In this joint session Kwame Aidoo and Adela Taleb explore the art of weaving through the prism of storytelling in connection with community.
In West Africa, weaving is an age-old art form; a living heritage portal that solidifies identity and aesthetic languages through community-creative collaborative intergenerational passing on of skills, codes, stories and culture. By creating Kpaluhi: a dynamic weaving village in Ngarin – a suburb of Tamale in Northern Ghana – the conceptual and procedural framework borrows from the traditional techniques while developing new aspects to enable a promising art installation that activates a sustainable safe space for mainly young rural women. Kpaluhi enables accessible deeper research, exploration and intervention with the forms, design, logistics, products, processes and ecosystem around the craft. Consequentially, the needle shifts with respect to societal margins of class, gender parity, economies, expressiveness and global potentials.
By sharing insights gained in two empirical settings, Aidoo and Taleb open-up a conversation on the empowering potential of weaving and storytelling.
Storytelling as an oral tradition is examined in terms of its subversive potential and read as a tool for knowledge transmission. Taleb reflects on her experience when conceptualising a storytelling workshop on the theme of “weaving” for Muslim Youth in Berlin.
Storytelling as one of the longest standing art forms transmits a skill-set with radical potential. By exploring the art of storytelling and gathering traditional tales which address the theme of “weaving”, a group of young Muslim women experience this radical potential during a workshop in Berlin. Taleb shares some of her insights and challenges through interactive engagement during this process.
Kwame Aidoo is a writer and artist. He studied biochemistry and biotechnology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He is the founder of Inkfluent, Kpaluhi, Nkabom Festival, and Buzanga Books Library. His exhibitions and performances include: Couleur Café, Union KBH, Copenhagen, 2023; Decolonial Flanerie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2022; and Migrant Resources, Manifesta 12, Palermo, 2018 and he is the author of Ananse Makes Aurora (Enostone, 2021). Aidoo lives and works in Ghana.
Adela Taleb is a PhD candidate at the institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University Berlin. In her research project she looks at the formation of “EUropean Islam”, by exploring the interaction of Eurocrats and NGOs active in the field of “minority rights”. She graduated from SOAS London and had research stays at the MPI in Halle and KU Leuven. Adela is a trained storyteller (University of the Arts Berlin) and a founding member of the Amo Collective Berlin that since 2020 conducts performative city tours for which Adela coined the term “Decolonial Flânerie”. Adela has published on themes such as “visual Orientalism” and the politics of representing “the Muslim women”. Her latest co-edited volume appeared with Routledge earlier this year under the title: Rethinking Islam and Space in Europe. The Politics of Race, Time and Secularism.
Location: Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Campus North – House 3, Philippstr. 13, 10115 Berlin and digital on