“Declaration of Independence” is the result of a workshop and a performance in Bergen in 2020. The two episodes were made in collaboration with podcast producer Femi Oriogun Williams and some of the participants.
Since 2017, Barby Asante has developed workshops with groups of womxn of colour to reflect on how historic and contemporary social and political conditions affect the personal. “Declaration of Independence” invites collaborators to develop personal testimonies exploring independence, interdependence and the present-day impacts of colonial oppression, migration and racism, bringing these together in a performance ritual where their stories are told and witnessed. As part of the live programme of Sandra Mujinga’s exhibition “SONW – Shadow of New Worlds” (22.11.2019–19.1.2020), Asante brought the “Declaration of Independence” in late 2019 to Bergen Kunsthall, working with womxn of colour based in Bergen, Oslo and Copenhagen, resulting in a performance in January 2020.
The two podcast episodes invite some of the participants to reflect on the process of coming together to create the performance in collaboration with Asante and writer Foluke Taylor. The episodes build upon the texts created in the workshops contributed by the womxn to investigate the motivations for developing the pieces allowing for conversations to extend beyond the collected performance into the contexts that inform the creation of each piece. Contexts that are personal, institutional, social, political, local and global.
Thank you to Anine, Daniela, Davone, Eliyah, Foluke and Mechu for sharing their experiences for these episodes and to all who took part in the “Declaration of Independence” at Bergen Kunsthall.
The workshop and performance in January 2020 were curated by Maria Rusinovskaya as part of the live programme of Sandra Mujinga’s exhibition “SONW – Shadow of New Worlds” (22.11.2019–19.1.2020). The podcast was curated by Scott Elliott, curator of live programme at Bergen Kunsthall. This podcast series is produced by Femi Oriogun-Williams.
Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ, concerned with the politics of place, space, identity and the histories and legacies of colonialism. She explores the un-constituted memories and archives of people of colour, through performative processes that include storytelling, collective actions, institutional interventions and rituals, to excavate, unearth and interrogate given narratives.
Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Re-Imagine Europe is initiated by Sonic Acts (NL) and coordinated by Paradiso (NL) in collabora-tion with Elevate Festival (AT), Lighthouse (UK), INA GRM (FR), Kontejner (HR), Landmark / Bergen Kunsthall (NO), A4 (SK), Disruption Network Lab (DE) and Ràdio Web MACBA (ES).