The Academy of the Arts of the World was founded in 2012 by the municipality of Cologne in order to respond to the city’s changing identity, shaped by people of many nationalities and backgrounds. The Academy is both a collective of members and cultural producers, based in different parts of the world, and an institution based in Cologne.

The Academy’s mission, as defined by its members, it is to challenge the monoethnic character of the German cultural landscape and to question cultural hegemonies all over the world. For that, is not enough just to show more artists of non-European origin. As a discussion-oriented institution, the Academy looks at the origins and effects of European dominance, and supports postcolonial narratives in Germany where the colonial past and its implications in the present are not reflected deeply enough. In that, it is one of the pioneering institutions in the country.

This mission is translated to the Academy’s lines of research and event programming. The Academy’s interdisciplinary program is called the PLURIVERSALE, and takes place twice a year for ca. 4 months. The program is designed by the Artistic Director, in collaboration with the Academy’s team and members. The Academy commissions, supports, and presents the production of new works, presenting events in different arts and disciplines – film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, performances, discussions – to the audience of Cologne, both in its own venue for exhibitions and discussions, ACADEMYSPACE, as well as in other venues in town and in collaborations.

In parallel to its seasonal program, the Academy also offers fellowships to artists and intellectuals from its network, and supports artists and researchers in Cologne and region with its Open Call. Though primarily a cultural platform and not an academic institution in the traditional sense, the Academy nevertheless also operates an experimental educational program called the Youth Academy, guest curated by visiting artists.


Kader Attia 


Kader Attia (b. 1970, France, lives and works in Berlin) grew up in both Algeria and the suburbs of Paris, and uses this experience of living as a part of two cultures as a starting point to develop a dynamic practice that reflects on aesthetics and ethics of different cultures. He takes a poetic and symbolic approach to exploring the wide-ranging repercussions of Western modern cultural hegemony and colonialism on non-Western cultures, investigating identity politics of historical and colonial eras, from Tradition to Modernity, in the light of our globalized world, of which he creates a genealogy. For several years, his research focuses on the concept of “Repair”, as a constant in Human Nature, of which the modern Western Mind and the traditional extra-Occidental Thought have always had an opposite vision. From Culture to Nature, from gender to architecture, from science to philosophy, any system of life is an infinite process of repair.   Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Sacrifice and Harmony, a solo show at Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Reason's Oxymorons at the 66th Berlinale in Berlin, The Injuries are Here a solo show at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Culture, Another Nature Repaired, a solo show at the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp, Contre Nature, a solo show at the Beirut Art Center, Contested Terrains at Tate Modern in London, Repair. 5 Acts, a solo show at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Construire, Déconstruire, Reconstruire: Le Corps Utopique, a solo show at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Biennale de Dakar, dOCUMENTA(13) in Kassel, Performing Histories (1) at MoMA in New York.

Ute Meta Bauer

founding director of NTU & professor

Founding Director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; Professor, Nanyang Technological University, School of Art, Design and Media

Ute Meta Bauer was educated at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. She is Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU); previously she was Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2005–2012). From 2012 to 2013, she was the Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Bauer was Cocurator for documenta 11 (2001–02) and Artistic Director for the 3rd Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2004). As Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2002–05) she was also Commissioner for the Nordic Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) and the Norwegian contribution for the 26th São Paulo Biennale (2004). Most recently in 2015, she cocurated the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale with MIT List Visual Arts Center Director Paul Ha, presenting eminent artist Joan Jonas and honored with a special mention for Best National Pavilion. For NTU CCA Singapore, she has curated exhibitions featuring Judith Barry, Zarina Bhimji, Stan Douglas, Simryn Gill, Joan Jonas, Isaac Julien, Amar Kanwar, Eva Meyer & Eran Schaerf, Constanze Ruhm, Tomás Saraceno, Allan Sekula, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Fiona Tan, and Yang Fudong. Bauer has edited numerous publications in the field of contemporary art, including Intellectual Birdhouse, Artistic Practice as Research (coedited with Florian Dombois, Michael Schwab, and Claudia Mareis, Koenig Books, 2012), World Biennale Forum No. 1 – Shifting Gravity (coedited with Hou Hanru, Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2013), and AR – Artistic Research (coedited with Thomas D. Trummer, Koenig Books, 2013). Forthcoming publications are Southeast Asia Spaces of the Curatorial (coedited with Brigitte Oetker) and Theatrical Fields: Critical Strategies in Performance, Film and Video (coedited with Anca Rujoiu).

Since 2015, Bauer is an expedition leader of TBA21 The Current, exploring the Pacific Archipelago and littorals that are most impacted by climate change and human interventions in their environments. She also serves on various boards including, nbk Berlin; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Istanbul Biennial; and the Bergen Assembly.

Ekaterina Degot

art historian, writer, curator

Born in 1958 in Moscow.

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 www.openspace.ru/art, 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 is Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World since March 2014.

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

Madhusree Dutta

filmmaker, curator, padagogue

Born in 1959 in Jamshedpur/Jharkhand, India.

Film maker (especially documentary films), producer, curator, lecturer and activist; founder and director of Majlis, an interdisciplinary art and research center in Mumbai/Bombay; also worked in the area of directing for the Bollywood film industry. Topics of her work include identity/identification, gender, democratization of artistic practices, interdisciplinarity.

1994 Filmfare Award for Best Documentary;
1996 National Award for Best Documentary on Social Issues;
1998 RAPA Best Public Service Advertisement Award;
2001 Indian Documentary Producers’ Association Award;
2007 Special Jury Award, Film South Asia.
2014 Best Published Book of the Year from Publishing Next Award for Project Cinema City

Madhusree Dutta will be part of the jury for the Short Films at Berlinale 2015; she is currently curating an inter-disciplinary show on Kashmir: Memories of Conflict, the show is to be held on September - October 2015 in India; she is working on a documentary film on the material residuals and ruins of military installations of the US army during the Second World War in the triangle of India-China-Burma


Galit Eilat

curator, writer

Freelance curator and Founding Director of “DAL - The Israeli Center for Digital Art”; Editor-in-Chief of Maarav, an online art and culture magazine; curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, lecturer in the Department of Photography, Video & Computer Imaging at the “Bezalel Academy of Art and Design” in Jerusalem; Advisor for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; Member of the Artistic Director Board of Amanut Haaretz annual festival for young Israeli art.

Her projects deal with the topics of the political situation in the Middle East, activism and the political potential of art.

Selected Exhibitions as curator or co-curator: „Yael Bartana, and Europe will be stunned“, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2012); „Strange and Close“ (co-curator Charles Esche) CAPC, Bordeaux in cooperation with the Van Abbemuseum (2011); „Black and White“ (Co-Kurator Lukasz Ronduda), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2011); „Yael Bartana, and Europe will be stunned“, (co-curator Sebastian Cichocki) Polish Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice (2011); „Politics of Collection, Collection of Politics“, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2010); „The Real War“, solo show with Sean Snyder, The Israeli Center for Digital Art, Holon (2010); „Never Looked Better“, Beth Hatefutsoth, Tel Aviv (2008–2009).

2014 Galit Eilat curated the 52. October Salon at The Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrad and belonged to the curatorial team of the São Paulo Biennial 2014.

Monika Gintersdorfer

theatre director

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.

