Since May 2004 in Berlin-Tiergarten

GALLERY LISTROS is part of LISTROS e.V., founded in Berlin in 2003.  Listros means “make shiny“ and is the name for young shoeshiners in Ethiopia who work for a better future by means of entrepreneurship and creativity. 

Since its opening as a project-oriented space in May 2004, GALLERY LISTROS has left its mark as a Berlin gallery for contemporary art in the African context. While the gallery initially featured mainly non-African artists dealing with the topic of Africa, it has become increasingly focused on cooperation with artists from African countries and the diaspora. 

From the start, LISTROS followed an interdisciplinary approach and propagated the important and universal role of art as a catalyst for social transformation and intercultural dialogue. As a result, GALLERY LISTROS is regarded as the initiative's core center. With 3 to 5 exhibitions per year, it draws attention to various issues within the African context. 

Art always provides the chance to view the world a new way and to creatively tackle boundaries. Thus, it supports the change of perspective that is important to LISTROS protagonists. At the same time, the artistic involvement with the situation of young Ethiopian shoeshiners shows that poverty is two-faced: here the Listros are not portrayed as pariahs within Ethiopian society but as teenagers who work to better their future chances. Consequently they stand as a symbol for all independent developments on the African continent and for the possibility to achieve illustrious works by the simplest of means.

“A DREAM IN A BOX“ is the art collection affiliated with GALLERY LISTROS. It consists of the works of more than 120 international artists, who all face up to the challenging question: “How can Africa’s young spirit be used for social transformation?“ Therefore, the shoeshiner's box to us is synonymous with a dream: the dream of every human being to be independent and successful. An installation piece of 800 individual shoe-shine boxes at GALLERY LISTROS pays hommage to the committed African youth.