In Germany it has degenerated into a cheap houseplant, a decorative disposable product - but the African violet actually comes from the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. Fascinated by this alienation, the director Franziska Angerer and a transnational team of artists and scientists follow the traces of the plant on her window sill and come across biopiracy and colonial structures in botany. A colonial official sent the plant to his father in Berlin in 1892. From there it ends up in the hands of a seed breeder, who ships the seeds to the USA.
The installation USAMBARAVEILCHEN works with the sounds of objects that the plant en- countered on its way through the world – seeds, drums, weapons. These sounds and voices communicate with each other in a space of sensory experience, and together reanimate lost perspectives of the plant.
Premiered November 4-6, 2021 at SPIELART Festival Munich
Idea and Artistic Director: Franziska Angerer with Claude Jansen (COME IN TENT)
Sound, Composition and Voice: Christine Boersch-Supan
Space: Valentina Pino Reyes
Outside Eye and Consulting German Colonial History: Aino Moongo (CIT)
Text: Franziska Angerer, Claude Jansen, Aino Moongo
Light: Michael Bischoff
Sound Recordings: Phillip Staffa