SKU: V4971
über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times is an illustration-rich investigation into writers, visual artists, theatre practitioners, musicians, filmmakers, choreographers and photographers from sub-Saharan countries and their German counterparts.

“Do I really want to be a voice to others? Maybe not. I wish it was possible not to be a voice for others. I am not proud of the situation, because it is forced upon me by a context. I wish it was just possible for me to talk about flowers. When will we be in a position to talk about all this beauty that is here? When will I be able to talk about the beauty without having to feel guilty about all these other things? I hate this thing...
It’s too much. One of the dramas of my generation is that we haven’t really learnt to be individuals. We are always part of a mass. We are always statistics.”
– Faustin Linyekula

The title of this book, über(W)unden, has a double meaning in German. As a noun, über Wunden means “about wounds”, whereas, as a verb, überwunden translates as “to overcome” or “to heal”. Artistic work dealing with traumatic experiences may produce both these effects: they may directly engage with the wounds of conflict and trauma, but they may also underline societal changes and upheavals as catalysts for new beginnings.

über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times is a wide-ranging and illustration-rich investigation into how writers, visual artists, theatre practitioners, musicians, filmmakers, choreographers and photographers from various sub-Saharan countries, including Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of  Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe, as well as their counterparts in Germany, have creatively engaged with social traumas. How does social trauma impact on the making of works by artists? What role do artists play during times of crisis and social change? What aesthetic vocabularies do artists develop to engage with social traumas? And, in societies recovering from war, mass killings, xenophobia or racism, can the arts play a healing role? This volume presents a range of responses that intellectually and imaginatively engage these pressing issues.

Although largely historical in nature, the line of enquiry in this book is particularly relevant to the turbulent times of the present.

über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times immerses the reader in an urgent dialogue around culture and conflict.


Aboudia, Diane Awerbuck, Sammy Baloji, Vincenzo Cavallo, Center for Historical Reenactments, Kudzanai Chiurai, Jens Dietrich, Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom, Stacy Hardy, Sam Hopkins, Malte Jaguttis, Emmanuel Jal, Rumbi Katedza, William Kentridge, Antjie Krog, Faustin Linyekula, Kathleen MacQueen, Zanele Muholi, Djo Tunda wa Munga, Hans Narva, Warren Nebe, Théogène Niwenshuti, Marcel Odenbach, João Orecchia, Sello Pesa, Jo Ractliffe, Dierk Schmidt, Véronique Tadjo, Marcel van Heerden.

About the Editors and Designer
Lien Heidenreich-Seleme
is head of cultural programmes sub-Saharan Africa at the Goethe-Institut South Africa. She studied Languages and International Law at the Freie Universität in Berlin and joined the Goethe-Institut in 2004. She was the director of the Goethe-Institut in Afghanistan before coming to Johannesburg in 2008 to support the opening of new institutes and offices of the Goethe-Institut in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, she organised the regional project über(W)unden: Art in Troubled Times as part of the Goethe-Institut’s focus theme “culture and conflict”.

Sean O’Toole is a journalist, art critic, editor and writer based in Cape Town. A regular contributor to the Sunday Times and Mail & Guardian, he writes a bi-monthly column for frieze magazine (London). Co-editor of CityScapes, a magazine for urban enquiry, he is a past editor of Art South Africa magazine (2004-10). He is author of The Marquis of Mooikloof and Other Stories, which included a work awarded the 2006 HSBC/SA PEN Literary Award.

Gabrielle Guy
is a graphic designer based in Cape Town. She has designed numerous monographs and photobooks, notably for Guy Tillim, Claudette Schreuders, Steven Cohen, Youssef Nabil, Anton Kannemeyer, Jo Ractliffe and Zanele Muholi – the latter two receiving Photobook Award 2011 nominations. She has also collaborated on projects with photographer Stan Engelbrecht, designing Das is(s)t Deutschland (2008) and Bicycle Portraits (2012). She is a former art director of Art South Africa magazine.Published by Jacana Media in association with Goethe-Institut South Africa

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Parameters of Book: Book
Sub-title: Art in Troubled Times
Author: Edited by Lien Heidenriech-Seleme and Sean O’Toole
ISBN: 9781431404971
d-PDF ISBN: 9781431404988
ePUB ISBN: 9781431407286
mobi file ISBN: 9781431407293
Size (mm): 245x190mm
Pages: 272pp
format: Hardcover
Colour: Full Colour
Rights: World
Language: English
Publication Date: 2012-09-13