Sandra Chatterjee and friends

Smells of Racism

studio brut
Dance / Installation / Lecture performance / Music Austrian Premiere in German and English
imagetanz 2023
{Smells} {Bodies} {Olfactory}

How does racism smell and what is it that is smelled? Be it the everyday casual prejudice or Immanuel Kant’s philosophical deliberations on the correlation of body odour and skin colour, associations between racism and smell have a longstanding tradition in the west. Smells of Racism explores this olfactory connection and also tests the alleged power of incense to expel evil. The audience is invited to join Sandra Chatterjee and her team to find antidotes designed to exorcise the evil spirit of racism – cumulatively, one everyday action after the other.

, © Christoph Mukherjee

Sandra Chatterjee und friends – Smells of Racism

, © Christoph Mukherjee

Sandra Chatterjee und friends – Smells of Racism

, © Christoph Mukherjee

Sandra Chatterjee und friends – Smells of Racism

, © Christoph Mukherjee

Sandra Chatterjee und friends – Smells of Racism

Racism has had an olfactory side for a long time. For example, Immanuel Kant submitted that there was a direct connection between body odour and skin colour. And even in the present day, people report complaints, conflict, and discrimination due to ‘unpleasant’ and ‘overly strong’ odours. But as relevant as smells are in the context of racism, ritual and spiritual meanings and applications of scents exist in various cultures as well. It is this point of racist debasement on the one hand and the (also culturally) healing power of smells on the other that the performance installation/lecture performance Smells of Racism picks up.

During the durational performance, visitors are invited to explore smells and the artists’ research, to see short performances, to move along with certain smells during mini workshops, and to attend the final lecture performance. 

Schedule Smells of Racism

Smells of Racism I – Durational Open Space

Dialogues and workshops with Theresa Seraphin and Sandra Chatterjee
Soundscape Kanishka Sarkar

The durational installation is structured in three cycles. Each cycle contains a movement workshop, a performance and space for dialogue.

2:00–3:00 pm


Featuring Jaskaran Singh Anand

3:00–4:00 pm


Featuring Suzette Sagisi

4:00–5:00 pm


Featuring Duduzile Voigts


Smells of Racism II – Lecture performance
5:00–6:45 pm
Featuring Arko Mukhaerjee / Kanishka Sarkar / Sandra Chatterjee


Smells of Racism is a project by Sandra Chatterjee that features Cana Bilir-Meier, Constanze Knapp, Arko Mukhaerjee, Suzette Sagisi, Kanishka Sarkar, Theresa Seraphin, Jaskaran Singh Anand, Duduzile Voigts, Friedrich Günther, Antonia Grahmann as well as Avirup Basu, Amit Biswas & team and Goopy Bagha Productions Ltd. Loosely connected in various constellations, Sandra Chatterjee and friends have been doing work on smells and their political dimension since 2019. Sandra Chatterjee, choreographer, scientist, and co-organiser of the platform CHAKKARs – Moving Intervention, has a profound interest in close audience interaction and tries to involve senses we do not usually work with, such as smell. From 2020 to 2022, Chatterjee was part of the selection by the international exchange and production platform FREISCHWIMMEN.


FREISCHWIMMEN is facilitated by the programme “Verbindungen fördern” (supporting connections) of Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste, supported by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.




Dates & Tickets

2:00–5:00 pm: installation with movement workshop, performance and space for dialogue (Come & go)
Pay as you wish 

5:007:00 pm: lecture performance
Choose your price €22 / €16 / €11

March 2023

Sat. 11.03.2023, 14:00 - 19:00
2:00–5:00 pm: installation with movement workshop, performance and space for dialogue (Come & go) Pay as you wish / 5:00–7:00 pm: lecture performance Choose your price €22 / €16 / €11

Sun. 12.03.2023, 14:00 - 19:00
2:00–5:00 pm: installation with movement workshop, performance and space for dialogue (Come & go) Pay as you wish / 5:00–7:00 pm: lecture performance Choose your price €22 / €16 / €11

studio brut
Zieglergasse 25, 1070 Wien

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