Soul-WiFi at HKW O Quilombismo & Sonic Pluriverse Festival

Wednesday, June 28 2023

Opening Times

Mittwoch bis Montag 12-19 Uhr

Die Ausstellung findet vom 2.6. bis 17.9.2023 statt


Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin-Mitte
.How to get there


030 397870

The House of World Cultures, better known in Berlin as the pregnant oyster because of its eye-catching roof construction, has in the past been known to most people, if at all, because of the Café Weltwirtschaft. And this despite the fact that it is located in the middle of the Tierpark directly behind the government quarter on the Spree and claims to bring visitors closer to the cultures of the world in an artistic way.

The programme was often as unwieldy as this sentence sounds, even if the motivation was good. That has now changed with a bang, and in the best way possible! Or to stick with the house's nickname, the pregnant oyster finally became a mother and it felt like all of Berlin came by to see her newborn children.

In fact, thousands flocked to the HKW for the opening weekend in early June to see what new director Professor Bonaventure Soh Ndikung and his fantastic team have created in the last six months.

HKW I Prof Dr Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikungk I Sonia Hamad

Let's get straight to the point. In view of the catastrophic situation regarding affordable art and cultural spaces in Berlin, the team and programme around Bonaventure can almost seem like a mirage: So inviting, diverse, progressive, important, contemporary, inclusive and refreshing are the now palpable energy in the house, the new spirit and the offer.

Especially refreshing in view of current examples such as the imminent demise of the Uferhallen cultural venue, which after a five-year marathon with tough negotiations is now finally facing imminent demise and with it the resident artists on the street.

At stake is a production location that has grown for 15 years and a unique space for cultural exchange on the listed grounds of the former BVG depot in the centre of the city.

Therefore, here is the urgent request to sign the open letter to the Senate!


In any case, resistance and insistence are also found in the title of the first exhibition in the new HKW: O Quilombismo, Flight as Attack. "Of Alternative Democratic-Egalitarian Political Philosophies," is a group exhibition and research project filled to the brim with workshops, performances and publications.

And it's not just the house, because from now on the entire surrounding area will be included and played with, framed by the Spree and the Tiergarten. There are gardens to linger in or listen to readings, murals, sculptures, children's disco, changing pavilions and open-air performances to name just a few.

What to do with the world? This question, which could be read in advance on posters all over the city, can be found, for example, in the impressive installation by Ibrahim Mahama, who has stretched a huge carpet of coffee bean bags over the open staircase.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2

In addition to the exhibition and the ongoing summer school of the same name, the Sonic Pluriverse Festival is a rich festival summer that I highly recommend. Not only because music generally makes it easier to deal with urgent, or for the mainstream unfamiliar topics, but above all because it is probably one of the strongest elements and tools that connects all cultures of this world.

At the Sonic Pluriverse Festival, it's called Congorama. "A musical journey with three locations as a sound compass, inspired by three places in the world that have the word "Congo" in their name: the Congo River, Congo Mirador, a village in northern Venezuela, and Congo Square in New Orleans."

All three places are separated by vast geographical distances, blessed with unparalleled sonic and cultural richness, and share many commonalities stemming from their violent colonial pasts.

Congorama invites the public to engage with the sound knowledge and history of these regions and experience how sound can create and connect different worlds. And because music mobilises the brain and produces happiness hormones, it can suddenly be very easy to let go, to immerse oneself, with eyes and heart wide open, to then go home rich in impressions and emotions, with a desire for more.

Standing on the newly named Paulette Nardal Terrace the other day (all the rooms now bear the names of authors, artists, feminists, activists who have made the world a better place), the Cameroonian singer-songwriter Blick Bassy summed it up at the end of his wonderful concert by shouting to the calmly diverse and happily relaxed audience: "...the new House of World Cultures has good wifi, but especially good soul wifi!"

And, what can I say, everyone felt it at that moment and understood that this is what it's all about globally. You may forgive my euphoria...but for this moment alone, this evening in the midst of people from all over the world, will remain in my memory forever.... I cannot and will not express it any other way. Because good soul wifi is what we need now more than ever.

The new House of World Cultures has made a start and goes ahead, lucky Berliners!

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Soul-WiFi at HKW – O Quilombismo & Sonic Pluriverse Festival
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