The premier of Gintersdorfer’s Partir a l’Aventure took place at Theater Aachen in May 2014.

Upcoming events from Gintersdorfer/Klaßen:

Not Punk, Pololo - a collaboration of Ivorian, German, American and Argentine dancers, musicians and singers
10 - 14 3 2015, Kampnagel Hamburg and Hellerau Dresden

Identitäten dehnen - play about migration
7 3 2015, Ringlokschuppen, Mülheim
20 3 2015, Theater Bremen

Exorzieren statt Exerzieren - dance and theatre play
26 - 28 3 2015
Premiere at HAU in Berlin

All plays are in French/German.

Inti Guerrero

art critc, curator

Inti Guerrero is an art critic and curator who has been Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art at Tate in London since 2016. Until recently he was Associate Artistic Director of TEOR/éTica in San José, Costa Rica. Guerrero has curated exhibitions for Tate Modern in London, the Museu de Arte do Rio in Rio de Janeiro, the Para Site in Hong Kong, TheCube Project Space in Taipei, the Arko Art Centre in Seoul, the Kadist gallery in San Francisco and Bergen Assembly. His writings have appeared in Afterall, ArtNexus, Metropolis M, Nero, Manifesta Journal and Ramona, among other publications and exhibition catalogues. He is a former curatorial fellow of De Appel's Curatorial Programme. Graduated in History and Theory of Art and Architecture as well as in General History at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota and Universidade de São Paulo. He is a former Curator-in-Residence of the collection Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin and the artistic platform Capacete Entretenimentos in Rio de Janeiro.  

He has curated (selection): Cuando la rama se rompe at the MARCO in Vigo and the FRAC Lorraine in Metz in 2010, A cidade do homem nu at the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo in 2010, Duet for Cannibals at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam in 2010, Light Years: Cristina Lucas at Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City in 2010 and at Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid in 2009, Deceiving the Enemy at Laboratorio Interdisciplinario para las Artes in Bogotá and has co-curated And yet it moves at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin in 2009 and Yo no soy esa at Galería Santa Fe in Bogota in 2005.

Tom Holert

art historian, critic, curator, artist

Born in 1962 in Hamburg, lives in Berlin.

Holert studied Art History, Modern German Literature and Philosophy in Hamburg and Paris. From 1992 to 1996, he was editor of Texte zur Kunst (Cologne), from 1996 to 1999 editor and co-publisher of Spex (Cologne). In 2000, he co-founded (with Mark Terkessidis) the Institute for Studies in Visual Culture (isvc). Holert was a professor at the Merz Academy Stuttgart and the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna (where he holds a honorary professorship). His texts can be found in numerous cultural theoretical anthologies and publications such as Texte zur Kunst, Artforum, Frieze, Camera Austria, taz, Bidoun, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Pop. Kultur und Kritik, Journal of Visual Culture, and Jungle World. Alongside his writings on contemporary and late modernist art, Holert (co-)authored books on politics, war, mobility, glamour, the governmentality of the present and the politics of knowledge and art.
Selected book publications: Mainstream der Minderheiten. Pop in der Kontrollgesellschaft (ed. with Mark Terkessidis, Berlin and Amsterdam, 1996), Künstlerwissen (Munich, 1998); Imagineering. Visuelle Kultur und Politik der Sichtbarkeit (ed., Cologne, 2000), Entsichert. Krieg als Massenkultur im 21. Jahrhundert(with Mark Terkessidis, Cologne, 2002), Fliehkraft. Gesellschaft in Bewegung – von Migranten und Touristen (with Mark Terkessidis, Cologne, 2006); Regieren im Bildraum (Berlin, 2008); Das Erziehungsbild. Zur visuellen Kultur des Pädagogischen (ed. with Marion von Osten, Vienna, 2010); Deadwood (Zurich and Berlin, 2013); Übergriffe. Zustände und Zuständigkeiten der Gegenwartskunst (Hamburg, 2014); Troubling Research. Performing Knowledge in the Arts (ed. with Johanna Schaffer et.al., Berlin, 2014).

Holert also made artistic contributions to Mimétisme (Extra City, Antwerp, 2007), Manifesta 7 (Trento 2008), Fake or Feint (Berlin 2009), 8th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, South Korea, 2010), Forum Expanded (Berlinale, 2011), Animism (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2012; e-flux, New York, 2012; OCAT, Shenzhen, 2013; Ilmin Museum, Seoul, 2013-14) among others.


Soyoung Kim (a.k.a. Jeong Kim)

filmmaker, writer

Kim Soyoung (Jeong) is a filmmaker and author from South Korea. She majored in Cinema Studies at NYU and is one of the first graduating member of the Korean Academy of Film Arts. As a critique she wrote for Cahiers du cinéma, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Cine-21 as well as for various newspapers on film and popular culture.

Her filmography includes Women’s History Trilogy (2000-2004) (Koryu: Southern women/South Korea / I’ll Be Seeing Her / New Woman: Her First Song) which was screened at numerous international film festivals such as Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, and Digi Beta Festival, Berlin. Kim Soyoung’s feature length fiction film Viewfinder (2010) was screened at Busan International Film Festival, South Korea, Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan, as well as at Seoul Indie Film Festival, Seoul, and released in theaters.

Her books on modernity, gender, cinema, and media both were published in Korean and English, among these are Specters of Modernity: Fantastic Korean Cinema *(in Korean) and *Electronic Elsewhere: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), co-edited by Chris Berry, Soyoung Kim and Lynn Spigel.

She was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and Duke University and a visiting research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Kim Soyoung (Jeong) is the director of the Trans Asia Screen Culture Institute, Seoul Korea and editorial board member of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. She is a founding programmer of Jeonju International Film festival (2000) and Seoul Women’s film Festival (1997) where she is still co-director.

She is currently working on her Open Cities Project (since 2014) and the Exile Trilogy *(since 2014) as well as *Diva – Sound of Nomad, a work in progress on female singers during the Kolhoz period of the Soviet Union and Good Bye My Love NK, a work in progress on North Korean refugee directors in Central Asia during the Soviet Union.


Liza Lim


Born in 1966 in Perth, Australia.

Studied music at Melbourne University and completed her PhD at the University of Queensland.

Commissions from renowned orchestras: e.g. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, musikFabrik, Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble InterContemporain, Ensemble Modern, Sydney Symphony Orchestra; and invitations to famous festivals including Salzburger Festspiele, Luzern Festival, Festival d’Automne à Paris. Current work: 'Tree of Codes' opera for Ensemble musikFabrik with a related research project on digital score technologies in collaboration with ZKM.

A transcultural access to music is characteristic for Lim. Christopher Alexander's architectural work on 'pattern language' has been an important tool for understanding cultural patterns. Her compositions reflect on performance rituals and aesthetics from East Asian and Australian Aboriginal sources, the specific sound of old instruments, calligraphy and notation of performance energies.

She has won numerous prizes including the Paul Lowin Prize, Fromm Foundation Award, Ian Potter Foundation and Australia Council Senior Composer Fellowships. In 2007/8 she was a guest of the Berlin DAAD artist programme. She is Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield. Her compositions are published by Casa Ricordi (Milan, London & Munich).

Liza Lim’s piece The Green Lion eats the Sunpremiered on 21 September 2014.


