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Decolonial Archive Lab 2

nur für Incom-Mitglieder


Student Initiative

Theory and History

weißensee kunsthochschule berlin

WiSe 2023-24

Contact: Juana Awad,, Raras Umaratih (Student initiator)

Time: First meeting Monday 16.10 at 12.00 – 14.00, writing intensive retreat 30.10. – 3.11. Biweekly meetings after that on Mondays from 10.00  – 14.00

Dates: 16.10., 23.10., 30.10 - 3.11 (writing intensive week), 13.11., 27.11, 11.12, 15.1., 29.1., 12.2.

Place: Mart Stam Raum for Monday meetings, Gutshof Sauen for retreat

Max. Participants: 12 pers.


Research-creation seminar/project, initiated and co-led by a small group of BIPOC + migrant students. The collaboration started during the summer semester 2023, leading to the first issue of the autonomous publication GARUK GARUK.

We work on the intermingling of notions of 'art' and 'knowledge' within the framework of decolonial positions and practices. This semester we will have a focus on writing practices and publishing as dialogical situation. Bibliography includes Saidiya Hartman (in English), Gloria Anzaldúa (in English), Sinthujan Varatharajah (in German), amongst others.

In this theory and praxis seminar you will be required to work collectively (actively participating in the production of the publication) and individually (with your own contribution.) A third requirement and integral part of the seminar will be the retreat (for this reason only students who can travel will be able to take the course.) 

Please see below for organizational details


“Dear friends and collaborators, we are a small group of BIPOC + migrant students collaborating with theory lecturer Juana Awad, and we are creating an autonomous seminar, a laboratory and writing group, to produce our own archive around the topic of decoloniality and the many layers and facets that it touches in our lives. We want to create a space within this this art school, where we can support each other, have discussions, and produce and distribute knowledge - in the form of archive creation - because we sincerely believe that knowledge is the key to empowering ourselves and our communities, to build our own worlds, without relying on the capitalist colonial patriarchal hegemony.

We ask ourselves:

-What can archive actually mean… and what is it for?

-What forms can this archive take?

-What is the decolonizing practice, beyond the word “decolonial” which is already so exhausted in academic circles?

-How to produce and distribute knowledge that is consciousness of the discrimination structures based on class, gender, race, ability, etc., and how they influence a person's access to knowledge?

-How to write and publish, when most of our mother tongues are actually neither English nor German?

-What is the importance of translation work and when can something not be translated?

-How do we use this project to expand our networks, invite collaborations, and share our privileges and resources? Especially with our communities who are doing amazing decolonizing work somewhere else, beyond the spaces of white colonial institutions?

-What structural supports should this project have to ensure its long-term run?

-What is the importance of having this space in the university?

An art university in the capital of one of European Fortress’s largest (economic and political) superpowers, an institution that from our perception claims to be for innovation, intellectualism and expression, is not free of colonial violence but rests on the coloniality inherent to the modern-world system, which has historically denied, subalternized and/or appropriated art forms, knowledge, and methods of knowledge production from around the world. This lab is started with the intention of criticizing that epistemological and structural colonial violence. It is also started with the intention of creating our own program, inviting our own workshops, panel discussions and lecturers we would like to see, around archive and knowledge-production, and trying to use the structures already in place to achieve it.” Raras Umaratih



Registrations will open September 2023 via INCOM.

There will can be a maximum amount of 12 participants in this course (this is the maximum amount of people that Gutshof Sauen can accommodate on the dates.)

You will be officially taking the course once you are registered in the Incom space AND have paid your contribution to the retreat at the administration.

Minoritized students are encouraged to apply.


The retreat will take place at GUTSHOF SAUEN ( a common space of the UdK and the KHB in Brandenburg. All students are required to contribute 11EUR per day/night. These costs include three meals a day and accommodation in shared rooms. Please make your payment at the administration with Margit Bernhardt-Schulz (, via debit card only until Thu. 19. 2023.


Presentations and discussions can take place in either English, German or a mixture of both, depending on the participants’ preferences. Texts will be read in English and/or German. Texts produced in other languages are more than welcome; these need to be accompanied by a translation in English or German.

Participation: The success of the seminar will depend on the students’ engagement and contributions. Therefore, you are expected to attend all the seminars and to do the research and production in a timely manner.

Requirements: each student will (1) participate in the writing retreat, (2) contribute to the organization and production of the project, (3) contribute min. one piece to the final publication, and (4) actively participate in the discussions and workshops. Attendance is mandatory.

Accommodations: You may need special arrangements to meet your academic obligations during the term because of disability, pregnancy, care responsibilities or religious obligations. Please write to with any requests for academic accommodation during the first week of class, or as soon as the need arises.

Credit points: 4


Your work within the course will be graded as exam-equivalent (prüfungsäquivalente Studienleistung) in the following form:

Active participation in writing retreat 30%

Text or visual contribution to the publication 30%

Organizational contribution to the publication 30%

Attendance and participation 10%


Theorie und Geschichte

Visuelle Kulturen

Theorien Visueller Kulturen


Wintersemester 2023 / 2024


Montag, 10:00 – 14:00

Erster Termin