Akademie Spring 2018 Opening

Academy of the Arts of the World

The Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) is an international platform for contemporary art and public discourse in Cologne. The Academy members - a global collective of artists, scholars, and cultural practitioners - shape the ADKDW and its program through their interdisciplinary perspectives and artistic practices.

Through its program, ADKDW promotes a critical understanding of the arts and aims to reveal and rethink the contemporary conditions of cultural history and cultural production. With this in mind, ADKDW organizes events and exhibitions, produces publications, and initiates research and study projects. One focus of Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz's artistic direction since 2022 is the reappraisal of German colonial history and the examination of the colonial legacy in the present.

The Academyspace regularly hosts exhibitions and events of various artistic and discursive disciplines. In addition, the ADKDW organizes concerts, readings, lectures and workshops with various partners at different locations in the city. In this way, the ADKDW creates a laboratory of artistic and political questions in Cologne and makes the potential of an intercultural urban society visible.

Hito Steyerl & Kassem Mosse 2015


The institution's formation resulted from the proposal of an initiative group of Navid Kermani, Manos Tsangaris and other cultural practitioners from Cologne. In 2012, a search committee comprising Ralph Christoph, Amelie Deuflhard, Kasper König, Jan Krauthäuser, Louwrens Langevoort and Regina Wyrwoll appointed the 14 founding members of the Academy, who would henceforth be responsible for shaping the artistic program and in the course of time were joined by other members.

2012 – 2014
From October 2012 to June 2013, writer and curator Galit Eilat (Israel-Netherlands) was President of the ADKDW. Subsequently, an interim team of Ekaterina Degot, Liza Lim and Tom Holert worked on the ADKDW's program concept until March 2014. During this period, the program largely centered around a series of Salon events. At the regularly held Salons, members, fellows and invited artists and experts presented their current projects and discussed them with the Cologne audience. Furthermore, the ADKDW set up a fellowship program for contemporary artists, theoreticians and curators from non-European countries that was intended to lay the foundations for exchange between international and Cologne art scenes.

2014 - 2017
Under the artistic direction of Ekaterina Degot, PLURIVERSALE took place twice a year from 2014 to 2017, each time for a period of two months. It consisted of site-specific projects, exhibitions, concerts, discussions, film screenings and performative symposia, and proposed an alternative to the usual rhythms of biennials and their narratives – which too often turned out to be universalist and relativist at once.

2018 - 2021
Since 2018, the artistic program of the ADKDW under the direction of Madhusree Dutta was structured around four thematic axes: found:erased:palimpsest, Sites at Stake, Original Fakes and Hybrid Transactions. By crossing the four thematic axes and different spatial dimensions, the ADKDW seeked to create links between theory and practice, between memory and speculation, between lived-in experiences and artistic forms.

Balances and reports


ADKDW Members

The Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) is carried by a global collective that brings its diverse perspectives and artistic practices to the work of the Academy. The Academy members - national and international artists, curators, authors, scholars, and cultural practitioners - function as an interdisciplinary think tank. In addition to advising on the direction and program of the ADKDW, the Academy members are responsible for electing new members and selecting Artists-in-Residence. The spokesperson for ADKDW members since January 2022 is Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz.

Photo: Inke Arns

Inke Arns

INKE ARNS, PhD, is director of HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, Germany. She has worked internationally as an independent curator and theorist specializing in media art, net cultures, and Eastern Europe since 1993. She has curated many exhibitions – at the bauhaus dessau, MG+MSUM Ljubljana, Gallery EXIT Pejë, KW Berlin, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, MMOMA Moscow a.o. She is the author of many articles on contemporary art, media art and net culture, and has edited numerous exhibition catalogues and books. In 2021–2022 she is Visiting Professor at the Münster Art Academy. 2022 she is curator of the Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo (artist: Jakup Ferri), 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.

© Christine Fenzl

Ute Meta Bauer

UTE META BAUER is a curator of exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video, and sound that connect artistic work with other disciplines. Since 2013, she is Founding Director of NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and a professor in the School of Art, Design and Media. From 2012 to 2013, she served as Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Prior to that, she was Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, where she was the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) (2009–2012) and Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program (2005–2009). In 2015, she co-curated with MIT List Center for Visual Art Director Paul Ha, presenting eminent artist Joan Jonas, the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale that received Honorary Mention for best National Pavilion by their International Jury.

At the NTU CCA Singapore, she curated and co-curated Allan Sekula: Fish Story, to be continued (2015), Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History (2017), The Oceanic (2017/2018), Tarek Atoui The Ground: From the Land to the Sea (2018), Trees of Life: Knowledge in Material (2018), Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz (2018), Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy (2019) and most recently, The Posthuman City: Climates. Habitats. Environments (2019/2020).

Bauer was Artistic Director of the 3rd berlin biennale for contemporary art, Berlin (2004) and Co-Curator of documenta11, Kassel (2001-2002) with the late Okwui Enwezor as Artistic Director. Bauer has edited numerous publications in the field of contemporary art, most recently South East Asia. Spaces of the Curatorial (with Brigitte Oetker, Sternberg Press 2016), Thomas Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions (with Anca Rujoiu, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore 2017), Place.Labour.Capital (with Anca Rujoiu, Mousse Publishing 2018) and The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban) Asia (with Khim Ong and Roger Nelson, World Scientific 2020). Bauer serves as a member of various advisory boards, including International Boards of Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, Bergen Assembly, Bergen and documenta commission, Kassel.

