24.04. 17:00 Uhr Oper oder Operation?

Aino Laberenz, Zonatan Dembele
Moderation: Moritz Lobeck, Saskia Ottis
Language: English

“The disappointment will only be when a Wagnerian actually drives off and thinks he’s listening to Götterdämmerung and is then disappointed. But disappointing them isn’t bad at all.” CS

Opera Village Africa is an international art project that has been underway in Burkina Faso since 2009 and is the brainchild of German artist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010). It was his last artistic work and connected with the desire to create a place of international encounters. Not in the Wagnerian, but in the Beysian sense, “art” and “opera” are conceived here as extended concepts of art. Since 2009, this platform for intercultural exchange programs and relevant postcolonial discourses has manifested itself, embedded in the everyday reality of a nascent village that now comprises 23 buildings. An annual artist-in-residence program invites African and non-African artists of various disciplines to use the Opera Village Africa as a living and working space for up to three months. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the opera village, Aino Laberenz, who oversees the project as managing director, and the resident artist Zonathan Dembele provide insights into the development processes and current working methods on site.

Films to the lecture

Aino Laberenz is managing partner of Festspielhaus Afrika gemeinnützige GmbH and stage and costume designer. Since 2004 she was part of Christoph Schlingensiefs team and since 2010 she continues the project Operndorf Afrika initiated by him. In 2011, her design of the German Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia was awarded the Golden Lion. Laberenz is the editor of Christoph Schlingensief’s biography “Ich weiß, ich war’s,” published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch in fall 2012, as well as the volume of conversations “Kein falsches Wort Jetzt,” published in 2020.



Zonatan Dembele is a bassist, guitarist, singer and musical arranger. Dembele began his musical education at the age of nine accompanying church choirs. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Languages in Bamako in 2010, he immediately began studying music at the Bamako Conservatory. Today, he is one of the most successful musicians in Bamako, playing with Rokia Traoré and Ben Zabo, among others, as well as enjoying international success as a member of the Balla Fasséké Kouyaté Conservatory International Band and the Kabunga Quintet, and touring in the U.S. and throughout Europe.