Lecture Uferstudios
SODA Lectures

Dr. Natasha A. Kelly

Milli’s Awakening. Black Women, Art and Resistance

Film-making is also about decision-making: about representation and depiction, about making-sense and deconstructing non-sense; about raising one’s own voice and giving voice to others. It unfolds between selected images and hidden protocols and reflects the structures – social, political, historical and cultural – which shape our understanding of how we (film-makers) arrive at our choices. Before screening my film “Milli’s Awakening”, which portraits the lives of eight Black German female artists, I will explain what types of factors influenced my decision-making throughout the film production process, how I arrived at my choices and which elements and conditions I responded to and how. The lecture is embedded in a wider project of ‘unthinking modernity’ in relation to body politics. As bell hooks explains, the Black female body has always been a “discourse terrain” – a multidimensional research object, a medium of imagination and a place for attempts at social order and, last but not least, political conflicts. How can we decolonize our bodies in this respect and by doing so deconstruct structural violence in present and future decision-making processes?

Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, she considers herself to be an “academic activist”, two important features that can be seen individually, but never separately from each other. Rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage, her political and academic works relate to the past, present, and future of the African Diaspora in Germany. This is also the focus of her numerous art installations that have been shown in museums throughout the country.  Since 2015 Natasha’s annual performance “M(a)y Sister”, which is dedicated to the Afro-German poetess and activist May Ayim, has been staged at the HAU Theatre in Berlin. Her first documentary film “Milli’s Awakening” was screened at the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art from June to September 2018 and is the winner of the Black Laurel Film Award 2018. For more information see:

Curated by Prof. Sandra Noeth (MA SODA) 

The lecture series takes place in english, it is organized by the MA-program SODA (Solo/Dance/Authorship) at the Inter-University-Center for Dance Berlin (HZT); it is free of charge and open for all interested. 

Event location: Uferstudios | Studio 11 | Uferstr. 23 | 13357Berlin