Five women wanted a fresh start, now there are only two left
They wanted to reorganize the migrant cultural center Workshop of Cultures (WdK) – and now they have obviously failed because of their own visions. Only at the beginning of the year did Louna Sbou, Nina Martin, Nathalie Mba Bikoro, Tmnit Zere, and Saskia Köbschall take over the sponsorship of the WdK. Now the team has quarreled.
In a letter that is available to us, Tmnit Zere and Saskia Köbschall declare their departure as partners of the newly founded agency “Kultur NeuDenken”. Nathalie Bikoro also resigns as artistic director of the house. Louna Sbou and Nina Martin, who are also operators of the so-called anti-café “Be’kech” in Wedding, therefore remain in the WdK.
Köbschall and Bikoro justify their decision with the “ Events of the past few weeks “, without going into more detail about what happened. They would “see the implementation of our concept for the establishment of a decolonial, queer feminist and critical place of art and culture for migrant-diasporic communities in danger”. In addition, the women want to face up to their “resignation for the role that we played in the context of the disputes surrounding the announcement of the cultural location Wissmannstrasse.”
Previously, the Berlin Migration Council had and numerous artists in an open letter to cultural senator Klaus Lederer (left) criticized the new tender of the WdK. The signatories accused Lederer of “joint responsibility for the marginalization of (post-) migrant urban history”.
Edwin Greve, the spokesman for the Migration Council, told us in December: “The result of the tendering process closes another area of effectiveness for a black woman in a management position in a Berlin institution “and referred to the previous director Philippa Ébéné. Unfortunately, all efforts of the Migration Council to avoid a new tender failed.
Former employees speak of “chaos”
In their concept, the five women emphasized that the “new” WdK should remain a place for the migrant community. They also wanted to keep a large part of the staff employed, however, this is not the case, former employees speak of “chaos”.
Köbschall and Bikoro were not reachable. Louna Sbou, who remains the shareholder, confirmed the division of the group. Currently, the women are still talking about the future of the house, so they can not express themselves more precisely.
The Senate Department for Culture was also known the situation, says spokesman Daniel Bartsch. According to the present letter, the Senate was informed in January. However, the concept with which the five women applied for sponsorship would have won – regardless of the members of society. At the beginning of the week, there will be a conversation between Secretary of State for Culture Torsten Wöhlert (left) and the “Kultur NeuDenken”. The topic is also to be discussed in the culture committee of the House of Representatives.
It is unclear how the program, which has already been planned, will continue. In their letter, Zere, Köbschall, and Bikoro announce the curatorial projects “Decolonize the Green: Nature, Environment and Colonial Continuities” and “Free State of Barackia: 150 Years of decolonial urbanism, solidarity, and New Berlin utopias “regardless of the” culture of new thinking “.
The WdK reopening for the 14 is currently on the website. Announced in March. Further information is no longer available.