Decolonizing Knowledge

14th December, 18.00 h @Vierte Welt, Kottbusser Tor, Berin. For the LA PALABRE series, from July-December 2023, we invite Berlin-based researchers*, artists*, and activists to discuss the issues we have been working on over the past two years as part of TALKING OBJECTS, an artistic research project on decolonizing knowledge. In a small La Palabre group of 40 people, we meet and share snacks and stories.


Six evenings on decolonial theory and practice.

“La Palabre” refers to the social practice of public discourse, gathering and conflict resolution in numerous countries on the African continent; the location is usually a baobab tree, l'arbre a palabre.

“La Palabre” deals with themes that we have developed as part of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB over the past two years in symposia, talks, think tanks and artistic interventions. The impulse for each evening is an input from the TALKING OBJECTS LAB (texts, video performances or lectures), on which one or two Berlin artists or speakers, especially from the BIPoC communities, work and discuss together with the invited guests. For the fixed ritual of eating together, we invite cooks, artists, anthropologists, poets and initiatives that deal with the cultural practice of eating, food and its colonial entanglements.

Decolonizing Knowledge

The TALKING OBJECTS LAB is also about making objects talk and listening to them––following the quote from the Senegalese writer Ismael Dio “Ecoute plus souvent les choses que les êtres!” (Listen more often to things than to people). 

What polyphonic knowledge lies in objects? How can we look at objects in a new way, listen to them, and make them tell stories? And is the term “object” even viable against this backdrop? In 2021 and 2023, we invited artists to take up residencies at the Musée Théodore Monod in Dakar to work with objects from the museum's collection. After screening interviews with the artists Viyé Diba and Ibrahima Thiam, Nikita Dhawan and Maria do Mar Castro Varelas will discuss how important the re-examination of objects is for the process of decolonization and what the handling of objects by Western museums tells us about Europe.

For the artistic interventions of the evening, we invite Melody Ledwon with a yoga intervention, as well as the author and performer Fogha MC, with a text read by Lamin Leroy. Culinary curation and input on this evening are by Ma-Makan. LA PALABRE #6 will be moderated by Miriam Camara.


LA PALABRE is curated by Isabel Raabe and Celina Baljeet Basra.
Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

LA PALABRE #6 - Screening a lecture by Ibrahima Thiam
La Palabre #6 — Talking Object curator Isabel Raabe presenting the artist residency of Viyé Diba and Ibrahima Thiam.
La Palabre #6 - María do Mar Castro Varela
La Palabre #6 - Melody Ledwon meditates with the audience
La Palabre #6 - Lamin Leroy Gibba reading Fogha MC Cornelius Refems text.
La Palabre #6 - Jeanne Nzakizabandi, Isabel Raabe, Mahret Ifemoa Kupka, Celina Basra and Jasmin Awale.