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Rumania) + Caecilia Tripp (France+Germany) + Rolando Vázquez (Netherlands+Mexico)