Decolonizing Nature

1st September, 18.00 h: »La Palabre«. These are six evenings of decolonial theory and practice in Berlin-Kreuzberg, at the Vierte Welt at Kottbusser Tor, combining discussion and shared food. For the LA PALABRE series, from July-December 2023, we invite Berlin-based researchers*, artists*, and activists* to discuss the issues we have been working on over the past two years as part of TALKING OBJECTS, an artistic research project on decolonizing knowledge. In a small La Palabre group of 40 people, we meet and share snacks and stories.


“We must all decolonize our minds in Western Culture to be able to think differently about nature, about the destruction humans cause”

bell hooks


Six evenings on decolonial theory and practice.

“La Palabre” refers to the social practice of public discourse, gathering and conflict resolution in numerous countries on the African continent; the location is usually a baobab tree, l'arbre a palabre.

“La Palabre” deals with themes that we have developed as part of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB over the past two years in symposia, talks, think tanks and artistic interventions. The impulse for each evening is an input from the TALKING OBJECTS LAB (texts, video performances or lectures), on which one or two Berlin artists or speakers, especially from the BIPoC communities, work and discuss together with the invited guests. For the fixed ritual of eating together, we invite cooks, artists, anthropologists, poets and initiatives that deal with the cultural practice of eating, food and its colonial entanglements. 


Decolonizing Nature

The colonisation of nature in capitalism is rooted in the idea of seeing humans as separate from and above nature. How can the culture/nature dichotomy be overcome at a time when ecological sustainability and climate justice are more urgent than ever?

The TALKING OBJECTS LAB already explored the impact of colonialism on the way we treat and see nature today in the workshop “Anti-Colonial Approaches to Nature” in July 2022 in Nairobi and during the performative symposium “UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 — Decolonizing Nature” in September 2022 in Reykjavik. Central themes were the colonisation of land, seed archives and their colonial entanglements, lost indigenous knowledge about plants and agriculture, and nature as an archive of memory. And we discussed a philosophy of nature and the role of nature not as an “object” but as an acting subject.

For this “La Palabre” evening in Berlin, we invite the collective Field Narratives for a participatory intervention. Fiel Narratives describe themselves as “an artistic research platform for rural biographies, transgenerational and cross-continental storytelling”.

Saskia Köbschall talks about the project “The Roots of Our Hands Deep as Revolt: Entangled Colonialities of the Green” initiated by Nyabinghi Lab, which connects environmental discourses with anti-colonial struggles and questions the colonial narrative of the duality of human/nature.

Neo Musangi, resident of Nairobi National Park in Kenya, writes an essay for this “La Palabre” evening based on the performance “Dogs Hunting in the Park — A Dog Problem or Problem People” that Neo showed in Reykjavík as part of UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 — Decolonizing Nature. We have asked the actress Dena Abay to read this essay.

Talking Objects Lab curator Isabel Raabe will show interview excerpts that we conducted with participants of the Anti-Colonial Approaches to Nature workshop in Nairobi. The evening will be moderated by Magnus Elias Rosengarten.

And, as with every “La Palabre” evening, we will be hosting our guests with curated snacks and drinks, this time by Tischlein Deck Dich — We have been Collecting Seeds.


»LA PALABRE« is curated by Isabel Raabe and Celina Baljeet Basra.
Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

La Palabre #2 - Input by Field Narratives
La Palabre #2 - Seeds
La Palabre #2 - Input by Field Narratives
La Palabre #2 - Input by Isabel Raabe
La Palabre #2 - Delicious Mercimek Köfte by TDD
La Palabre #2 - Input by Saskia Köbschall