Wednesday 13 December 2023
at 6:30 pm
Spaces for X-Change:
Café Yaoundé & Café Togo
by Musquiqui Chihying & Gregor Kasper
Café Yaoundé, 2023, 25’
Café Togo, 2018, 27’
Discussion with Abdel Amine Mohammed
The names of public spaces are often manifestations of hegemonic power, ideology and history.
A close reading of them offers not only a local geography, but also a deeper inside into a society.
Join us in an attempt to establish an open platform for exchanging views and opinions! Exactly one year ago, Changing Room's street underwent a profound transformation. Formerly known as Lüderitzstraße and dedicated to Adolf Lüderitz, a colonialist associated with Germany's first colony in Namibia, it now proudly bears the name Cornelius-Fredericks-Straße. This significant change pays homage to Cornelius Fredericks, an influential Herero leader who resisted colonial suppression in Namibia.
The renaming, a culmination of decades-long efforts, symbolizes a triumph of perseverance. Notably, our dedication to the series "Territories under my Skin" in 2021 coincided with the peak of the renaming conflict in our neighbourhood. Join us as we celebrate this meaningful transformation and reflect on the resilience that shaped it!
So what does it mean when colonialism is still part of a public order and orientation? How does this still shape the public consciousness today? Which voices are working towards a critical change and counter-narratives?
These questions are addressed in the new experimental documentary film “Café Yaoundé” (2023) by Musquiqui Chihying & Gregor Kasper and their previous work “Café Togo” (2018).
Composed of performances, lectures, and discussions, “Café Yaoundé” is centered around Rue De Nachtigal – still named after the German colonial criminal Gustav Nachtigal – in the heart of the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé, to form a network of perspectives reflecting on the aftermath of colonialism.
Building on “Café Togo”, which focused on the renaming of streets in the German colonial context of Berlin, "Café Yaoundé" extends the discussion to the context of Cameroon as a former German and European colony. It brings together scholars, activists, and artists to share their practice, thoughts and critiques: Sylvie Njobati, who engages in the restitution of spiritual entities and artifacts of the Nso culture from German institutions; Christopher Nsoh, Professor of Peace-Building and conflict management; and Christian Etongo, who uses performance to heal colonial trauma.
In addition, activist Abdel Amine Mohammed – who was already the protagonist of “Café Togo” – gives a street lecture to connect the local colonial contexts of Yaoundé and Berlin and discuss postcolonial realities in the former German colonies on the African continent with students from the Pan-African University.
Funded by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe
With the kind support of RAVY Biennale, Yaoundé
image(s) credits: Xizhuang, VG Bildkunst
"Cafe Togo" (2018)
Abdel Amine Mohammed