Welcome to the former West

Mental maps and decolonial perspectives on the here and now

Theory / Discourse / Workshop
Graz / Arrival Zone

The herbst conference investigates Europe’s current state from a postcolonial and decolonial perspective. What ways are there to talk about Europe? Who should we listen to and which utopias are still (or perhaps again) conceivable today?


Arrival Zone

herbst Academy 2016

Garden State

Body Luggage

Chinafrika. Under Construction


Sat 08/10, 10.00 – 19.00 &
Sun 09/10, 10.00 – 14.00


Admission free


English language


With Annette Bhagwati (DE), Jochen Becker (DE), Zasha Colah (DE/IN), Roberto Dainotto (US/IT), Linessa Dan Lin (CN), Abdul Dube (DK/ZA), Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu (DE/TR), Nezaket Ekici (DE/TR), Juliane Jaschnow (DE), Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur (AT/US/FI/GH), Daniel Kötter (DE), Marissa Lobo (AT/BR), Tracey Moffatt (AU), Yvette Mutumba (DE), María do Mar Castro Varela (DE/ES), Alya Sebti (DE/MA) Slavs and Tatars, Armin Thurnher (AT), Rolando Vazquez (NL/MX), Mi You (DE/CN)


Is Europe obsolete? What remains of the small utopian region which, only 20 years ago, was the focus of hopes for a peaceful and pluralistic 21st century? There is every indication that the “old world”, reinvented as European Union, is a profoundly vulnerable and crumbling structure. Philosopher Giorgio Agamben even sees the “recapitulation of each and every historical possibility of the West” on the line.

The 2016 herbst conference deals with the utopias and realities of a Europe marked by disagreement in the light of recent crises, proliferating nationalism and eroding democracies. Based on specific examples, lectures, discussions, lecture-performances and work groups set out to examine the repercussions caused by colonialist patterns of thought and hegemony along with alternative ways of thinking and formats beyond the Western canon. How can we talk about Europe without falling back on dominant categorisations rooted in Eurocentrism and Western capitalism?

In the “Garden State” created by artist collective Mamaza international guests from the fields of art, theory and science join students and the interested public to discuss identities and belongings, decolonial strategies, post-otherness and critical whiteness, changing geographies and economic areas as well as the everyday practices of a different Europe that deserves our protection.