Amelia Umuhire at Gemeinde Köln / Cologne


Amelia Umuhire

4 September – 4 October 2020

Ebertplatzpassage 7
50668 Cologne, Germany 

Amelia Umuhire’s exhibition KANA is an opportunity to make sense of the nonsense that regularly—and sometimes violently—pushes life. The filmmaker explores the relationships between personal narratives, national politics, and contemporary Internet culture in a pan-African context as ways to carve out new inroads to self-actualization and freedom.

The show includes four time-based works—a commercially commissioned music video, three episodes of a web series, an experimental sound video, and a short film. In these, Umuhire pulls figures forward to create characters who are telling their own stories.

Final Hour
2018, 4:10 min.
Commissioned for use as a performance backdrop on the twentieth-anniversary tour of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is set in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Umuhire’s video incorporates street scenes filmed by Mugabo Baritegera, animations by Frederic Marshall, and archival footage, referencing turning points in the political history of independent Congo.

2015, Web series, 3 episodes, DE/UK
Ep 1: The Bewerbungsgespräch, 5:08 min.
Ep 2: Le Mal du Pays, 10:37 min.
Ep 3: My Own, 15:38 min.
Polyglot follows Babiche Papaya, a rapper and poet played by Umuhire’s sister, Amanda Mukasonga. Babiche is depicted as a real, 3-dimensional character who gets on with her life in Berlin. Speaking different languages, creating new worlds, the protagonist shares her frustrations, homesickness, and little victories.

2020, 04:36 min.
Kana is an experimental sound and video collage about past and future life on Mars. In this short sound-video essay, scientific findings—which have been used throughout history to serve subjugating narratives—are reconsidered in terms of emotionally true, vernacular realities.

2016, 6:32 min., RW
The short film follows an Afro-European young woman returning to Rwanda for the first time after leaving the country in 1994 due to the Tutsi genocide.

AMELIA UMUHIRE (*1991) is a Rwandese-German filmmaker and video artist based in Berlin. Her work has been presented at the 10th Berlin Biennale, MOCA Los Angeles, MCA Chicago, Tribeca Film Festival, Smithsonian African American Film Festival, and at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. She is completing her first feature film as a laureate of the Villa Romana Prize in Florence, Italy.

Curated by Agustina Andreoletti

Gemeinde Köln is a project space for a pluralistic and inclusive program that focuses on collaborative approaches to cultural production, both within and outside its locality. We work with the local community and regional groups to implement specific projects in partnership with artists and to build long-term relationships. We try to provide a space for people from different backgrounds, abilities and all ages.