Cologne (1989-1996/98): A spectral anarchive

With Nancy Garín, Antoine Silvestre, Aimar Arriola, Linda Valdés

As part of the ADKDW residency, two collectives accepted the Academy's invitation to Cologne in 2023: Espectros de lo Urbano (Nancy Garín and Antoine Silvestre) and Anarchivo Sida (Aimar Arriola, Nancy Garín and Linda Valdés). During their joint residency in the city on the Rhine, they were able to continue their research work on living with HIV/AIDS in Cologne between 1989 and 1996 with the support of Kunststiftung NRW.

© Jan Kryszons

With a decolonial approach, Espectros de lo Urbano critically analyses how the city (the urban) is constructed. Anarchivo Sida has been researching the cultural dimension of the HIV/AIDS crisis for a decade, focusing on cases from the 'south'. Both projects share an interest in revisiting past processes to understand life in the present –its production of contemporary bodiness and the articulation of possible alternatives. The methodology of the two collectives is based on the research of images and narratives.

During their stay in Cologne, they were able to reappraise countercultural experiences from the period 1989-1996/98, a key period in the recent history of Germany and the city, from an intersectional perspective. Methodologically, the two collectives conceived of the residency as an editorial workshop lasting several months, in which testimonies, experiences and documents could be brought together that, although disparate, are part of the same collective memory. The investigation aimed to formulate a dialog between the archive, the urban layers of Cologne and fictional narratives.

Espectros de lo Urbano and Anarchivo Sida will present the results of their research in Cologne in April 2024.

© Jan Kryszons (1-4)

Funded by the Kunststiftung NRW.