Binna Choi

BINNA CHOI practices the curatorial in an expanded sense, by situating art in relation to practices of social change, and by working on art institutions as exemplary institutional sites. Since 2008, Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons has been Binna’s primary site for this curatorial practice. There she has curated a number of long-term, collaborative/cross-disciplinary artistic research projects and programs, such as Grand Domestic Revolution, co-curated with Maiko Tanaka (2010–13), Composing the Commons (2013–16), and Site of Unlearning (Art Organizations), with Annette Krauss and the Casco team (2014–18). Each of these involves commissions, exhibitions, co-research situations, and publications.

In 2018, Binna and the Casco team initiated the organizational restructuring; the institutional name change from ‘Casco – Office for Art Design and Theory’ to ’Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons’ marks the restructure. Casco Art Institute is dedicated to collective study of the commons through the practice of art, as it is dedicated to practicing art through the collective study of the commons. Beyond binaries such as the private and public, the intellectual and manual, the urban and rural, and the institutional and the self-organizational, Casco proposes the commons as an ongoing movement for non-binary futures of equality and multiplicity. Its artistic program is organized around several study lines on the commons, while the organization itself is practiced as a site of commoning. One of the study lines is Unmapping Eurasia, a multi-year inquiry Binna has been pursuing with You Mi. By considering Eurasia as terrain where geopolitics, geo-philosophy, and geo-poetics intersect, they open up a trans-cultural context for commoning across the Europe-Asian divide.

Binna teaches at the Dutch Art Institute masters program, and works for and with the trans-local network Arts Collaboratory. She is also one of the co-founding members of Cluster, a European network of art organizations closely engaging with their surroundings. She worked on the curatorial team of the 2016 Gwangju Biennale titled The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do) and, in that context, co-organized with Maria Lind the global forum and fellowship of experimental art organizations called All the Contributing Factors. Together with Yollótl Alvarado and Brigitta Isabella, she organized an experimental exhibition introducing Arts Collaboratory working principles at the Asia Culture Center, Gwangju. Binna also regularly delivers public lectures around institutional change and other modes of curatorial practice, and plays advisory roles.

© Evgeni Gurko

Ekaterina Degot

EKATARINA DEGOT’s work focuses on aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in Russia and Eastern Europe, predominantly in the post-Soviet era. She has worked as a senior curator at the State Tretyakov Gallery, as art columnist for the newspaper Kommersant, and from 2008 until 2012 she was senior editor of, an independent online magazine of art news, art criticism and cultural analysis. She regularly contributes to Artforum, Frieze and e-flux magazine.

In 2001, she curated the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennial. Shows she has co-curated include Body Memory: Underwear of the Soviet Era (with Julia Demidenko; City History Museum, St Petersburg, 2000, City Museum, Helsinki, Volkskundemuseum, Vienna, a.o.); Berlin-Moskau / Moskau-Berlin 1950-2000 (with Juergen Harten a.o., Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, and the History Museum, Moscow, 2003-04), and European Atelier (Central House of Artists, 2009), Soviet Idealism (Musée de l’art wallon, Liège, 2005) and If. Ukrainian Art in Transition (PERMM art museum, Perm, 2010).
Together with Cosmin Costinas and David Riff, she curated the First Ural Industrial Biennial in Yekaterinburg under the title Shockworkers of the Mobile Image (2010). In 2011 she presented (with Joanna Mytkovska and David Riff) Auditorium Moscow – a self-educational initiative, a place for meeting and discussion, and an international exhibition. In 2012, she curated Art After the End of the World, the discussion platform of the First Kiev Biennial of Contemporary Art Arsenale, and Time/Food in Stella Art Foundation in Moscow, with Anton Vidokle and Julieta Aranda. Together with David Riff she curated the first Bergen Assembly under the title Monday begins on Saturday in 2013.

Her books include: Terroristic Naturalism (1998), Russian 20th-Century Art (2000) and Moscow Conceptualism (with Vadim Zakharov, 2005). She recently co-edited Post-Post-Soviet?: Art, Politics and Society in Russia at the Turn of the Decade (with Ilya Budraitskis and Marta Dziewanska, 2013).
She has taught at the European University, St. Petersburg, was a guest professor at various American and European universities, and is currently professor at Moscow’s Alexander Rodchenko photography and new media school.

Ekaterina Degot was Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World from March 2014 to October 2017. Currently she is Artistic Director of the 51th edition of Steirischer Herbst in Graz.

In November 2014 Ekaterina Degot won the Igor Zabel Award for Culture and Theory.

© Dörthe Boxberg

Madhusree Dutta

MADHUSREE DUTTA was born 1959 in Jamshedpur/Jharkhand, India. She studied theatre at the National School of Drama, India and is a filmmaker, curator, and author. She is the founder and former director (1998-2015) of Majlis, a center for rights discourse and interdisciplinary art initiatives in Mumbai. Her areas of interest are documentary practices, urbanology, inter-disciplinary archiving practices, and public culture.

Dutta's films are shown widely at international film festivals and art events, and are taught in several university departments and study centres. She has been part of jury for several international film festivals, including Berlinale Shorts in 2015. She has received numerous film awards and civil society honors. In 2019 she has received Lifetime Achievement Award at International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala and Cultural Manager of the Year prize from Cologne Cultural Council.

