Participants' short biographies | Past Statements – Present Futures

Magnus Elias Rosengarten
is a writer and curator. He has worked and written for ContemporaryAnd Magazine (C&), Artforum, Berlin Biennale and Gropius Bau, among others. His interest lies in the complex relationships between bodies and space in Contemporary Art. Central questions of his work are: Which spaces turn some bodies into a political issue and others not? Who has the power to define bodies and what realities are produced to that effect?
He studied American Studies and Area Studies Asia / Africa at Humboldt University in Berlin and received his Master's degree in Performance Studies at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.

Cana Bilir-Meier
lives and works in Munich as an artist, filmmaker and art educator. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, art education and fine arts, at the School for Independent Film Friedl Kubelka in Vienna, and at Sabancı University in Istanbul. Cana Bilir-Meier's cinematic and filmic-performative works move at the intersections of archival work, text production, historical research, and contemporary media reflexivity or even archaeology. In this way, they interweave private archives with historical and contemporary political processes and their images in the media in a critical but also poetic way.

Saboura Naqshband
is a political scientist and cultural anthropologist who works academically, activistically and artistically on the topics of racism critique, intersectionality, decoloniality and migrant resistance. Naqshband is currently undertaking her PhD at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) on intersectionality in the work of artists of colour. She is a member of the postcolonial education lab (b*lab), as well as co-founder of the collective "Berlin Muslim Feminists" (BMF). As a Transformative Dance Facilitator, Naqshband particularly empowers Muslim and/or racialized women and queer people through art and cultural education. Her contribution to the postcolonial education manifesto, Places of Learning (2021) was recently published, as well as the new edition of her translation of Lana Sirri's Introduction to Islamic Feminisms (2020).

Gürsoy Doğtaş
is an art historian, works para-curatorially at the intersections of institutional critique, structural racism and queer studies. Among many exhibitions, he was responsible for The kültüř gemma! issue of Parabol Art Magazine (2021) and co-curated the symposium Das Recht auf Erinnern und die Realität der Städte in Nürnberg (2021). In the fall of 2022, the study The Persistence of Structural Racism in the Culture Industry: Six Debate Examples, which he co-authored with Pary El-Qalqili, will be published in an anthology. He is a visiting professor (winter semester 22/23) at the Berlin University of the Arts in the Institute for Art in Context.

Samet Leyla
is an economist and works as a management consultant in his native Munich. He is constantly involved in the fight against racism, as well as engaged with non-profit organizations. Can Leyla, who was murdered in the racist attack at the OEZ on July 22, 2016, was Samet's cousin and godchild. Since the attack, his family and he have been striving for recognition, clarification and punishment of right-wing violence in Germany. Systematic racism has become an important issue for the family.

Leyla Jagiella
is an ethnologist and religious scholar. At the Universities of Marburg, Bayreuth and Tübingen she taught courses on questions of heterodoxy and orthodoxy in Islam, religious diversity in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as on cultural hybridities and transfer processes. She has conducted research in Pakistan, India, and Indonesia. She is also an active member of the Liberal-Islamischer Bund e.V. and a freelance expert speaker on issues of sexuality and gender in Islam. In December 2021, her book Among the Eunuchs. A Muslim Transgender Journey was published by Hurst Publishing.

Nabila Abdel Aziz
studied Islamic Studies and Social Anthropology in London and Oxford and now works as a journalist. She writes on the topics of culture, religion, right-wing extremism and racism. She is the founder of Bliq Journal and curator of the AusArten Festival in Munich.

Gisela Kollmann
is the grandmother of Giuliano Kollmann, who was murdered in the racist terrorist attack at the OEZ on July 22, 2016. She is the mother of two children and two granddaughters. As a relative, she fights together with the other family members to ensure that the act and the victims are never forgotten.

Sandra Chatterjee
works as a choreographer and (dance, performance, and cultural) scholar at the intersection of theory and choreography (focus on gender, migration, and postcolonial studies). She is a member of the Post Natyam Collective, a multinational, internet-based coalition of choreographers/scholars, was co-organizer of Integrier-Bar Munich and 7hoch2//Festival für zivile Auftragskunst in Salzburg. She is co-organizer of the platform CHAKKARs - Moving Interventions, which is interested in direct interaction with the audience to involve senses we don't normally work with. With the project the smell of racism a participatory-performative installation will be created, which deals with the connections between smells and racism, because racism has an olfactory side, which is (all too) rarely considered.

