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.

The ADKDW Studio regularly hosts 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 transcultural urban society visible.

Nature Theatre of Oklahoma 2016


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.


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 current Artistic Director of the ADKDW acts as the spokesperson for the Academy members.

© 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.

© Dörthe Boxberg

Madhusree Dutta

MADHUSREE DUTTA is a filmmaker, author and cultural producer living in India and Germany. She is the founder and former director (1998-2016) of Majlis, a center for rights discourse and interdisciplinary art initiatives in Mumbai; and former artistic director (2018-2021) of Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, Germany. Her areas of interest are documentary practices, urbanology, inter-disciplinary archiving practices, and urban 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. 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 several large scale projects on urban public cultures including Project Cinema City: Research Art and Documentary Practices (2009-2014) – a cross-disciplinary endeavor on cinema as a public culture in Mumbai, and Memory Stations (2018-2019): a public history project in the post-industrial towns of North Rhine and Westphalia in Germany.

Her publications include dates.sites: Bombay / Mumbai – a textual and graphic timeline of the urban public culture in the 20th century; Project Cinema City – an anthology of essays on cinema producing cities; fake hybrid sites palimpsest: Essays on Leakages – on porosity in cultural practices.

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). Currently she works as a freelance artist and curator.


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.

© Zoé Aubry

Petrit Halilaj

Petrit Halilaj (b. 1986 in Kostërrc, Kosovo) understands exhibitions as a way to alter the course of personal and collective histories, creating complex worlds that claim space for freedom, desire, intimacy, and identity. His work is deeply connected to the recent history of his native country Kosovo and the consequences of cultural and political tensions in the region, which he often takes as a starting point for igniting countercurrent poetics for the future. Rooted in his biography, the projects encompass a variety of media, including sculpture, drawing, text, and performance. Often incorporating materials from Kosovo and manifesting as ambitious spatial installations, his work transposes personal relationships, places and people into sculptural forms. Halilaj's practice can be seen as a playful and, at times, irreverent attempt to resist oppressive politics and social norms towards an untamed celebration of all forms of connectedness and freedom.

Halilaj held solo exhibitions at Fries Museum, Leeuwarden; Tate St. Ives, UK; Palacio de Cristal, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; New Museum, New York; Fondazione Merz, Turin; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Paul Klee Zentrum, Bern; Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn; Fondation d'Entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen, among others.

Halilaj studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Art in Milan. He received the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) in 2018 and completed the MAK-Schindler Scholarship Program at the Mackey Apartments, Los Angeles, as well as residencies at the Villa Romana, Florence and Fürstenberg Contemporary, Heiligenberg. He is currently a professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris, France, together with his partner and frequent artistic collaborator, Álvaro Urbano. He lives and works between Germany, Kosovo and Italy.

© Jan Kryszons

Nanna Heidenreich

NANNA HEIDENREICH (*1970) is professor for Transcultural Studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She is a media & cultural studies scholar as well as a curator for film, video as well as political & theoretical interventions. Curatorial works include Forum Expanded at the Berlinale (2008-2017), HKW (2016/17), Hotspots. Migration and the Sea, ADKDW, 2019. Her most recent project was Auslaufende Umwelten, developed together with Marcus Held for Kunstverein D21 in Leipzig. Her research areas include postcolonial media theory, critical migration studies, image politics, art & activism, queer cinema, oceanic perspectives and most recently, the discourse on the so-called invasive species. She lives in Vienna & Berlin.


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. From 2021-2023 he was the artistic director of the ADKDW.

Soyoung Kim (aka Jeong Kim)

KIM SOYOUNG (JEONG) is a 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 trilogy 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.

© 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 a writer, performer and independent curator. He founded the independent art centre Espace Khiasma, which he has been running from 2004 to 2018 in Les Lilas, on the outskirts of Paris. At Khiasma, he has developed a programme addressing minority representations through exhibitions, screenings, debates, performances and collaborative projects. Interested in the different modalities of transmission of knowledge, Olivier Marboeuf imagines permanent or ephemeral structures based on conversations and speculative narratives. He is a member of the film and performing art collective The Living and The Dead Ensemble. He is currently film producer at Spectre productions. A large part of his critical texts are assembled on his blog Toujours Debout.


