Tribunal––A Matter Of Emotion | Wahshi Kuhi @ SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin [26. Juni]

Tribunal––A Matter Of Emotion | Wahshi Kuhi

10:00 - 21:00

SAVVY Contemporary
Plantagenstraße 31, 13347 Berlin, Germany

10:00–18:00 Durational performance by Wahshi Kuhi
19:00 Panel discussion with Wahshi Kuhi, Bahar Eriçok, @Iris Rajanayagam and Julia Stegmann, moderated by Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro

Performing Doubt in Exile and the Forum of Marginality

In the framework of Cognitive Cultures #2, Wahshi proposes TRIBUNAL–A MATTER OF EMOTION (NO ECHO IN FRONT OF MY SHOUT) as a collective court––to re-conjugate hierarchichal vocabularies of speech, body power, irrationality, law, stage and heritage. He proposes a work concerning safety and emotion by introducing a fictional narrative of the tribunal of the after-life within a labyrinth of a child’s memory wardrobe.

In this very intimate commemorative performance work, Wahshi Kuhi accentuates on the complexities of neighbourhood and its relationship to historical colonial memory that often pushes displacement, aggression within a political framework that builds on the anxieties of gentrified spaces in public and private territories. The dismantling of the court room into a reparatory burial ground forms a resistance to the formidable allegory of national justice and the domination of state law overriding citizen protection. He believes that performance is the first law that entitles a process of mourning, visibility, expression as well as a form of taking care of the living. The law of the court is replaced by the law of the body/emotion.

In the PANEL DISCUSSION after his durational performance, Wahshi Kuhi presents his artistic experience following Burak Bektas’ murder and the forums that were formed over 6 years. The panel aims at investigating racially-orientated crimes in Germany by developing different perspectives of enquiry with Julia Stegmann (SIS e.V.) on cultures of safety and tenderness in German film productions, Iris Rajanayagam (curator of Xart splitta) on politics of body and emotion and Bahar Eriçok (activist from Burak Association) on integration & memorial culture of art in public space. The panel is moderated by Anguezomo Mba Bikoro.

Born in Kurdistan Iran, WAHSHI KUHI is an activist and performance artist who considers himself as a „non-citizen“. With his body, Kuhi thematizes, state violence and military attack, right to mother tongue and is politically active in participating in human rights activities with marginal groups. His work investigates colonial ties with Kurdish culture and challenges his own personal history of prison and repression, migration in times of war and racial exclusion, the forced labour of guest-arbeiter and exotification of his body. Kuhi’s performance forms transmissions of body relationships, censorship, duration and sustainability to comment on oppression, visibility and patriarchy.

His creative practice caused a reaction in 2010 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which listed him as a dangerous person against National Security in Iran, and is waiting a death sentence. Exiled from his birthplace, he now lives and works in Berlin.

Wahshi’s works have been featured in Gallery Shanader Kurdistan, Iraq’s Arbil Academy of Fine Arts, Kave refugee camp in Erbil, Manchester’s Cornerhouse; BIFPA 17 Belfast International Festival of Performance Art; SKALA Gallery in Poznan Nomadic Arts Festival in Poland; MPA-B at Acud and OKK; SOMA Gallery, Gemäldergaleri Berlin.

IRIS RAJANAYAGAM is a historian (MA Modern/ Contemporary History at University of Cologne, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Dar es Salaam). She works among others on postcolonial theories. Her focus is particularly on colonial continuity in German and European migration, refugee and asylum policies, intersectionality and racism and discrimination-critical theory and practice. She works as a program director at xart splitta e.V. and teaches and researches at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin in the field of «Racism and Migration». Iris Rajanayagam is co-founder of's Talking Feminisms radio program and has worked for The Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants for many years. From 2013 to 2016 she was part of the editorial team of the journal «Leben nach Migration» of the Migration Council Berlin.

JULIA STEGMANN is an activist in Burak Bektas Organisation. She will discuss the converging operations of art and politics in performance in the work of Wahshi Kuhi.

BAHAR ERIÇOK is an activist in the Burak Bektas Organisation.

A collaboration of Universität der Künste Berlin––Institut für Kunst im Kontext, Interflugs, Initiative für die Aufklärung des Mordes an Burak Bektaš and SAVVY Contemporary.
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