She has initiated and curated several art and cultural projects, among others, Expression, the first festival on feminist arts and art discourse in India in 1990; India Sabka (India belongs to everyone), a youth festival on multiculturalism in 2002; Import Export, cultural transfer between India and German speaking Europe in 2005 (Mumbai-Vienna-Berlin); Culture@WSF, the art component for the World Social Forum, 2004; Moving People, an art interface between Africa and Asia in Nairobi, 2007. Her curatorial work Project Cinema City: Research Art and Documentary Practices (2009-2013) was a multi-disciplinary multi-scalar endeavour engaging one hundred visual artists, architects, filmmakers and social scientists. The project was premiered at Forum Expanded, Berlinale, 2010.

Her publications include, among many others, Fake Hybrid Sites Palimpsest. Essays on Leakages (2022), edited with Nanna Heidenreich; dates.sites: Bombay / Mumbai (2012) and Project Cinema City (Tulika Books / Columbia University Press 2012) which was adjudged the Best Printed Book of the year by Publishing Next Industry Award in 2014.

From 2018 until 2021 Madhusree Dutta has been Artistic Director of the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW).

Photo: Dörthe Boxberg

© Chimurenga

Ntone Edjabe

NTONE EDJABE is a journalist and DJ. He is the founder of Chimurenga, a pan African platform of arts and politics. Chimurenga initiatives include The Chronic, Pan African Space Station and the Chimurenga Library.

Image: Lyra Garcellano

Merv Espina

MERV ESPINA is an artist and curator based in Las Piñas, Metro Manila. In 2014 he co-initiated the Kalampag Tracking Agency and in 2016 Kamuning Public Radio. He helps run WSK Festival of the Recently Possible as well as the Nusasonic collaborative music platform and contributes to Radio alHara Palestine. His artistic explorations result in installations and film screenings, seminars and magazines, music mixes and comix anthologies, pirate radio hacks, choreographies, and perfume productions. His art projects have been featured in the 2015 Jakarta Biennale and the 2020 Yokohama Triennale.

Monika Gintersdorfer

MONIKA GINTERSDORFER, born in Peru, studied German Literary Studies, as well as Theater, Film and Television Studies in Cologne and Drama Studies in Hamburg.

From 2000 to 2004 she directed several productions at the Hamburger Schauspielhaus, at the Muenchner Kammerspielen and at the Salzburger Festspiele. She is a founding member of the actionist artist group Rekolonisation and the director of the German and West-African theater/performance group Gintersdorfer/Klaßen, who has had productions at the Volksbühne Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, FFT Düsseldorf, sophiensaele Berlin, Schauspiel Köln, Ringlokschuppen Mühlheim and at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Gintersdorfer/Klaßen often work with the KVS Brüssel in Kinshasa, in

2010 they organised the Festival Rue Princesse in Abidjan, Berlin and Hamburg. In 2011 they toured West Africa with their production Logobi.

Their projects focus on the life strategies and forms of expression of the performer himself, trying to directly transport everyday life into the theater and the theater into everyday life. In a combination of movement, dance and text, with an on-stage translation, they let the political and personal realities of their performers – in Germany as well as in the Ivory Coast – collide, reaching a level cultural and artistic criticism that goes beyond the often idealized picture of an intercultural understanding among nations.

Gintersdorfer/Klaßen were artists in Residence at the Theater Bremen for the 2012/2013 season and the following 2013/2014 season, supported by the Fonds Doppelpass of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Gintersdorfer/Klaßen have received several awards for their work, including: Impulse Festival 2009, George Tabori Förderpreis 2010, Dancecompany of the year 2010, Faustpreis for Best Dancer for Richard Siegal in Gintersdorfer/Klaßen Logobi 05.

© Jan Kryszons

Nanna Heidenreich

NANNA HEIDENREICH born 1970 studied in Göttingen and Berkeley, she has a graduate degree in Social Sciences and PhD in Cultural Studies. In October 2016 she was appointed professor for Digital Narratives - Theory at the ifs internationale filmschule köln. In the summer of 2016 she was visiting professor for Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Hildesheim and from 2011-2016 she was a lecturer/researcher in Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Braunschweig. From 2009-2017 she was curator for the Berlinale program Forum Expanded.

From 2015-2017 she worked as a researcher and curator for Haus der Kulturen der Welt (hkw) in Berlin; projects include Now is the time of monsters. What comes after nations? and Soundtracks. Until 2009 she was a member of the antiracist network Kanak Attak and she is part of the network critical migration and border regime studies. In 2016 she joined the preparations for the Tribunal Unraveling the NSU-Complex, which took place in 2017 in Cologne. She has published widely on migration, visual culture, postcolonial media theory, art and activism, queer theory and has edited several DVDs (political, experimental and feminist filmmaking practices). A selection of her publications include: Migration, Frauen und Film No. 67 (Frankfurt/M. 2016), Film as Idea - Birgit Hein's Texts on Film/Art (German/English, ed. together with Florian Krautkrämer and Heike Klippel, Berlin 2016), total. Universalismus und Partikularismus in post_kolonialer Medientheorie (ed. together with Ulrike Bergermann, Bielefeld 2015), V/Erkennungsdienste, das Kino und die Perspektive der Migration (Bielefeld 2015), and the DVDs Philip Scheffner: The Halfmoonfiles & Der Tag des Spatzen and Riki Kalbe - 15 Filme (both Berlin 2013). In 2020, her new monograph Spektakel und Möglichkeitensraum: Kunst und der lange Sommer der Migration (Spectacle and space of possibilities: Art and the long summer of migration) and the anthology Gezeitendenken: Recherchen abseits des Nationstaatensystems (Tide tendencies: research beyond the nation state), edited with Katrin Klingan and Rana Dasgupta, will be published.

