Talking Objects

Curational Team

An international team of curators is responsible for the curatorial concepts of the planned events and exhibitions in Germany and on the African continent. The overall concept was developed by Isabel Raabe and Mahret Ifeoma Kupka.

© Marina Ackar

Mahret Ifeoma Kupka

Concept & Curator

Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is an art scholar, freelance writer and, since 2013, Curator of Fashion, Body and Performance at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. In her exhibitions, lectures, texts, and interdisciplinary projects, she addresses the issues of the future, memory culture, representation, and the decolonization of art and cultural practices in Europe and on the African continent. She is a member of the advisory board of the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V. and spokesperson for the Neue Deutsche Museumsmacher*innen. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka is part of the curatorial team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© Andreas Roth

Isabel Raabe

Concept & Curator

Isabel Raabe is a curator and cultural producer based in Berlin. She studied contemporary dance and cultural management and curated numerous interdisciplinary international art and cultural projects. She is interested in decolonial curatorial and artistic strategies that deconstruct Western perspectives and traditions of thought. In 2015 she initiated RomArchive – Digital Archive of the Roma, which won several prizes and led to her book “Widerstand durch Kunst – Sinti und Roma und ihr kulturelles Schaffen”, Resistance through art (Raabe/Rose/Pankok, Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin, 2022). Isabel initiated the project TALKING OBJECTS which consists of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB and the TALKING OBJECTS ARCHIVE, a digital archive for decolonial knowledge production which is supposed to be launched in 2024.

© Njoki Ngumi

Dr. Njoki Ngumi


Dr. Njoki Ngumi is an author and feminist thinker based in Nairobi. She has worked in the private and public health sectors in Kenya and is now a member of The Nest Collective, as well as the Learning and Development Coordinator for HEVA – Africa's first business fund for creative industries. She is particularly interested in working with youth, women and minorities, public education and socio-economic equality. With The Nest Collective, she was most recently involved in the International Inventories Program. Njoki Ngumi is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

Chao Tayiana


Chao Tayiana's work focuses on the application of digital technology to the preservation and dissemination of African cultural heritage. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage (Nairobi) and co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa initiative, as well as the Museum of British Colonialism. Chao Tayiana holds an MSc in International Heritage Visualization from the University of Glasgow/School of Art and worked for the Science Museum Group as a software developer for digital museum exhibits. She was awarded the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for Women in Technology. Chao Tayiana is part of the curatorial team of the TALKING OBJECTS LAB.

© El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is a researcher at Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire (IFAN), University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar and curator of the Théodore Monod Museum, as well as Secretary General of ICOM, Senegal. He was part of the directorial team of Dak'art 2018 and curator of Dak'art 2020. As a theorist and curator, his work focuses on contemporary art, African cultural heritage, global history, and African museum institutions; he teaches art history and African cultural heritage. Ndiaye holds a PhD in art history from Université Rennes II and is a graduate of the National Institute of Heritage in Paris and the National Institute of Art History, Paris. El Hadji Malick Ndiaye is part of the Curatorial Team of TALKING OBJECTS LAB.


Celina Baljeet Basra

Celina Baljeet Basra is a curator, writer, and cultural worker based in Berlin. She has been Curator of the Berlin art space Galerie im Turm, Assistant Curator at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, and has worked in the catalogue and mediation team of the 10th Berlin Biennale, amongst others. She graduated in Art History in a Global Context and contributed to a research project on the Interrelated Dynamics of Display and Situation within Aesthetic Reflection (Free University Berlin). Celina is part of the curatorial collective The Department of Love. Her first novel will be published in Novembver 2023.

Jessiah Muriel

Trained as a stage artist, Jessiah grew up in Paris, where she studied the performing arts (dance, music and theater) at the Conservatoire. At the same time, she studied literature and languages. Having settled in Dakar several years ago, she quickly developed an interest in the visual arts and culture. Joining different teams at various galleries and cultural programs such as Raw Material Company, Le Partcours and Selebe Yoon, she has been developing her experience in this field for over seven years. The 2018 Dakar Biennale (le Off) enabled her to propose her 1st project as an independent curator and artist, entitled Danse ta vie. That same year, she was credited as an author by signing her first interview for the art magazine IAM (Intense Art Magazine). Jessiah currently works on various independent projects and exhibitions such as the Kimpa Vita Festival and Talking Object Lab. At the same time, she is developing a number of personal projects based on her preferred fields: dance, women, spirituality...

Jeanne Mizero Nzakizabandi

Jeanne Mizero Nzakizabandi is a curator, educator and writer. She lives in the Rhein Main area where she studied Political Science and Philosophy (B.A.) as well as Curatorial Studies (M.A.). With this background, she strives for a transdisciplinary practice, which not least includes issues around community care. Jeanne's interests include post- and decolonial theories, Black German history, and Black feminist theorizing particularly in relation to body politics. In the past, she has worked for the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, and the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, among others

© Melih Demirkol

Jasmin Anna Awale

Jasmin Anna Awale is a master student of Art History in a Global Context with a focus on Africa at the FU Berlin. She participated in a tandem exchange organised by kulturweit and the German UNESCO Commission. The exchange focused on the histories of colonialism and the perspectives of our postcolonial present, and within the exchange a podcast was created that discusses the topic of restitution. In the past, Jasmin has researched and analysed different perspectives on sculptures of women bodies in terms of viewers' reactions. She is currently looking for new research interests.