Future Monuments: Re-inventing the Human Monument
Post-Colonial Gestures Toward Freedom; on monuments and counter-monuments
©Nathalie Mba Bikoro 2015
This edition of Future Monuments as Score I Forbidden Histories investigates a series of portraits of young people of African descent whose great grandparents, Jewish & Christian, were prisoners in concentration camps, SS officers in the Third Reich during the Second World War or subjected to the Namibian Genocide (of the German Kaiser rule) at the end of the 19th century. They are now third and fourth generations submitted to the challenges of living and working in Germany caught in the crossroads of recent racist tensions. They are Africans, some born in Germany and some born in various regions of West Africa considered as immigrants. Many are from different cultural diapsoras whose influences in today's society to take responsibility create change, courage and admiration. These voices are part of a very neglected part of our histories which must build new experiences in our current political landscapes.
They stand as a legacy to the forgotten and forbidden history still denied in today’s political landscape and critically inform of our contemporary experiences in modern society by contesting our perceptions of memory.
Each individual is wearing a Jewish star made of African wax fabric sewn onto their arms as a monument to the past, present and future by celebrating and remembering the lives of those forgotten and neglected and to be able to carve new stories to root identities in a nomadic terrain, whilst altogether contesting the invention of political independence and cultural traditions. This is a monument to human life.
Forbidden Histories launches the first intervention in the series of an open community discussion commemorating and remembering those who risked their lives to build our own in a different future yet to be written. The intervention is a proposal, a billboard to the city and a publication to investigate the irresponsibility of the German state for annulling this part of history and to create a visible memorial and archive for a global network. The memorial commemorates our collective wills and memory for the murdered African Jews in Europe and African Diaspora.
Forbidden Histories Score I is a developing project in collaboration with Berlin´s former concentration camp Sachsenhauser Museum Archives to commemorate the role of African victims notably during the second World War and develop future memorials by interactive participation with the public as an archive space.
Information here www.futuremonuments.com