Jump to menu

Acts of Opening Again

A Choreography of Conviviality

Performances, Music


Carol Barreto, Asè, 2021

Carol Barreto, Asè, 2021. Photo: Roque Boa Marte. Courtesy: Carol Barreto

Nous nous connaissons en foule, dans l'inconnu qui ne terrifie pas. Nous crions le cri de poésie. Nos barques sont ouvertes, pour tous nous les naviguons.
—Édouard Glissant, Poétique de la Relation

Aligning with the onset of the new year in the Yoruba calendar, HKW re-opens from 2 to 4 June 2023 with a series of blessings, concerts, lectures, performances, processions, readings, and rituals as well as the launch of the exhibition project O Quilombismo: Of Resisting and Insisting. Of Flight as Fight. Of Other Democratic Egalitarian Political Philosophies. Taking a cue from the history of the institution as a Kongresshalle (congress hall) inaugurated in 1957 before becoming HKW in 1989, we bring to the fore cultures of congressing—etymologically, cultures of walking together—implying practices of communality, hospitality, and the values of plurality.

Acts of Opening Again is thus a set of offerings and considerations of what needs to be surrendered and what needs to be upheld for us to thrive together in ‘la casa grande’ (the big house, the planet). It is a welcoming of those holding cultural and community wisdoms, as well as an unlocking of the gates for the spirits, the ancestors, our bodies and souls to come in and inhabit the space. It is granting room for laughter, dancing, flirting, eating, getting upset, or sad—room to move and be moved. A space of opening up to each other, to perfect imperfection, to the vulnerability and power of our presence. A house in which hope is practised together, as much as radical respect, humility, and love.

Activating the archives of our bodies and the centrality of the corporeal as a site of discourse and social transformation, HKW enlivens the performative practices programme by opening up spaces of expression and encounter for a plurality of bodies: physical bodies; contextual bodies; long uninvited bodies that are loud and have always reclaimed their rights to be present, that have waited to be heard for far too long; spiritual bodies; and the bodies of plants, trees, air, lands, and waters that constitute witnesses of all ages. Our spirits are constantly there. Invisible but visible, silent but speaking. They can engage us in conversations, excavating affects from the past to better express our present conditions, and create healed and healing futures.

Knowing, on the other hand, that the body is the very first space of sovereignty, on its opening weekend HKW invites all to experience visual, sonic, sensorial, and choreographed narrations of being together and to draw inspiration from the philosophy and practising of the plural performativities of quilombismo.