„Mami Wata“ na human fish wey dem dey call „Mama of all river“ wey bi say for all Yoruba stori dem dey use Mami Wata as God of river dem wey dey give anybody wey see am or ask for anitin like richness and all di fine fine tin wey person want.

text: Oluwagbemiga Ogboro-Cole

©Tebda Talato panel Maquis Mami Wata 2020

current exhibition


upcoming exhibitions

Thomas Schnurr

©Thomas Schnurr

„… oder die Schönheit des letzten Gedankens“


2 june 2023

at 7pm

Sebastian Dannenberg&Ngozi Schommers


July 2023

©Sebastian Dannenberg 2023

Wilfried Wendlamita Ouedraogo

Wendlamita lives and works in Ouagdougou. He has sixty-six names to which he answers and is known for his activist work in his capital.

©Wendlamita Kouka 2023

Clip1 Clip2


September 2023

Funmi Oyewale

Funmi’s works address political and contemporary issues such as casual and systematic racism. They seek to challenge an unrealistic, transfigured view of Africa and its diaspora, to circumvent stereotypes, and to question cultural appropriation and exploitation.


June 2023

©Funmi Oyewale, Collage, 2019

Laurentine Balaya

Laurentine Balaya presents the premiere of her latest film project in cooperation with Maquis Mami Wata.

Opening night

June 2023

©Laurentine Balaya, Making-of, shortfilm 3/3, 2022, Burkina Faso

Raphael Nagel

We are playful but we do not play.

text: Raphael Nagel


October 2023

©Raphael Nagel, print 2023




past exhibitions

Tebda Talato

Talato lives and works in Ouagadougou. She is the founder of Les Petits Beaux Arts du Burkina an artists association in Ouagadougou. It is Talato’s attempt to establish a free art school in her country. Tous pour l‘ art, l‘ art pour tous.

text: Stefan Wäldele

Tõnd Yēgre

26.04.- 17.05.2023



©Tebda Talato

Jens Stickel

Jens Stickel is a painter. His painting is concrete insofar that there is no need of subjects from the outside world to act as references, the painting can concentrate on the color and its treatment. It is abstract where it explicitely reverts to subjects from the outside to be translated into painting.

text: Jörg van den Berg


23.02. – 26.03.2023

©Jens Stickel flyer 2023

Pollo Guzmán

The loop is the central element of my cinematic and sonic composition. The constant repetition of short sequences of charcoal and ink drawings together with the sound mark rhythmic variations and become an audiovisual unity.

text: Pollo Guzmán


Opening night

18.02.2023 at 8pm

©Pollo Guzmán Cacophonic Exercise No 1

Summer School „Afrika in Bewegung“

©Sabine Jell- Bahlsen filmstill

Movie: Mammy Water – In search of the water spirits in Nigeria by Sabine Jell- Bahlsen

color, 60 min, 1989

On the second evening of the summer school, we visited the gallery Maquis
Mami Wata to dive into one of Nigeria’s spiritual belief systems.
The evening started with a short introduction by the gallerist and artist Stefan
Wäldele, who introduced the participants to the spiritual tradition of Mammy
Wata. Andrea Chagas then contextualized the importance of acknowledging
the spiritual practices embedded in many African cultures. This
embeddedness is needed in order to reframe the „integration politic“ and
change it to an „inclusion politic“.
In order to allow people to include themselves in European social settings, people living in the
migrational ‚receiving countries‘ (e.g., in Europe) need to get accustomed to spiritual and
cultural practices that differ highly from, e.g. Catholicism, Islam or Judaism. The spiritual belief system of the Yoruba people (Ibibio, Ijaw and Igbo) is present on both sides of the Atlantic (Africa and the Americas). It plays a crucial role in the development of syncretic belief systems in the Americas (e.g., Santería (Cuba), Candomblé (Brazil, Uruguay, etc.), and Shangó
(Trinidad). In Europe, a few Africans and Afro-European people practice worshipping their
traditional deities in the diaspora. However, the extent of the practice is unknown since these
practices are often kept secret.
The documentary „Mammy Water – In search of the water spirit in Nigeria“ introduced
the deity and ritual practices embedded in cultural traditions and social practices.
Mammy water is one of the Pidgin English names used to refer to the water goddess,
worshiped by the Ibibio, Ijaw, and Igbo peoples that live in southeastern Nigeria. This
goddess has many names according to the tradition she belongs to. Mammy water is
recognized as the mother that provides wealth, success and health to her children
according to the tradition depicted in the documentary.
This documentary shows numerous rituals and ceremonies associated with worshiping the
water goddess in the 80s of the last century. It can be seen that the worshipping and
ceremonies depicted in the film are deeply embedded and rooted in sociocultural practices.
Worshipping Mammy Water provides a social coherence built around spiritual and ritual
practices. Jacob Olupona, professor of indigenous African religions at Harvard Divinity School
and professor of African and African-American studies in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and
Sciences, for example, comments that „African spirituality simply acknowledges that beliefs
and practices touch on and inform every facet of human life, and therefore African religion
cannot be separated from the everyday or mundane“ (Harvard Gazette, 2015). What Olupona
points out can be clearly seen in the film since it shows how spirituality and rituals are
incorporated into mundane everyday activities and also special festivities.

After the film, students asked about the significance of the color orange since it was very
present in the film. Wäldele said that the color orange is associated with the deity. Andrea then added that orange represents the sacral chakra in the chakra system. This chakra represents creativity, creation, and desires and is water-related. Many symbolisms are recurrent in different spiritual practices and traditions (yoga, chakra system – Mammy Wata, water symbolism). Both belief systems do not have anything in common but share the same
characteristics attributed to an element and a color. Exploring different cultures and spiritual
practices can show us that in seemingly very distinct traditions, we can also find similarities
that bring us together.