She works as a translator (English-German, including articles by Kaja Silverman, Marc Siegel, Judith Halberstam, Saskia Sassen, Jasbir Puar), participates in juries and serves as an advisor. Most recently, she conceived the call Thinking Europe from the Sea for Camargo Foundation / Goethe Institute Marseille and worked as an advisor for the project Narratives on Migration in East and Southeast Asia (2018-2019) initiated by the Goethe Institut Seoul. In November 2019, she curated the symposium Hotspots: Migration and the Sea for the Academy. Nanna Heidenreich lives in Berlin.

A few examples of her work can be found at:

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

MAX JORGE HINDERER CRUZ is a Bolivian-German writer, curator and philosopher. From March 2019 to June 2020 he was Director of the National Museum of Art (MNA) in La Paz, where he founded the museum's Program for Decolonial Studies in Art (PED) and was responsible for generating a historical change of the institutional profile. His work at the museum has been recognized by the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), being considered a reference in the international museum community for its developments in the fields of social inclusion and education.

As curator and cultural programmer (selection): from 2008 to 2011 he was curator of the exhibition and publication project Principio Potosí (Museo Reina Sofía Madrid/Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin/MNA and MUSEF La Paz - with Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann). From 2014 to 2016 he was coordinator of P.A.C.A. (Program of Autonomous Cultural Actions) and Seminário Público Micropolíticas in São Paulo (with Suely Rolnik, Amilcar Packer and Tatiana Roque). With Paul B. Preciado, Margarita Tsomou and Nelli Kambouri he organized the Apatride Society as part of the Documenta14 public program in Athens and Kassel between 2016 and 2017. In 2017 he was invited by Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station, to co-program a section of their project Angazi, but I’m sure. at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.

Hinderer Cruz is author of the book Hélio Oiticica and Neville D'Almeida: Block-Experiments in Cosmococa - program in progress (Afterall Books/MIT Press, 2013 - with Sabeth Buchmann) and, amongst others, editor of Art and Ideology Critique After 1989 (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König/Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2013 – with E. Birkenstock, et al.).

His texts and cultural critique have been published in Spanish, German, English, Portuguese and French, in various formats in catalogues, magazines, and international newspapers in Europe, Africa, the USA and Latin America. Hinderer Cruz regularly publishes essays in the Bolivian newspaper La Razón.

Hinderer Cruz was a fellow of Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in 2016 and has been an ADKDW member since 2018. Since 2022 he is the artistic director of ADKDW.

Soyoung Kim (aka Jeong Kim)

SOYOUNG KIM is Professor of Cinema Studies at the Korea National University of Arts, Director of the Trans-Asia Screen Culture Institute, and Visiting Professor at Duke University, UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. She is the editor of the ten-volume History of Korean Cinema, National Research Foundation of Korea, co-editor of Electronic Elsewheres: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space, with Chris Berry and Lynn Spiegel, and Geo-Spatiality in Asian and Oceanic Literature and Culture: Worlding Asia in the Anthropocene with Shiuhhuah Serena Chou and Rob Wilson. Soyoung Kim’s Exile Trilogy (2014-2017) includes three documentaries about Koreans in Central Asia, Russia, and Korea. Kim Soyoung also directed Women’s History Trilogy, a series of documentaries (Koryu: Southern Women South Korea, I’ll Be Seeing Her, and New Women: Her First Song) realised between 2000 and 2004 and was Guest of Honor at the Guanajuato International Film Festival.

Photo: Lawrence Liang

Lawrence Liang

LAWRENCE LIANG is a legal scholar and writer based at the Alternative Law Forum, Bangalore. His work lies at the intersection of law and cultural politics, and is looking at questions of media piracy, copyright, popular culture and legal questions. He has been working closely with the independent research initiative Sarai, New Delhi on the joint research project Intellectual Property and the Knowledge/Culture Commons. Liang is the author of Free/Open Source Software. Open Content (2007) and The Public is Watching: Sex, Laws and Videotape (2007). In 2016 he co-authored Invisible Libraries, speculative fiction on libraries and the future of reading.

Maha Maamoun

MAHA MAAMOUN is a Cairo-based artist, curator and independent publisher. Her work examines the form, function and currency of common cultural visual and literary images as an entry point to investigating the cultural fabric that we weave and are woven into. She also works collaboratively on independent publishing and curatorial projects. She is a founding member of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), an independent non-profit space for art and culture founded in Cairo in 2004, and co-founder of the independent publishing platform Kayfa ta. Her work has been widely exhibited.

Olivier Marboeuf

OLIVIER MARBOEUF is an author, critic and independent curator.

At age 21, Olivier Marboeuf co-founded the comic book publishing house Amok. He then became an exhibition curator, and from 2004 until its closing in 2018, he was the director of the Espace Khiasma, an art centre dedicated to the production and exhibition of videos and artist films, in Les Lilas.

His path has led him through issues of the connections between text and voice to still and moving images and more broadly on the importance of sharing. For several years now his research has focused on a re-examination of colonialism according to the principles of narrative speculation that compete with the dominant historical tale. He developed a program focused on minority representation issues that combines exhibitions, screenings, debates, performances and collaborative projects in the North East of Paris. Interested in the different ways in which knowledge is transmitted, Olivier Marboeuf's proposals are crossed by speculative narrative practices that attempt to create ephemeral cultural situations.

