Dr. Sarah Hegenbart

Alfried Krupp Junior Fellow
(January 2021 - September 2021) 

  • Master of Studies in Ancient Philosophy (University of Oxford); Studied philosophy and art history at the Humboldt University of Berlin and social and economic communication at the University of the Arts Berlin (double degree)
  • Doctorate at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London on the topic "From Bayreuth to Burkina Faso: Christoph Schlingensief's Opera Village Africa as postcolonial Gesamtkunstwerk?"
  • Research assistant at the Chair for Theory and History of Architecture, Art and Design at the Technical University of Munich

Fellow project: "Diagnosing post-truth politics: Dialogical art and black aesthetics“

The belief that the societal symptom of 'post-truth politics' might be an indicator of a failure to engage with a multiplicity of perspectives (especially those emerging from the Global South), which challenge the predominant narrative of Western superiority, motivates this research. My project will analyse a variety of artistic positions from the Black diaspora against the backdrop of their potential to force a mode of resistance against essentialist thinking in an era that has been labeled as "post-truth" or “post-democracy”. There is reason to suspect that this era is characterised by an unwillingness to engage with the co-existence of multiple conceptions of truth, which might explicate why those facts conceived as challenges to Western supremacy are dismissed, e.g. through strategies such as “fake news”. Focusing on the visual and discursive strategies of selected art influenced by the aesthetics of the Black diaspora, I will explore their countercultural and political potential. I will emphasise the notion of the ‘dialogical’: to what extent does the art of the Black diaspora promote (visual) discourses, which are shaped by the participation of multiple voices and divergent perspectives? My hypothesis is that the dialogical art of the Black diaspora contributes to the capacity to bear ambiguities and is hence essential to countering ‘post-truth’.