Arko Mukhaerjee
is a unique vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, who explores the migratory aspects of music. He establishes connections between pan-Indian music and the music of Africa, Europe and the Americas. He has performed at major music festivals in Europe, the Americas, Bangladesh and Nepal, works with his own flexible collective and with the live world electronica project Ashram.

Nadja Ofuatey-Alazard
is an African-German editor, curator, cultural manager/activist and public intellectual, whose work practice revolves around the (increase in) visibility, the acknowledgement and the historical contextualisation of the long presence of populations of African descent and their intellectual and artistic practices and contributions in Germany, Europe and beyond. Ofuatey-Alazard is deeply invested in enabling transnational polylogues and exchanges between Africa and its global diasporas as well as spacemaking for People of African Descent (PAD) in the historical and contemporary narratives and realities of Europe.

Since 2017 she works as co-CEO and artistic director of the Black empowerment/advocacy platform, community-/arts center and library EACH ONE TEACH ONE (EOTO) in Berlin ( Here a.o. she co-founded and directs the literature and arts festival AFROLUTION, which convenes annually and mixes the most influential voices in African and African-diasporic Arts, Academy and Activism – a curatorial approach she has termed "Triple AAA". Since 2020 she is project lead of the In/ter/ventions segment within the collaborative pilot project Dekoloniale Memory Culture in the City, Berlin (

For the past 15+ years Ofuatey-Alazard has been publishing, filmmaking and curating/producing events around themes such as European/German colonialism and its structural consequences, imageries and representations of Blackness in media, education and the public realm and empowerment/advocacy for and by People of African Descent (PAD).

Ibou Coulibaly Diop
is a university teacher and researcher. Since his studies in romance philology and German as a foreign language at the university of Berlin and Potsdam. He has been focusing his research on contemporary literature and especially on questions of globalisation. His PhD thesis was published as Mondialisation et monde des théories dans l’oeuvre de Michel Houellebecq (2018), Berlin: Frank & Timme Verlag. His current research looks at theories of Black literature, transculturality and cosmopolitanism. In 2012, Diop published La colère comme moteur de l’action politique dans la littérature noire de Césaire à Senghor. In: L. Bauer & K. Reinke (Hrsg.), Colère – force destructive et potentiel créatif. Berlin: Frank & Timme Verlag ; and in 2019 La Négritude: une déconstruction avant-gardiste d'être au monde, DeGruyter.
Diop’s latest publications focus on French-speaking women's literature and negritude: Aminata Sow Fall un humanisme au féminin (forthcoming), Lendemains, Tübingen: Narr Verlag and Les combattantes du quotidien (forthcoming), Lendemains, Tübingen: Narr Verlag
Currently Diop is preparing with Susanne Gehrmann a major project on the archives of Janheinz Jahn at the Humboldt-University.

Dan Hicks
is Professor of Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Oxford, Curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. His most recent book is The Brutish Museums: the Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (Pluto 2020). Twitter/Insta: @ProfDanHicks

Anna Yeboah
studied architecture with a focus on cultural theory at the Technical University of Munich and the UPC Barcelona. Her research and artistic practice deal with systems of power in architecture and urban planning. Her research has been shown at the Venice and Chicago Biennials, among others, and published in international professional media. Anna Yeboah was a lecturer at the Institute for History and Theory of Design at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2020, Anna Yeboah has been responsible for the overall coordination of the five-year model project "Decolonial Remembrance Culture in the City" for the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.

Tapiwa Guzha
creates work centered around the rehabilitation of African esteem and the empowerment of Africans across the globe with a focus on mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Zimbabwe-born Guzha has used his PhD in Molecular Biology to create more than 600 inventive ice cream flavours, and is founder of the ice-cream restaurant Tapi Tapi in Cape Town, South Africa. Guzha is a perpetual tinkerer in life, always looking to learn something new with each passing moment and hopefully sharing some of that knowledge with the world. At present he facilitates cultural rehabilitation experiences through art and food, intending to soothe and heal the Black ego that has grown in a world descendant from the colonial process.

Nicolas Premier

lives and works in Paris, France. The French-Congolese artist interrogates Modernity and contemporaneity from off-screen experiences and knowledges, by performing social, temporal and spatial scale changes. Nicolas is particularly interested in the links of mutual borrowing, fascination and dazzlements that exist between and towards the African diasporas.

