Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? Exhibition
Frans Nambinga Arts Training Centre in Havana, Windhoek
6 - 25 November 2020
StArt Art Gallery and From Where Do We Speak? (FWDWS) are pleased to announce Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak?. This is an exhibition of artworks by Namibian artists, workshop facilitators and participants.
The most recent phase of this project undertaken by FWDWS incorporates trans-historic educational workshops with youth across selected regions in Namibia. These workshops were developed to facilitate artistic explorations of the colonial past and decolonial futures in Namibia. The idea behind these workshops was to generate community dialogues and expressions regarding legacies of colonialism, colonial photographic archives, inter-generational negotiation, restorative justice, multi-directional memory and identity politics in Namibia, among other topics. The results of this process will be on display at the Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? exhibition at the Frans Nambinga Arts Training Centre in Havana, Windhoek from 6 - 25 November 2020. Visitors will be able to engage with the exhibition across several events:
RSVP to all of the above is essential in order to keep our communities safe and adhere to covid-19 related regulations. Please RSVP here: https://forms.gle/UnPA7H8rgoQzYriZA
Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? is an ongoing art and history project that emerged out of a creative collaboration between artists and historians in Namibia and Germany in 2018 and 2019. The project is centered on a colonial photographic archive housed at the Museum am Rothenbaum (MARKK) in Hamburg, which was produced and collected by German scientists, settlers, merchants and military personnel during the colonial period in Namibia (1884-1915). As a result of this collaboration, artworks focusing on the complexities of German and Namibian entangled histories were created, and have been featured in three subsequent exhibitions in Hamburg, Germany and Windhoek, Namibia; creating a space for solidarity, healing and resistance, and a space for reclaiming the past through research and interdisciplinary artistic practices. Drawing from its title ‘Ovizire’, a word from the Otjiherero language, and ‘Somgu’ in Khoekhoegowab, which in everyday use can be translated to mean ‘shadow’ or ‘aura’, this cross-disciplinary project responds to the photographic archive and its implicit legacy by proposing a critical reading, and interrogates colonial representations, the colonial gaze, legacies of power and the uneven remembrance of the Herero and Nama genocide (1904-1908); aspects which continue to cast a shadow over counter-histories and diverse voices.
Ovizire.Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? has been made possible through support from the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the National Arts Council of Namibia.