Film Session and Public Debate

Social Movements in Africa - Connecting Research and Activism

This film session looks at contemporary social movements and political activists in different African countries. It focuses on possibilities for action as well as on achievements and pitfalls of movements calling for political transition and social justice on the continent. Following different formats of documentary and cartoon films, a public debate will investigate the (potential) relationships between academic research and political activism. Which place does ‘activist research’ occupy within academia, and what, more specifically, determines scale and limits of collaboration of academia with the ‘outer world’? We will discuss these topics with Eric Wendpanga Segueda (University of Frankfurt), a researcher, political activist, and journalist from Burkina Faso, and Bettina Engels (Free University of Berlin), co-editor of the volume ‘Globale Krisen – Lokale Konflikte? Soziale Bewegungen in Afrika’ (Nomos, 2015).

In collaboration with GlobaLE

Time: Wednesday, 27 June 2018, 8 pm (doors open 7.45 pm)
Venue: Grassi Museum, Johannisplatz 5-11


Keynote lecture and conference reception at Grassi Museum

Photography by Volkmar Heinz

The conference reception and keynote lecture will take place at Grassi Museum in Leipzig. The museum is a remarkable building complex which is home to the Museum of Applied Arts, the Museum of Ethnology, and the Museum of Music Instruments. Due to its unique architecture with elements of Art Deco, its courtyards, and the park-like old Johannis cemetery, the museum is not only a cultural place but also a location of inspirational retreat.
The evening will start with addresses of welcome by Erich Schröger (Vice-Rector for Research and Young Academics of the University of Leipzig), Nanette Jacomijn Snoep (Director of Grassi Museum), Sven Trautmann (City of Leipzig, Office for International Affairs), Rose Marie Beck (Dean of the Faculty of History, Arts, and Oriental Studies), and Katja Werthmann (President of the African Studies Association in Germany, VAD).
Afterwards the keynote lecture will be given by Amanda Hammar from the Centre of African Studies of the University of Copenhagen.
Finally, the VAD Young Scholars’ Prize will reward the most outstanding contributions by young academics of the past year.

Time: Thursday, 28 June 2018, 7 pm (doors open 6.30 pm)
Venue: Grassi Museum, Johannisplatz 5-11


Conference dinner and Concert at Moritzbastei

Photo courtesy of Moritzbastei GmbH

The conference dinner will be held at Moritzbastei in Leipzig. Enjoy a rich dinner with colleagues, friends, and family in one of the most famous and extraordinary locations in town. Moritzbastei was built in the 16th century and is the last remaining part of the medieval town fortifications of Leipzig. The building is located in the heart of the city, right next to the renowned Gewandhaus and the University of Leipzig. In the 1970s, it was rebuilt under the supervision of the University as well as the help of 30,000 students – and converted into a student club. Today it is a café and a well-known cultural centre which – due to its seven impressive vaults and two courtyards – remains a popular meeting point of Leipzig’s locals and visitors.


Photo courtesy of Sam A. Jarju

After dinner, the band Reggaemanding will give a concert in one of the halls of Moritzbastei. The group was formed in 2000 in Saxony’s capital Dresden. As the name suggests, the band’s music reflects the musical and cultural origins of its members: a mix of ‘traditional’ West African Manding rhythms and reggae. The music invites for a dance just as much as joyful listening. But if you prefer a quiet chat with your colleagues, no worries – the evening at Moritzbastei will offer time and space for everybody’s taste.

Time: Friday, 29 June 2018, 7.30 pm (doors open 7 pm)
Venue: Moritzbastei, Universitätsstraße 9
Price: 20 € full fee / 10 € reduced fee (students, PhD students)

Please select the dinner option during registration on our website if you are interested to participate in the conference dinner. The final booking and payment will be made on-site.