GRADA KILOMBA | Artist talk by Ricardo September 08, 2017 0 News, Post-Archive, Research

Memórias, Resgates e Riscos

Moderator: Manuela Ribeiro Sanches (Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa)

Organized by: Mónica de Miranda

Date: November 3rd, 2017 Friday, 19h

Address: Rua Damasceno Monteiro, 12 – Graça.



Hangar in partnership with the publishing house Orfeu Negro and the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Lisbon is organizing a public talk with the artist Grada Kilomba moderated by Manuela Ribeiro Sanches. The artist will talk about her artistic practice and her work, highlighting the book “Plantation Memories, Episodes of Daily Racism,” and video-documentation of the scenic reading of episodes that explore everyday racism in the form of psychoanalytic histories linking post-colonial and the lyrical. The combination of these two words, planting and memories, describes racism as not only the re-emergence of a colonial past, but also as a traumatic reality.


Grada Kilomba is a Portuguese interdisciplinary artist and writer living in Berlin. Her work draws on memory, trauma, race, gender, and the decolonisation of knowledge and narrative: ’who can speak?’ ‘what can we speak about?’ and ‘what happens when we speak?’ Are three constant questions in Kilomba’s body of work. She has been exhibiting and performing her work internationally at renown venues, such as Documenta 14 in Kassel, 32. Bienal de São Paulo 2016, Rauma Biennal Balticum 2016, Art Basel, Cape Town Art Fair, Transmediale, Secession Museum in Vienna, Bozar Museum in Brussels, Maritime Museum in London, SAVYY Contemporary in Berlin, Wits Theatre in Johannesburg, Theatre Müncher Kammerspiel in Munich, Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin, Palace of Arts in Belo Horizonte, among others. Grada is best known for her subversive writing and her unconventional use of artistic practices, in which she ‘gives body, voice and image to her own writings’, and brings texts into performance – using a variety of formats from video installations, to staged readings, to performances, text collage, and sound installations. In her work, Kilomba intentionally creates a hybrid space between the academic and artistic languages, and storytelling is central to her decolonial practices.
In 2011, she was awarded as one of “The Most Inspirational Black Women in Europe” by the BWIE, and in 2013, she was named a “Woman of Excellence” by the Sonne Magazine.


Manuela Ribeiro Sanches taught at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, from 1981 to 2016. Having obtained her PhD with a dissertation on the traveller and revolutionary Georg Forste, her interest in travel literature and related topics, such as the epistemologies that sustain the subjective processes of perceiving and narrating the described objects, led her to broaden her research to the field of the history of anthropology, which she articulated with a cultural studies approach from a postcolonial perspective. Having taught and researched on the effects, until the present, of the processes of (de)colonisation on a cultural and political level, and widely published on these issues, more recently, she became interested in the transnational processes that also marked nationalist anti-colonial movements. Her research interests also include African film, questions of migration and racism in Europe from a compared perspective. Recent publications: Europe in Black and White: Immigration, Race, and Identity in the “Old Continent” (Intellect, 2011) and Malhas que os impérios tecem. Textos anti- coloniais, contextos pós-coloniais’ (Edições 70, 2011). She is now editing a collection of essays on Cabral, Césaire and Du Bois due 2018.


Grada Kilomba’s book ‘Plantation Memories. Episodes of Everyday Racism’ has exposed the violence and trauma of racism through its incisive language and profound writing. This staged reading is a compilation of episodes exploring everyday racism in the form of short psychoanalytical stories. It offers a strong and moving insight into the experience of racism, alienation, and transformation, through the different characters.”
Theater Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin

Other participations by the artist in Lisbon:

Solo Exhibition
Curated: Gabi Ngcobo
Creative Production: Moses Leo
October 27, 2017 to March 4, 2018
Opening October 2017, 6pm
Free entrance
Avenida da Índia, 170 – Belém1400-207 LISBOA

Talk with Grada Kilomba e Carla Fernandes
Practices of decolonization: a talk from the work of Grada Kilomba
October  6.30 pm.
Avenida Frei Miguel Contreiras, 52

Solo Exhibition
Curated by Inês Grosso
November 8,2017 to February 5, 2018
Opening November 7, 7pm
Av. Brasília | Central Tejo, Belém

Scientific coordination and organized by Mónica de Miranda
This project is part of the project  Post-Archive: Politics of Memory, Place and Identity, CITCOM-CEC-FLUL
This project was produced with national funding from the FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P. under the project UIDB/00509/2020.