Faustin Linyekula

dancer, choreographer

Born in 1974 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dancer, choreographer and dancing instructor, who lives and works between Kisangani and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Paris. After studying literature and dramatics in his hometown of Kisangani, he moved to Nairobi in 1993, where he founded his first dance company Gàara. He worked as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in France, South Africa, La Réunion and Slovenia and was artist-in-residence with Mathilde Monnier and Régine Chopinot.

In 2001, he returned to his home country and founded the Studios Kabako, a center for artistic exchange in the field of dance and theatre. He created numerous performances with the company of the same name, which were shown at international festivals across the globe. He staged shows at the Comédie-Française and in 2007 received the main prize of the Dutch Prinz-Claus-Stiftung für Kultur und Entwicklung [Price Claus Foundation for Culture and Development].


Tienchi Martin-Liao

author, publicist

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.

Together with Stefan Kramer from the East Asian Seminar, University of Cologne, Tienchi Martin-Liao curated the colloquium "From Concubine to Migrant Worker? Women in China", as part of PLURIVERSALE I of the Academy of the Arts of the World.


Hans Ulrich Obrist


Born in 1968 in Weinfelden, Switzerland.

Curator for contemporary art, author and co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London; studied economics and politics. Obrist was curator at the museum in progress in Vienna and from 2000 to 2006 curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris.

Curator of over 250 exhibitions (including the 1st Berlin Biennale, Lyon Biennale, Moscow Biennale, Utopia Station). Contributions to over 200 book projects.

Obrist is famous for his “interview marathons”, which take place on various topics, as well as for his published interviews with artists, architects, filmmakers, scientists, philosophers and musicians. In 2009, the specialist magazine Art Review voted him the most influential person in the art industry.

The Guardian, 23.3.2014
Die Zeit, 5.4.2014

Lemi Ponifasio

choreographer, director

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 meaning 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.

28 August 2014 Lemi Ponifasio presented his piece "I AM" for the first time in Germany at the Ruhr triennale at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum.


Walid Raad


Visual artist and an Associate Professor of Art in The Cooper Union in New York. Raad’s works include “The Atlas Group”, a fifteen-year project between 1989 and 2004 about the contemporary history of Lebanon, and the ongoing projects “Scratching on Things I Could Disavow: A History of Art in the Arab World”, and “Sweet Talk: Commissions” (Beirut). His books include “TheTruth Will Be Known When The Last Witness Is Dead”, “My Neck Is Thinner Than A Hair “, “Let’s Be Honest”, “The Weather Helped” and “Scratching on Things I Could Disavow”.

Raad’s works have been shown at Kunsthalle Zurich, in London, the Festival d’Automne in Paris, Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussel, the Documenta 11 and 13 in Kassel, The Venice Biennale, The Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, at Homeworks in Beirut and numerous other museums and venues in Europe, the Middle East, and Americas. Until September 2014 his works are exhibited at Carreé d’Art, Musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes.

Raad is also the recipient of the Hasselblad Award (2011), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2007), the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2007), and the Camera Austria Award (2005).

David Riff

writer, translator, artist, curator

David Riff was born in 1975 and is based in Moscow and Berlin. He studied cultural anthropology at SUNY New Paltz (US) and slavonic studies and art history at the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany). Riff has written widely on the history and present of contemporary art in Russia as an art critic, contributing e.g. to Flash Art, springerin or Moscow Art Magazine. He has translated extensively, his most recent project a forthcoming volume of the work of Soviet aesthetic philosopher Mikhail Lifshitz.
Riff is a member of the workgroup Chto delat/What is to be done? and has been involved in other artistic collaborations such as the Learning Film Group or the Karl Marx School of the English Language. Curatorial projects have included the “Bergen Assembly triennial” (2013), the international exhibition “The Potosi Principle” (as a curatorial correspondent), 2010–2011; the “Ural Industrial Biennial” (with Cosmin Costinas and Ekaterina Degot), 2010; and “Auditorium Moscow”, a discussion platform and exhibition (with Ekaterina Degot and Joanna Mytkowska), 2011.

David Riff is a member of the Academy and its Head of Publications. He lives and works in Moscow and Berlin as an author, translator, artist, and curator. Riff is a professor at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia.

Ali Samadi Ahadi

director, scriptwriter, filmmaker

Born in 1972 in Tabriz, Iran, lives in Cologne.

In 1985, during the first Gulf War for which he was to be forcibly recruited as a child soldier, he fled from his home country to Germany without his parents. His studies include Social Sciences and Visual Communication with a focus on Film.

For his documentary “Lost Children” about the fate of child soldiers in the conflict between Ugandan government troops and rebels, Samadi Ahadi received the German Film Prize in 2006. In 2009, Samadi Ahadi presented his culture-clash comedy “Salami Aleikum”, for which he won prizes such as the German Film Critics’ Prize as “Best Feature Film Debut” and the NDR Film Prize for Young Talent at the 20th International Film Festival Emden-Norderney. This was followed in 2010 by the television documentary “Iran: Elections 2009” about the protests following the Iranian Presidential elections in 2009, for which he was awarded with the Grimme Prize in 2011. Under the title “The Green Wave”, an 80-minute version of the film was released in cinemas in 2011 and ran in the Sundance Film Festival in the “World Cinema Documentary” competition. His most recent movie, the comedy „Die Mamba“ was released 2014.


Mark Terkessidis

writer, psychologist, pedagogue

Born in Eschweiler, Rheinland, in 1966, today Mark Terkessidis lives and works in Berlin and Cologne as a freelance writer. He graduated in psychology and has a doctorate in pedagogy. From 1992 to 1994 he was the editor of “Spex” magazine; together with Tom Holert he founded the “Institute for Studies in Visual Culture” (ISVC) in 2001; from 2003 to 2011 he worked as a presenter for the West German Radio (WDR) programme “Funkhaus Europa”; he was a Fellow at the Piet Zwart Instituut at the Willem de Kooning Akademie Rotterdam in 2011/2012 and is currently lecturing at the University in St. Gallen. Terkessidis participated in the initiative group for the founding of the Academy of the Arts of the World. On the topic of youth and popular culture, migration and racism, he has contributed articles to various German newspapers and magazines such as tageszeitung, Die Zeit, Freitag, Tagesspiegel, Literaturen, Texte zur Kunst, as well as for radio, including WDR, Radio Bremen and Deutschlandfunk.

Alongside Jochen Kühling (Run United Music) Mark Terkessidis curated "Sound of the Imaginary Homeland" as part of PLURIVERSALE I of the Academy of the Arts of the World.

“Heimatlieder aus Deutschland Vol.1” (Run United 2013), “New German Ethnic Music - Immigrant’s songs from Germany electronically reworked” (Karaole Kalk 2013)

“Kulturkampf – Volk, Nation, der Westen und die Neue Rechte” (Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1995), Editor (with Tom Holert) of “Mainstream der Minderheiten – Pop in der Kontrollgesellschaft” (Berlin: ID-Verlag, 1996), “Psychologie des Rassismus” (Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1998), Editor (with Ruth Mayer) of “Globalkolorit – Multikulturalismus und Populärkultur “(St. Andrä-Wörden: Hannibal, 1998), “Migranten” (Hamburg: Rotbuch, 2000), “Entsichert - Krieg als Massenkultur im 21. Jahrhundert” (Together with Tom Holert, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2002); “Die Banalität des Rassismus. Migranten zweiter Generation entwickeln einen neue Perspektive” (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2004), “Fliehkraft. Gesellschaft in Bewegung – Von Migranten und Touristen” (Together with Tom Holert, Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2006); “Interkultur” (Berlin: edition suhrkamp).

Terre Thaemlitz

multi-media producer, writer, audio remixer, DJ

born in 1968 in Minnesota, USA, permanently relocated to Kawasaki, Japan, in January 2001.

Terre Thaemlitz is a multi-media producer, writer, public speaker, educator, audio remixer, DJ and owner of the Comatonse Recordings record label. Her work combines a critical look at identity politics – including gender, sexuality, class, linguistics, ethnicity and race – with an ongoing analysis of the socio-economics of commercial media production. He has released over 15 solo albums, as well as numerous 12-inch singles and video works. Her writings on music and culture have been published internationally in a number of books, academic journals and magazines. As a speaker and educator on issues of non-essentialist Transgenderism and Queerness, Thaemlitz has lectured and participated in panel discussions throughout Europe and Japan.

Although primarily working in the field of commercial audio production, Thaemlitz has also participated in several gallery-oriented exhibitions, including two solo shows. Most notable of these was the solo museum exhibition Soulnessless as part of the exhibition series Gender Issue, curated by Pièrre Bal-Blanc, Centre d'art contemporain de Brétigny, Brétigny s/Orge France (October 5, 2012-January 26, 2013).

However, Thaemlitz actively disassociates herself from identities such as “artist” and “musician,” and relates to his involvements in the fields of art, music and academia strictly as labour processes for which she has little affinity.

Special mentions include: Top 5 World's Least Douchey DJs in Crossfade/Miami New Times (US), November 25, 2011; Best Album 2009 (DJ Sprinkles, Midtown 120 Blues) in Resident Advisor (residentadvisor.net) (AU); Karl Sczuka Preis Top 5 finalist 2005 (Terre Thaemlitz, Trans-Sister Radio) (DE). Honourable mention in Digital Musics (Terre Thaemlitz, Superbonus), 1999 ORF Prix Ars Electronica (AT); Best Ambient/Experimental Artist 1997 in URB Magazine (US), March/April 1998; Magellan 3-Star Site Award 1994 (US) for Comatonse Recordings homepage design; Best DJ Award 1991 Sally's II Grammy Awards, House of Magic, Midtown Manhattan Drag Circuit (US).


Rosemarie Trockel


Born in 1952 in Schwerte; lives in Cologne.

From 1974 to 1978 she studied at the Kölner Werkschulen: since 1998 professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf for the department of Sculpture; numerous exhibitions at home and abroad. Participation in the documenta X and 13 and in 1999 in the Venice Biennale as the first artist in the German Pavilion.

Topics: Elements constitutive of society, norms, clichés, symbols and codes are questioned and called into doubt consistently in their function and implicitness in drawings, pictures, ceramics, videos, sculptures and objects. However, her works cannot be pinned down to a certain iconography or a particular art-theoretical direction.

Numerous prizes (including the State Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Wolfgang-Hahn Prize of the Society for Modern Art at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Art Prize of the State Capital Düsseldorf, Goslarer Kaiserring).

Stefan Weidner

author, translator, literary critic

Born in 1967 in Cologne, lives in Cologne.

Weidner studied Islamic Studies, German Studies and Philosophy at the Universities of Göttingen, Damascus, Berkeley and Bonn. Since 2011 he is Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Fikrun wa Fann, which is published by the Goethe Institute and which aims to contribute to the dialogue between western culture and culture influenced by Islam. Author of numerous publications, editor of anthologies and translator in particular of Arabic poetry.

Published among other things: „Und sehnen uns nach einem neuen Gott. Religion und Poesie im Werk von Adonis“ (Berlin, 2005), „Aufbruch in die Vernunft. Islamdebatten und islamische Welt zwischen 9/11 und den arabischen Revolutionen“ (Bonn, 2011).

Guest professorships at the FU Berlin and at the University of Bonn.

Numerous prizes including the Clemens-Brentano-Prize of the City of Heidelberg in 2006; in 2007 the Johann-Heinrich-Voß Prize of the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung [German Academy for Language and Poetry] for his complete translation works.

Liao Yiwu

author, poet

Born in 1958 in China’s Sichuan Province.

Lives in exile in Berlin since 2012 as a guest of the DAAD. Liao Yiwu grew up as the child of parents “with no permanent residence permit” in the extreme famine of the 1960s and struggled along for years with various day laborer jobs and as a poet. In 1989, he composed the much-noticed poem “Massaker” [Massacre] about the events at Tian’anmen Square. As a result of this, he was imprisoned for four years and severely mistreated. In 2007, Liao Yiwu was awarded the “Freedom to Write” prize from the independent Chinese PEN center. However, the presentation of the award was stopped at the last minute. In 2009, his German book “Fräulein Hallo und der Bauernkaiser – Chinas Gesellschaft von unten” [Interviews with People from the Bottom Rung of Society] was met with euphoria by critics and its audience. Due to his critical stance towards the Chinese government, Liao’s works are forbidden in the People’s Republic.

Many of his books have been translated into various languages, including English, French, German and Japanese. Invitations to the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2009 and to lit.COLOGNE 2010, which he was unable to accept due to being forbidden to leave the country.

He has been awarded with various literary and human rights prizes, among others: the Geschwister-Scholl Preis (2011) and in may 2012 the “Ryszard Kapuscinski Award” in Warsaw. He is the holder of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade 2012.

"Diese Menschen leben bis heute in Verzweiflung"; Interview with Liao Yiwu about the Tiananmen-massacre of 1989. Spiegel online, June 2014 (only in German).

Tom Zé

singer, author, composer, performance artist

Born in 1936 in Irará, Brazil; lives in São Paulo.

Studied Music in Salvador da Bahia, among others with Hans-Joachim Koellreutter, who confronted him with the work of German-language avant- gardists (Schönberg, Bill, Stockhausen, etc.) and encouraged him to explore the traditional music of his home country. Together with Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and others, he founded the Tropicália movement in the mid-1960s, which counterposed the aesthetically elegant musical revolution of Bossa Nova, the eruption of the “Beat Generation”, who provoked conflict with the Brazilian military dictatorship with its disrespectful desire for freedom.

Tom Zè has the New York-based David Byrne from Talking Heads to thank for his artistic “rebirth”, as it was the pop avant-gardist who rediscovered Tom Zè in 1989 and who sells his work worldwide via his label “Luaka Bop”. This was followed by glowing reviews by critics in the USA and Europe, international tours and cooperations, a presentation in the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the award-winning dance theater music for the “Companie Grupo Corpo”.



Elke Moltrecht


Elke Moltrecht studied musicology at the Humboldt Universität in Berlin, was a cofounder of the Heinrich Schütz House in Bad Köstritz, and a member of the founding team of the Bosehaus/Bach-Museum Leipzig. From 1992 to 2005, she worked at the Podewil Center for Contemporary Arts in Berlin, directing its music department from 1995 on. She founded the music label x-tract in 2001, and in 2006 and 2007 was Director of the Ballhaus Naunystraße in Berlin Kreuzberg. From 2008 to 2011, she was based in Hannover as Executive Director of Musik 21 Niedersachsen, the statewide network for contemporary music. Organizer of the “Seeing Music” project in the framework of the Humboldt Lab Dahlem, she was also Managing Director of the “Hybrid Music” project, and in 2013 founded the Ensemble Extrakte.

