The exhibition Germanaijan. Deutsche Spuren und Architektur in Aserbaidschan is a tribute to the hard work, endurance and creativity of the German people who in search of a better life migrated to the Caucasus. The exhibition seeks answers to the questions: who were these people and what is their legacy in modern Azerbaijan?
The exhibition is organized within the framework of bicentennial anniversary of German settlements in the Caucasus by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Azerbaijan, financed by the Cultural Preservation programme of the Federal Foreign Office and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Goethe-Zentrum Baku / Kapellhaus.
‘Germanaijan’ is an invented word that, according to exhibition curator Asli Samadova, combines two countries names, Germany and Azerbaijan. The exhibition celebrates the impact of this German community in today’s Azerbaijan. In this regard, the Siemens Historical Institute and the National Archive Department of Republic Azerbaijan, as well as the contribution of private individuals, have been of invaluable help in bringing to life the exhibition’s exciting and interesting stories. Germanaijan blends in artistic interventions into the historical narrative: a joint project between Azerbaijani poet Leyli Salayeva and German artist and illustrator Xenia Fink carefully reconstructs the history of the first German colonists in Azerbaijan which is voiced by a composite character named Helen. Artist Samir Salahov was invited to make eyecatching illustrations on Hummels family whereas Azerbaijani artist and documentary photographer Chinara Majidova was commissioned to make a contemporary documentation of German traces in the northern regions of Azerbaijan and the architectural landscape as well as a thought-provoking artistic video ‘Qismət’ on two mansions built by German architects. The exhibition also presents an ongoing cross-border project by British writer and photographer Thomas Marsden who is studying the personal journeys of German settlers and their descendants.
Germanaijan has a special focus on architecture: dozens of buildings built by Russian-German architects in Baku alone are protected by the Azerbaijani state as monuments of architectural heritage. The central piece of the exhibition is a map that graphically visualizes the quantitative and qualitative significance of German architectural traces in Baku’s skyline. Paper models give further details about a selected number of buildings.
The exhibition opens at 19:00 on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Kapellhaus (35, 28 May street) and lasts till February 16, 2019.
Exhibition regular hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 13:00 to 19:00.