Selected works:

2022 : The Tears That Touch The Sun - Video, color, sound, 9 min

2021 : Ballad, Air and Fire - Video, color, sound, 30 min

2021 : Every recording is a disappearance – Video, black & white, sound, 9 min

2021 : It's only a matter of acceleration now - Video, color, sound, 3 min

2020 : I Ran From It And Was Still In It - Video, black & white, sound, 3 min

2020 : AFRICA IS THE FUTURE - Video, color, sound, 31 min

2019 : Black Metamorphosis - Video, color, sound, 6 min

2017 : Style - Video, black & white, sound, 3 min

2012 : Our Poetry - Video, black & white, sound, 16 min

Selected exhibitions:

2022: Courtyard Screening, Johannesburg / South Africa

2021: Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin / Germany,

2021: E:Werk, Luckenwalde / Germany

2020: Mishkin Gallery, NYC / USA

2019, French Institute, Stuttgart / Germany

2018: EOTO, Berlin / Germany

Romi Crawford PhD
has a research practice that explores areas of race and ethnicity as they relate to American visual culture (including art, film, and photography). Her work centers on and expands the temporal bounds of Black Arts Movement ideas and aesthetics. Publications include; co-author of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017); Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect (Green Lantern Press, 2021); Reading Between the Photographs: Serious Sociality in the Kamoinge Photographic Workshop in Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop (Duke University Press, 2020); and Surface and Soul in the Work of Nick Cave in Nick Cave: Forothermore (DelMonico Books/Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2022). She conceived and initiated the Black Arts Movement School Modality. She is a professor in the Visual and Critical Studies department at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Abiodun Oyewole
As one of the founding members of the legendary Harlem group The Last Poets, Abiodun Oyewole has dedicated almost 60 years to using his poetry to articulate, glorify and protest the impurities of the black experience worldwide, and in America particularly. He has become a fixture in the landscape of black consciousness, using uncompromising verse to scold a nation whose inclination to maintain the colonial yoke around the neck of the disenfranchised has always been at issue. For that, he has been honored and appreciated by millions.
Oyewole has also made an unwavering commitment to the next generation of conscious young minds. A labor of love for over 40 years, "Brother Dune" has opened his home every Sunday to poets, rappers, singers, philosophers, teachers, students, fans and everyday people who have an appreciation for the arts and yearn to be around love and black consciousness. The initial purpose of Open House Sundays at 110 was to give aspiring poets a platform to share their work and receive feedback from a giant in the arts. Over the years, Open House Sundays at 110 has grown into so much more, becoming a cultural institution in the Harlem community, with food, political conversation, music, and a fellowship that has touched thousands of people over the years. Prominent artists who have walked through those famed doors at 110 Morningside Drive span from Melle Mel to Doug E. Fresh to Erykah Badu. Moreover, notable institutions such as Def Poetry Jam and celebrated poets such as Jessica Care Moore were born out of Open House Sundays at 110. Undeterred by the pandemic, Open House Sundays has now moved to a virtual space, as Oyewole continues to mentor the next generation of brilliant young artists.

Robert Earl Paige
An artist and textile designer allied with the Black Arts Movement. Robert E. Paige trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and worked at the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He traveled to Italy and Western Africa to learn the history and manufactuing techniques of textiles, and began producing scarves and drapings with the Fiorio Milano company to retail at department stores such as Carson Pirie Scott. Sears Roebuck sold his Dakkabar collection nationwide. He currently has an exhibit, "Power to the People" at Salon 94 Design in NYC curated by Duro Olowu.

Fred Motens
Fred Motens primary intellectual and aesthetic concerns are social movement and aesthetic experiment in black study. His latest projects are a poetry collection, Perennial Fashion Presence Falling (Wave Books, 2023), a record album, Fred Moten/Brandon López/Gerald Cleaver (Reading Group Records, 2022) and an essay collection, All Incomplete (Minor Compositions, 2021), co-authored with Stefano Harney. In addition to his collaborations with Harney, and with López and Cleaver, Moten has worked with many other artists, artist collectives, and study groups, including the Anti-Colonial Machine, the Black Arts Movement School Modality, the Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy, Renee Gladman, Renée Green, the Institute for Physical Sociality, Arthur Jafa, the Jazz Study Group, Jennie C. Jones, Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, George Lewis, Moved by the Motion, the Otolith Group, William Parker, and the Harris-Moten Quartet. Moten lives in New York and teaches performance studies and comparative literature at New York University.