© 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.

Adriana Schneider Alcure

ADRIANA SCHNEIDER ALCURE is an artist, theater director, actress and playwright, having been responsible for several stage productions. She is a member of Coletivo Bonobando, Grupo Pedras de Teatro and Muda Other Economies. Currently she is a Professor in the Arts of the Scene Graduate Program and in the undergraduate Theater Directing Course at the School of Communication at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Capes-Humboldt Stiftung Research Fellowship at the Universität Bonn (2018/2019) with a research project on art and fascism titled Artistic, Political and Pedagogical Strategies in the Uses of Popular Forms of Puppet Theatre: On the Kaspertheater. Adriana Schneider Alcure holds a PhD in Anthropology from PPGSA/UFRJ (2007), with a doctoral internship at LAI/FU-Berlin, including a DAAD/CNPq scholarship (2005/2006).


© 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.

© Francis Oghuma

Nanette Snoep

NANETTE SNOEP, born in Utrecht in 1971, is a Dutch anthropologist and cultural manager who worked at various European museums after studying in Paris. Before her appointment as director of the Rautenstrauch Joest-Museum in Cologne in 2019, she was involved in the development of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, among other projects. Most recently, she was the director the State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony in Leipzig, Dresden, and Herrnhut.

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).

© Singapore Art Museum

Ala Younis

Artist and curator ALA YOUNIS works with film and publishing projects and is research scholar at al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is co-founder of the publishing initiative Kayfa ta. Founded in 2012, Kayfa ta uses the popular form of how-to manuals to respond to some of today’s perceived needs. The project published over 20 publications and organized four shows on the efforts of independent publishers. Younis is also co-section head of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded since 2021. The section utilizes film programs and exhibition formats to create a diverse, innovative space to look into topics of today tackled through contemporary and historical, analogue and digital film, installation art, performance and music. Younis was also the co-Artistic Director of Natasha, the Singapore Biennale 2022. For this, she collaborated on exhibitions in Singapore that offered encounters with art that would encourage the audience's self-interpretation of the artworks. Since 2018, Younis has been a member of the Academy of the Arts of the World / Cologne, where she co-curated the 2021 exhibition HANDS: an art campaign. Amid the pandemic, her exhibition project succeeded in bringing tactile sensations, playfulness and interaction back into public life and presented new commissions shown for five months at Academyspace Cologne.

Since 2023, Ala Younis is Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World and spokesperson of the ADKDW members.


© 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






















Rafael Andrade-Córdova

Project and exhibition manager

RAFAEL ANDRADE-CÓRDOVA is working for the Academy of the Arts of the World (ADKDW) since May 2024. He studied art at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (class of Michael Reisch /Photography and Media Arts) and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). Since 2018 he has been working independently with his studio RA Bureau in the coordination and production of art and design projects. Relevant projects include the conception, design and production of the project “Remote Island” for the NS-DOK/El-De Haus with a focus on the reflection and awareness of the relevance of democracy and life in society. He is a member of Bühnen Kunst Salon e.V., an association that focuses on professional development in the field of acting for people with disabilities. He is a founding member of the Beiste Kunstraum in Agnes Viertel in Cologne.


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.


Sarah Fatima Schütz

Coordinator Artistic Program

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.


Monika Kerkmann

Managing Director

Monika Kerkmann studied art history, archaeology and philosophy at the University of Cologne. Between 2006-2015, she was working as the assistant curator and researcher at the Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf. The collection is one of the leading private collections focused on the public presentation, promotion, preservation and research of media- and performance art in the world. In 2015, she took over directorship of the two locations in Berlin and Düsseldorf, working with artists such as Ed Atkins, Trisha Donnelly, Cao Fei, Cyprien Gaillard, Arthur Jafa and STURTEVANT. In 2020, Kerkmann changed to the art platform LAS art foundation in Berlin, a non-profit working between the intersection of art, technology and science, for project- and partnership management. There, she has accompanied exhibition projects with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Libby Heaney, Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Robert Irwin, among other. Between 2022-2023, she was the co-director of the non-profit artist estate of Michel Majerus (1967-2002) in Berlin. The Michel Majerus Estate is located in the former studio of the artist and is dedicated to the scientific and artist research, presentation and contextualization of Michel Majerus’ works. One focal point of the estate is the preservation of Michel Majerus’ extensive œuvre, all which was created in a short timespan starting the 1980ies. The estate is also housing regular exhibitions and events. During her time at the estate, Kerkmann has organized the exhibition Fuck together with the curator Fabian Schöneich, in which – among other – the artists Jana Euler, Isa Genzken, Lauren Halsey and Martine Syms where exhibited, and has worked on the preparations of the archival project Let’s Play Majerus G3 with Cory Arcangel.


