ATLANTIC EXCHANGE: Panel and Artist Talk


Panel & Artist Talk on the music of the Atlantic and the Black Atlantic

The syncopations of Brazilian bloco afro, the polyrhythmic percussion of Ghana, the radiant liveliness of Nigerian Afro-beat and the fast, complex improvisations of New York bebop connect listeners and players in a way that spans time, space and the Atlantic Ocean. Fed by the interaction between the continents of Africa, Europe and the Americas, the music of the Atlantic region in its diversity and global significance is always characterized by the shared experience of a common, often painful history.

In conversation with Mascha Salgado de Matos (Akademie der Bildenden Kunst München), cultural historian Rachel Gillett (Utrecht University) explores the role of sound in shaping the ideas of Paul Gilroy’s “Black Atlantic” as a historical space. How do creatives use music, art and narratives to make intellectual, political, anti-colonial and emancipatory demands? This question is complemented by the perspective of the musician and activist Kokonelle, her biographical experiences between the Congo and Germany, as well as her rap music as a form of activism on topics of empowerment and anti-racism.

The second part of the panel explores the diversity of Colombian music with its indigenous, African and Spanish elements with musicians Diana Sanmiguel and Giovanna Mogollón. At home in the melting pot of Bogotá, they have followed the “songs of the river and the sea” from the interior to the coast on research trips and trace traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms such as cumbia, clupa and mapalé as part of their music projects.


July 25 – Hall 1 – Raum für Kunst im Glaspalast – Admission 19:30 – Start 20:00

The event will be held partly in English. Admission is free. Seat reservations are recommended at


Rachel Anne Gillett is Assistant Professor of Cultural History at Utrecht University, where she teaches Modern Europe and Empire. Her research focuses on ethnicity in France, popular culture and the Black Atlantic. Gillett earned his doctorate at Northeastern
University Boston in world history and taught at Harvard University.

Mascha Salgado de Matos
is a research assistant at the Chair of Philosophy and Aesthetic Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. She is currently working on her dissertation project on the theme of the ocean as a motif, metaphor and figure of thought in Portuguese visual art from the Carnation Revolution (1974) to the present day.

is a singer, rapper and songwriter with Congolese roots (Kinshasa) and has been performing on stage since her youth. Her lyrics are in English, Lingala, French and German.




Diana Sanmiguel and Giovanna Mogollón are musicians of the groups La Sonora Mazuren and La Perla and are based in Bogotà, Colombia