Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal


"Re-imagining Urban Space: Performance Poetry, Technology, and the African/Global City" by Ricarda de Haas, Berlin

Seminarraum 3, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien


In their Spoken Word Film “I Mike What I Like” (2006) South African poet Kgafela oa Magogodi and filmmaker Jyoti Mistry represent the city of Johannesburg by combining the immediacy of live performance with an expressive visual language. Throughout the movie the stage as a space of performance and the city as a multi-faceted space are presented as interlaced structures. The video clip “2 Elements from Harare to Berlin” (2013) by Zimbabwean poet Synik and German beatboxer Mando presents both artists in their areas of home, that is the city of Harare and the city of Berlin. Yet, the video also challenges the idea of urban space as a local entity. By using Social Media technology the video suggests communication and physical interaction between the artists and thus creates an imagined co-presence in time and space. The talk aims at analysing how contemporary performance poetry, film, and (digital) technology re-imagine urban space in Africa. It discusses if and how technology can soften the limitations of space, when the stage and the city as well as the local urban and the global urban become ever more blurred and elusive.


Ricarda de Haas earned her Ph.D. from Bayreuth International Graduate School for African Studies (BIGSAS) at University of Bayreuth. She specialized in Performance Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies and African literatures in English. She is currently completing a monograph on Performance Poetry and Social Media in Southern Africa and is beginning a new project on African digital literatures at Humboldt University Berlin.

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Institut für Afrikawissenschaften


Ulrike Auer
Institut für Afrikawissenschaften