Restitution: Thinking Beyond Cultural Heritage Objects

We’re excited to announce the collaborative research chapter of this multi-locational and multi-year artistic research project, which will be launched with a two-day symposium at Nordic Black Theatre, Oslo. This gathering is organized around four interrelated themes: (Un)learning Decolonial Curating; Disrupting the Archives; Performing Decoloniality and Artistic Practices of Storytelling, which will be discussed in a workshop environment where participants and guest speakers will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, strategies, and reference points. Participants include Tawanda Appiah, Michael Barrett, Bafana Isaac Nhlapo & Ibou Cissokho & Solo Diarra, Jeannette Ehlers, Quinsy Gario, Sasha Huber, Marcia Harvey Isaksson, Linda Lamignan, Duduzile Mathsoni, Aude Christel Mgba, Lennon Mhishi, Wayne Modest (remote), Ogutu Muraya, Cliff Moustache, Victor Mutelekesha, Emmanuel Ndefo and Pascale Obolo.

The program centers around a set of speculative inquiries into the ways in which the global restitution debate and its histories are situated locally and can be refashioned to address concepts such as reparative futures and (im)material culture in relation to artistic strategies and practices.  In keeping with the vision of Sustaining the Otherwise as a project that seeks to create spaces for transcultural and artistic exchange around the notion of restitution, this symposium provides a platform where artists, curators, and scholars will be invited to discuss and engage with the topic of restitution. The highly multidisciplinary approach emphasizes the importance of artistic practices within the context of restitution, stretching the notion of what restitution is or can be (beyond the objects). As such, the two-day program features panel discussions, performances, a keynote lecture, and ample room for critical exchange and discussion, providing a much-needed platform for artistic and scholarly engagement with the topic of restitution in Norway.  

A free public program on May 3 (17:00 - 19:30) features a performance by Emmanuel Ndefo, as well as a musical performance by Bafana Isaac Nhlapo, Ibou Cissokho and Solo Diarra preceded by a talk with Cliff Moustache. 

Wayne Modest's keynote lecture: May 2 15:30 - 16:30 CET on Zoom. 

The symposium at Nordic Black Theatre is an opportunity to highlight best practices of “(re)thinking restitution”, bringing together artists, poets, musicians, curators and scholars, primarily from Africa and the African diaspora, whose work is founded on decolonial ideals and the desire for radical transformation and a commitment to creating change. With the goal of establishing new cultural and ethical relations in relation to the topic of restitution, and with particular emphasis on a dialogic approach where listening and learning are key components, with this symposium we seek to foster meaningful transnational dialogues and a shared sense of ownership and commitment to Sustaining the Otherwise.