This exhibition at the Museum of Work in Hamburg tackles a current and controversial topic. Its title, “Boundless – Colonialism, Industry and Resistance” highlights the close ties between Hamburg’s industry and European colonialism and the long-term consequences of colonial structures of rule. The exhibition takes a look at the entire history of German colonial and post-colonial structures, from its beginning around 1830 until today. The processing of raw materials is illustrated by four Hamburg factories. The show demonstrates how the products exhibited here and their consumption are connected to the working and living conditions in the countries supplying the raw materials. The visitors are greeted with a film installation created in collaboration with filmmaker Sonja Collison. The footage, in reference to the exhibition, spans a cinematic arc between the past and present of colonial history and today’s debate on racism. The appearance of the alley of raw materials following the film presentation is dedicated to museum depots: high shelves filled with both historical and current everyday products made from various colonial raw materials. Here, visitors learn how a hard rubber comb and a stearin candle from a manufacture in Barmbek are connected to the exploitation of people and natural resources in Congo or Samoa. They also see the faces of resistance to these colonial structures and their consequences. Printed on long pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling, the visitors are repeatedly confronted with silhouettes of anonymous and well-known resistance fighters, current black authors, scientists, and artists.
In addition to exhibition design and layout, gewerkdesign conceived the graphics accompanying the exhibition with illustrations by artist Diana Ejaita.
Portfolio / Range of Services
Exhibition design and planning, implementation planning, commissioning to subcontractors as a general contractor, concept development for the display, exhibition production, project management and consulting project development, exhibition graphics; graphics for key visual, flyer and poster