World Premiere 2024 – Kampnagel


Postcolonial Amnesia – Revisiting the Living Archive

In no other German city is colonial heritage as visible in as many thematic structures as in Hamburg. The Hanseatic city’s current self-image as a “gateway to the world” contrasts with Germany’s former “colonial metropolis” and beseeches an unprecedented responsibility for coming to terms with its past and restituting its ethnological collections. Hamburg’s future role in the global cultural community depends largely on how it acts in the measure of this responsibility.  

In her comprehensive research in the field of restitution of African art entitled Postcolonial Amnesia – Revisiting the Living Archive, the Hamburg-based South African choreographer and director Jessica Nupen analyses and interprets the spectrum of Africa’s colonial heritage in Hamburg and uses it as a point of departure for the creation of the multidisciplinary dance-theater production REPARATION NATION. Together with select African and Germany-based artists and cultural institutions from Senegal, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Germany, REPARATION NATION illuminates the complex and conflict-ridden topic of restitution from various African and European perspectives and invites actors from varying ends of the spectrum to a performative debate. In REPARATION NATION ten performers lend their voices and bodies to works of art recreating fictional stories and exploring the pretexts under which African artefacts were acquired and placed in German museums in the 19th and 20th centuries.

REPARATION NATION is a compelling, multidisciplinary, dance-negotiated debate on a topic that has gripped global, (post-)colonial politics over the past decade. It will premiere on Europe’s largest international contemporary performing arts stage at Kampnagel / K6 in Hamburg.

In co-production with:  École des Sables, Museum of Black Civilisations Kampnagel Centre for the International Arts, Universität Hamburg, The Art College at the University of Pretoria, Ethnology collection Lübeck, FNB Joburg Art Fair / Mandla Sibeko, Luli Callinicos, Movement Metropolitan e.V.