Stefano Harney
is Professor of Transversal Aesthetics at Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln / Academy of Media Arts Cologne. He is also Honorary Professor in the Institute of Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice at the University of British Columbia. He was Hayden Fellow and Visiting Critic at Yale University Art School in 2019-2020. Stefano curated the show "Shipping and the Shipped" at the Bergen Assembly triennial in 2016 as part of the freethought collective. With Tonika Sealy Thompson he runs the reading camp and study project Ground Provisions. He is part of the School for Study, a nomadic collective of university teachers whose exodus from the university marks the space and time to study, and a member of Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective. Stefano Harney is co-author together with Fred Moten of The Undercommons: fugitive planning and black study (2013) and All Incomplete (2021) both published by Minor Compositions/Autonomedia. The Undercommons has been translated and published in Spanish, French, Italian, and German, with forthcoming translations in Portuguese, Swedish, and Thai.

Mechtild Widrich
is Professor in the Art History, Theory and Criticism Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She researches art in public space, in particular monuments and monument activism, performative and participatory practices, and the theory of the public sphere. Widrich is the author of Performative Monuments (2014) and Monumental Cares (January 2023), both with Manchester University Press, (co)editor of Future Anterior, special issue Ex Situ: On Moving Monuments (2020), Participation in Art and Architecture (2015, paperback 2022), and Krzysztof Wodiczko. A 9/11 Memorial (2009).

Widrich received her MA degree from the University of Vienna and her PhD from the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She previously held positions at ETH Zurich and the Universities of Vienna, Zurich and Basel and is currently a member of the expert committee developing the recontextualization of the statue of antisemitic mayor Karl Lueger in Vienna.

Faheem Majeed
is an artist, educator, curator, and community facilitator. He blends his unique experience as an artist, non-profit administrator, and curator to create works that focus on institutional critique and exhibitions that leverage collaboration to engage his immediate, and the broader community, in meaningful dialogue. As part of his studio practice, he transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, discarded signs, and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials.
As its former executive director (2007-2011), Chicago’s South Side Community Art Center serves as Majeed’s primary muse. Majeed also serves as a co-director and founder of Floating Museum. Floating Museum is an arts collective and non-profit that creates new models to explore relationships between art, community, architecture, and public institutions. Using site-responsive art, design, and programming Floating Museum explores the potential in these relationships by considering the infrastructure, history, and aesthetics of a space.
Majeed is a recipient of the Field and Macarthur Foundation’s Leaders for a New Chicago Award (2020), Joyce Foundation Award (2020), the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant(2015), and the Harpo Foundation Award (2016). Majeed’s work has been exhibited in numerous institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, SMFA at Tufts, and the Hyde Park Art Center. Majeed received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at the UIC.

Cauleen Smith
was raised in Sacramento, California and lives in Los Angeles. Smith is faculty in the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. Smith holds a BA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. Smith’s short films, feature film, an installation and performance were work showcased at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019. Smith has had solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, MassMoCA and LACMA. Smith is the recipient of the following awards: Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film /Video, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Chicago Expo Artadia Award, and Rauschenberg Residency, Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts in Film and Video 2016, United States Artists Award 2017, 2016 inaugural recipient of the Ellsworth Kelly Award, 2020 recipient of the Studio Museum Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, and 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Val Gray Ward
popularly known as “The Voice of the Black Writer” is an internationally acclaimed dramatist-historian, producer, director, educator, cultural activist and the founder of Kuumba Theatre. Born Q. Valeria Ward in the oldest all-black town in the U.S. Mound Bayou, Mississippi on August 21st, 1932, Val had a preordained gift for performance, which manifested at an early age when she dramatically recited poems and won various oratorical competitions throughout the state of Mississippi. In 1951, Ward moved to the city of Chicago where her dedication to Black empowerment, liberation and culture got her heavily involved in the Black Arts Movement. In 1968, she founded the pioneering Kuumba Theatre Workshop in her south side home. In KiSwahili “Kuumba” means “clean-up, create, and build,” and is the 6th principle of the Nguzo saba.
In 1969, Val became the first director of the Afro-American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and, in 1977, took the Kuumba cast and crew of Useni Perkins’s play “The Image Makers” to FESTAC ’77 held in Lagos, Nigeria. Val is the recipient of over 200 awards including 21 Emmys for her docutainment film “Precious Memories: Strolling 47th Street.” At 88, Val is still giving electrifying performances via Zoom, and recently performed for the students at Wellesley College, MA.

