online screening from 12 pm on, on 8–22 May 2021
Musquiqui Chihying, Gregor Kasper
3-Channel Video Installation
27’ in Loop
Café Togo looks at the efforts to change street names with colonial connotations in the so called
Afrikanisches Viertel (African Quarter) in the district of Berlin-Wedding. According to Berliner Straßengesetz,
each street in the city of Berlin honors the person, the place or the event it is named after. The streets
Petersallee and Lüderitzstraße and the square Nachtigalplatz are named after personalities, whose
biographies are tainted with blood of German colonial victims – so honoring becomes a skewed undertaking
here. According to the mentioned law, those streets have to be re-named if they are not in consonance with
today’s understanding of democratic and human rights definitions.
Café Togo follows in its documental and fictional scenes the visions of the Black activist Abdel Amine
Mohammed, who is intensively involved in processes of re-naming streets with colonial connotations in
Berlin. His key argument is based on a perspective change of symbolic politics implemented by state
authorities in this regard: turning away from honoring colonial perpetrators into honoring victims and
resistance and freedom fighters of the German colonial regime. Abdel Amine (a member of the ISD –
Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland) is engaged in a collective of initiatives both from the Black
community as well as other civil society NGOs, whose activism seeks to implement change, by arguing from
a postcolonial perspective: a multi-dimensional politics of remembrance.
Café Togo is inspired by “Carl Peters”, a propaganda film produced in 1941 by the National Socialists to
honor the life and the person of the colonial criminal Carl Peters, in whom they see a pioneer, a visionary of
their racist ideology. The film depicts scenes of subjugation, racist stereotypes, eurocentric representations
and appropriation. The scenes about Africa were filmed on Rügen, a German island located in the Baltic
Sea. Appropriating this concept, Café Togo re-stages several scenes about Kolonie Klein Afrika (Small
African Colony) and Kleingartenverein Togo, which until 2015 was called Dauerkolonie Togo (Permanent
Colony Togo). A symbolically important location in the quarter, where one of Café Togo’s principal theater
took place, is Café Fredericks. The act of re-naming is already realized there, in the sense that the locations’
former name Lüderitz-Eck was changed in honor of the German-West-African resistance and freedom fighter Josef Fredericks II. As a contribution Abdel Amine wrote the story “With Colonial Love”, which lay the
fundament of Café Togo.
born in 1985 in Taiwan, is an artist and filmmaker based in Taipei, Taiwan and Berlin, Germany.
born in 1986 in Germany, is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany.