Youth Academy

Youth Academy

The Academy of the Arts of the World organizes (semi)annually its own alternative artistic education program for young people in Cologne. The Youth Academy offers you the opportunity to reflect artistically on politically urgent questions and to exchange views in a forum with invited guest curators. All interested individuals between 18 and 28 years old can be involved in the Youth Academy and in this way discover and contribute to alternative forms of education and engagement with artistic and intellectual themes. The projects of this program focus on varying genres—from performance and music, video art and fine art as well as dance and literature to photography and design. At present there ist an increasing capitalization of schools and universities. Solidary or artistic possibilities for exchange are considered less and less valuable. Maintaining and reimagining these arenas are exactly the goals of the Youth Academy. Through the intensive and four to eight month long collaboration in a group solidarity and a common language among young people with diverse backgrounds should be created. Participants should come ready with their interest honed for critical engagement with aesthetically inquiring art, political themes, research work as space for debate, and transdisciplinary collaboration with other young artists and cultural workers.

Past

KINDLY DISINVITED

Over a period of more than a year, the participants of the Youth Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne have worked on questions of image politics and mechanisms of power inherent to camera related practices. After critically negotiating participatory practices, we went instead for film as the language of selfrepresentation. Furthermore, we discussed the false promise of artistic work “with or about refugees,” which is formulated despite the obvious fact that any artist, regardless of their origin, is able to produce artistic works on their own. During a workshop week entitled The Privilege of (Self-) Representation in February of this year, four guest speakers contributed their perspective on our entire annual work program: African Studies specialist Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst outlined possible applications of the discussions about Critical Whiteness and Cologne’s colonial history. Massimo Perinelli lectured about the contribution to emancipatory practices provided by migrant movements and communities in the Federal Republic of Germany from the 1960s until the present day and pointed out a precise notion of solidarity, which calls for being applied within the arts, too. Nanna Heidenreich gave a talk about how to negotiate migration in the arts and the filmic image. The artist Cana Bilir-Meier presented excerpts of her work in which she carefully interweaves her own family history with the writing of history about those people who lived in Germany as “guest workers.” Katia Barrett and Antonina Baever were present as guest artists and provided insights into their practice.

In their exhibition KINDLY DISINVITED the participants of the Youth Academy of the Arts of the World present the results of an entire year’s work. Set up as a film workshop, as workshop camp or laboratory of image production the exhibition serves to display our negotiations of diverse forms of racism, discrimination, and discourses of Critical Whiteness and tackles mechanism of in- and exclusion. We aim at deconstructing hastily proclaimed forms of multicultural harmony and self-critically show queer selfaffirmation and questions of solidarization as places of refuge in our own work. We attempt to realize this BY USING images. Unlike an object racism is not something we can just push away. With this exhibition we intend to outline a field, where negotiations can never come to an end. We consider this an expanded, accessible film, which briefly interrupts its own production to turn to the spectators and show them what previously happened in order to look enthusiastically at everything that still needs to be done. Lotta Continua.

Ulf Aminde, Ronja Bader, Maria Chatzidimou, Manon Diederich,FEG, Anna Lebedeva, Adrian Robanus, Walter Solon, Nina Weber, Argia Helen Wehner and Elsa Weiland with Nora Wiedenhöft, Jan Kryszons and Roel Weenink and their great assistance and Georg Blokus and with works by Cana Bilir-Meier, Massimo Perinelli, and Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst.