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Black Art & Fashion Festival

30.06, 12:00 am -02.07.2023

The Black Art & Fashion Festival aims to create a space where it is possible to develop a discourse that critically frames and seeks resistant responses to different processes of exclusion, exploitation, and appropriation of Black/Afro-German/Afrodiasporic perspectives.

One of the questions we are looking for answers to concerns the co-opting of Black artistic expressions on behalf of a white audience. This usurpation is called cultural appropriation; it is countered by cultural appreciation. Art and cultural institutions are monopolized by a white-majority society. As such, the structures within these organizations reflect their audiences. Black/Afro-German/Afrodiasporic and Indigenous histories rarely find a foothold in these institutions. If they do, they run the risk of being hijacked and exploited; unless change comes from within, we witness the persistence of colonial discourse: a white gaze on Black Indigenous arts and cultural expression is thus reproduced in order to mime a social change that art and cultural institutions, which propagate it in such a way, ultimately evade. In recent years, this critique has led to many initiatives within German cultural institutions—often by non-white artists and people in the cultural sector.

The Black Art & Fashion Festival sheds light on the intersection of persistent colonial approaches, racism, and capitalist power structures, seeking to critically examine fashion, aesthetic art, and colonial entanglements, as well as their continuing implications in our present.
Black Art & Fashion Festival Bremen is intended as an invitation to engage in conversation, discuss alternatives, and build networks.

The festival will take place on the premises of the Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst. It is curated by Sheeko Ismail.

Sheeko Ismail is a qualified project manager, facilitator and poet. Sheeko works in the cultural field and is mainly involved in activist circles of Black and marginalized groups as well as in political education work. Sheeko founded the initiative Zukunft ist bunt (The Future is Colorful) in 2018 and has curated the annual event series Black Story Month in Bremen together with a collective of Black people since 2020. Starting in 2021, Sheeko has also edited the book series Look at Us! Gallerie der Schwarzen Vorbilder & Held*innen in Deutschland (Gallery of Black Role Models & Heroes in Germany), which also developed as part of a collective effort. In May 2022, Sheeko launched the first Black children’s library in Germany. Sheeko and Maimuna Sallah have been running the library on their own premises since January 2023. Sheeko does not use pronouns.

Read more
Fri 30–Sun 02 Jul 2023

Day I / Fri, 30.06.23
13:00 – 18:00 h Pop Up Shops Black Businesses & Creators
18:30 – 19:30 h Talk Decolonize Fashion with Beatrice Oola & Paul Kadjo
20:00 – 21:00 h Performance by Joy: Am I Enough Queer?
21:30 – 00:00 h DJ-Set by Samila

Day II / Sat, 01.07.23
13:00 – 18:00 h Pop Up Shops Black Businesses & Creators
18:00 – 19:00 h Fashion Show by Paul Kadjo
19:30 – 20:30 h Talk Black Owned Magazines with Celia Parbey from RosaMag & Pia from Magazine of Color
21:00 – 21:30 h Performance by Queenwho
22:00 – 00 h DJ-Set by Somali Vendetta

Day III / Sun, 02.07.23
13:00 – 18:00 h Pop Up Shops Black Businesses & Creators
18:30 -19:30 h Talk + Exhibition tour: Feministische und machtkritische Betrachtung von afrikanischen König*innen (Artists: Maseho, Nicole Benewaah & Sheeko Ismail)

Other offerings
Enjoy Jamaican specialties with Bremens (Best) Jerk.

Various offers of the Black Children’s Library for kids and their caregivers.

Tickets / Admission
Suggested donation: 3-25 euros. Prior registration is not required.

Awareness
Our Awareness Team will support the festival to ensure it is a safer space. You can recognize the Awareness Team members by their yellow armbands. The events are open to all.

Accessibility
Unfortunately, the GAK premises are not directly accessible to people with disabilities. In some cases, it is possible to reach the ground-floor spaces through the neighboring restaurant TAU. There is no wheelchair-accessible restroom in the GAK. However, there is one at the Museum Weserburg directly across the street, which can be used during the day (11 am—6 pm). The GAK only provides two rather narrow restrooms.

Curator*
Sheeko Ismail

Grafik design
Nicole Benewaah

Organisation
Initiative Zukunft ist bunt, Black Story Month

Cooperation
GAK Gesellschaft für aktuelle Kunst, Schwarze Kinderbibliothek, Fashion Africa Now, RosaMag, Magazin of color, Magda‘s Food Programme, Marley’s New York, Gurlz with Curlz, Linkfro, Hooyo Handmade Products, AfroSchick, Bremen Jerk

Funding
Der Senator für Kultur der Freien Hansestadt Bremen, Beirat Neustadt

Further thanks to
Schwankhalle Bremen

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