Echoes of the South Atlantic

With Paul Gilroy, Gabi Ngcobo, Thiago de Paula Souza, Nanette Snoep and many others

Wed, Jul 10, 2019
2–8 pm
Free admission
In English
Echoes of the South Atlantic, Goethe-Institut

Until the 15th century, the Atlantic was the clear border between Africa and Europe on the one side and the Americas on the other. The history of crossing the Atlantic followed the well-known narrative of “discoveries”: colonisation, slavery, exploitation, migration – and European prosperity. The exchange between the three continents created a cultural dynamic that fundamentally changed all three continents. The conference, organized by the Goethe-Institut, focuses on today’s Atlantic relations between Africa, South America, the Caribbean and Europe. International contributors from the arts and research will explore these relations in talks, panels and performances focusing on growing nationalism, the construction of new borders and questions of restitution and cultural heritage.

The conference is part of the Goethe-Institut’s project Echoes of the South Atlantic, which is organizing events on the future of the South Atlantic on all three continents between 2018 and 2020. During this time frame, the participating artists and intellectuals are working on their own projects; a final presentation of which is planned for 2020.

With contributions by Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Samy Ben Redjeb, Ndidi Dike, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Anita Ekman, Paul Gilroy, Paul Goodwin, Isaac Julien, Michelle (Musa) Mattiuzzi, Jota Mombaça, Mark Nash, Kris Nelson, Gabi Ngcobo, António Ole, Amilcar Packer, Thiago de Paula Souza, Felwine Sarr, Nadine Siegert, Nanette Snoep, Selene Wendt

Day 1 | Day 2

2 pm–3.30 pm, Lecture hall
Collecting and Creating

4 pm–5.30 pm, Lecture hall
Explore and Encounter

Talks and panels with Nanette Snoep, Gabi Ngcobo, Thiago de Paula Souza and others
chaired by Ananya Kabir
For detailed program go to

6.30 pm, Roof terrace
Conference Opening
Bernd Scherer, HKW director; Johannes Ebert, Secretary General Goethe-Instituts

7 pm, Roof terrace
The End of the Black Atlantic?
Paul Gilroy, historian, cultural theorist

What is the historical arc of the Black Atlantic? Is it still relevant? Racial hierarchies influence modern-day cultural diplomacy and international relations. The transformation of technologies and communications seems directly related to the resurgence of ultranationalism and fascism. What role does the notion of “civilization” play in this? Can the residues of the Black Atlantic archive yield resources for managing this crisis?

Day 1 | Day 2