Oct 28–Dec 30, 2022

The Missed Seminar

After Eslanda Robeson. In Conversation with Steve McQueen’s “End Credits”

Exhibition, conversations, installation

Free admission

Oct 28-Dec 30, 2022
Opening Oct 27, 2022
Auditorium lobby

Updates and program information:
HKW Newsletter

A situated reading of world-making practices that unsettle the Cold War’s extreme binarism: an exhibition, conversations and an installation unfold a study towards a political imaginary today.

The Missed Seminar metabolizes archival material of the life, thought, writings and relationships of the Black feminist, anthropologist and African-American photographer Eslanda Robeson. Departing from her friendship with the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher Franz Loeser and their encounters in East Berlin in 1963, the curatorial study asks: What if their exchange had been the framework for a seminar to come? The exhibition and set of conversations unfold the unfinished political aspirations of Robeson and Loeser and suggest an intersectional imaginary of anti-fascism, Black feminism and technopolitics.

In conversation, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen presents the completed version of End Credits (2012–2022). As a haunting monument to the threat of US anti-communism, the audiovisual installation gathers thousands of digitized files collected by the FBI during the Cold War in decades of surveillance of Eslanda Robeson and her husband, the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson.

These entanglements sketch the vision of what decolonizing socialism could have been and what it can still become.

Conceptualized by Doreen Mende in conversation with Avery F. Gordon, Lama El Khatib, Aarti Sunder and Katharina Warda