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DJ Dash © Stefan Stahlschmidt

AFRO-TECH FEST: DREXCIYA: Detroit techno, aquanauts and the politics of the dancefloor

Künstlerhaus Dortmund | 10/27/2017 , 19:00

Lecture with DJ set, short film with live music, talk, Black Cyborg DJ set. With Dash, knowbotiq/Yvonne Wilhelm, Lamin Fofana & Zen Jefferson

Drexciya is the name of a legendary techno duo from Detroit formed by Gerald Donald and the late James Marcel Stinson. On its albums, the band tells tales of a 'Black Atlantis' (also called 'Drexciya'), a submerged city in the Atlantic Ocean. This place is populated by the descendants of pregnant women who were deported as slaves from different African countries and thrown overboard and murdered during the crossing of the Atlantic. The unborn children survived in their mother's womb and developed the ability to breathe and live under water. They founded a hidden underwater civilisation that uses utopian technologies.

The Afro-Tech exhibition contains numerous albums by Drexciya as well as two related art pieces. As part of the festival week, the Drexciya myth will come alive during a special club night: A live DJ set by Lamin Fofana will provide the soundtrack to a short film by Yvonne Wilhelm, in which the German media artist interweaves Drexciya's artistic narrative with her own mother's migrant history. The DJ and media scientist Dash a.k.a. Steffen Korthals revisits the story of the band by means of texts, images and live record samples in a lecture that widens the perspective to Detroit and the techno scene while charting the band's influence on other artists, past and present. His contribution will be followed by a conversation between Lamin Fofana and the performance artist Zen Jefferson about the importance of Drexciya for their own work: on his electronic music EP Another World, Fofana refers to the migrants dying in the Mediterranean and presents the sea as a repository of memory and pain but also possible utopias. Jefferson will highlight aspects of posthumanism in the Drexciya myth through his work on Cyborg, an African-American man-machine. Despite being well-intentioned, this DC Comics character perpetuates racist stereotypes – but Jefferson's work suggests that it also holds the possibility of self-empowerment and emancipation.

The events in the context of the Afro-Tech Fest will be held in English.
Free admission to all events that are part of the Afro-Tech Fest!

Sunderweg 1
44147 Dortmund


AFRO-TECH FEST is organised by HMKV and Office medienwerk.nrw in cooperation with Interkultur Ruhr – a project of the Regional Association Ruhr (RVR) and Africa Positive e.V.

Host institution Office medienwerk.nrw: HMKV (Hartware MedienKunstVerein)
Host institution Interkultur Ruhr: Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR)
The exhibition is funded: by the TURN fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW
The festival week is funded by the the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb), the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW, the NRW KULTURSekretariat International and the Cultural Office of the City of Dortmund
Main funder HMKV: Dortmunder U – Center for Art and Creativity
Partners: Goethe-Institut, Afrikamera – Aktuelles Kino aus Afrika (Berlin), NRW KULTURsekretariat, Kino im U e.V. (Dortmund)


Sun, 9/22/2019
Public Guided Tour “The Alt-Right Complex”
16:00 | Dortmunder U

Fri, 10/25/2019
Opening "Artists & Agents: Performance Art and Secret Services"
19:00 - 22:00 | Dortmunder U