The Economy of Presence

Performance / Clišhé Träsh Warm-up 

By Masimba Hwati & Mihret Kebede
- curated by Negin Rezaie

31.05.2023, Einlass 19:30, Beginn 20:00
Kulturhaus Brotfabrik, Absberggasse 27/3-EG, Wien

Eintritt: Pay as you can!* € 5, € 10 oder € 15


"The Economy of Presence" explores forms of resistance and irony against stereotypes and clichés. Artists Masimba Hwati, Mihret Kebede, Princess Esohe and Whitney Akpetsi create an installation of sound and silence, of language and muteness, and invite the audience to interact with their installation. These interactions will be integrated into the poetic soundscape created by the performers.

This event is a warm-up event for the CLIŠHÉ TRÄSH Festival taking place on October 6 and 7 at Brotfabrik Vienna. The events are each curated by a forum member and deal with clichés and stereotypes in a humorous and ironic way. Our goal is to uncover the structures behind them and, at best, destroy them.

Concept & Artists

Concept by Masimba Hwati & Mihret Kebede

The act of reading a foreign language out loud to an audience who can not understand it might sound ridiculous but is a form of refusal and resistance. Further exotifying a foreign language or presence is a stereotype /cliche that needs to be troubled with such artistic mediation. This performative intervention reclaims a space where knowledge is often circulated with advanced languages and texts that often utilize technological advancements to disseminate certain ideologies and world views. In this case, a cliche can be a sword of resistance for others in a process of self-care. In the process of a desired political change, every revolution starts in/with/around/above and below silence. ''Silence is not a void space’’ rather has an agency that enables communication. In this intervention what is about to happen has already happened. Refusal is self-preservation, economizing one’s sound and word can be a product of fear but can also produce fear. The theme is complex, and it is not a matter of either/or, neither/nor, but rather a specific position of refusal, a refusal to be read, to be intelligible to be, categorized. This performance aims to invite and inspire the audience to think of silence as an alternative form of resistance. Silence is not an absence of speech act, it is a presence and authenticity. The perpetual stereotype and cliche are that oppressed people will be angry and will speak out, this cliche trap of words and strategy. Zora Neal Hurston once said "The white man is always trying to get into somebody else's business. All right, I'll set something outside the door of my mind for him to play with and handle. He can read my writing but he sho' can't read my mind. I'll put this play toy in his hand, and he will seize it and go away. Then I'll say my say and sing my song."

Masimba Hwati was born in Harare, two years following the second chimurenga against the British crown. Talk about sonic envelopes, In that year Juluka released ‘Scatterlings of Africa’ a hit song inspiring phantasms of exotic gaze(s) against a backdrop of a brutal Apartheid system in South Africa. In this year also, Toto released the song Africa. This is also the year Michael Jackson released the song Human nature and Bhundu boys released the single Uneshuwa here? Later that year going into the next, The new Zimbabwean Government unleashed ‘Gukurahundi’ The ethnic cleansing genocide on the southern part of the country. Masimba’s work is preoccupied with sound, listening, micro-politics, resistance and negotiation. He’s created projects in Harare, Detroit, Johannesburg, Capetown, Blackburn, UK,Vienna,Weimar, South Carolina, Leeds UK and Nova Scotia.
More information: @masimbahwati

Mihret Kebede is a multi-disciplinary artist and poet, a co-founder of Tobiya poetic Jazz, Netsa Art village artists collective, and Addis video art festival. She graduated from Addis Ababa University School of Fine Arts and Design in painting with distinction in 2007 and has earned her MA in arts from the same school in 2016. She has received a certificate award of recognition in 2013 from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ethiopia. Mihret has participated in several local and international art exhibitions, workshops, poetry performances, art residencies, and collaborative art projects. Beyond her artistic practices, she is known for organizing local and international art events and festivals. Her poems and essays are included in the Wax and Gold: Poetry Jazz book Published by Institut für Raumexperimente/Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin and Tobiya Poetic Jazz, Addis Ababa. Her poems are featured in several publications including Washington square review Journal and the first-ever anthology of Ethiopian Amharic poetry in English, Songs We Learn from Trees ,Carcanet Press. Mihret is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Academy of fine arts Vienna (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien).
More information:

This performance will be musically accompanied by Whitney Akpetsi & Princess ESOHE.

*Pay as you can!

Our price system: You decide what you can pay.
You can choose between: € 5, € 10 and € 15.
We want to offer you a fair and transparent price model, the price does not represent the value of the production, but is based on your financial possibilities. What is expensive for some, can be easily affordable for others. We invite you to decide for yourselves what contribution you are willing and able to make. Here you have the possibility to support easily and unbureaucratically with a higher solidarity contribution those for whom a performance visit is a real extra effort and perhaps would not be possible without the optional price system.
The entrance fees benefit the artists, who are paid according to the Fair Pay Scheme.

Cash only payment at this event! Limited number of seats. Admission: 7.30 pm, start 8 pm