Michael(a) Daoud, Marxus Absi, Sam Youssef, Najwa Ahmed - Collective DaGeG

Collective DaGeG

Through its Queer, Arabic speaking, exiled artistic and cultural point of view, collective DaGeG was invited by Nyabinghi LAB within the project "Free State of Barackia" to examine the concept of collective coexistence free from state oppression and isolation of minorities. Their research during the ZK/U residency takes them into a journey of reflection on the past and confrontation of the present, as both are representatives of realities that reject difference. Guided by curiosity and a nuanced approach to art, they will collectively explore multi-mediums of artistic forms of expression to answer the questions: “What does a free state look like to them? Can such a state exist in reality if we managed to learn from the experiments of the foremothers and fathers of collective Utopias?”

Their artistic and political exploration and experimentation is leading them into the conception of a mindscaping of the subconscious to start an evolutionary process of healing and growth from an inner place of recognition to what made us who we are.

The project "Free State of Barackia: 150 Years of Decolonial Urbanism, Solidarities and New Berlin Utopias" was conceived by the collective Nyabinghi LAB and will be realized in collaboration with the Kunstraum Bethanien, ZK/U and the HAU Hebbel am Ufer. It will present a two months-long art exhibition, that will be accompanied by discursive and performance programs in the public space. The exhibition will launch from the site of Barackia, a former free state established by work migrants and disenfranchised urbanites in Berlin in 1870. Free State of Barackia draws inspiration not only from this story – achieving self-determination through the claiming and holding of a neighborhood – but also from radical local battles for living space, dignity, racial equality and new forms of solidarity since the 1870s. While Kreuzberg/Neukölln are the starting point of these reflections, the exhibition draws arcs from Berlin to similar movements and urban utopias around the world.