He is also an associate producer at the Paris-based production company SPECTRE, which specializes in research films and experimental documentaries. He collaborates with several artists and filmmakers. Olivier Marboeuf is founder and programmer of the Phantom platform, which distributes SPECTRE and Khiasma films.

Tienchi Martin-Liao

TIENCHI MARTIN-LIAO born in Nanking, China, grew up in Taiwan, and lives in Cologne.

After having completed her BA in English literature in Taiwan, she moved to Germany and initially worked at the think tank Institute of Asian Affairs in Hamburg. She was co-editor of the German-Chinese dictionary Deutsch-Chinesischer Wortschatz, Politik und Wirtschaft (Langenscheidt, Berlin 1977), and also edited the seven volumes of Mao Zedong’s Collected Works (Hanser Verlag, Munich 1976-1980).

After receiving her M.A. degree from Bochum University, she worked as a lecturer for Chinese literature and was later appointed director of the Richard-Wilhelm Translation Centre at Ruhr University. She was editor-in-chief of the (Chinese-German literary translation) series ARCUS-CHINATEXTE until 2000. In 2001 she went to the United States to work as director of the human rights NGO Laogai Research Foundation in Washington, D.C., for ten years and also as editor-in-chief of the Black Series, a biographical series on Chinese political prisoners. She returned to Germany to settle down in Cologne in 2010.

She is president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre since 2009, and columnist of the literature journal Sampsonia Way.

Photo: Nana Oforiatta Ayim

Nana Oforiatta Ayim

NANA OFORIATTA AYIM worked for the UN in New York and is now active worldwide primarily as an art educator and curator, but also as a filmmaker. Nana Oforiatta Ayim is the curator of the Ghanaian Pavilion at the 2019 and 2022 Venice Biennale and the founder and director of the ANO Institute of Arts & Knowledge. The ANO works to establish pan-African perspectives through exhibitions, grants, institution building, and collaborations with local communities and governments from around the world. She is a board member of the Association of Museums and Heritage Sites of Ghana. In 2019, she published her debut novel, The God Child.

Lemi Ponifasio

LEMI PONIFASIO, born in Samoa, choreographer, director, is renowned internationally as one of the most innovative and controversial choreographers and theatre artists today. Ponifasio established the MAU in 1995 as the name for his work and platform for critical reflection and creativity with artists, scholars, activists, intellectuals and community leaders. MAU is a declaration to the truth of a matter, or revolution, as an effort to transform.

As a High Chief of Samoa, Ponifasio bears the title Sala and is among the intellectual and leading personalities of the Pacific. His radical stagings intersect and transcend conventional ideas of theatre, ceremony, dance and civic activism. Ponifasio’s work is presented by many prestigious theaters and festivals including the Ruhrtriennale, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Holland Festival, and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Adriana Schneider Alcure

ADRIANA SCHNEIDER ALCURE was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1973. She is a theater director, actor, performer and playwright, and has been responsible for several stage productions. She is a member of Coletivo Bonobando and Grupo Pedras de Teatro. She is currently Cultural Diffusion Superintendent and a professor in the graduate program in Scenic Arts and in the undergraduate Theatrical Directing course – School of Communications at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), since 2009. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship Program at the University of Bonn (2018 and 2019), with the research project ‘Artistic, Political and Pedagogical Strategies in the Uses of Popular Forms of Puppet Theatre: On the Kaspertheater’. She did postdoctoral research on Brazilian theater history at PPGAC-UNIRIO (2008) with the research project ‘Traditional Brazilian dances in the second half of the 19th century: Marieta Baderna’s lundu’, with a CNPq grant (2008). She obtained a PhD in Anthropology from UFRJ (2007), with a doctoral internship at FU-Berlin, through a DAAD-CNPq grant (2005/2006). She received the Prix de la Recherche: Ouverture de Champ – Institut International de la Marionnette for her PhD thesis in September 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Communication and Journalism at PUC-RJ (1994) and holds a master’s degree in Theater Arts from PPGAC-UNIRIO (2001). She participated in the process of registering the popular forms of puppet theater from the Brazilian Northeast region (Mamulengo, Babau, Cassimiro Coco and João Redondo) as intangible cultural heritage and directed the documentary films that supported the research presented to IPHAN – Institute of National Artistic and Historical Heritage (2015).

© Felicitas von Lutzau

Marc Siegel

MARC SIEGEL is Professor of Film Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. His research focuses mainly on issues in queer studies and experimental film. His book A Gossip of Images is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Publications include the co-edited volumes, Film Culture 80: The Legend of Barbara Rubin (Spector Books, 2018), Synchronisierung der Künste (Fink, 2013), Outside. Die Politik queerer Räume (b_books, 2005) and a 2014 special issue of the journal Criticism on underground artist Jack Smith. He has also been active as a freelance curator. He curated numerous film series and programs for film and performance festivals, as well as museums und galleries, including the Berlin Biennial; the Berlinale; Tate Modern (London); CCCB (Barcelona), Bunkier Sztuki (Cracow) and the Goethe Institute (Kolkata). He also co-curated the festivals "EDIT FILM CULTURE!" (Berlin, 2018); "Camp/Anti-Camp: A Queer Guide to Everyday Life" (Berlin, Frankfurt, 2012); and "LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in a Rented World" (Berlin, 2009). He is on the advisory board of the Forum Expanded section of the Berlinale and one of the co-founders of the Berlin-based artists' collective CHEAP.

