WATA don PASS; Looking West


Between 1-6:30 pm

In connection to the exclusive performance event WATA don PASS; Looking West with four artists from West Africa at Lilith Performance Studio a seminar will be hed at Moderna Museet Malmö. The seminar has been organized by and will be moderated by Marianne Hultman, and artists, art historians, curators and scientists from Nigeria, Norway, Sweden and Zambia will participate.

The notion that Sweden and Norway never took part in colonialism, or that if they did, their role was marginal, is still considered legitimate. But in recent years studies have disputed this claim. A new historiography is taking shape that interferes with the self-image we have become accustomed to. How is it that some parts of history remain unaccounted for, and what does that say about us? What happens when the façade of our national identity cracks and how does that affect how we perceive one another?

During the seminar perspectives will turn towards Sweden and Norway, while it broadens to include other parts of the continent, not only West Africa. With a starting point in the Berlin Conference in 1884-85, usually described as The Scramble for Africa, the seminar aims at learning more about Sweden-Norway’s role during the conference and how our presence, especially in the Congo region, have inspired ideas and representations of the continent in the past as well as today.

We also look closely at collaborations between the Nordic countries and mainly Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia that sprang out of their independence in the 1960s. These coincided with the establishment of the aid agencies in the Nordic countries and a belief that the social democratic model could be exported and contribute to nation building, modernization and prosperity.

WATA don PASS; Looking West is a curatorial collaboration between Bisi Silva; Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, Nigeria, Marianne Hultman; Oslo Kunstforening and Elin Lundgren, Petter Pettersson; Lilith Performance Studio. The title of the event refers to a pidgin expression meaning to achieve beyond expectations.

Seminar Program

13.00-13.10: Welcome, Marianne Hultman and Moderna Museet Malmö
13.10-13.55: Espen Wæhle, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, Congo: Images, Imaginations, and Identity: 1870 to modern times.
14.00-14.40: David Nilsson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Tales of Sweden: Failed Imperialist or Humanitarian Superpower.
14.45-15.25: Nina Berre, Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Forms of Freedom. African Independence and Nordic.
15:25-16.00: The, Coffee Break
16.00-16.40: Bisi Silva, curator and director, CCA, Lagos.
16.45-17.25: Anawana Haloba, visual artist, Reconstructing Histories; The City that Refuses to be Silenced LoCA.
17:30-18:10: Loulou Cherinet, visual artist.
18.10-18.30: Summery
18:30-22.00: Reception


Nina Berre
Curator and Director of Architecture at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. Berre will discuss the Norwegian contribution to the Nordic Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 2014 Forms of Freedom, the African Independence and Nordic Models.

Loulou Cherinet

Visual artist. She divides her time between Stockholm and Addis Ababa. Cherinet will talk about her latest film project titled Big Data (2014). Cherinet also takes part in Moderna Museet Malmö’s current exhibition THE NEW HUMAN: You and I in Global Wonderland.

Anawana Haloba

Visual artist working in Oslo and Livingstone. In Reconstructing Histories; The City that Refuses to be Silenced LoCA Haloba will describe her latest project, the artist initiated library and research centre for art in Livingstone, Zambia.

David Nilsson

Historian and researcher at KTH in Stockholm. He recently published the article Sweden-Norway at the Berlin Conference 1884-1885: History, National Identitymaking and Sweden’s Relations with Africa. In Tales of Sweden: Failed Imperialist or Humanitarian Superpower Nilsson questions how much can one forget or omit from history before it becomes a lie?

Bisi Silva

Founder and director of the CCA, Lagos in Nigeria has worked in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. What do these art scenes reveal for a curator based in Nigeria with the world as a working field.

Espen Wæhle

Project Manager at the Norwegian Maritime Museum. Between 2005-2009 he took part in a research project, which resulted in the publication Navigating Colonial Orders: Norwegian Entrepreneurship in Africa and Oceania. Wæhle will speak about Congo: Images, Imaginations, and Identity: 1870 to modern times.

The seminar will be held in English. Limited numbers. Free entrance!