Black Before Europe - A Colonial Reckoning

Jeannette Ehlers is a Copenhagen-based artist of Danish and Trinidadian descent whose practice takes shape experimentally across photography, video, installation, sculpture, and performance. The program includes a screening of Maya Albana's film featuring the artist, A BLACK CHAPTER [2018], and Ehlers in conversation about her work as it relates to the global moment.

Ehlers’ work often makes use of self-representation and image manipulation to bring about decolonial hauntings and disruptions. These manifestations attend to the material and affective afterlives of Denmark’s colonial impact in the Caribbean and participation in the Transatlantic Slave Trade—realities that have all too often been rendered forgettable by dominant history-writing.

In the words of author Lesley-Ann Brown, “Ehlers reminds all who participate in or gaze at her work that history is not in the past.” Ehlers insists on the possibility for empowerment and healing in her art, honoring legacies of resistance in the African diaspora. She merges the historical, the collective and the rebellious with the familial, the bodily and the poetic.

On 31 March 2018 she unveiled I Am Queen Mary, a public sculpture project in collaboration with La Vaughn Belle.

Selected Exhibitions : Canton Gallery, Guangzhou, CN* Frost Art Museum, Miami, US* CAMP, Copenhagen, DK* Chez Eva@Galleri Futura, Stockholm, SE * Wallach Art Gallery, NYC,USA * AROS, Aarhus, DK * MOLAA, Los Angeles, US* The Black Diamond, Copenhagen, DK* International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK* 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, Kentucky, US * Reykjavik Art Museum, IS* The McKenna Museum of African American Art, New Orleans, US* Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, London,UK * UVP on Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, US* Brundyn+ gallery, Cape Town SA* Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen,DK* LMAKprojects, NYC,US* Dak’Art, Dakar, SN* Pérez Art Museum Miami, USA* Parisian Laundry, Montreal, CA* Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin, D* Museo Del Barrio, New York, US *

Date & Time: March 16 • 7:00PM
Location: Red Bay Coffee

Nation: Denmark/Trinidad
Language: English/Danish
Genre: Documentary
Director: Maya Albana
Length: 60’
Year: 2018

Contact: admin@matatu.co

Jeannette Ehlers leads this program which includes a screening of the feature film, as well as works she directed.


Maya Albana is a Danish singer, author, and instructor. She is best for directing Angels in Fast Motion (2005), The Bench (2000) and Kessler (2007).