Moltrecht is a curator and initiator of international and interdisciplinary festivals and annual programs that link forms of music through uncommon thematic associations. These include “faithful! Fidelity and Betrayal of Musical Interpretation,” “Beyrouth – The Beirut of Education,” “Interface – Festival for Music and Related Arts,” “40 Years of Speed and Space: Los Angeles – Berlin,” “x-tract Chicago,” “Kreuztanbul – Intercultural Happenings between Kreuzberg and Istanbul in Sound, Image and Word,” and projects such as “Im Sog der Klänge – Klang und Körper zwischen Mehrchörigkeit und Raum,” “Rauschen – Rauschen in Kunst, Technik, Komposition, Pop und Sprache,” “Intonations – In selten guter Stimmung,” “Sculpture Musicale – Dialoge zwischen Musik und Bildender Kunst.” She has also focused on music from Australia, Argentina, and Korea.

Moltrecht coproduces programs with festivals such as Klangspuren Schwaz, steirischer herbst/musikprotokoll Graz, ECLAT Stuttgart, Liquid Architecture Melbourne, Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin, CTM Festival (formerly club transmediale) Berlin, and MaerzMusik Berlin, and with institutions including Niedersächsische Gesellschaft für Neue Musik e. V., Blickpunkte e. V. Hannover, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, RMIT University Melbourne, IAMAS Ogaki (Japan), MIAM Studio Istanbul, Folkwang University of the Arts, and other international institutions. She publishes journal articles about experimental and contemporary music and has been a member of noted national and international juries and boards since 2002.

Since March 2014, Elke Moltrecht has been Executive Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne.


(Img.: Dörthe Boxberg)

Ekaterina Degot

Artistic Director

Ekaterina Degot is Artistic Director of the Academy of the Arts of the World. She is an art historian, art writer, and curator who focuses on aesthetic and sociopolitical issues in Russia and Eastern Europe. She has taught at various American and European universities, and is professor at Moscow’s Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia.

+49 (0)221-337748-0

David Riff

Head of Publications

David Riff is a member of the Academy and its Head of Publications. He lives and works in Moscow and Berlin as an author, translator, artist, and curator. Riff is a professor at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia.

+49 (0)221-337748-0

Aneta Rostkowska


Aneta Rostkowska is a curator, researcher and writer, a graduate of de Appel Curatorial Programme in Amsterdam. She is a co-founder of initiatives dedicated to the current socio-economic situation and the city of Kraków, of which artistic projects form an important part (i.e. after capitalism, Salt, Urban Project). In 2012, together with Jakub Woynarowski, she developed the concept of ‘gonzo curating’, a creative practice conceived as a process of appropriation of any phenomena by means of constructing a semi-fictional narrative around it. An example of ‚gonzo curating’ is a fictitious institution they founded together - Wawel Castle Centre of Contemporary Art. Rostkowska studied philosophy, economics and art history in Kraków, Poznań, Heidelberg and Frankfurt am Main. From 2005 to 2016 she taught art theory, art history, philosophy and logic at various academic institutions in Kraków and Szczecin. From 2011 to 2016 she worked as a curator at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Kraków. In 2013, together with Martyna Niedośpiał, she edited a book on the interrelations between art, activism and ecology based on the works of Kraków’s activist artist Cecylia Malik. In 2015, together with Virginija Januškevičiūtė, she curated A Million Lines, an exhibition based on a short story of China Miéville, a part of XII Baltic Triennale, accompanied by a Polish translation of Kristupas Sabolius’ book Proteus and the Radical Imaginary.

Exhibitions and art projects she curated and co-curated include: All Mounds Can Be Seen From My Window (Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, 2016), Alicja Rogalska. Cultivation (ArtBoom Festival, Kraków, 2015), Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning? (de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam, 2014), Jan Simon, Jakub de Barbaro. Operation Glazier (ArtBoom Festival, Kraków, 2013), Cecylia Malik. City Reservation, Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków 2013, Magda Buczek. Justina & co.uk (Nova Art Gallery, Kraków, 2013), Kuba Woynarowski. Ha-ha (Zbiornik Kultury/Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, 2012), Łukasz Skąpski. Farewell? Machines – Podkarpacie (Zbiornik Kultury/Bunkier Sztuki, 2012), Bartosz Kokosiński. (Dis)order of Things (Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków, 2012), Mateusz Okoński. Purification (ArtBoom Festival, 2012), Łukasz Surowiec. Happy New Year (CCA Kronika, Bytom 2011), Umschichten. Kiss (National Museum, Kraków, 2010).

In 2014 Aneta Rostkowska received a Young Poland scholarship of Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


Jan Kryszons

Head of Production

Jan Kryszons started working with the Academy in September 2014, and supports the Academy 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.

+49 (0)221-337748-0

Hannes Klug

Press and Public Relations

Hannes Klug attended the Deutsche Journalistenschule in Munich and wrote for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Berliner Zeitung, taz and der Freitag, amongst others. He studied American Studies and Comparative Literature in Berlin. Next to his work as an editor, he wrote several screenplays for feature films and computer games. His nonfiction book “Schauplatz Film: New York” was published by Bückle & Böhm in 2015. Since November 2015, Hannes Klug is responsible for the press and public relations of the Academy.


Ulrike Traub

Assistant to CEO

Ulrike Traub has been working for the Academy since March 2013 in the administration department and as assistant to the CEO. 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.

+49 (0)221-337748-0

Nora Wiedenhöft

Curatorial Project Assistance and Youth Academy

Nora Wiedenhöft has been Curatorial and Project Assistant since March 2015. Since January 2016 she is also responsible for the Organisation and Realization of the Youth Academy Program. She studied Religion Studies with a focus on Postcolonialism at the Universities of Heidelberg and Zurich. During her studies she has worked in several political organisations and at the Berlin based gallery ftc.


Léa Genoud

Curatorial Project Assistance

Léa Genoud has been Project Assistant since January 2016. She studied art history and political science at the University of Fribourg and art history and museology at the École du Louvre in Paris and at Heidelberg University. Her master's thesis addressed the reorganization of Islamic permanent art exhibitions in Paris and Berlin after 2001 from a postcolonial perspective. During her studies she worked at an art gallery in Shanghai and at Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.

Carla Zimmermann

Press Assistant

CARLA ZIMMERMANN has been Press Assistance since March 2013. She studied Integrated Design in Cologne. She is chairwoman of the non-profit association Faradgang e.V.



Since May 12th 2015, The Academy of the Arts of the World has its own premises for the first time: the ACADEMYSPACE in the Herwarthstr. 3, Cologne.
As a "Space between the Arts," the ACADEMYSPACE is a forum of exchange where the Academy will host exhibitions, workshops and discussions.



The Academy has a residency program for contemporary artists, theorists and curators with a focus on non-European countries. These fellows of the Academy, proposed and selected by the academy members themselves, receive the invitation to live and work in Cologne for between 1 and 6 months. The residency program is offered without the obligation to realise a specific project. Networking with the artists and institutions located in Cologne as well as with the independent scene is desired.

The Academy is also part of the fellows network cologne.

The fellows network cologne is an intercultural and interdisciplinary platform that is engaged in the artistic dialogue among the various residency programs all over Cologne. It aims to connect the independent art scene with established art institutions and is a general contact for fellows for any matters and concerns. To develop a floating dialogue the network will establish regular meetings for fellows, taking place in different spaces in Cologne.

A big step for the fellows network cologne was the launch of its new blog in April 2015. The blog works as an information pool, bringing events, information on fellows and helpful material for fellows to one digital place.

The network has been initiated by the Academy of the Arts of the World and the City of Cologne in 2013 and is glad to be funded by the RheinEnergieStiftung Kultur. It works closely together with its two main partners Opekta Ateliers and the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne as well as with its associated partners Literaturhaus Köln and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.

The fellows network cologne is coordinated by Verena Friedrich and Therese Schuleit.


Kim Soyoung (Jeong)

September 2015

Kim Soyoung (Jeong) is a filmmaker and author from South Korea. She majored in Cinema Studies at NYU and is one of the first graduating member of the Korean Academy of Film Arts. As a critique she wrote for Cahiers du cinéma, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Cine-21 as well as for various newspapers on film and popular culture.

Her filmography includes Women’s History Trilogy (2000-2004) (Koryu: Southern women/South Korea / I’ll Be Seeing Her / New Woman: Her First Song) which was screened at numerous international film festivals such as Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan, and Digi Beta Festival, Berlin. Kim Soyoung’s feature length fiction film Viewfinder (2010) was screened at Busan International Film Festival, South Korea, Tokyo International Film Festival, Japan, as well as at Seoul Indie Film Festival, Seoul, and released in theaters.

Her books on modernity, gender, cinema, and media both were published in Korean and English, among these are Specters of Modernity: Fantastic Korean Cinema *(in Korean) and *Electronic Elsewhere: Media, Technology, and the Experience of Social Space (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), co-edited by Chris Berry, Soyoung Kim and Lynn Spigel.

She was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and Duke University and a visiting research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Kim Soyoung (Jeong) is the director of the Trans Asia Screen Culture Institute, Seoul Korea and editorial board member of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. She is a founding programmer of Jeonju International Film festival (2000) and Seoul Women’s film Festival (1997) where she is still co-director.

She is currently working on her Open Cities Project (since 2014) and the Exile Trilogy *(since 2014) as well as *Diva – Sound of Nomad, a work in progress on female singers during the Kolhoz period of the Soviet Union and Good Bye My Love NK, a work in progress on North Korean refugee directors in Central Asia during the Soviet Union.

Kim Soyoung is a member of the Academy of the Arts of the World and a fellow of the Academy in September 2015.

Nora Amin

June - August 2015

Nora Amin lives and works in Cairo. She studied French and comparative literature and has worked Nora Amin lives and works in Cairo. She is a writer, performer, choreographer and theatre director and has worked as a teacher at the Academy of the Arts in Cairo for nine years. She started her professional stage career as a professional dancer and a founding member at the Modern Dance Company of the Cairo Opera House (1993/94). After that Amin moved to work as an actress in lead roles at the Hanager Arts Center till 2002. In 2000 she founded the independent theater group Lamusica and was the artistic director of the first international independent arts festival Jadayel in 2002.
She published three novels, four collections of short stories, an audio book, and translated 15 books on theatre and dance. Amin is the author of the first Arabic book on theatre and human rights Egyptian Theatre and Human Rights: the art of claiming our right under the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, 2003, and instructed the first storytelling workshop for women victims of the civil war in Sudan in cooperation with SIHA network. She is the author of Theatre for change: from the internal to the external, 2007.
One of her recent projects is The National Project for Theatre of the Oppressed where she trains units of Forum theatre activists all over Egypt. The team has now reached 500 activists in 30 cities and developed an Arab network of groups in Morocco and Lebanon. In 2014 she celebrated the 15th anniversary of her company Lamusica Independent Theatre Group ,where she directed 35 theatre, dance and music productions, by presenting a year long program of workshops and of ten restaged repertory productions with a grant from The Prince Claus Fund.
Amin was awarded with, among others, the UNESCO-Aschberg Laureat for the Center of the "Theater Of The Oppressed" in Rio De Janeiro (2003), the Samuel Fischer Guest Professorship for Literature, Germany (2004/05) and the Ibsen Scholarship, Norway (2009), and was announced by the British Council as the international young cultural leader of Egypt in the performing arts 2009/10.
In 2013 The National Festival Of Egyptian Theatre awarded her the prize of the best dramaturgy for her production An Enemy Of The People which was largely considered as the most popular theatre production in Egypt during political transformation.

Nora Amin is a fellow of the Academy from June to August 2015.

Raed Yassin

May - June 2015

Raed Yassin is an artist and musician who lives and works in Beirut. He graduated from the theater department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut in 2003. His work often originates in an examination of his personal narratives and their workings within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. He has exhibited and performed his work in numerous museums, festivals and venues across Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and Japan such as Manifesta 8, Murcia (2010), Sharjah Biennial 10, UAE (2011), Art Cologne, New Directions, Kalfayan Galleries booth, Köln (2012), The New Museum, Museum as a hub, New York (2012), Thessaloniki Biennial 4, Thessaloniki (2013), and Beirut Art Center, The Impossible works of Raed Yassin, Beirut (2013).

Among his many recent exhibitions and festivals are October Salon, Belgrade City Museum, Belgrade, This is The Time, This Is The Record Of Time, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Blue Times, Vienna Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria, Yassin Dynasty in The Chinese Room, Castello Di Rivoli, Torino, Italy, and Songs Of Loss and Songs Of Love, Gwangju Art Museum, South Korea (all 2014). Yassin was awarded the Fidus Prize (2009), the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2012), the AFAC grant for production (2010), the YATF grant for production (2008 & 2012), and the Sharjah Production Programme grant (2014). He is one of the organizers of IRTIJAL Festival, has released several music albums and founded the production company Annihaya in 2009. He is also a founding member of Atfal Ahdath, a Beirut based art collective. Yassin is represented by Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki.

Raed Yassin is Academy fellow from May to June 2015. His new exhibition Karaoke opened in May 2015 as part of the Academy's PLURIVERSALE II in Cologne.

TkH (Walking Theory)/Teorija koja Hoda

March – May 2015

TkH (Walking Theory)/Teorija koja Hoda is an independent – institutionally non-aligned, extra-academic – platform for performing theoretical-artistic activism and was founded in 2000 in Belgrade. Since 2002 the TkH platform operates as an independent organization: the TkH-center for performing arts theory and practice which realized several programs: TkH Journal for performing arts theory, educational programs (PATS, s-o-s project, dramaturgical trainings, Knowledge Smuggling!, Deschooling Classroom), a regional online platform tkh-generator.net, programs dedicated to a critical reflection of the local scene like Forum for the Performing Arts Criticism and Walking Critique, artistic (Pro Tools) and theoretical events (conferences, labs), inter-disciplinary performances and other artworks, as well as hosting presentations and lectures by artists and theoreticians outside of Serbia. TkH collaborates with self-organized initiatives, organizations, and platforms from Belgrade (the Other Scene), the region of Western Balkans (The FaMa, Clubture), as well as several European platforms (i.a. PAF). Editorial collective: Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda, Bojana Cvejić, Bojan Djordjev, Siniša Ilić, Katarina Popović, Dragana Jovović, and Jelena Knežević

Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda and Bojana Cvejić came to Cologne as fellows of the Academy in March 2015, followed by Bojan Djordjev, Siniša Ilić and Katarina Popović in April and May 2015.

