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An Alternative Monument for Germany

Performative lectures with Yvonne Sembene, Ibou Coulibaly Diop, Caspar Weimann and Ghayath Almadhoun around the idea of a monument for migration traces and exile memories in digital and public spaces.

  • Event
  • May 02 2024 | 6:30 PM h - 8:00 PM h

The Alternative Monument for Germany Initiative / Alternatives Denkmals für Deutschland – (ADfD) raises the following questions:

What could a monument commemorating migration experiences look like? In what ways can migration memories be shared and preserved? How can a collective approach contribute to expanding the culture of remembrance in public spaces? What role can emerging digital formats play in this regard?

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As an initiative centered on exploring the relation between representation, public spaces and art, ADfD looks at the typology of monuments in cities as its research and action field. 

ADfD therefore seeks to create a new monument for migration traces and exile memories that combines digital and physical public spaces. The project was born as the need to resist a racist and xenophobic migration discourse in Germany and the European Union. The monument project is not static but processual; it develops as community-driven gatherings, workshops and lecture series. Its focus is a queer, feminist, migrant one. Its purpose is to provide a platform for voices, bodies, cultures, identities and forgotten stories. 

A diverse lineup of artists, curators, mentors, and speakers who are shaping the discourse on contemporary cultural narratives are the protagonists of this year’s events, to which everyone is invited to participate:


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Thursday, May 2, 6.30 - 8.00 pm, Atrium
with Yvonne Sembene

A deep dive into the intricate perspectives of Afro-Germans regarding historical, contemporary, and future discourses on race: Yvonne Sembene guides us through a curated fusion of stand-up comedy, interactive quizzes, and award ceremony moments. The public is invited to speculate new ways to foster plurality and solidarity within their own communities against right-wing and racist sentiment. Together we explore new ways of discussing race and listening to racialized persons’ experiences that invite closeness and intimacy. Accompanied on voice and Guitar by Makēda Gershenson, Yvonne will be weaving her own experiences as an artist with a more academic perspective, exploring both the historical legacy and erasure of black presence in Germany. Expect campness, some laughing and a lot of reflection.

Yvonne Sembene (she/her) is a dance maker and critical observer based in Berlin. Her practice focuses on colonial influences of contemporary identities, especially in the European and German context, as well as decolonial-feminist discourses. 


Friday, May 3, 6.30 - 8.00 pm, Auditorium
with Ibou Coulibaly Diop

In August 2019, the Berlin House of Representatives decided to develop a city-wide concept for dealing with and remembering the history and consequences of colonialism in the state of Berlin. The remembrance concept was developed in close cooperation with Berlin's civil society across all departments. Ibou Coulibaly Diop is one of the Coordinators at the Office for a City-wide Concept for Dealing with Berlin's Colonial Past (Decolonize Berlin e.V.) to run the five-year model project Decolonial Culture of Remembrance in the City, together with civil society organizations that have been campaigning for a change of perspective in the German culture of remembrance for years, played a key role in the participatory process. Ibou will talk about this process.

Ibou Coulibaly Diop (he/him) is a literary scholar, curator and lecturer. He is a jury member of the International Literature Prize of the House of World Cultures and regularly publishes on the literature of transculturality and the significance of African literature in the world of tomorrow. 


Saturday, May 4, 6.30 - 8.00 pm, Auditorium

with Caspar Weimann

Right-wing networks use social media and algorithms as efficient tools to push through racist, anti-feminist, anti-LGBTQIA+ policies and shift the overall social discourse to the right step by step. With the help of social media, they have been able to install the AfD as a powerful parliamentary arm and an integral part of our party system and have thus been able to translate campaign rhetoric into concrete policy for many years now.

In their lecture, Caspar will speak from an artistic perspective about social media as a social stage, which on the one hand is the perfect breeding ground for abbreviating, emotionalizing content and thus for targeted radicalization, but on the other hand is also one of the few spaces in which one can (and must) oppose these dynamics effectively and with a wide reach.

Caspar Weimann (they/er/sie) is co-initiator of the internet theater, the app Loulu, as well as numerous intermedia projects. Caspar is an honorary professor and mentor for acting at the ADK Baden-Württemberg, where he is also an equal opportunities officer with a special focus on queer empowerment.


Sunday, May 5, 6.30 - 8.30 pm, Atrium

with Ghayath Almadhoun
accessible in German Sign Language (DGS)

Poetry possesses a unique capacity to evoke and challenge perspectives and convey intricate concepts. Throughout history, poetry has asserted its authority in the realm of language, and through language it has served as a powerful tool for expressing dissent, challenging political authority, and calling for societal transformation, especially during periods of dictatorship. Poetry has ultimately served as a measure of freedom within democracy. On the other hand, many poets have played a role in reinforcing established power dynamics, reinforcing existing hierarchies, and aligning themselves with oppressive regimes, using their art to propagate propaganda and uphold authoritarian rule. 

In dark times, some poets were the tongue of fascist ideologies. Whether it's employed to challenge or uphold authority, poetry has an authority on language, and the ability to shape discourse and perceptions, influence society, and impact politics. This is reading that invites to reflect the experience of writing political poetry, as well as building and preserving memories. 

Ghayath Almadhoun (he/him) is a Palestinian Swedish poet born in Damascus, Syria, and emigrated to Sweden in 2008. Now he lives in between Berlin & Stockholm. He has published five poetry collections in Arabic and has been translated into over 20 languages. Almadhoun collaborated with other poets and artists, and his poetry has been part of the work of many artists, among them Jenny Holzer and Blixa Bargeld.

Events are free and open to the public.

Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds 2024

For more information visit:


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About ADfD

As project initiators and artists, Mikala Hyldig Dal and Siska complement each other's approaches to cinematic and interactive digital storytelling. They also bring together stories of migration from the Global North and the Global South. They share a deep commitment to exploring postcolonial cultures of memory and creating collective work processes. Emanuele Valariano joins forces giving shapes to their curatorial program and dramaturgy of the project.

Siska (no pronouns), a Beirut-born artist based in Berlin, brings a rich background in film, music, and archiveology to the project. Siska's work delves into personal memories, narratives related to exile, identity and colonialism, often expressed through extended cinematic experiences. At Haus der Statistik in Berlin, he co-curated a series of conversations, films, readings, and live performances as the artistic director of redeem رديم  a platform for ongoing conversations between voices from Beirut in Berlin (2021). Notable exhibitions include Walking Through Walls/Durch Mauern Gehen at Gropius Bau and the Berlinale International Film Festival.

Mikala Hyldig Dal (she/her), known for her experimental and critical approach to new media and performance, which integrates critical theory into immersive digital environments. Her exploration of augmented reality and virtual space challenges dominant power structures from intersectional perspectives. In 2011, she founded the research project Images of Transition about art and activism during the Arabic Uprisings. She co-founded the queer-feminist artist collective Maternal Fantasies, which discusses the politics of care-work and representation of motherhood(s). In 2022, together with programmer Farhan Khalid, she created the augmented reality app Monuments AR for site-specific interventions in digital space, focusing on decolonial interventions. 

Emanuele Valariano (he/they), is an Italian immigrant in Germany since the early 1980s with a background in philosophy and cultural management, who specializes in contemporary art, queering museums, and diversity. With his experience as an educator, curator, project manager in many museums and institutions in Rome and Berlin, his work focuses on inclusion and barrier-free access to cultural institutions.


Images: Cover image, fig. 1-3: Courtesy of ADfD, 2023




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