Carsten Saeger

Rehearsal for Lumumba

2018 – 2020

Various media

The series Rehearsal for Lumumba is concerned with processes of change in collective memory images. The format of the rehearsal is the focus of the artistic practice. In the mode of repetition, historical places and sources are intervened with new narrative layers both artistically and curatorially. In performances, installations and discussions, past events are made tangible and reassessed together with the participants. Within these temporary production sites, the presence of the body and its individual patterns of translation of memory will be examined. The starting point for the series is the reception history of the figure Patrice Lumumba in Leipzig. Lumumba was the first Congolese Prime Minister after the country gained independence in 1960. After only a few months in office he was deposed and murdered. Lumumba became a symbolic figure of the independence movement of African countries and in socialist states like the GDR he was stylized as a fighter against imperialism. In Leipzig, a street was named after Lumumba in 1961, the year he was murdered, and a monument was erected in honour of him. This was desecrated in 1997 and renewed in 2011 on private initiative.