Tribunal – A matter of emotion (No echo in front of my shout)
A durational performance by Wahshi Kuhi. Curated by Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro
Dienstag, June 26th, 2018
10:00 – 18:00
Panel discussion + screening: 19:00 – 22:00
"There are so many victims, who know what became silent. We disappear the moment we remain silent. Letting go of the silence makes us live" (Melek Bektaş, mother of Burak Bektaş)
In 2012, the 22 year old Burak Bektaş was violently murdered by a group of neo-nazis which triggered a chain of displacement in the community in Berlin Neukölln. His murder followed a series of similar cases across Germany, notably that of Luke Holland, Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru, Süleyman Taşköprü, Habil Kılıç, Mehmet Turgut, İsmail Yaşar, Theodoros Boulgarides, Mehmet Kubaşık, Halit Yozgat, and Michèle Kiesewetter. Notable organisations like The Peoples’ Tribunal, Ramazan Avci and Initiative 6. April have made significant shifts in the last years in the way victims are placed into protection and how they tackle national prejudices. Bektaş’ murder is symbol to the current lives of many marginalised communities submitted to violence with no guarantee of protection from the law or justice towards their lost loved ones.
On June 26th a durational performance by Wahshi Kuhi will take place in the frame of the event "Cognitive Cultures #2 TRIBUNAL - A MATTER OF EMOTION (No Echo In Front Of My Shout)" at savvy contemporary. Kuhi takes six years of resistance of Melek Bektaş and the initiative Burak Bektaş as initial point to propose by his durational performance a collective court, to re-conjugate hierarchical vocabularies of speech, body power, irrationality, law, stage and heritage. He proposes as well a work concerning safety and emotion by introducing a fictional narrative of the tribunal of the after-life within a labyrinth of a child’s memory wardrobe. In the last 15 years, Wahshi’s refugee experience and exile from Kurdistan Iran and Iraq have led him to work towards change within the communities affected in Berlin concerning the fate of those brutally murdered. When the law is re-inforced by the state, when does the necessity of dismantling the myth of the ‚hunter’ enables the justice of the disappeared?
In the panel discussion after his durational performance, Wahshi Kuhi presents his artistic experience following Burak Bektaş’ murder and the forums that were formed over six years. The panel aims at investigating racially-orientated crimes in Germany by developing different perspectives of enquiry with Julia Stegmann (SIS e.V.) on cultures of safety and tenderness in German film productions, Iris Rajanayagam (curator of Xart splitta) on politics of body and emotion and Bahar Eriçok (activist from Burak Association) on integration & memorial culture of art in public space. The panel is moderated by Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro.
Wahshi Kuhi (W.Budaghi, b.1979 Kurdistan, Iran) is an activist and performance artist who considers himself as a „non-citizen“. With his body Kuhi thematizes state violence and military attack, right to mother tongue. He is politically active in participating in human rights activities with marginal groups. His work investigates colonial ties with Kurdish culture and challenges his own personal history of prison, repression, migration in times of war and racial exclusion. As well he does reseach about conditions of work and life of so called Gastarbeiter (guest-workers) and the exotification of his body. Kuhi’s performances form transmissions of body relationships, censorship, duration and sustainability to comment on oppression, visibility and patriarchy. His creative practice caused a reaction in 2010 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which listed him as a dangerous person against National Security in Iran. Therefore he is awaiting a death sentence. Exiled from his birthplace, he now lives and works in Berlin. Kuhi’s works have been featured in Gallery Shanader Kurdistan, Iraq’s Arbil Academy of Fine Arts, Kave refugee camp in Erbil, Manchester’s Cornerhouse; BIFPA 17 Belfast International Festival of Performance Art; SKALA Gallery in Poznan Nomadic Arts Festival in Poland; MPA-B at Acud and OKK; SOMA Gallery and within the programm "about the museum" at Gemäldegalerie Berlin.
Iris Rajanayagam is a historian (MA Modern/ Contemporary History at University of Cologne, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Dar es Salaam). She works among others on postcolonial theories. Her focus is particularly on colonial continuity in German and European migration, refugee and asylum policies, intersectionality and racism and discrimination-critical theory and practice. She works as a program director at xart splitta e.V. and teaches and researches at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin in the field of "Racism and Migration". Iris Rajanayagam is co-founder of Reboot.fm's Talking Feminisms radio program and has worked for The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants for many years. From 2013 to 2016 she was part of the editorial team of the journal "Leben nach Migration" of the Migration Council Berlin.
Julia Stegmann is an activist in Burak Bektaş Organisation. She will discuss the converging operations of art and politics in performance in the work of Wahshi Kuhi.
Bahar Eriçok is an activist in the Burak Bektaş Organisation.