StArt Art Gallery presents – Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak?

by | Nov 3, 2020 | Blog post

StArt Art Gallery is pleased to share Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? This exhibition is a culmination of a project run by From Where Do We Speak? (FWDWS). Over the course of 2020, FWDWS facilitated artist-run workshops in three regions of Namibia, using art as a tool to explore the complex colonial history of Namibia with youth and other relevant groups. 

The workshop participants’ artworks and poems will be showcased at the exhibition, alongside artworks by the artist-facilitators of FWDWS. The exhibition will be held at the Frans Nambinga Arts Training Centre in Havana, Windhoek, from November 6 – 25, 2020.

Ovizire · Somgu: From Where Do We Speak? is an ongoing art and history project that emerged out of a creative collaboration between artists and historians in Namibia and Germany in 2018 and 2019. The project is centered on a colonial photographic archive housed at the Museum am Rothenbaum (MARKK) in Hamburg, which was produced and collected by German scientists, settlers, merchants and military personnel during the colonial period in Namibia (1884-1915). As a result of this collaboration, artworks focusing on the complexities of German and Namibian entangled histories were created, and have been featured in three subsequent exhibitions in Hamburg, Germany and Windhoek, Namibia; creating a space for solidarity, healing and resistance, and a space for reclaiming the past through research and interdisciplinary artistic practices. Drawing from its title ‘Ovizire’, a word from the Otjiherero language, and ‘Somgu’ in Khoekhoegowab, which in everyday use can be translated to mean ‘shadow’ or ‘aura’, this cross-disciplinary project responds to the photographic archive and its implicit legacy by proposing a critical reading, and interrogates colonial representations, the colonial gaze, legacies of power and the uneven remembrance of the Herero and Nama genocide (1904-1908); aspects which continue to cast a shadow over counter-histories and diverse voices.

Programming for the exhibition include two walk abouts in the exhibition space on November 6th and 13th. There will also be a virtual artist talk, Q&A session and online exhibition launch via Zoom on November 19th. RSVP to all of the above is essential in order to adhere to covid-19 related regulations. Please RSVP here: