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After Eslanda Robeson. In Conversation with Steve McQueen’s “End Credits”

A situated reading of transcontinental world-making practices that reveal and upset the continuities of the Cold War’s extreme binarism: an exhibition, conversations and an installation unfold a study towards a political imaginary today.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Haus der Kulturen der Welt visitBerlin Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

The Missed Seminar metabolizes archival material of the life, thought, writings and relationships of the Black feminist, anthropologist and African-American photographer Eslanda Robeson.
Departing from her friendship with the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher Franz Loeser and their encounters in East Berlin in 1963, the curatorial study asks: What if their exchange had been the framework for a seminar to come? The exhibition and set of conversations unfold the unfinished political aspirations of Robeson and Loeser and suggest an intersectional imaginary of anti-fascism, Black feminism and technopolitics.

In conversation, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen presents the completed version of End Credits (2012–2022). As a haunting monument to the threat of US anti-communism, the audiovisual installation gathers thousands of digitized files collected by the FBI during the Cold War in decades of surveillance of Eslanda Robeson and her husband, the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson. These entanglements sketch the vision of what decolonizing socialism could have been and what it can still become.

Conceptualized by Doreen Mende in conversation with Avery F. Gordon, Lama El Khatib, Aarti Sunder and Katharina Warda
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Foyer in front of the auditorium
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