• Thu 01 – Sun 04 04 2021 / 2 – 7 pm •
exhibition Ghosts, Traces, ECHOES: Works in Shifts

From 01-04 2021 the exhibition Ghost, Traces, ECHOES: Works in Shifts is open!

Please note that the exhibition visit is only possible with a certified negative corona test, which is not older than 24 hours. The general hygiene and distance regulations still apply. Please book a free appointment for a visit via our event page at

Should we not be so egocentric and keep our experiences to ourselves? Diasporic memories of Fasia Jansen

In the third part of the exhibition – which centres on Fasia Jansen (1929-1997), an artist who campaigned for workers’ rights – the metaphor of the echo is used to symbolise the way Fasia’s artistic and activist practice still resonates with us today. The artist Aline Benecke has been rehearsing some of Fasia’s songs with the newly formed Fasia Jansen Ensemble. The goal was to enable the songs to be performed once again, this time by a majority Black-identifying choir. Benecke worked closely with the historian and cultural scholar Nicola Lauré al-Samarai, who has done a great deal of work on Fasia Jansen’s biography in the past.

As a political singer-songwriter and activist, Fasia took part in numerous campaigns for workers’ rights from the 1970s through to the 1990s. From her base in Oberhausen, her adopted home, she got involved in the protests organised by the Frauen:initiative in Hattingen and the Heinze women in Gelsenkirchen, at Hoesch in Dortmund and at the steelworks in Duisberg Rheinhausen. Through her mobility as a politically engaged artist, she managed to link together different campaigns in the Ruhr region and beyond, and to reinforce networks of political relationships. In the dominant narratives about the labour movement, her important role is not adequately recognised – despite remembrance practices developed mainly by regional women’s groups. These include the establishment of the Fasia Jansen Archive in Oberhausen, which since Fasia’s death has been run by several of her companions, as well as the Fasia Jansen International Women’s Peace Archive. She also features in various representations of the history of Black people in Germany, such as the exhibition Homestory Deutschland.

Benecke’s approach builds on her many years of work exploring bodies as archives, particularly the embodiment of everyday remembrance practices as a form of diasporic knowledge. The singers and performers of the Fasia Jansen Ensemble (Aischa Abdirahman, Feben Amara, Yemisi Babatola, Melanie Erzuah, Jocelina Fatouma Ndimbalan, Felicia Angélique Hilgert, Doude, Ezgi Özcan) got to know each other at the People of Colour Community Choir, which meets for weekly rehearsals in Berlin under the direction of Dr. Dr. Daniele G. Daude.
The work with the Fasia Jansen Ensemble is a way of relating to Fasia Jansen: a tribute to an extraordinary Black German life, but also to an artist who, through her work, devoted herself to a political struggle against exploitation, capital, fascism and oppression. Resistance, in the Ensemble’s case – just as in Fasia’s – is embodied in enthusiasm for (collective) singing. This singing is also an attempt to invite Fasia into diasporic spaces through her music. A film has been made to accompany the exhibition, showing the Fasia Jansen Ensemble singing in front of a classical backdrop. It shows the unfolding of a piece of choreography which brings together impenetrability, Black joy and ‘Fasianism’, diasporic photographic traditions and afro-futuristic references.

Realization: Aline Benecke with Fasia Jansen Ensemble
Artistic conception and direction: Aline Benecke
Dramaturgy: Nicola Lauré al-Samarai
Performance and vocals: Fasia Jansen Ensemble
Choir direction/musical direction: Melanie Erzuah
Costumes: Aline Benecke, Nancy Naser Al Deen
Choreography: Maque Pereyra

Sound: Azadeh Zandieh
Camera: Nadja Krüger, Kornelia Kugler
Editing: Kornelia Kugler
Thanks to: Tina Campt, Dr. Dr. Daniele Daude, Flutgraben e.V., Fasia Jansen Stiftung

Opening Hours: Thu–Sun, 2–7pm
Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstr. 3, 50672 Cologne
Free Admission

We look forward to welcoming you soon as a visitor to the exhibition Ghosts, Traces, Echoes: Works in Shifts. Please note that, for your, our and other visitors' security, the compliance with the general rules of hygiene and in perticular the use of a mask covering mouth and nose are mandatory during a visit. If you have any questions, please contact us at +49 (0)221 337748 92.
Hygiene measures as PDF