Baobab Tree with offerings can be seen on a photo. It is an artwork of the exhibition A SACRED STORY AT THE TREE OF LIFE by Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri, which can be seen at the ifa Gallery Berlin.
Baobab Tree with offerings, and incisions/markings, Kaole Ruins, Pwane region, Tanzania, 2023 © Memory Biwa


At the tree of life: Myth of the beginning

15 Sep 2023
22 Oct 2023
ifa Gallery Berlin
Linienstraße 139-140
10115 Berlin

A SACRED STORY AT THE TREE OF LIFE takes the form of an ephemeral installation centered on the inscription and significance of landscapes and spaces through memory and ceremony. The shade of the baobab, the sacred tree, becomes the gathering place where we commune with poets, rioters, storytellers, vocalists, players of instruments, and DJs.

Over a period of six weeks the gallery transforms into a portal for the platform, Listening at Pungwe. Pungwe is an occasion where sound system culture is approached as a ritual space; a mo(nu)ment for auditory, corporeal and sociocultural frequencies. Tracing spatiality and a complex web of cultural practices, politics, philosophies, and movements, that are often embodied and transferred through sound.

Enchanting Rituals: The Essence of "Listening at Pungwe"

Listening at Pungwe, a collaborative project by Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri, pivots on circulatory aural imaginings and practices in southern Africa, to produce public and alternative spaces of sociality.

Participating artists: Listening at Pungwe, Jumoke Adeyanju, blk banaana, Malik Ntone Edjabe aka Hypocrite, Eric Vaughn, Banji Chona, Percy Zvomuya, Eiliyas, Nikola Hartl, Zen Marie, Elsa M’Bala, Melanelle B. C. Hémêfa, Day Eve aka audioslut, Savanna Morgan

Curatorial Ensemble: Memory Biwa, Robert Machiri, Jumoke Adeyanju, Nikola Hartl

The artists Memory Biwa and Robert Machiri

Memory Biwa is a historian, and artist. Her work addresses memorial and reparative processes in Namibia, which encompasses a wider discourse on restitution and reparations. Biwa’s focus on oral narratives and performance informs notions of subjectivity and the re-centering of alternative epistemologies and imaginaries.

Robert Machiri is a sound artist and hoarder of sound-related objects. Machiri's work exists at the juncture of two streams of practice; curatorial concepts founded through the notion of conviviality and art as pedagogy. Biwa and Robert Machiri form the duo, Listening at Pungwe.

* The title echoes Sanusi Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa’s Chapter, ‘The Sacred Story of the Tree of Life’, in “Indaba My Children: African Tribal History, Legends, Customs and Religious Beliefs”, Canongate Books Ltd, Edinburgh, 1998, first published in 1964.


14. September, Exhibition Opening

Thursday, 14.09. from 19:00 – 22:00

See event

15. September, Launch der Sound Installation

Friday, 15.09. at 14:00

See event

16. September, Performance: Poetry meets_

Saturday, 16.09. from 19:00 – 21:00

Jumoke Adeyanju will bring into the space the Poetry Meets_ Series, an international, multilingual community event showcasing visual art, spoken word, DJs and musicians, and lyrically endowed artists from Berlin and the diaspora.

See event

17. September, Collage Workshop

Sunday, 17.09. from 16:00 – 18:00

With the multidisciplinary artist Duduetsang Lamola aka blk banaana

Please register at: ifa-galerie-berlin(at)

See event

13. October, Performance: Re_storying Space

Friday, 13.10. throughout the day

Intervention by and with storyteller and alchemist Banji Chona.

See event

21. October, Finissage

Saturday, 21.10. from 17:00 – 20:00

The finissage and end of the cycle of A SACRED STORY AT THE TREE OF LIFE with interventions and musical explorations by Percy Zvomuya, Robert Machiri and others.

See event

The exhibition is part of the Berlin Art Week 2023

Opening Hours – ifa Gallery Berlin

Tuesday – Sunday: 14.00 – 18.00
Thursday: 14.00 – 20.00
Closed on Mondays and holidays

Free admission


ifa Galleries

The ifa Galleries show the visual arts, architecture and design of a globalized world. They have been addressing contemporary art and current cultural and socio-political developments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe since 1971 in Stuttgart and since 1991 in Berlin. Exhibition series afford insight into art scenes all over the world and reach across national borders. Conversations, lectures and discussions allow visitors direct contact with artists and curators.

ifa Gallery Berlin

ifa Gallery Stuttgart


ifa Gallery Berlin

Linienstraße 139/140
D-10115 Berlin

Telephone: +49.30.284491.40