Studio Julian Hetzel + Ntando Cele (DE/NL/ZA/CH)
A performance about empathy and extractivism. SPAfrica explores how tightly capitalism is connected to racism.
The project explores the limits of empathy – the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. SPAfrica reveals the problematic mechanisms and hidden racism of its working. What if empathy doesn’t change or overcome power structures, but reinforces white privilege?
SPAfrica introduces a transaction of liquids between Europe and Africa – water for tears and tears for water. On the one hand, a sustainable product that is as conflicting as it is clear: drinking water that originates from the sub-Saharan regions and is imported into Europe. SPAfrica – the world’s first ’empathy drink’. On the other hand, tears are farmed at the heart of Europe and transferred to Africa, making an inverse journey as the bottled water. The project juxtaposes the exploitation of natural resources with a more poetic idea of extractivism by working with tears as an alternative raw material.
In their new creation, Julian Hetzel & Ntando Cele question how intangible assets such as identity and cultural background are capitalised on. In the international art market, cultural background and identity of the protagonists have become valuable resources of value creation. Is trauma the new gold of the arts?
The performance will be followed by an artist talk in English.
Presentation: Rainer Hertwig
Note: Strobe effects are used during the performance.