Lecture Performance

Grada Kilomba Decolonizing Knowledge

Knowledge is power. Nowhere is this clearer than in the divide between the West and the “rest”—between the metropolis and its former colonies. “What is acknowledged as knowledge? Whose knowledge is this? Who is acknowledged to produce knowledge?” These are painful questions, and Grada Kilomba explores them through a collage of her literary and visual work, questioning the “normal” and continuous coloniality in which we reside. Her lecture performance exposes the violence of classic knowledge production, showing how academic, cultural and artistic spaces determine who can talk about what, excluding a majority of the world’s population on the basis of their gender or race. The audience is invited to re-imagine the concept of knowledge by opening new spaces for decolonial thinking.

Grada Kilomba is a writer and artist. She was a Guest Professor for Gender Studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin. She is the co-editor of Mythen, Masken und Subjekte (Unrast, 2005) and author of Plantation Memories (Unrast, 2008). She performs theoretical texts at locations such as the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.