Women on Aeroplanes is a multifaceted, multilocal, research-based, artistic project, and began to kick off in 2017, conceptualised and curated by Annett Busch, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Magda Lipska, in collaboration with the Otolith Collective and coproduced by Iwalewahaus, University Bayreuth. The project has been funded by TURN / German Federal Cultural Foundation until 2020. Since then we have been drifting in various directions and in different constellations (see below), carried on by Annett Busch, Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Prerna Bishnoi and others who have come on board along the way.


Based on a framework that is necessarily constantly evolving and multiplying, Women on Aeroplanes aims to gain a broader understanding of what independence and interdependence means, enabling us to see and understand the presence of a shattered, yet powerful, women-informed network. Looking closely at the long history of transatlantic networks and the struggles for liberation, predating the process of independence on the African continent (and elsewhere), the project explores how women were always central to such networks and struggles, in which they played multiple roles. Their stories are however hardly told and their faces remain widely invisible. Women on Aeroplanes aims to not only frame their various and heterogeneous contributions, politically and artistically, but also create new parameters and premises of narratives. To recall the notion of independence today necessarily means to address the gap between formal independence and a process of decolonisation that was simultaneously national and intranational, transnational and international and which remains, in many ways, incomplete.

The project's title is borrowed loosely from Kojo Laing's critically acclaimed second novel Woman of the Aeroplanes, written in 1988. With its deconstructive syntax, the novel sets the tone for a historical narrative, in which subordinate subject-object relations are negated. Laing’s method of speculative fiction writing can be seen as a making-of-theory using other means. As a reference point, it opens a pathway to a new grammar, a kind of guideline for re-visiting and re-writing history and to remember how things can be changed.  

Each STOPOVER has been carried out in cooperation with various local partners.


London (November 15 - 19, 2023)

Off to Take Care: a small festival brings together documentaries and fiction, films from different places and times to engage us in thinking about care and exploring it through cinema and vice versa. In collaboration with Goethe Institute London, Maren Hobein. And in conversation with the Otolith Collective,  the Waiting Times Collective and Club des Femmes


Oberhausen  (May 05-08, 2022)

At the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen this year's theme programme Synchronize! Pan-African Film Networks was played by WOA, in tune with King Sunny Adé's "synchro system." In collaboration with the Mouatheqat collective, Laura Klöckner and Jihan El-Tahri, and in ongoing conversation with Jean-Pierre Bekolo. A huge thank you to all filmmakers, to Katarina Henschel, for persistently taking care and locating all films, and to Lars Henrik Gass for trusting us.


Kigali (November 29 - December 03, 2022) 

Dutarame-Buhanga: Invitation to evenings dedicated to sharing knowledge with Assumpta Mugiraneza, IRIBA center, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Kigali, Katharina Hey, Stacy Hardy and an amazing group of participant-cocreators.

Trondheim (September 2021-January 2022)

The first series of Transversal Evening Classes, SLOW EDUCATION, was curated by Annett Busch and Prerna Bishnoi, realised in collaboration with Trondheim folkebibliotek, Stian Stakset, and funded by Trondheim Kommune, Kulturrådet/Arts Council Norway and DARIAH. Design Prerna Bishnoi.

Johannesburg (June 19-28, 2020)

The Public Hearings Online Festival—was curated by Annett Busch and Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, and has been co-funded and co-produced by Goethe-Institut Johannesburg. A special thank you to Asma Diakitéhead of cultural programs for sub-Saharan Africa at the Goethe-Institut South Africa, and Cara Snyman.

Frankfurt/Main (June 6-30, 2019)

The exhibition and gathering Zwischenlandung/Stopover at TOR-art space was curated by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Annett Busch, co-realised by Janusch Ertler, Patrick Keaveny and Theresa Kampmeier, with substantial support by Keno Hardt. Tireless communication and mediation by Esther Poppe. Delicious food was provided by Hocine Bouhlou, Janusch Ertler and Marie-Hélène Gutberlet, Max Koscher Deli and mehlwassersalz.

Warsaw (26 October 2018 – 03 February 2019)

The exhibition Niepodległe: Women, Independence and National Discourse at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw was curated by Magda Lipska. See complete colophon here.

London (3 October 2018 – 26 January 2019)

The exhibition and public program in London at The Showroom was curated by Emily Pethick and Elvira Dyangani Ose with The Otolith Collective (Kodwo Eshun, Anjalika Sagar and Hannah Liley), assisted by Lily Hall.

Bayreuth (June - December 2018)

Resonate together with Nadine Siegert, Lena Neumann, Felicia Nitsche and Ulf Vierke at Iwalewahaus, University Bayreuth. 

Lagos (23—26 May, 2018)

Search, Research, together with Bisi Silva and Iheanyi Onwuegbucha at the Centre for Contemporary Art

Berlin (November 30 – December 3, 2017)

Editing Room, together with Alya Sebti at ifa-Galerie Berlin. Co-realised by Ev Fischer, Matthias Merker, Morgan Lacroix and Bert Günther. Delicious food was provided by Regina Sarreiter und Elsa de Syenes. 


Including posters and Inflight Magazines by very / Alexandra Papadopoulou and Marie Schopmann