AFRICANTERMINAL

AFRICAN

TERMINAL

In summer 2017, the African Teminal will take up quarters at the old Afrika Terminal (Hafencity, Baakenhöft).
A little more than one hundred years ago, troops of the German colonial empire were sent to Namibia, the former Deutsch Südwestafrika, from the Baakenhöft. By turning the former Afrika Terminal into an African Terminal, we set memory in motion in our daily practice.

Place

In summer 2017, the African Teminal will take up quarters at the old Afrika Terminal (Hafencity, Baakenhöft, one of the most sinister places linked to the history of German colonialism in Hamburg. From the beginning of the 20th century up until after the 2nd world war, the Baakenhafen was used as the mooring of the Woermann-Lines and the so called German Ostafrika Line. Adolph Woermann held a monopoly on military transports. From 1904 onwards, it was from Petersenkai at Baakenhöft that he shipped German soldiers to Namibia, the former German South-West Africa, who were responsible for the violent and bloody repression of the Nama and Herero uprising against the German colonial power. Today, historians call these events the first German genocide of the 20th century. Both in Hamburg and internationally, there is important debates about the official recognition of this genocide, related compensations and appropriate forms of remembrance.

Exactly at this place, where nothing reminds us of the shipping of troops and the consequences of German colonial politics or of the role that the Hamburg merchant Adolph Woermann took in the events, is where the African Terminal, as a postcolonial cooperative, is being set up. It re-appropriates structures of trade that have been shaped by colonialism. The African Terminal turns them around, as a practical argument about the specific history of this place, and as a way to remember the colonial violence of German colonialism.

At the moment, the African Terminal is a mobile installation that can also be set up at other places connected to the history of colonialism, especially in the framework of cultural events, festivals and exhibitions with a thematic link to our concerns. Please contact us if you are interested!