Harvard Gazette (2015). The spirituality of Africa, accessible online at

text: Andrea Chagas

Ore Arts

Ore Arts Collective present their experimental short film „Skin Politics“. Inspired by the chapter of the same name in Grada Kilomba´s book „Plantation Memories“, the artists investigate people of colour´s self-disclosure in the present cultural scene. A critical debate on the art and culture scene in Mannheim.

Skin Politics



©Ore Arts 2021

Laurentine Balaya

3 Short Films >>> ongoing project

La Promesse


©Laurentine Balaya La Promesse, Filmstill, 2020, Burkina Faso

La Lutte Continue


©Laurentine Balaya La Lutte Continue, Filmstill, 2021, Burkina Faso

Benno Blome

Mind and World


©Benno Blome, flyer 2020

Er ist ich und ich bin Du

02.07. – 25.07.2022

©Benno Blome, spell drawing 2022

Aljoscha Heims

*Hi, how are you ?

06.06.- 26.06.2020

©Aljoscha Heims o.T.

( from series“Fellinis Köpfe“)
ink on paper
42 x 29,7 cm

Geister im Kopf

05.11. – 11.12.2021

©Aljoscha Heims o.T.
watercolor on canvas
190 x 135 cm

Sarah Herr

Reaching towards

10.03. – 13.03.2022

Teaser1 Teaser2

©Lys Y. Seng 2022

Henny Herz

Making of In a constant flow.

In a constant flow


Rebekka Brunke and Barbara Hindahl

An exhibition curated by Rebekka Brunke and Barbara Hindahl.

Exhibiting artists: Harald Kröner, Annick Blavier, Heimo Wallner, Hedya Klein, Matthias Beckmann, Hanna Hennenkemper, Rebekka Brunke, Barbara Hindahl

Chimäre und Zeichentricks

02.07. – 31.07.2021

©Rebekka Brunke Eule 2020

charcoal on paper

50×40 cm

Olga Jakob and Hannah Gottschalk

Rote Neon

18.09. – 23.10.2021

©Olga Jakob DEFACE 2021, Filmstill

©Hannah Gottschalk Eisfach 2020, Filmstill

Falk Kastell

Cleopatra – How far can I go?

14.05. – 11.06.2022

©Falk Kastell Falkopatra 2020, Filmstill

Sarah Kirsch

Such Dir einen Ort und schlafe

22.04. – 07.05.2022

©Sarah Kirsch Wolke 2022, print

Margarita Kopp

Dream on

07.08. – 30.08.2020

©Margarita Kopp Twelve Candles 2019

Woojin Lee

Charmantes Flüstern

10.07. – 02.08.2020

©maquismamiwata, Woojin Lee 2020

Eckbert Lössel

Das gute Bild

21.11. – 29.11.2020

©Eckbert Lössel DAS GUTE BILD No. 811, 2020

Jonas Wolfgang Lundius

Malerei / Painting

09.09. – 04.10.2022

Carmen Rita Maria Ott

Yinmotion into Firefox


Delphina Parenti

A short movie version of the piece When no one is watching inspired by the novel of the same name by Alyssa Cole.

When no one is watching

20.12. – 22.12.2022

©Delphina Parenti, videostill 2022

Anike Joyce Sadiq

A video piece in two chapters.
A conversation between the fist as a model of the brain and as the iconic symbole for struggle, resistance and solidarity

Visited by a tiger

03.09. – 06.09.2020

©Anike Joyce Sadiq, Videostills, 2019

Warren Sare

International residency

01.12. – 18.12.2021

©Warren Sare Dozo: special forces of the African tradition 2020, Photography, Burkina Faso

Studio Pam Pam – Mannheim ist Warren Sare


©Warren Sare Studio Pam Pam, an outpatient photo studio, 2022, Mannheim

Sebastian Schommers

It´s a jungle out there – Stay Gold

10.12. – 18.12.2022

©Sebastian Schommers, Flyer front, 2022

Momo Weinert


07.10. – 05.11.2022

©Momo Weinert, fotografie 2022

Freddy Witz

Please show you´re not a robot

25.09. – 24.10.2020

Didem Yazıcı

Focusing on the topics of social justice, racist violence and border politics, For Each Of You brings three filmic works together: The Second Attack (2018) by Mala Reinhardt, Purple Sea (2020) by Amel Alzakout and Khaled Abdulwahed and Set Off  (2019) by Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun. As a film, intervention and discussion programme, specifically developed for Mannheim-based artist-run art space Maquis Mami Wata, the programme will take place in cycles. Each cycle will be dedicated to each artistic position. The concept is inspired by the poem ‘For Each Of You’ (1968) written by Audre Lorde (1934-1992) who described herself as „Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,“ who dedicated her life and and her creative work to confronting social injustices.


17.04. – 14.05.2021

1. Der Zweite Anschlag/ The Second Attack (2018) by Mala Reinhardt


©Mala Reinhardt&Patrick Lohse Der Zweite Anschlag 2018, Filmstill

2. Purple Sea (2020) by Amel Alzakout&Khaled Abdulwahed


©Amel Alzakout&Khaled Abdulwahed Purple Sea 2020, Filmstill

3. Set Off (2019) by Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun


©Mustafa Emin Büyükcoşkun The Uncaniness of the Topography 2013, Photography





supported by


Association Les Petits Beaux Arts du Burkina





University of Mannheim








picture: ©stefan wäldele water drawings, filmstill 2018, Ouagadougou

Artist and curator Stefan Wäldele (b. 1985) founded the art space Maquis Mami Wata in Mannheim in January 2020.





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