© Viktor Burgi, 2020

Stefan Weidner

STEFAN WEIDNER pursued Islamic studies, German studies and philosophy at the universities of Göttingen, Damascus, Berkeley and Bonn. From 2001 to 2016 he was editor-in-chief of the journal Art&Thought / Fikrun wa Fann (, which was published by the Goethe Institute to frame a dialogue between Germany and predominantly Muslim countries. He is the author of numerous publications, editor of anthologies and translator of Arabic poetry.

Recent publications include Fluchthelferin Poesie. Friedrich Rückert und der Orient (Poetry to the rescue. Friedrich Rückert and the Orient, Wallstein Verlag); Jenseits des Westens. Für ein neues kosmopolitisches Denken (Beyond the Western world. For a new cosmopolitan thinking, Hanser Verlag); 1001 Buch. Die Literaturen des Orients (1001 books. The literature of the Orient, Edition Converso). Weidner has received a number of awards: the Clemens Brentano Prize of the City of Heidelberg (2006), the Johann Heinrich Voß Prize from the German Academy for Language and Literature for his translated oeuvre (2007) and the Paul Scheerbart Prize from the Ledig-Rowohlt Foundation (2014).

In 2009/10 he was August Wilhelm von Schlegel Visiting Professor for Poetry in Translation at the Free University in Berlin. From summer semester 2011 to winter semester 2011/12 he held the first Thomas Kling Poetry Lectureship at the University of Bonn. Stefan Weidner is a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature, the German PEN Club and a founding member of the Academy of the Arts of the World.

Mi You

MI YOU is a Beijing-born curator, researcher, and academic staff at Academy of Media Arts Cologne. She has worked as curator of artistic research projects that were shown in Shenzhen/Hong Kong Bi-City Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (2007), Istanbul Design Biennale (2012), Lisbon Triennale and Athens Biennale (2013), v2_lab for the unstable media (2015), SAVVY Contemporary (2016), among others. Her long-term research and curatorial project takes the Silk Road as a figuration for deep-time, deep-space, de-centralized and nomadic imageries. Under this rubric she has curated a series of performative programs at Asian Culture Center Theater in Gwangju, South Korea and the inaugural Ulaanbaatar International Media Art Festival, Mongolia (2016). Her transcultural curatorial work has concretised in exhibitions like "Around Ai Weiwei: Photograph 1983-2016" at CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia and "Qiu Zhijie: Journeys without Arrivals" at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2017).

She has lectured internationally, including at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), Vera List Center for Arts and Politics (New York), Rijksakademie (Amsterdam), Global Art Forum (Dubai), and has taught at Dutch Art Institute, Berlin University of the Arts, among others. Her academic interests are in performance philosophy, science and technology studies, and philosophy of immanence in Eastern and Western traditions. Her writings appear in Performance Research, PARSE, MaHKUscript: Journal of Fine Art Research, Yishu, LEAP, Southeast of Now, among others.

She is fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Zentrum Paul Klee (Switzerland) and Independent Curators International (USA) and serves as director of Arthub (Shanghai) advisor to The Institute for Provocation (Beijing).

Ala Younis

ALA YOUNIS (b. 1974, Kuwait, based in Amman) is an artist, trained as an architect in Amman. Research forms a big part of her practice, as do curating, collaboration, film, and book projects. Younis explores the formation of the modern Arab world and the potential for renewed thought and action that the era continues to inspire. She examines major issues of the modern day—nationalism, religion, social movements, the emergence of global capital and personal and collective loss—through a multiplicity of voices. She moves through history by studying traces of everyday objects, recurring images and routine practices. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice, Gwangju, and Istanbul biennials, the New Museum Triennial (New York), Forum Expanded (Berlin), and the Home Works Forum (Beirut), and at Guggenheim Museum (New York), Sharjah Art Foundation (Sharjah), Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville), and Contemporary Image Collective (Cairo) among other places. Her projects include Nefertiti, Tin Soldiers, An Index of Tensional and Unintentional Love of Land, Plan for Greater Baghdad, Plan (fem.) for Greater Baghdad, and Drachmas. Younis curated the first Kuwaiti Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale; and the Museum of Manufactured Response to Absence and its interventions in Algeria, Kuwait, and Ramallah. She is co-founder of the non-profit publishing initiative Kayfa ta, and on the advisory board of Berlinale's Forum Expanded.

Photo: Isabella Balena © La Biennale di Venezia

© KB Mpofu

Percy Zvomuya

PERCY ZVOMUYA is a Harare-based writer, journalist, critic and football fan. He is also a co-founder and former co-editor of the Con Magazine, a Johannesburg based writing collective. For close to a decade, he worked at the Mail & Guardian (South Africa) until the end of 2013. In 2014, he was on the judging panel of the Caine Prize of African Writing; it was the same year he was a recipient of the Miles Morland Fellowship for a book on Robert Mugabe. He has written for several publications, including Africa is a Country, Chimurenga, Jacobin, the London Review of Books blog, Moto (Zimbabwe), and Sunday Times (South Africa).

