Claude Gomis and Saskia Köbschall

»Laboratorium der Solidarität«

Footbridges, U5 Kaulsdorf-Nord, from October 2016.





The project Laboratorium der Solidarität explores past and present methods of solidarity with the fight against racialized forms of oppression. It takes Marzahn-Hellersdorf residents’ memories of former GDR solidarity movements (e.g. with the Civil Rights and Anti-Apartheid movements and the people of Vietnam) as its starting point. While the GDR placed great emphasis on the importance of a worldwide anti-racist struggle and education, it systematically denied the existence of racism “at home”. The project aims to emphasize the importance of self-reflective and critical methods of solidarity in the framework of Marzahn-Hellersdorf’s changing political, visual and discursive landscape. In this way the particularities of the borough’s specific history and current socio-cultural contexts might generate new forms of coexistence relevant beyond its boundaries.

Images found during the research were contextualized and installed on both footbridges above U5 Kaulsdorf-Nord Underground Station.


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Saturday 8 October 2016: 17 h Opening and Concert by Claude Gomis & Band


Saturday 7 January 2017: Discussion + Concert
The discussion evening will shed a critical light on solidarity movements in the GDR and use this as a starting point for a detailed look at the term »solidarity« today – expanding, pluralizing and rehumanising it. Victor Grossman will speak from a historical-activist and Noa Ha from a post-colonial urbanist perspective and Emeka Okereke will discuss the role of art and culture for the creation of a new language and new discourses.

Guest speakers
Emeka Kupeski Okereke is a photographer who works with photography, video and collaborative projects, posing questions about coexistence (beyond the limits of predetermined spaces) and self-discovery. He is founder and director of the Invisible Borders Trans-African Photography Project which annually brings up to ten African artists together to undertake a collective Road-Trip though Africa.

Noa K. Ha (Dr.-Ing.) is a Post Doc at Center for Metropolitan Studies (TU Berlin). She is researching post-colonial urbanism in European cities and the Asian Diaspora, especially aspects of street trading in Berlin from a racist-critical perspective. She works with the Asian-German Network »korientation« and is on the Board of Berlin’s Migratory Council (MRBB).

Victor Grossman is a US-American publicist and activist who has lived in the GDR from 1952. He directed the Paul-Robeson-Archive at the Akademie der Künste from 1965 to 1968. He is engaged in German solidarity movements, f.e. for the Afro-American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, for Paul Robeson, Leonard Peltier and many others. He works as a free-lance journalist and translator.

Moderation: Saskia Köbschall