Installations, videos and projects in public space

by Oliver Ressler / 777.


Intervention by Oliver Ressler at the main train station in Zurich, eBoard, 2006

During the exhibition at the Shedhalle a new piece made for the electronic billboard of the Zurich main train station will be shown. The piece displays the foreign debts of Africa in relation to the damages which were caused by colonialism and slavery on this continent. If it is possible to elicit the foreign debts of Africa, which were tripled between 1980 and 2000, out of the World Banks databanks (235 billion dollars for the ‘Sub-Saharan Africa’ 2004), then the calculations of the damages caused by colonialism and slavery represent a disparate and much more difficult undertaking. At the occasion of the UN World Conference against Racism in Durban in 2001 the African World Reparations and Repatriations Truth Commission brought forward a calculation based on comprehensive research and announced the sum of 777 trillion dollars. The claims of the African states were calculated using the reparation numbers of Germany for the victims of the Nazi-Regime as a point of reference. Out of fear of amend claims the Western countries deny any responsibility for colonialism and its aftermath and decline a guilt confession.

The billboard text reads:

The intervention is carried out in the framework of the exhibition “for example S, F, N, G, L, B, C – A Matter of Demarcation”, Shedhalle, Zurich, 04.11.2006 – 28.01.2007