The Youth Academy has been set up by the Academy of the Arts of the World as a platform to further the conversation between young artists and art practitioners in Cologne about artistic and social ideas and discourses, while also providing a site for interdisciplinary collaboration on professional artistic projects. At the Youth Academy, artists between the ages 18 to 27 are welcome to make use of their many talents in working on their own ideas and group art projects.
The focus is on a critical engagement with current sociopolitical questions and artistic work taking place within and addressing the socioeconomic realities of life in Cologne. The Youth Academy is open to everybody and aims to establish a varied and lively political discourse that is not constrained by social and cultural borders or artistic disciplines. The broader context is the intention to make visible and question the current conditions and effects of global power dynamics in one’s own local environment.
The Youth Academy is made up, on the one hand, of an open group of young Cologne-based artists who will develop a collective interdisciplinary project twice a year, and, on the other, of a workshop program for artists, activists and theorists, which is open to the public. In this way, the Youth Academy creates a connection between artistic practice and theoretical reflection, and young artists from Cologne meet others with whom they can formulate their own positions on art and culture, shaped by their generation's perspective, and thus give new momentum to and enrich Cologne’s artistic and cultural landscape.
Current members of the Youth Academy are: Ronja Bader, Maria Chatzidimou, Manon Diederich, FEG, Anna Lebedeva, Adrian Robanus, Blanca Barbat Soler, Walter Solon, Nina Weber, Argia Helen Wehner and Elsa Weiland.