Rethinking Cosmopolitanism
Africa in Europe | Europe in Africa

Rethinking Cosmopolitanism
Africa in Europe | Europe in Africa

Maumaus Independent Study Programme

Berni Searle, Enfold from the ‘Seeking Refuge’ series, 2008. Courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery. Photo credit: Tony Meintjes.
January 19, 2013
Rethinking Cosmopolitanism Africa in Europe | Europe in Africa

An International Symposium
February 2–3, 2013, 10–19h

Akademie der Künste
Pariser Platz 4
Berlin, Germany
Free admission – In English
Simultaneous translation English/German

The two-day conference “Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Africa in Europe | Europe in Africa” will revisit the intersection of modernity and decolonization. Focusing on the rise of a new international order in the mid-twentieth century and the insufficiency of the classic definitions of modernity, culture, art and politics, the conference will consider the consequences of the historical, cultural, and artistic entanglement of Africa and Europe within the notion of cosmopolitanism.

Cosmopolitanism is conceived here as a metaphor for mobility, migrancy, and co-existence with difference, in opposition to parochialism, xenophobia, fixity, and limited notions of sovereignty. Taking in account its anti-hegemonic and anti-homogenizing potential, cosmopolitanism is perceived as a pursuit of peace through the development of a strong sense of ethics and moral obligation towards other human beings everywhere. The conference will also look at the root causes and consequences of new migrations in Africa and Europe.

An important goal of the conference is to examine the practice of artists who can no longer be classified and located either inside or outside the ‘West,’ or as occupying an in-between space. In re-conceptualizing cosmopolitanism, even the apparently adequate notions of ‘European,’ ‘Western’ or ‘African’ art may no longer be helpful. This conference will consider more adequate definitions of current art practices and their respective ways of envisaging and defining their relationship to distinct, but unevenly connected worlds.


Saturday, February 2
Rethinking Cosmopolitanism and the Entanglement of Africa and Europe
Theoretical and Historical Implications

10h Opening Session
Johannes Odenthal | Welcoming Remarks
Joachim Bernauer | About the conference
Salah M. Hassan | Introductory Remarks

10:30h Europe/Africa, and Universal History
Susan Buck-Morss | Hegel, Haiti and Universal History: A Response to the Critics
Siegfried Zielinski | “Means & Seas”
Panel | Tejumola Olaniyan, Manuela Ribeiro Sanches

12:30h Artist Talk (I)
Bahia Shehab | Practicing Art in Revolutionary Times

13h Lunch Break

14:30h Dislocating Africa and Europe
Achille Mbembe | Provincializing France?
Manuela Ribeiro Sanches | Decolonizing Post-National Europe: Some Thoughts on Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism
Panel | Fatima El Tayeb, Jeanette S. Jouili

16:30h Coffee Break

17h Europe: From Modernism to Postcolonialism

Hans Belting | When was Modern Art? The Museum of Modern Art and the History of Modernism
Fatima El Tayeb | European Others: Whiteness and Racial Violence in Colorblind Europe
Panel | Susan Buck-Morss, Achille Mbembe
Sunday, February 3
Africa in Europe | Europe in Africa
Cultural and Artistic Practices and the Politics of Representation

10:30h Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Cultural and Artistic Practices
Sandy Prita Meier | East African Cosmopolitanism as the Space Between
Tejumola Olaniyan | Cosmopolitan Interest Rates: An Itinerary
Panel | Elisabeth Giorgis, Salah Hassan

12:30h Artist Talk (II)
Berni Searle | On Cosmopolitanism, Xenophobia and Migration: An Artist’s Journey

13h Lunch break

14:30h Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Visual and Performing Arts
Salah Hassan | Rethinking Cosmopolitanism: Is ‘Afropolitan’ the Answer?
Jeanette S. Jouili | Fashioning cosmopolitan citizens in Britain: Islam and Urban culture after Multiculturalism
Panel | Leonhard Emmerling, Peter Weibel

16:30h Coffee break

17h Curating Africa in Europe/Europe in Africa
Selene Wendt | Africa in Oslo: Bringing Afropolitanism to the Polar Circle
Elisabeth Giorgis | Re-thinking Ethiopian Modernism
Panel | Jürgen Bock, ElviraDyangani Ose

19h Closing Session
Salah Hassan

The symposium is coordinated by Salah M. Hassan in collaboration with Joachim Bernauer and Jürgen Bock. It is organized by the Goethe-Institut (Lisbon) in collaboration with the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Maumaus School of Visual Arts (Lisbon), and the Institute for Comparative Modernities (Cornell University), with the support of Allianz Cultural Foundation.

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Maumaus Independent Study Programme
January 19, 2013

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