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Iwalewahaus celebrates 40 years and continues to invent its future

2021 is a year of celebration: 40 years ago, in 1981, Iwalewahaus was founded as a space for the production and discussion of contemporary and modern art from Africa and beyond. From the beginning, the idea was to create a space for thinking, creating, experimenting and learning together, regardless of where artists, researchers and writers came from. These ideas were radical in the 1980s, in a city deeply rooted in post-war German discourse and especially in the cultural self-image of the then Federal Republic. What the couple Ulli and Georgina Beier opened in 1981 as the "Iwalewa Haus" was a space where the segregation of the senses did not apply: here visual art, music, food and exhibition-making came together, and the idea of the museum was radically questioned. Not through extensive discourse, but by operating a kind of "non-museum", a dynamic, ever-changing space.