The Iwalewahouse is part of the University of Bayreuth and a place of production and presentation of discourse based, contemporary art.

Through exhi­bits, Univer­sity rese­arch and teaching, coll­ec­tions and archive, Artists/inside resi­dences and events, the latest deve­lo­p­ments in contem­po­rary art of Africa is presented and in coope­ra­tion with artists, cura­tors and insti­tu­tions actively further deve­loped. The main topic of the rese­arch are the areas of modern and contem­po­rary art, the popular culture and media, espe­ci­ally photo­graphy and film.

The Iwale­wahouse also offers regu­larly events like thematic lectures, confe­rences, concerts, movies and readings. The insti­tu­tion leads an artist/ resi­dence program and forms, as a meeting place of inter­na­tional artists and with exhi­bits a bridge to the Bayreuth public. The Iwale­wahouse also has in Germany this one of a kind coll­ec­tion of modern and contem­po­rary art from Africa, Asia and the Pacific area.

In November 2013 a move to a new resi­dence in the Wölfel­straße took place. The Iwale­wahouse is now a part of the Univer­sity Bayreuth and located in the middle of the city. The Iwale­wahouse was opened offi­ci­ally already on November 27.1981 to support the main topic of the Univer­sity Bayreuth, with the goal to bring non-Euro­pean art and culture to a wider audience.

Founder and director of the Iwale­wahouse was Ulli Beier from 1981 to 1985. When he left to go to Papua-Newguiny , Ronald Ruprecht, former director of the Goethe Insti­tute Nigeria, took over the manage­ment. From 1989 to 1996 the house was managed again by Ulli Beier. From January 1997 to September 2001, Till Förster became director of the Africa center. With the leaving of Förster to the Univer­sity in Basel, Tobias Wendl took over the manage­ment of the house. After his being called to the Univer­sity Berlin, the Iwale­wahouse is being managed since March 2010 by Ulf Vierke and Nadine Siegert.

Events and Acti­vi­ties with- and in the Iwalewahouse
Cinema Africa! A film festival in coope­ra­tion with the Cine­plex Cinema. The film festival CINEMA AFRICA was founded by Professor Ute Fendler and pres­ents contem­po­rary African film making every year since 2008. The film week, with the newest film produc­tions, sets the goal to give the Bayreuth public the chance to learn about the diver­sity of the conti­nent and its history. Many of the films were shown and awarded at inter­na­tional film festi­vals, some had their premiere in Germany.

The film week deli­bera­tely sets no main topic to show a wide selec­tion of themes and stories from diffe­rent regions of the conti­nent, with diffe­rent languages and cultures. Thereby, count­ries, which are never or rarely talked about in the German media, are put into focus. At the same time diffe­rent genres are repre­sented: drama, action, thriller and comedy. At the end of the film the director and scien­tists are available for discus­sion about film work and the selected themes. Parallel to the film festival, the program “Cinema and Beyond” takes place, with talks about film, lectures and work­shops with the director, as well as the inter­wea­ving with other art forms such as dance, music or photo­graphy and literature.

Festival 49 degree: Crossing Boundaries
The inter­ac­tion of music and art is in Africa and Europe for a while already part of a scene, which takes place between block parties, clubs and art galle­ries. Due to this, cultural, spatial and temporal boun­da­ries were over­come just as genre boun­da­ries. What existed sepa­rated for years, becomes even closer and leads to chal­len­ging symbioses. The Crossing Boun­da­ries festival, exis­ting since the middle of the 1990, regu­larly engages in work­shops, music events and concerts for a cultural exch­ange. In the last year, espe­ci­ally in Germany, rela­tively unknown cultural pheno­menon, such as the heavy metal scene of the African conti­nent, or the African and Diaspo­rean club scenes were introduced.

City tours
Since 2014 scien­tists of the IAS offer walks which will bring atten­tion to the historic and present global connec­tions of the city of Bayreuth. Grown from an initia­tive of the BIGSAS, the walk offers diverse change of perspec­tive. On the 90 minutes tour, with access for disabled persons, stories of Alzire at the court of Wilhel­mine von Bayreuth, historic tracks of words in public rooms, the deve­lo­p­ment of Euro­pean racism, which through persons like Cham­ber­lain connected it parti­cu­larly close with Bayreuth, are discussed. On the way parti­ci­pants encounter Richard Wagner, Houston Stewart Cham­ber­lain, Chris­toph Schlin­gen­sief, Ulli Beier and some more. All this takes place in conver­sa­tions. The conclu­sion is the visit of the exhi­bits in the Iwale­wahouse, from whose circle of friends the tours are coordinated.

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