Samstag 29te Januar 2022 – 17:00 Uhr


Can works of fiction precipitate restitution?

Can works of fiction precipitate restitution?
by SHIFT collective (FR/GER) and Down River Road (KE)
Saturday January 29th, 2022 – 5 pm EAT / 3 pm CET

Online Event - please register via e-mail to submissions@downriverroad.org

The last few years have seen seismic shifts in the thinking around the restitution of objects held in institutions of the North to African countries. Yet, few objects have actually physically moved. We ask ourselves if this inertia is due to more than just politics and economics. Perhaps it is due to a lack of imagination. How can stories about the fate and ghosts of return help us imagine a future of restitution? Reparation? Home?
How does the future look from a point of restitution? What do the objects find when returning home? What communities gather around them? What histories, narratives and new sociabilities do they trigger and provoke?
The event marks the launch of a new collaborative project by the SHIFT collective and Down River Road, one of the journals currently contributing to the vividness of the literary scene in Nairobi and beyond: an anthology of short stories by Kenyan writers imagining the return of cultural objects back to Kenya. The event will be centered around the reading of the first short story in the anthology, followed by a discussion on a future of restitution and the place of fiction in imagining alternative futures.

Down River Road is an online and print journal that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and ideas. "We are interested in the margins, in the shifting centres and the new spaces that exist in what we’ve come to call the alternative. We are curious about how we can all imagine and create this world, build this world, shape this small corner of the Internet into a place we can claim."
SHIFT (Sam Hopkins, Marian Nur Goni, Simon Rittmeier) is a transnational collective working on the intersection of art and research, particularly on issues related to African objects diaspora in the aftermath of colonialism and imperialism.