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black land


Interdisciplinary Festival
December 21–28, 2023
At Kunstquartier Bethanien, silent green, Palais am Festungsgraben, and in public space, Berlin

BLACK LAND, RED LAND – RESTITUTE is a discussion-based artist festival that has taken place in December 2023 in Berlin, when it has explored the meanings and (re)locations of ancient Egyptian artifacts. The festival works with methods based on performative and collective memory, focusing on individual “objects” — exploring both their significance and their provenance(s) — from the “holdings” of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, the Berlin State Museums, and the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy.

The artistic research and artist contributions has been presented in December 2023 across four event days hosted at Studio 1 in Kunstquartier Bethanien in cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg. At the center of the festival’s discussions in silent green’s Kuppelhalle has been an international, historicizing, and critical examination of the positions (physical, conceptual, and phenomenal alike) that the cultural organizations and artifacts — both here understood rather as entities — occupy within the broader cultural, spiritual, and political discourse. This has been accompanied by an intercultural dialogue on the complex range of meanings associated with the entities under discussion.

Initiative BLACK LAND e.V.

Founded in February 2023 as a way of pursuing the ideas explored and generated by the BLACK LAND art project from 2022, Initiative BLACK LAND e. V. is dedicated to the histories of antiquity — to the ways in which these histories are read and interpreted, and to the ways they are deployed in interdisciplinary art projects.

Questions of identity, participation, solidarity, and economic use lead inevitably into an encounter with postcolonial presences and their narratives.
The goals under which the initiative was formed will be pursued in a range of forms: via art events, festivals, discussions, and artistic research projects, through the commissioning of artworks and the publication of written works and documentation, and through fostering public debate and building an international network that will receive ongoing support in exploring these issues.


The association will work alongside international partners, sponsors, and institutions (museums, research institutions, foundations, and similar). Chairing the association are Elena Sinanina and Yara Mekawei.


Yara Mekawei, Elena Sinanina
© Nick Ash

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