Farhan Khalid
is a computer programmer who specializes in the development and design of web and mobile apps. His work focuses on utilizing Augmented Reality, Image Recognition, Geolocation, IoT, mobile hardware APIs and other application libraries. He has built web services and software for various companies including Webdam (acquired by Byndr) as well as non-profits such as The Giving List. He is currently the owner of the independent development company Takhleeq and is the main front-end developer for, a social app for connecting travel experts and enthusiasts. His artistic work focuses on the use of paper cutting techniques and the use of 3D sculptures, and his work, in collaboration with visual artist Mikala Hyldig Dal, has been exhibited at the 12th Annual Berlin Biennale (

Mikala Hyldig Dal
is an artist working in the field of new media and performance. She examines visual cultures through emerging technologies and body-based interventions. Her work embeds critical theory in immersive digital environments, examining processes of visuality and invisibility in relation to politics of the body and structures of power in the field of the visual. Her work has been presented e.g. at the 12. Berlin Biennial, Martin Gropius Bau and HKW Berlin, Townhouse Gallery Cairo, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen, Flux Factory New York, Azad Gallery Tehran and discussed in TAZ, the Guardian and Monopol Magazine. She is the editor of the research project Images of Transition on art and activism in the Arab Uprisings, and is a founding member of the feminist artist collective Maternal Fantasies. Together with programmer Farhan Khalid she has created the augmented reality app Monuments AR that focuses on site-specific interventions in the digital space. (

Marina Pugliese
is an art historian and a museum specialist. Internationally known as a scholar in the conservation of contemporary art, she led a consortium of diverse museums in Milan, having founded two of the three institutions, Museo del Novecento and Mudec. In 1997-98 she was awarded a Scholarship by the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome. In 1999 she was awarded an international scholarship by the Université Paris 1 with the Università di Pavia. In 2013 she was a Scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute. In 2017-2018 she co-curated with Barbara Ferriani and Vicente Todoli the exhibition Lucio Fontana.Ambienti/Environments, HangarBicocca, Milan. In 2018-2019 she was Creative Director of the Future Humans Video Archive at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles. Since July 2020 she is Head of Public Art for the City of Milan and since 2022 she directs a Department for the City of Milan which includes the Mudec (Museum of Cultures), Intercultural Relations and Public Art.

Sandra Beate Reimann
Dr. Sandra Beate Reimann is curator at Museum Tinguely in Basel, where she curated amongst others the exhibitions Stephen Cripps. Performing Machines (2017), Rebecca Horn. Body Fantasies (2019) and most recently the thematic group show Territories of Waste (2022). In research and publications she focusses on sculpture and installation in the second half of the twentieth century.

Tony Cokes
is an artist, living and working in Providence, Rhode Island. In his audiovisual work Cokes explores how media’s and pop culture’s languages shape our understanding of the world and make histories. Cokes received his BA from Goddard College, completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, earned his MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. He serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, Rhode Island. Cokes’s work has been exhibited internationally, including recently Carnegie International, Pittsburgh (2022); Whitney Biennial, New York (2022); MACRO Contemporary Art Museum, Rome (2021); CIRCA, London (2021); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Luma Westbau, Zurich (2019); Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); The Shed, New York (2019); Greene Naftali, New York (2022, 2018); Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2018); and REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012).

Olaf Nicolai
studied German Literature and Philology in Leipzig, Vienna and Budapest and holds a PhD on Die Wiener Gruppe. Nicolai’s works and projects have been shown in numerous international solo shows, such as Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (2019), MUMA, Museum of Monash University, Melbourne (2019), Kunsthalle Wien (2018), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (2018), Taxispalais Innsbruck (2017), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (2016), the German Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015), Musée du Louvre (2013), museum angewandte kunst, Frankfurt/ M. (2013), Kunsthalle Münster (2012), Pinakothek der Moderne München (2011), Kestnergesellschaft Hannover (2010), Kunstmuseum Thurgau (2009), Leonhardi Museum Dresden (2007), Kunstraum Dornbirn (2006), Kunstmuseum Thun (2004), Casino Luxembourg (2003), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich (2001), Watari-Um Museum Tokyo (1998).
The artist currently lives and works in Berlin. He holds a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Dana Kavelina
graduated from the Department of Printing of Kyiv Polytechnic University. She works with text, painting, graphics, video and installation, and creates animated films. She brings an artistic component into civic activism and street protests. The subjects of her works are personal and historical trauma, vulnerability, and the perception of war outside mainstream narratives. Her animated film About Mark Lvovich Tulpanov, Who Talked to Flowers, which depicts the events of the military conflict in Donbas through the prism of personal tragedies, won a special jury prize the at the Odessa International Film Festival and an award at the international film festival KROK-2018. In 2020, her film Letter to the Turtledove was included in the War and Cinema program of the American magazine e-flux, in 2022 shown at FID Marseille festival and in a MoMA screening program Notes from the ground.

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