UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Decolonizing Nature

Chao Tayiana, hn.lyonga, Neo Musangi & Anna Moraa

Session #2 focuses on the intersection of landscape and memory and nature as an archive. Chai Tayiana Maina's input is about the origins of place names in Kenya, the poet hn. lyonga reads his poem "Memories of Trees", Neo Musangi talks about dealing with the Nairobi National Park in her lecture performance "Dogs Hunting in a Parc", followed by a discussion moderated by Isabel Raabe. TALKING OBJECTS LAB @Goethe Morph* Iceland. The three-day performative conference UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 took place as part of the festival Goethe Morph* Iceland at Nordic House in Reykjavik on September 13th - 15th, 2022. Video Documentation of Session #2: Chao Tayiana, hn.lyonga, Neo Musangi & Anna Moraa.

We are happy to finally share the video documentation of UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Decolonizing Nature.

Just like its predecessor event in Berlin and Nairobi, UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 is dedicated to the theme of decolonization. This time we put a focus on nature, from different perspectives. The UNEXPECTED LESSONS are organic. As part of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB, they provide starting points and intermediate points, interweaving thematically with think tanks in Dakar, Nairobi and Frankfurt (2022).

The extraordinary nature of Iceland, the geologically highly interesting area that can be experienced as an archive of the earth's history, becomes the “other object” in Reykjavik, based on the idea of an expanded concept of an “object”. What makes nature the other? What role does the decoupling of nature and culture play in this? Is the culture/nature dichotomy tenable at all? And how can we decolonize our view of the world and think nature differently?

UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 is preceded by a think tank in July 2022 in Nairobi. The event addresses seed archives and their colonial entanglements, colonization of land, lost indigenous knowledge on plants and medical botanicals, nature as an archive of memory and the philosophy of nature.

Documentation Session #2 – 14. September 2022, see below:                           


The Intersection of Landscape and Memory

Input by Chao Tayiana (African Digital Heritage, Nairobi)


Memories of trees – tree routes and other Universes

Poetic Intervention by hn. lyonga (writer, Berlin)


Dogs Hunting in The Park

Artistic Lecture with Neo Musangi (artist, Nairobi)


Telling Nature - About the importance of Storytelling

Talk with Chao Tayiana, hn. lyonga, Neo Musangi (moderation Isabel Raabe, TALKING OBJECTS LAB)


Digital Lesson from Nairobi #2 with Anna Moraa

UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Decolonizing Nature – Chao Tatiana Maina
UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Memories of trees– hn lyonga
UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Dogs Hunting in The Park – Neo Musangi
UNEXPECTED LESSONS #2 – Decolonizing Nature – Telling Nature – About the importance of Storytelling