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.


Silke Schuster

Project assistance

SILKE SCHUSTER has been working for the ADKDW since April 2024.
She studied European Ethnology at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg.


Paulina Seyfried

Replacement Co-Head ADKDW Residency

PAULINA SEYFRIED (she/her) is the Replacement Co-Head of the ADKDW Residency since August 2023. She describes herself as disabled, seeing, queer and white. Paulina studied art and visual history at Humboldt University in Berlin (B.A.) and at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf (M.A.). In 2022 she worked as a project assistant at the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum and since then she is also the coordinator for institutional accessibility and local collaborations at the Temporary Gallery for the project Islands of Kinship. From 2022 - 2023, Paulina takes over the production management of the project insert female artist - literary forum for feminist voices (funded by MKW and Kunststiftung NRW). She was also involved in 2023 in the production at the festival Theaterformen with a focus on accessibility. In 2021 Paulina received the research and work grant Visual Arts of the City of Cologne from which her mapping Manege der Gegenwart developed. Since 2022 she is part of the Advisory Board for Cultural Participation of the City of Cologne.


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.


Hanitra Wagner

Co-Head ADKDW Residency

HANITRA WAGNER has been a freelancer for the Participatory Residency Program of the Academy of World Arts (ADKDW) since 2021. She has been Co-Head of the ADKDW Residency since end of 2022. She studied Romance Languages-French and Musicology in her Bachelor's degree at the University of Cologne and is currently completing her Master's degree in Pop Music at the Folkwang University of the Arts Bochum/Essen. Hanitra Wagner is a freelance musician, artist and organizer in and around Cologne. She is interested in post- and neocolonial theory and research, queer feminist literature, and also holds an honorary seat on the Pop Culture Advisory Board of the City of Cologne.


Nora Wiedenhöft (absent)

Co-Head ADKDW Residency

NORA WIEDENHÖFT has been Co-Head of the ADKDW Residency since end of 2022. Previously, she worked as the head of the Participatory Residency Programme from 2020 to 2022 and as 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. 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 intersectional critiques of power, especially in relation to institutional work and participation. 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.


Xiaoyao Xu

Assistant Communications

XIAOYAO XU joined the Academy of the Arts of the World (Akademie der Künste der Welt, ADKDW) in August 2022. After studying political economy in Heidelberg and Amsterdam, she is currently studying at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the class of Prof. Trisha Donnelly.


Ala Younis

Artistic Director

Artist and curator ALA YOUNIS works with film and publishing projects and is research scholar at al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, at New York University Abu Dhabi. She is co-founder of the publishing initiative Kayfa ta. Founded in 2012, Kayfa ta uses the popular form of how-to manuals to respond to some of today’s perceived needs. The project published over 20 publications and organized four shows on the efforts of independent publishers. Younis is also co-section head of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded since 2021. The section utilizes film programs and exhibition formats to create a diverse, innovative space to look into topics of today tackled through contemporary and historical, analogue and digital film, installation art, performance and music. Younis was also the co-Artistic Director of Natasha, the Singapore Biennale 2022. For this, she collaborated on exhibitions in Singapore that offered encounters with art that would encourage the audience's self-interpretation of the artworks. Since 2018, Younis has been a member of the Academy of the Arts of the World / Cologne, where she co-curated the 2021 exhibition HANDS: an art campaign. Amid the pandemic, her exhibition project succeeded in bringing tactile sensations, playfulness and interaction back into public life and presented new commissions shown for five months at the ADKDW Studio.

Since 2023, Ala Younis is Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World and spokesperson of the ADKDW members.



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 transcultural urban society in Cologne visible.


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