28 October–30 December, 2022


The Missed Seminar

After Eslanda Robeson. In Conversation with Steve McQueen’s “End Credits”

Venue: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

  • John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin


  • Doreen Mende
  • Lama El-Khatib
  • Avery F. Gordon
  • Aarti Sunder
  • Katharina Warda


A situated reading of transcontinental world-making practices that reveal and upset the continuities of the Cold War’s extreme binarism: an exhibition, conversations and an installation unfold a study towards a political imaginary today.

The Missed Seminar metabolizes archival material of the life, thought, writings and relationships of the Black feminist, anthropologist and African-American photographer Eslanda Robeson. Departing from her friendship with the German-Jewish Marxist philosopher Franz Loeser and their encounters in East Berlin in 1963, the curatorial study asks: What if their exchange had been the framework for a seminar to come? The exhibition and set of conversations unfold the unfinished political aspirations of Robeson and Loeser and suggest an intersectional imaginary of anti-fascism, Black feminism and technopolitics.

In conversation, artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen presents the completed version of End Credits (2012–2022). As a haunting monument to the threat of US anti-communism, the audiovisual installation gathers thousands of digitized files collected by the FBI during the Cold War in decades of surveillance of Eslanda Robeson and her husband, the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson. These entanglements sketch the vision of what decolonizing socialism could have been and what it can still become.

Conceptualized by Doreen Mende in conversation with Avery F. GordonLama El KhatibAarti Sunder and Katharina Warda

Part of The New Alphabet




  • Oct 28–31, Nov 17–21, Dec 21–30, 2022
    Installation End Credits, Steve McQueen
  • Oct 29 , 2022 at 7pm
    Pan-Africanism, Communism, Antifascism: A Radical Provocation with Charisse Burden-Stelly, Doreen Mende, Charlotte Misselwitz and Zoé Samudzi, moderated by Avery F. Gordon
  • Nov 19, 2022 at 5pm
    140,000,000 Women Can’t Be Wrong: Lecture by Barbara Ransby, conversation with Sagal Farah, Yulia Gradskova and Vanessa E. Thompson, moderated by Avery F. Gordon

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