Former Members

Former Members

















Omar Alemsi

Participatory Residency Program

OMAR ALEMSI has assisted with the Akademie der Künste der Welt’s (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) Participatory Residency Program as a working student since March 2021. He is an undergraduate student of American/English studies and Oriental studies at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Omar Alemsi is interested in cultural activist and artistic approaches to discourses of race, class, gender and sexuality and their intersection.


Sarah Bolz

Head of Communications (on parental leave)

SARAH BOLZ has been Head of Communications at the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) since February 2018. After initial stints in dramaturgy at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsches Theater Berlin, and the Junges Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, Sarah Bolz completed an internship under director Karin Beier in press, marketing, and public relations at Schauspiel Köln. Upon finishing her studies in cultural pedagogy and cultural management she worked as press and public relations assistant for the Ensemble Musikfabrik, one of the most well-known contemporary music ensembles in Germany and worldwide. With the start of the 2016.17 season she changed over to the Oper Köln, under the direction of Dr. Birgit Meyer, where she worked as press and online communications manager.

Janna Dittmeyer

Head of Communications

JANNA DITTMEYER joined the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in October 2021. Previously, she worked at Theater Dortmund, Schauspiel Köln, and Impulse Theater Festival, among others, in the areas of marketing, dramaturgy, and production management. She subsequently worked as an assistant director at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and as a project manager in marketing for the Ruhrtriennale – Festival of the Arts.


Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz

Artistic Director

MAX JORGE HINDERER CRUZ is a Bolivian-German writer, curator and philosopher. From March 2019 to June 2020 he was Director of the National Museum of Art (MNA) in La Paz, where he founded the museum's Program for Decolonial Studies in Art (PED) and was responsible for generating a historical change of the institutional profile. His work at the museum has been recognized by the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), being considered a reference in the international museum community for its developments in the fields of social inclusion and education.

As curator and cultural programmer (selection): from 2008 to 2011 he was curator of the exhibition and publication project Principio Potosí (Museo Reina Sofía Madrid/Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin/MNA and MUSEF La Paz - with Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmann). From 2014 to 2016 he was coordinator of P.A.C.A. (Program of Autonomous Cultural Actions) and Seminário Público Micropolíticas in São Paulo (with Suely Rolnik, Amilcar Packer and Tatiana Roque). With Paul B. Preciado, Margarita Tsomou and Nelli Kambouri he organized the Apatride Society as part of the Documenta14 public program in Athens and Kassel between 2016 and 2017. In 2017 he was invited by Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station, to co-program a section of their project Angazi, but I’m sure. at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.

Hinderer Cruz is author of the book Hélio Oiticica and Neville D'Almeida: Block-Experiments in Cosmococa - program in progress (Afterall Books/MIT Press, 2013 - with Sabeth Buchmann) and, amongst others, editor of Art and Ideology Critique After 1989 (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König/Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2013 – with E. Birkenstock, et al.). Most recently, Hinderer Cruz published LA DEUDA CON LA BELLEZA. Textos 2019-2021 (PCP Programa Cultura Política, La Paz, 2022).

His texts and cultural criticism have been published in Spanish, German, English, Portuguese and French, in various formats in books, catalogues, magazines and international newspapers in Europe, Africa, the USA and Latin America. Hinderer Cruz regularly publishes essays in the Bolivian newspaper La Razón.

Hinderer Cruz was a fellow of Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in 2016 and has been an ADKDW member since 2018. Since 2022 he is the artistic director of ADKDW.


Jan Kryszons

Head of Artistic Production

JAN KRYSZONS started working with the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in September 2014, and supports the ADKDW and its artists in the production of events, exhibitions, performances, and concerts. Kryszons studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf and has realized, as co-curator and project manager among other capacities, various national and international cultural projects for the art space Noordkaap in the Netherlands.


Clara Napp

Head of Artistic Production

CLARA NAPP has been working for the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) since 2018 - since January 2020, she has been in charge of the artistic production. Prior to that, she was assistant to the curatorial team of Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 and worked for various cultural institutions in Münster, Brussels and Düsseldorf. She holds a degree in German linguistics and literature from the University of Münster and studied Fine Arts at the University of Fine Arts Münster, where she graduated as master student of Suchan Kinoshita.


Sarah Fatima Schütz

Assistant to the Artistic Director

SARAH FATIMA SCHÜTZ joined the artistic direction team at the Akademie der Küste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) in January 2022. She studied art history and ethnology as an undergraduate at the University of Hamburg and as a master at the University of Cologne.

From 2016 to 2018, she worked at the Central Office for Scientific Collections at the University of Hamburg, most recently she has been working at the Stadtmuseum Köln and as Live Speaker in the exhibition RESIST! - The Art of Resistance at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Cologne. In her political practice, she engages academically and through the media of film and performance with theories and practices of decolonizing bodies of knowledge, museum ethnology, colonial photography, and anti-discrimination work.


Jörg Streichert

Managing Director

JÖRG STREICHERT studied business management and philosophy. He worked as a texter/concept developer at the creative advertising agency Scholz & Friends in Berlin. In 2016, he published the book Best Art - The Life of Kasper König in 15 Exhibitions. In his last position Jörg Streichert was managing director of Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und des Museum Ludwig e.V. in Cologne. During this time, he initiated and implemented projects such as the lecture series KunstBewusst, the concert series King Ludwig or the annual young art night and many other projects. In the summer of 2019, he conceived and realized the cultural venue Euphorie #1 Lisboa and Euphorie #2 Glasgow in the center of Cologne. This project, funded by the city, offered a diverse and exciting cultural program for a heterogeneous audience and had a close connection to the cultural scene of Cologne.


