BLACK LAND festival honours the Egyptian goddess in Berlin

The BLACK LAND: RED LAND – RESTITUTE festival will make use of the collection of the Egyptian Museums in Berlin and Turin in a programme of music, art, talks and other activities. 

The theme of restitution and Sakhmet, the Egyptian goddess of the hot desert sun, are the focal points of the festival, which will take place in the silent greenery of Berlin, at the Kunstquartier Bethanien, the Palais am Festungsgraben and in public spaces.

Participating artists and performers include Yara Mekawei, Hani Mojtahedy, Cevdet Erek, Attila Csihar, Lea Draeger and Houaïda.

All the works in the programme “deal with stories” – in some cases from ancient Egypt – and their “mediation into the present”, explained BLACK LAND’s artistic director and curator Elena Sinanina.

BLACK LAND was born in 2022 and was based on the situation of ‘ancient’ Egyptian artefacts or heirlooms in European museum collections, their meanings and provenances.

The curator explains that this year’s festival aims to discuss the project’s themes both artistically and discursively on the basis of the main theme of restitution. It seems to me that today more than ever we need a joint exchange on the complexities of the subject.

The festival will take place in Berlin from 21 to 28 December at Studio 1 in the Kunstquartier Bethanien, in cooperation with Kunstraum Kreuzberg. At the heart of the festival’s discussions at Silent Green’s Kuppelhalle will be an international, historicising and critical examination of the positions (physical, conceptual and phenomenal) that cultural organisations and artefacts – both understood here as entities – occupy within the wider cultural, spiritual and political discourse. This will be accompanied by an intercultural dialogue on the complex range of meanings associated with the entities under discussion.

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