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Review Spring Season 2018

The Spring season of 2018 was also the first season of the new Artistic Director of Akademie der Kunste der Welt.

We inaugurated the season at the Ebertplatz passageway, in collaboration with the local gallery – Gold und Baton. That event was a definite signal to general public and fellow artists that the Akademie takes a new turn towards more situatedness in the city, in the region. The precarity of the site of Ebertplatz passageway and the social vulnerability of Akademie, as it were in the beginning of 2018, came together to create a great fusion of creative and political energies. The attendance to the event was unprecedentedly high and spirited. It is heartening to recognise here that the status of both the Academy and the Ebertplatz passageway has come a long way since then.

Soon after that we had launched our new programme axis found:erased:palimpsest. This programme, dedicated to collate the public memories of the land (Köln and Ruhrgebiet) into a digital public installation, seeks collaboration with large number of documentary initiatives, cultural groups, academic institutions, community outfits, and individual artists and archivists. We are overwhelmed by the responses that we have received from institutions such as DOMID; Institute for Art and Art Theory, Universität zu Köln; Interkultur Ruhr; art groups such as CAT Cologne, Artelier Automatiqe – Bochum; community organisations such as Baustelle – Kalk; Alte Feurwarche – Agnes;… and we are still counting, as newer proposals for collaboration are still pouring in. We are developing multiple artistic strategies to archive the public memories that can be accessed through this large network of institutions and initiatives.

In the Spring of 2018 Academie hosted multiple lecture-workshop-screening-exhibition-performance-listening session with local and international guests. These sessions collated various manifestos on contemporary memory practices and have initiated a culture of archive literacy in the city.

found:erased:palimpsest programme will run through 3 years and culminate into a Festival of Memories and a free access digital site called loading.cologne.

The second programme axis that we had launched in the Spring season is Sites at Stake. This programme is dedicated to work on the various stakes that work in the making and un-making of a site – may it be a site of dwelling or memorial, minority public culture or hegemonic popular culture, relic of post-colonial or post-industrial, territory of military invasion or art extravaganza, and so on. This programme also deals with cross-referencing between international and local.

Global Positioning System (GPS) not Working: An exhibition of art works that deal with the spaces that are forgotten, erased, or made to disappear - and hence our distances from those spaces cannot be measured by the standard methods. The exhibition and other related programme created dialogues between the disappeared Mexican students who were abducted by the police and victims of extra judicial killings in Bangladesh, between the loneliness of the deserted housewife in war torn Lebanon and Kashimiri-American poet in exile, and between the memories of racial violence in Afghanistan and in the Keuptstrasse-Mulheim, Köln.

Rethinking Locality: An international symposium to contemplate on the social meaning and cultural nuances of the micro local and macro global / international in contemporary art practices. Various art initiatives from across Europe (Paris, Krakow, Brussels, Mechelen, Berlin, Köln, NRW) presented their strategies and insights in addressing the issues and concerns of the broader arena within the parameter of local realities.

Youth Academy of ADKDW is an alternative artistic education programme for young people (18 to 28 years old). It offers an opportunity to reflect artistically on politically urgent questions and exchange views in a forum with invited curators. In spring 2018 Youth Academy was held on Wild Things – Sounds and Narratives.

Fellowship and Residencies The programme of offering fellowship and residencies to international artists has played a crucial for the Academy in the city of Köln. This programme, in the past, has facilitated many successful interactions between the city and various international practices / artists. But due to financial crunch this programme has to be minimalized. In the Spring session our only fellow was Percy Zvomuya, author and journalist from Zimbabwe.

Members of Academy This year four new members have joined the Academy:

MI YOU; Curator, Researcher, Academic staff of KHM, Beijing / Cologne
MAX JORGE HINDERER CRUZ; Cultural Scientist, Curator, Rio de Janeiro
NANNA HEIDENREICH, Cultural Studies, Curator, Prof. of Digital Narratives at IFS (Internation Film School Köln), Berlin
PERCY ZVOMUYA, Author and Journalist, Zimbabwe

In the month of July the Members’ annual meeting took place. On the 20th July evening the members made public presentations on their works and thoughts at the Academy Space.

Now we look forward to the Autumn programme. In the coming season we shall introduce a new programme axis – Festival of Original Fakes.