Tobaron Waxman


Tobaron Waxman is a visual artist and a vocalist. Tobaron was traditionally trained in Jewish philosophy, law, and liturgy for many years, and has created live art, photography, videos and films by repurposing that religious literacy and training in new ways both critical and reverent. Tobaron's work is a Queer interrogation of how borders and notions of citizenship make moral and ethical claims on our bodies. Their strategies have included: food, photography, tissue engineering, porn, biofeedback processing, curation, sound, choreography and voice.

Tobaron's work has been curated at international venues including Palais de Tokio, Videotage Hong Kong, Kunsthalle Vienna, Lentos Museum, Vdance International Video Dance Festival Tel Aviv/Ramallah, New Museum NYC, Momenta, Le Petit Versailles, Jewish Museum NYC, and Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.

Tobaron has taught their voice and collaborative techniques at the Art Institute of Chicago and Hollins MFA Dance; lectured at Parsons, SOAS London, SMFA Boston, Videotage Hong Kong, OCAD and others. Tobaron was honoured with fellowships including Kulturlabor ICI Berlin for “Mechitza 7.1” — acclaimed one of the five best art experiences of 2010. For the endurance performance “Opshernish”, Tobaron is the recipient of the first ever Audience Award of the Jewish Museum of New York. In 2013, Tobaron created “The Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency”, a summer institute of critical engagement with LGBTQ art, politics and histories, on the Toronto Island. Current projects include site-specific endurance performances for the a cappella transsexual voice, a hand painted 16mm film, and curatorial projects including their most recent written work: “Trans Women Artists: interviews with artists on the MTF spectrum” with forward by Susan Stryker (forthcoming 2015).

Tobaron Waxman was Academy fellow from January until December 2014.


Negar Tahsili


Documentary filmmaker Negar Tahsili was born and raised in Tehran, where she continues to live and work. She is particularly interested in film, painting, and industrial design. Her work is centered on stereotypical perspectives of Iran, questions of gender between tradition and modernity, and the position of the individual in society.

As a fellow at the Academy, Tahsili has been working on a new screenplay that explores themes of identity, creativity, and art in exile. Last year, she visited Cologne on the occasion of the Heinrich Böll Foundation film festival, where she presented the preliminary work on her latest project, under the working title “Rose and Nightingale.” Completed in early 2014, the project bears the name “Private P.art,” and addresses the body and gender in Iranian contemporary art.

Her video “Of one essence...” (2005), which tackles the demonization of Islamic states after the September 11 attacks, was screened at various exhibitions across the globe. Since 2005, Tahsili has collaborated with Swedish and Swiss production companies on a series of documentary films. The docufiction “Shahrzad never tells the story” (2006) follows three transsexuals living in Iran; the documentary film “Wee-man or Women” (2008), which was screened at the Arab-Iranian film festival in Berlin, examines how the risks women face on the streets of Iran are handled.

Alongside her filmmaking practice, Tahsili curates exhibitions on Iranian video art. Her collection “Tehran 2008” was shown in Turkey, Macedonia, and the United States. She has also shot short films about contemporary artists in Iran for foreign broadcasters.

Negar Tahsili was fellow of the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World) from February till end of June 2014 as well as in July and August 2016.

Timothy O'Dwyer


The Australian Dr Timothy O’Dwyer is a saxophonist, composer and researcher, as well as current Head of the School of Contemporary Music at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. With a background in punk-jazz and free improvisation, Timothy O’Dwyer’s music constantly pushes the boundaries of style, technique and especially context stretching across borders of culture, performance practice and art forms.

He has toured widely internationally, released 8 CDs of original compositions to critical acclaim and is a member of the Australian contemporary music group ELISION Ensemble. Timothy was Academy fellow from August 2013 to August 2014.

http://www.timodwyer.com https://www.facebook.com/timodwyerfellowship?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/TimODwyerTheFold



Etcétera… are a multidisciplinary collective of visual artists, poets, actors and performers that formed in Buenos Aires in 1997. They all share the intention of bringing art to the sites of imminent social conflict, i.e. to the streets; and vice versa, social conflicts are brought into the arenas of cultural production, including art institutions and the media.

Etcétera… worked closely with the human rights group H.I.J.O.S. (Children for Identity and Justice Against Forgetting and Silence) in developing and popularising a form of direct action protest called “escraches” i.e. acts of public denunciation and humiliation of human rights infringers in order to reinstall social justice and influence the state’s legal and judicial institutions to follow a certain course of action.

Etcétera… form part of the urban scene as a statement of protest, denunciation and public signaling; and as a result the interventions pertain to a specific time and place. Using street-art, public interventions, and performances that are by nature contextual, ephemeral and circumstantial, they combine humour, irony, poetic means of discovery and the deconstructive potential needed to forge a new kind of socially committed art free of hackneyed rhetoric, often sarcastic and at times “incorrect”. In 2005 they co-founded the International Errorist movement based on the idea that error is a fundamental principle of reality and life.

The group develops interventions and activities in collaboration with other collectives and individuals, inside and outside the art institutions, and in the field of education. Loreto Garín Guzmán (Chile) and Federico Zukerfeld (Argentina) are the co-founders of the collective and they coordinate the archive, activities and other initiatives. In 2013 Etcétera... received the International Award of Participatory Art.

Loreto Garín Guzmán and Federico Zukerfeld were Academy fellows from February 2014 to April 2014.


Ye Fu


Ye Fu (Zheng Shiping) was born in Enshi, in the Hubei province of China. He belongs to the ethnic minority group of the Tujias. As intellectuals, he and his family were relocated to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. From 1978 to 1981 he studied Chinese literature and culture at the Hubei Institute for Nationalities. During that time he began to write and quickly gained fame in the literary underground scene in China. From 1986 to 1988 he continued his studies of Chinese literature at Wuhan University, where he also organised the “Hubei Post-modern Poetry Salon”. In 1986 he published a collection of poems with the title “The Night Howl of Wolfs”.

After graduation he was assigned a job at a public security unit in Hainan. He quit the job in 1989 to support the students at Tiananmen Square. After the bloody military suppression of the protests, he was sentenced to six years in prison. Following his release he was running a publishing house in Beijing for ten years.

Today he is a freelance writer, who is well known throughout China. Apart from publishing poetry and fiction, he also writes essays and reportage, as well as screenplays and scripts for television (for example the TV series “My Father’s War”, which was successfully broadcasted in China in 2009).

Since his work has not yet been translated into other languages, he is less well known in western countries.

Ye Fu has received many awards, among them the “Contribution Award of Contemporary Chinese” in 2009, a prize set up by the Beijing Institute of Contemporary Chinese Language; the non-fiction award from the Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2010; and the “Freedom of Writing Prize“ from the Independent Chinese PEN Centre in 2011.

