UNEXPECTED LESSONS #3 – Decolonizing Romantik

TALKING OBJECTS LAB @Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Awakening, nostalgia and nationalism, Orientalism and the mystification of nature — How did Romantic Europe look at the world? And how does Romanticism shape Europe's self-image today?

TALKING OBJECTS LAB @Kunsthalle Osnabrück

UNEXPECTED LESSONS #3 — Decolonizing Romanticism

A performative conference. Digital event on December 10, 2022 in Berlin.


With inputs by Nikita Dhawan and Tímea JunghausLamin Leroy Gibba reading Josephine Aprakus Book, a performance by Brunn Morais and a film program curated by Nnenna Onuoha. Curated and moderated by Mahret Ifeoma Kupka and Isabel Raabe.

The digital performative symposium UNEXPECTED LESSONS #3 takes a critical, decolonizing look at the ambivalent world of ideas of German Romantik, which as an artistic and political movement still has a great influence on notions of national/European identity and belonging.

Through talks, lectures, artistic interventions, film and music, the program addresses the question of how colonial and Romantic ideas are interrelated. We penetrate to the roots of today's Europe as a cultural space, look at enlightenment and anti-enlightenment, the history of Sinti and Roma, between romanization and othering, ask in which relationship colonialism and romanticism stand and talk about romantic love and power.

The event is part of the transdisciplinary TALKING OBJECTS LAB, which approaches the topics of Decolonizing Knowledge and Memory, Rethinking Museums and Objects, and Decolonizing Archives through think tanks, events, artistic interventions, and artist residencies. A team of curators from Kenya, Senegal and Germany is responsible for the project. UNEXPECTED LESSONS #1 and #2 took place in Berlin/Nairobi and Reykjavík, respectively, and focused on Decolonizing Knowledge and Memory and Decolonizing Nature. UNEXPECTED LESSONS #3 now follows in collaboration with Kunsthalle Osnabrück as part of the annual theme of Romanticism. 



(Berlin, CET)

 Selected contributions will be only in German, others only in English.

17.00 h – Welcome Juliane Schickedanz, Anna Jehle (Directors Kunsthalle Osnabrück) DE

17.05 h – Welcome Isabel Raabe (TALKING OBJECTS LAB) DE

17.10 h – Introduction Mahret Ifeoma Kupka (TALKING OBJECTS LAB) DE

17.30 h – Lesson 1: Enlightment — German Orientalism and Counter.Enlightment. Input by Nikita Dhawan (scholar and political scientist, TU Dresden) EN

18.00 h – Lesson 2: The ultimate romantics — How Roma influenced national characters, the idea of the artist and the avantgarde. Input Tímea Junghaus (art historian & director European Institute for Arts and Culture) EN

18.20 h – Talk with Nikita Dhawan and Tímea Junghaus, moderated by Mahret Ifeoma Kupka und Isabel Raabe EN

18.50 h – break

19.00 h – Lesson 3: Love and Romantik Reading from “Kluft und Liebe” (Josephine Apraku) by Lamin Leroy Gibba (writer) DE

19.45 h ­– The Window of Love Performance by Brunn Morais (artist, performer) EN

20.00 h – Film Programme, curated and commented on by Nnenna Onuoha (visual anthropologist and filmmaker) EN

Laura Huertas Millán, Journey to a Land Otherwise Known, 2011, 23 min, French, with English and Spanish subtitles 

Philip Cartelli & Mariangela Ciccarello, Lampedusa, 2015, 14 min, Italian, French, and English, with English subtitles