Spectres of Bandung: A Political Imagination of Asia-Africa

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

Papa Ibra Tall, La semeuse d'étoiles, undated (detail) courtesy: the artist, KADIST collection, photo: Ilse Raps

Postponement of the Exhibition

The Gropius Bau is postponing the Spectres of Bandung: A Political Imagination of Asia-Africa exhibition planned for October 2023. The new opening date will be announced in a timely manner.

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.

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.

Curated by Philippe Pirotte, Vera Mey and Zippora Elders in collaboration with an international team of curators