Ines Weizman (Leipzig, Germany, 1973)
lives and works in London, UK
A story that unfolded in the shadow of the Second World War is that of African American and Black French performer Joséphine Baker, who at times travelled alongside, in advance of, or behind Allied soldiers, alternately conducting acts of espionage and entertainment. Her perilous trajectory across the shifting borders of the war zones of North Africa and the Middle East is known only in broad terms. Evidence that could detail the series of places where she performed between 1941 and 1943 is almost completely lost.
This installation follows a few of the faint traces, speculations, rumours, and documents that indicate Baker’s presence in military camps, clubs, cabarets, casinos, theatres, and ‘gin joints’ across the region. Reconstructing the story of a few of the locations where Baker performed the exhibition aims to untangle a web of cross-border relations that have since become hardened by national boundaries, and of trajectories now severed.
With the additional support of
African Futures Institute