Wintersemester 2023/2024, Theorie und Geschichte Sauen , Studienorganisation , theorie_geschichte_forschung

Decolonial Archive Lab

“Dear friends and collaborators, we are a small group of BIPOC + migrant students collaborating with theory lecturer Juana Awad, creating an autonomous seminar, a laboratory and writing group, producing our own archive as a decolonial practice and the many layers and facets that it touches in our lives. We want to create a space within this this art school, where we can support each other, have discussions, and produce and distribute knowledge - in the form of archive creation - because we sincerely believe that knowledge has the amplifying effect in empowering ourselves and our communities, and to shift the centre away from – and reduce reliance on – the capitalist colonial patriarchal hegemony.


We ask ourselves:

• What can archive actually mean… and what is it for?

• What forms can this archive take?

• What is the decolonizing practice, beyond the word “decolonial” which is already so exhausted in academic circles? • How to produce and distribute knowledge that is conscious of discrimination structures based on class, gender, race, ability, etc., and how do they influence a person's access to knowledge?

• How to write and publish, when most of our mother tongues are actually neither English nor German?

• What is the importance of translation work and when can something not be translated?

• How do we use this project to expand our networks, invite collaborations, and share our privileges and resources? Especially with our communities who are doing amazing decolonizing work somewhere else, beyond the spaces of white colonial institutions?

• What structural supports should this project have to ensure its long-term run?


What is the importance of having this space in the university?

An art university in the capital of one of European Fortress’s largest (economic and political) superpowers, an institution that from our perception stands for innovation, intellectualism and expression, is not free of colonial violence but rests on the coloniality inherent to the modern-world system, which has historically denied, subalternized and/or appropriated art forms, knowledge, and methods of knowledge production from around the world.

This lab is started with the intention of criticizing that epistemological and structural colonial violence. It is also started with the intention of creating our own program, inviting our own workshops, panel discussions and some lecturers we would like to see, around archive and knowledge-production, and trying to use the structures already in place to achieve this.”

Raras Umaratih

ProjektkategorieProjekt Projekt-Fächer Theorie und Geschichte
Cover of the first Issue of Gary Garuk
Cover of the first Issue of Gary Garuk
Cover of the first Issue of Gary Garuk
Alle Rechte vorbehalten Aram Alsaed, Raras Umaratih and the Decolonial Archive Lab participants SoSe23