Exhibition

Spectres of Bandung: A Political Imagination of Asia-Africa

6 October 2023 to 14 January 2024

In April 1955, representatives from 29 Asian and African states gathered in Bandung, Indonesia to enact shared goals and solidarity after decolonisation from historical colonial powers. Spectres of Bandung is a research-based exhibition exploring this first large-scale Asian-African Conference that can be considered a catalyst of already existing political and cultural affiliations.

A colourful pattern on a black background.

Papa Ibra Tall, La semeuse d'étoiles, undated (detail)

courtesy: the artist, KADIST collection, photo: Ilse Raps

Bringing together photographs, paintings, films and archival material, the group show at the Gropius Bau unpacks the spirit of self-determination prevailing during the Bandung Conference.

After travelling to Bandung, the African-American journalist and writer Richard Wright published a book on the conference in 1956. Wright’s The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference details a world of shifting political power and became an important point of reference for the Gropius Bau exhibition. Historical and contemporary artistic positions attempt to recount the spectres of Bandung – an imagination of possibilities for historically subordinated parts of the world. This imagination revealed new ambivalences and complexities of joint struggles beyond historically-entrenched oppositions.