At the end of the year, the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World (ADKDW) bids farewell to Madhusree Dutta as artistic director. The Indian filmmaker, author and curator, who is also a founding member of the Academy, set important artistic accents in Cologne and the region during her four years with the ADKDW. A central concern of hers was the documentation and investigation of urban space as well as the exchange with urban society. In 2019, she was honored for this with the Kölner Kulturpreis.

Madhusree Dutta's artistic direction was shaped by a fundamental program idea: to counter the narrow concept of local and public. Aiming to facilitate dialogues between local experiences and the international discourses and practices, Madhusree Dutta created regular interfaces along four thematic axes since 2018: sites at stake; found:erased:palimpsest; hybrid transactions; original fakes.

Hence the program contents of the last four years have always complemented each other or even linked to each other. One example is the project Memory Stations across the NRW region - a project to crowd-source local history with the call to ‘Be a Public Historian’. The experiences and resources cultivated through this project matured into other works in 2020 - including the local history project Geister, Spuren, Echos: Arbeiten in Schichten (Ghosts, Traces, Echoes: Works in Shifts) based on the other stories of work in Ruhrgebiet.

While Dutta's motivation behind these and many other projects remained the same, her expression kept finding new variations: ‘I am a great believer of repeats - like the refrain in poetry. The projects remained connected by the refrain - Local is not Parochial.’

Madhussree Dutta will be succeeded by Bolivian-German author, curator and philosopher Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz from 01.01.2022.