Luglio 5, 2022

Intersectional empowerment in Berlin


xart splitta is a non-profit association based in Berlin since 2012. The primary foci of xart splitta’s work are intersectionality, antidiscrimination, (postcolonial) memory, decoloniality, empowerment and (historical) political education. Therefore a wide variety of formats ranging from workshops and consultations, public discussions, conferences, symposia to art and cultural events is used. The connection of theory and praxis plays a central role in the development of the yearly programme. xart splitta’s work is driven by a vision that seeks to radically change existing societal and political realities towards a diverse and inclusive society. Which is why the analysis of discriminatory structures and systems of oppression within society and on the engagement with and (further) development of possible strategies and interventions against these structures is a fundamental part of xart splitta’s work. Intersectionality and Black Feminist Thought guide the analysis, vision building and interactions with heterogeneous communities. Inspirational to xart splitta’s work are the relentless efforts of various basic political movements and organisations that in Germany and beyond, are and have been active against interwoven violent structures and oppressive mechanisms. In this way, xart splitta specifically locates itself within community movements of the present and the past and wants to re-centre and reinforce these connections continuously. These connections are furthermore the source of strength, guidance and orientation, without which organisations like xart splitta would not be possible.


Transforming society requires that our communities are empowered and have the opportunity to get together. That is why at xart splitta we create various events and formats addressing cross-community solidarities and focus on the promotion and support of empowerment processes of both individuals and groups.


Within this goal xart splitta currently has two main projects: #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken, in English: Thinking Communities in Solidarity, and The Living Archives.


Our vision of re-centring BIPoC communities, here especially with their (production of) knowledge, which is not practiced in the dominant society, is focused on in our project The Living Archives.

The Living Archives is an online platform, which is used to document, archive and pass on knowledge and content, that is generated within BIPoC communities. This platform can also be used as a learning portal by these communities, as knowledge can be shared, complemented and engaged with. The project works against the violence of an eurocentric knowledge epistem that systematically negates and excludes the knowledge of BIPoC, their histories, achievements and struggles. Knowledge from BIPoCs was and is systematically disqualified and erased because it does not function according to the criteria and the truths that have been considered scientific in white, bourgeois society since the Enlightenment. In reference to Patricia Hill Collins xart splitta understands The Living Archives therefore as a “Resistant Knowledge Project” that centres, honours and focuses knowledge from BIPoC communities. As well as empowering BIPoC to centre, research and explore their own knowledge and these of their communities in a self-determined way that promotes self-confidence, identity and belonging. The recollection of resistant histories and people thus becomes a way of resistant knowledge production and an instrument of resistance that sets in motion processes of empowerment und community building.


Archiving and documentation are understood in this context as decolonial acts. Nevertheless, it is important to critically situate the practices of archiving. Consequently, they are redefined in terms of their colonial, racist and heteronormative context of origin and used as a medium of “counter-narration”. Therefore a participatory and collective process is central, which is why the homepage remains a constant work-in-progress.


In #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken – Thinking Communities in Solidarity xart splitta’s main interest is to center the question of how we can act as communities in solidarity. Intersectionally marginalised communities should be given the opportunity to create, explore and share knowledge in a safer space together. The project creates spaces for BIPoC communities of learning and unlearning from and with each other, since that is a key aspect of community building and therefore essential for this process. Mechanisms of divide and rule were and are a major tool to crush solidarity and resistance of oppressed people. Therefore, the project wants to challenge this mechanism collectively and across communities. With this project xart splitta has the vision and aspiration that differently marginalised communities acknowledge their differences and specific experiences. Subsequent to this, in order to strengthen cross-community alliances, these differences need to be understood as a source of empowerment and a moment of possible connection. The overall goal here is to  support and create policies of alliances, that work in a multilayered and multidimensional way, emphasising and considering gaps, invisibilities and erasures.


The analysis and exchange about historical interconnections is central here and should enable joint actions in solidarity and on a transnational basis.


Since the above-mentioned structures of a colonial, racist and heteronormative eurocentric knowledge regime prevents the knowledge from being shared, passed on and sustained. Thus the processes and results of the project #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken – Thinking Communities in Solidarity will also be documented and published within the frame of The Living Archives.


However, the dependence on annual funds limits the implementation of xart splitta’s goals,  requires constant compromise and prevents it from reaching its full potential. Not only regarding wishes, visions or ideas but also regarding more practical necessities such as accessibility. Far too often, savings are made on matters of accessibility and safety.
In addition to a reduction of physical and digital barriers, we generally work with communities who have been traumatised and oppressed for hundreds of years with the effects of this history of violence being passed on transgenerationally. Therefore, these communities need more recovery because they are more exhausted. It is still difficult to make people understand that racism has to be recognised as intergenerational trauma and demands justice accordingly. That is why we would like to see the importance of our work reflected in independent and long-term funding, which would enable our team to work in an intersectional and trauma-sensitive way and blossom to the spaces full potential.


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About splitta splitta

splitta splitta

xart splitta is a non-profit association based in Berlin since 2012.

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