'The Struggle of Memory - Deutsche Bank Collection' at The Palais Populaire
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'The Struggle of Memory - Deutsche Bank Collection' at The Palais Populaire
Jo Ractliffe, Details of Tiled Murals at the Fortaleza de So Miguel, Depicting Portuguese Explorations in Africa 6, 2007. Jo Ractliffe. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town / Johannesburg / Amsterdam.



BERLIN.- The Palais Populaire is now opening the exhibition, "The Struggle of Memory - Deutsche Bank Collection". Societies require continuity and connection with the past to preserve social unity and cohesion and people need to know where they come from to be able to adjust to the circumstances of the present and challenges of the future. One of the most insidious consequences of the slave trade and European colonialism in Africa was the devaluing and dismantling of precolonial histories and cultures. The African artifacts in Western museums are symbols of the cultures that were robbed of their people and material heritage, ruthlessly subjugated, or gradually hollowed out and disassembled.

Restitution is only one step in a long journey toward the reconstruction of memory and cultural self-reinvention. Artists are taking other steps, mining family archives, highlighting individual stories, recuperating lesser-known histories, imagining different power dynamics, and constructing alternative narratives.

“The first step in liquidating a people … is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.“ – Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, 1980

Through the Ages: Palais Populaire

From the residence of Prussian princesses to an innovative platform for art and culture: For the PalaisPopulaire, the rooms of the historic Prinzessinnenpalais were redesigned by the renowned Berlin-based architectural office Kuehn Malvezzi. Today, behind the baroque faade there is state-of-the-art technology and clear, contemporary architecture. The building reflects Berlin’s eventful history. It tells of princesses and wars, as well as East German modern art.

The Palais Populaire
The Struggle of Memory Part 2: October 6, 2023 – March 11, 2024
Curated by Kerryn Greenberg, Independent Curator and Co-Director New Curators










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