On Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 7pm, a talk and a workshop with the artist James Gregory Atkinson, in collaboration with Biennale für Freiburg 2 (BfF2).

CRAC Alsace is pleased to announce its collaboration with Biennale für Freiburg 2 (BfF2).

Biennale für Freiburg (BfF) is a young platform for the presentation, development and mediation of contemporary art in Freiburg, Germany. It dedicates itself to artistically approaching urgent socio-political matters through means of varying thematic and conceptual frameworks. The choice for the commonplace acronym BFF and its meaning in popular culture, are quite intentional : a connection based on support and intimacy, conversation and honesty, combined with the genuine desire to never let this commitment end—Best Friends Forever.

From June 16 to July 30, 2023, the second edition of Biennale für Freiburg, curated by Paula Kommoss, under the title Das Lied der Strasse (The Song of the Street), presents an artistic program taking place in and beyond the city. Opening up the local art ecosystem to outside perspectives, Biennale für Freiburg generates transnational exchanges between artists and regional actors that broaden the cultural and artistic life of Freiburg.

As a prologue of the Biennale’s program, CRAC Alsace will host from April to June 2023 the artist James Gregory Atkinson and the collective somebody*ies in a research and production residency. Approaching the south of Alsace as a place of experimentation, these artists reveal forgotten histories on both sides of the Rhine and weave links with the audience on this territory.

Through a research on the life of black soldiers within the occupation forces in Germany during the world wars, James Gregory Atkinson responds to a neglected part of African-American-German history and to a glaring deficit of archives. The artist has more specifically examined "The Black Horror on the Rhine", "Die schwarze Schande am Rhein" or "Die schwarze Schmach am Rhein", a racist and nationalist German propaganda campaign against French colonial troops deployed along the Rhine in the 1920s, and influencing the rise of nationalist movements. Tracing the footsteps of these soldiers, he charts their legacies and impact on Afro-Franco-German life in the region.

For this workshop, James Gregory Atkinson shares his working process, inspired by queer and black narratives, activating the collective memory to bring historical research into dialogue with contemporary reality.

To participate, please register with Sarah Menu, Head of Education of CRAC Alsace at  s.menu@cracalsace.com.