His works include:

• Under the River, (Jiangshang de muqin), essay collection, Taipei 2009
• Paijian dong lai huan jiuchou, Selected essays of Ye Fu, Hong Kong 2009
• My father's war, novel (later rewritten as TV series script), Beijing 2009, reprinted in Hong Kong 2010
• Earth Lament, essay collection, Beijing 2010
• Xiangguan hechu, selected essays, Beijing 2012

From January to December 2013 he was a fellow of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne.

Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti


Alessandro Petti (born in Italy) is an architect, researcher in urbanism, and director of Campus in Camps. He is founding member and director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency), an art and architecture collective and residency programme which combines discourse, spatial intervention, education, collective learning, public meetings and legal challenges. Their projects have been shown in various museums and biennales around the world.

Sandi Hilal (born in Palestine) is an architect based in Bethlehem. She is consultant with the UNRWA (The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) on the camp improvement programme and visiting professor at Al-Quds/Bard College Palestine. She is founding member of DAAR as well as Campus in Camps.
She is co-author of several research projects, such as “Stateless Nation” with Alessandro Petti and “Border Devices” with Multiplicity, which are published and exhibited internationally.

Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme


Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) live and work together in Ramallah and incorporate a range of sound, image, installation and performance into their artistic practice. Their work explores issues connected to the politics of desire and disaster, spatial politics, subjectivity and the absurdities of contemporary practices of power, often finding themselves investigating spatio-temporal resonances in the relation between the actual, the imagined and the remembered.

Their practice increasingly examines the immersive, experiential possibilities of sound, image and environment, taking on the form of interdisciplinary installations and live audio-visual performances.

Their work mostly consists of large-scale installations, much of which they reinterpret into a performance and publish online.

They have exhibited and performed internationally and most recently founded the sound and image performance collective Tashweesh in Ramallah with local artist boikutt. Recent exhibitions and performances include 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012), TBA 21 (Vienna, 2012), 5th Jerusalem Show (Jerusalem, 2011) New Art Exchange (Nottingham, 2011), Homeworks V (Beirut, 2010), The 6th Liverpool Biennale (2010) and the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009).

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme have been fellows of the Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne from December 2012 to August 2013.


Grant Program


Founded in 2012 as an initiative with municipal support, the Academy of the Arts of the World is a cultural institution of a new type and a production platform in the city of Cologne. Its focus is on activating intercultural and decolonial practices in the arts, fostering alternative ways of thinking and acting under increasingly troubled global conditions beyond the romance of multiculturalism.

In addition to producing its own curated program (Pluriversales, Salons, Workshops etc.), the Academy also supports external projects by artists, groups, and institutions.

Open Call 5 - Decision

The Academy of the Arts of the World would like to thank everyone who applied in our fifth Open Call. This time individuals from the whole North Rhine-Westphalia region could apply to the grant program; many of the nearly 100 applications we received were of high quality. The jury decided to support the following projects:

Heba Amin, “The Devil’s Garden”

Stefanie Thiersch and Kefa Oiro, “JITTA – WEfuture wears!”

Thomas Gläßer, “Beyond Exploitation and Entertainment? – Emancipation in African Club Music”

Dr. Monica van der Haagen-Wulff and Dr. Fabian Chyle, “Hegemonien der Körper 2017 – ein Experimentaltransfer”

Walter Solon and Jorge H. Loureiro, “SCIENCE WITHOUT BORDERS”

Achim Lengerer, “Tonspuren zur Linken: Die migrantische Linke und der Ford-Streik”

The members of the jury were Ekaterina Degot (Artistic Director, Academy of the Arts of the World), David Riff (Head of Publications, Academy of the Arts of the World), Aneta Rostkowska (Curator, Academy of the Arts of the World), and Léa Genoud (Curatorial Project Assistant, Academy of the Arts of the World).

The jury was advised by Oliver Baurhenn (Curator, CTM – Festival for adventurous music and related visual arts), Florian Malzacher (Artistic Director, Impulse Theatre Festival 2017), and Bettina Masuch (Director, tanzhaus nrw e.V.).

Open Call 4 - Decision

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Open Call 3 - Decision

The jury has decided on the following projects submitted in the Academy of the Arts of the World's Call 3:

En-titled (from the series ‘Works and Days’) exhibition at ACADEMYSPACE by Marianna Christofides in the frame of Pluriversale IV

14 11 – 18 12 2015

Essential Happiness Possibility, Exhibition at ACADEMYSPACE by Desearch Repartment in the frame of Pluriversale III

26 10 2015 and 2016 “The Alphabet of Feeling Bad”, film presentation at ACADEMYSPACE. An event in frame of the lecture series Depression ohne Alternative? / Depression without Alternative, curated by Christian Werthschulte

19 9 2015 

Post-Colonia(les) Stadtrauschen, Musical Project by alba Kultur, Int. Büro für globale Musik, Birgit Ellinghaus in the frame of Kölner Musiknacht

13 9 – 24 10 2015
Tejal Shah – Some Kind of Nature, exhibition at Kunsthaus Rhenania curated by Anna Christine Fricke

5 9 – 20 12 2015

I See So, I See So Group exhibition by Temporary Gallery curated by Regina Barunke and Anja Dreschke

2 9 - 5 9 2015 

Unstumm. Cologne-Istanbul Project for Real-Time-Films by Nicola Leonard Hein and Korhan Erel

20 6 2015
 Manifeste Assi, a composition by Thierry Tidrow, concert premiere at ACADEMYSPACE in the frame of Pluriversale III

5 6 2015

One more Pioneer by Maciej Sledziecki and Marion Wörle , Digitales Musiktheater

22 5 2015
As we begin, so shall we go by Lili M. Rampre Performance at ACADEMYSPACE in the frame of Pluriversale III

17 4 – 28 6 2015

Performance series by Sina Seifee in the frame of Pluriversale III

The members of the jury were: Ekaterina Degot (Artistic Director, Academy of the Arts of the World), Martina Hochmuth (curator of dance/performance), Felix Klopotek (journalist, author), and David Riff (Head of Publications, Academy of the Arts of the World).



The Academy of the Arts of the World is supported by:

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The Fellow Network Cologne is supported by:

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Project partners

Project Partners of PLURIVERSALE V

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Project Partners of PLURIVERSALE IV

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Supported by

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Media partners

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Project Partners of PLURIVERSALE III

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Project Partners of PLURIVERSALE II

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Project Partners of PLURIVERSALE I

From concubine to migrant worker? Women in China is a cooperation between the eastasian seminar (appartement culture of China) and the university of Cologne.

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The sound of the imaginary homeland is organized by Run United Music and is supported by

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Solidarité! Solidarität! Solidarity! is a project from tanz lange, a coproduction with FFT Düsseldorf, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr and is supported by

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The Forest and the School: Where to sit at the dinner table? in cooperation with

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Naomi Rincón Gallardo: stipendiary of the program Jóvenes Creadores 2012 – 2013 of the mexican Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes

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Folklor Invalid. Heimat experimentell and URXX – Ultra-red 1994-2014: Second encounter in cooperation with:

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A Revolitionary Parableon the Equality of Men by Felix Klopotek in cooperation with:

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