Christopher Szwabczynski

Student Assistant Communications

CHRISTOPHER SZWABCZYNSKI supports the communications department at the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) since April 2020 as a student assistant. He studied Sound Studies and German Studies in Warsaw and Bonn. Since 2018 he has been pursuing an M.A. in Modern German Literature at the University of Bonn. He previously worked for the music label Kompakt and as a freelance writer for Choices, among other organizations.


Ulrike Traub

Assistant to the Managing Director

ULRIKE TRAUB has been working for the Academy since March 2013 in the administration department and as assistant to the Managing Director. She studied Theatre Studies, Modern German Literature, and English at the Ruhr University in Bochum and completed her doctorate thesis on the topic “Theatre of Nakedness” in 2010.


Jakub Wandzioch

Student Assistant Artistic Production

JAKUB WANDZIOCH has assisted with artistic production at the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) as a student worker since January 2020. After pursuing Eastern and Central European regional studies and Eastern European studies in Cologne, Warsaw and Berlin, he is currently in the media and cultural studies master’s program at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. He previously worked at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Free University of Berlin and at the Polish Institute Berlin.


Nora Wiedenhöft

Head of Participatory Residency Program

NORA WIEDENHÖFT has been head of the Akademie der Künste der Welt´s (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) Participatory Residency Program since 2021, the concept of which she helped develop in 2020. Previously, she worked as a curatorial assistant and project coordinator on the ADKDW curatorial team from 2015 to 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, she was responsible for the organization and realization of the ADKDW‘s Youth Academy, which will be replaced by the Participatory Residency Program. In 2016 and 2017, she was part of the collective planning and implementing the queer feminist seminar Salecina and supported the „Tribunal NSU Komplex auflösen“. She is interested in queer feminist and postcolonial critiques of power, as well as intersectional approaches in cultural education. Nora Wiedenhöft studied Religious Studies with a focus on postcolonial theory and sociology of religion as well as political science at the Universities of Heidelberg and Zurich.


Tomke Winterboer

Trainee Communications

TOMKE WINTERBOER has been a trainee in Communications of the Academy of the Arts of the World since January 2021. She studied Sociology and Philosophy at the University Bielefeld. The content of her scientific work focused on social media, digitization and surveillance, but also language and perception. In 2020, she trained as a multimedia specialist. In addition to her studies, she has been active as an actor, photographer, and technician at Theaterhaus Tor 6 in Bielefeld since 2016.



Thank you!

Our sincere thanks to the partners, supporters and sponsors of the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW).
Without them, the program of the ADKDW could not be realized. With their support, they make it possible for international thinkers and creatives to connect with local actors and thus make the potential of an intercultural urban society in Cologne visible.


Main Sponsor

Sponsor Participatory Residency Program

Cooperation Partners 2022

Die Vielen e.V.

Aim and charitable purpose of Die Vielen e.V (est 2017) is the promotion of an international mind set, tolerance in all areas concerning culture and public education.

As participants in the cultural sector in Germany we do not consider ourselves to be above or in any way distanced from current developments in this country, in fact we have our feet firmly on the ground, the very ground on which the most terrible crimes in human history were committed in the name of the state. Once before in this country, art was defamed as degenerate and culture was abused for propaganda purposes across the board. Millions of people were murdered or forced into exile, among them many creative people involved in the arts.

Today we perceive art and cultural institutions and facilities as open spaces which belong to “the Many” (Die Vielen). Our society is a pluralist collection of people. Many different interests come together and find themselves in the in-between. Democracy must be re-negotiated every day – but always on one condition: this is about everyone, about every single person as a being of many possibilities!

Right-wing populism, which attacks cultural facilities and institutions as protagonists in this vision of society, is very hostile to the art of the many. Far right-wing groups and parties repeatedly disrupt events, attempt to intervene in the selection of repertoires, polemicize against the freedom of the arts and aim to achieve the re-nationalisation of culture.

Their contemptuous treatment of refugees and exiles, of the dedicated people in the cultural sector, and of all those who think differently clearly reveals how they intend to treat society if the balance of power should ever lean in their favour.

We, the signatories of this declaration, as stakeholders in the arts and cultural facilities, institutions and establishments in NRW, as members of related interest groups, or as members of the independent arts and cultural scenes, are all taking a clear stance to actively resist such efforts by the right-wing etc. as expressed in the following:

• The signatories to this declaration from the arts and cultural institutions proactively organise and foster open-minded, informative and critical discourse about right-wing strategies. They formulate and devise this dialogue together with performers, participants and the public, with the clear conviction that the participating institutions, facilities and establishments have a mandate to uphold and continue developing our democratic society.

• None of the signatories provide a platform for ethno-nationalistic propaganda.

• We reject the illegitimate attempts of right-wing nationalists to instrumentalise cultural events for their own purposes.

• We are united in expressing our solidarity with people who are being forced further and further to the edges of our society by extreme right-wing politics.

Racism is something we encounter every day. Right wing extremism is one symptom of racism. This alliance of DIE VIELEN (The Many) does not just want to fight against the symptoms but wants to have a much deeper impact. We will therefore look carefully into our own structures, put them to the test and subject them to renegotiation. We must open up our arts and cultural spaces as well as our society so that we can really become “The Many”!

Solidarity not privileges. This impacts everyone. The arts will always be free!

NRW Declaration

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