You Stole The Objects! The Past, Present & Future is Continuous

Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin
You Stole The Objects! The Past, Present & Future is Continuous

Online and analog seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS

Friday, 22.10. (online) and 5.11., 26.11. (analog), 12-14 h
Monday, 6.12. (online), 10-12 h
Friday, 17.12.2021 and 7.1.2022 (online), 12-14 h
Monday, 17.1.2022 (analog), 10-12 h
Friday, 28.1. (analog), 12-14 h
Proposed exhibition week: 11.,14.,15.,16.,17.,18.,19.2.2022 (analog)
Analog meetings at Einsteinufer 43, room 203

The body is a memory collector and Black & African people have collected memories which the most recent 500 years has been of white supremacy, racist attacks and calculated destruction by white people. With the current restitution pandemic happening, some are for, some are against, some are applying pressure and all of this has resulted to a few actions and somehow Europe is in a celebratory mood when it is supposed to be mourning, mourning it’s reality and those who have applied pressure feels it’s still okay to speak for and present Black and african narratives and the question is "When would your past catch up with your present so that the future can be better informed?"

This series is a pedagogy of conversation and performance as a medium into the possibilities in front. How can we look into the past, look at perpetrators of the atrocities committed and those on the receiving end? How do we address the current situation we are living through where stolen artifacts from all over Africa are spread across Europe, creating millions in revenue more than 100 years later? When will the last artifact be repatriated back to Africa? When will Europe and the global west be ready to truly address the atrocities of their illegal invasion of Africa?

"We The people of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi" (1888-1914) - This is a series of conversations from the crime scene. The lives that have been affected since February 1897 when the attack that began the journey of lives lost and families cut short. The Benin Oba was dethroned and exiled to Calabar and the pillage of the rich culture, part of which includes the violently looted ivories and bronzes that have been held hostage by various institutions around the world, much like the ones here in Berlin. These conversations are with people who have close proximity with these objects.
We are going to be looking at the city of Berlin as a template for practical references and finding better ways to make space open for the marginalized to be comfortable enough to just be. The goal is to find various ways to respond to the topic. As a collective we are going to come up with a collective response and then each student will present their individual response to the topic. Students will have the opportunity to work closely as a collective and one on one with Omonblanks over the months, towards a final project that would be agreed on by both the students and Omonblanks.
Our study materials are going to be inspired by discourse on restitution & the Benin Object from 1935-2021/2022.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credits: This series at each level is meant to be cathartic for anyone who participates. Students are free to invest the amount of time they see fit. Active participation and a brief info on their artistic practice is required. A 70% attendance will enable each student participate in the final project. Final Project: The students and I will design what this would be. An exhibition as a collective or as individuals or all inclusive. We might discover, we might destroy or protect a narrative, we might create or highlight something new or old. But we would be informed on "You Stole The Objects! The Past, Present & Future is Continuous".

Na for Benin City, for Nigeria 1985 naim dem born Okhiogbe Omonblanks Omonhinmin. Omonblanks na interdisciplinary creative producer or “ambassador of entanglement” wey dey use everything e fit use take make things happen, like form or position wey e need take do e project. Na so e done take do everything like festival curating & producing, creative direction, film, music, art practice, sharing food, conversations and more. E dey rearrange intersections with all d plenty conceptual tools like research-based methods inside oral-storytelling, biographical conversation documentation, archiving, design and collaboration. He feel say practitioners, especially the ones with Black and African heritage, deserve the chance to do anything them want just like their academic colleagues and get the same respect and regard, because na ontop the work wey practitioners dey do, naim we take dey test theories. He start ‘The Art Concept’, a documentation and archive-focused platform with eye for African and Black societies from individual, community, city, country and continent perspectives, as way to take back power to determine our center and tell our narratives.
E believe say our body na memory collector and everything we do takes on a life of its own, so through the relationship wey e get with people, stories, space, spices, cooking, sharing collected memories and food all na major part of e handwork/practice. Omonblanks’s past and present works na projects wey dey always touch social engagement. Omonblanks na d architect of The Art Concept Project, wey dey forge new ground in the documentation and archiving of narratives of people of Black and African heritage and those within the many intersections. He go start e fellowship at University of Art, Berlin (Oct. 2021-23).

(Regional dialect; English biography see: