Equality / Discrimination

Support and counselling in cases of discrimination, abuse of power, bullying, sexual harassment and violence at the KHM

Our goal is that fairness, equality and respect in social interaction, also when dealing with conflicts, becomes a matter of course at the KHM. This can only happen if every single person—no matter whether student or member of staff—takes responsibility and supports a culture of awareness by bearing witness and being an agent for equality, by not looking away when conflict arises or is imminent. Sexualised violence, harassment, discrimination and derogatory behaviour must not be allowed any place at the art academy or elsewhere!


Discrimination is any form of prejudicial and arbitrary treatment of a person based on their race, religion, nationality, background, physical abilities, disabilities, political activities, sexual identity or because of their age or gender. This includes, in particular, verbal or written statements to this end.

Abuse of power / Bullying

Abuse of power is the exploitation of relationships of dependency at the place of work and/or study as well as through dealing with resources under the threat and/or actualisation of personal or occupational disadvantages or with the promise of advantages.

Bullying is harassment by one or several people of an individual or a group of people, that stretches over a long period of time and is characteristic of the relationship between those concerned. The intention behind this behaviour is, as a rule, to damage the reputation of the victim and/or to drive them out of their position. Examples of such behaviour are:

- slander directed at members of the academy and their families

- spreading of rumours about members of the academy and their families

- the deliberate withholding of information essential to work or conscious use of disinformation

- threats and humiliation

- verbal abuse and damaging treatment

- degrading treatment by superiors, for example, the assignment of unachievable or pointless duties, or none at all

Sexual harassment and violence
Sexual harassment in the work place is any sexual activity or insinuation that is visibly rejected by those affected. The rejection can be explicit; but it can also be expressed through gestures or any other defensive or evasive behaviour. Examples of sexual activities are:

- unwanted physical contact

- suggestive and personal remarks, comments or jokes

- unwanted showing of sexist and pornographic representations

- requesting/demanding sexual activity

- suggesting that sexual accommodation could result in professional advantages

- rape

Counselling at the KHM / contacts

Counselling is available at the following places. Should no resolution be reached through counselling, those concerned may choose to undertake formal complaint proceedings. Before taking such steps it is advisable to acquire more in-depth information about occupational and legal options at the places/contacts listed below. The principles of such counselling are: anonymity, its voluntary nature, confidentiality, (professional) independence and neutrality – provided that the counsellor is not bound by an obligation to act.

Contacts for students of the KHM
- student advice service

- teaching staff (provided that the counsellor is not bound by an obligation to act)

- AStA

- equal opportunities officer

- representative for students with disabilities or chronic illness

- ombudsman’s office (independent and confidential advice)

Contacts for employees of the KHM

- immediate superiors (provided that the counsellor is not bound by an obligation to act)

- staff committee representative

- equal opportunities officer

- ombudsman’s office (independent and confidential advice)

Possible sanctions and measures in the case of discrimination, abuse of power, bullying, sexual harassment and violence

For students of the KHM

- oral or written notification/admonition

- exclusion from a class/seminar

- exclusion from the use of academy facilities and where appropriate exclusion from student social services facilities

- banning from the KHM 

- ex-matriculation

For employees of the KHM

- an officially meeting/discussion

- oral or written notification/admonition

- written warning

- transfer or relocation to another position within the academy

- ordinary or extraordinary dismissal

- initiation of disciplinary procedures (for civil servants) all the way to dismissal from the civil service

- exclusion from use of academy facilities/banning from the KHM

For other people / guests
- banning from the KHM 

Counselling services / contacts

AStA of the KHM (General Students’ Committee)
Chair: Katharina Singh
Vice chair: Natalie Harapat

Student office / advice
Peter-Welter-Platz 2, 50676 Köln
Tel.: +49 221 20189 - 119
Fax: +49 221 20189 - 49119
Mail: studoffice@khm.de
Mon–Thu 10am–1pm, Thu 2–4pm

Personnel committee of the technical and administrative staff

Chair: Doris Jäger
Mandy Brenneiser , Martin Nawrath, Patricia Kaschuba, Beatrix Wheeler


Personnel committee of the artistic/academic staff
Andreas Altenhoff,  andreas@khm.de

Equal opportunities at the KHM
Equal opportunities officer: Dr. Juliane Kuhn
Deputy: Beate Middeke
Peter-Welter-Platz 2, 50676 Köln
Tel.: +49 221 20189 – 135, Mon 15-16pm

gleichstellen@khm.de, juliane.kuhn@khm.de

Ombudsman’s office / independent and confidential advice: Ladenburger & Lörsch

Counselling in cases of discrimination and sexualised violence

Neusser Straße 455, 50733 Köln
Petra Ladenburger
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri 9am–1pm
Mon 2–6pm, Wed 2–5.30pm, Fri 2–4pm
Tel: +49 221  973128 - 10

Martina Lörsch
Mon–Fri 9am–noon
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 2–6pm
Tel. +49 228 656911

Principles for the prevention of humiliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, violence and abuse of power at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne

The Academy of Media Arts Cologne promotes the equitable cooperation of all genders on all levels of interaction and engagement in study, teaching, art, research, technology and administration. It works actively against abuses of power, all kinds of discrimination and disadvantaging, sexual harassment and violence towards students, employees and teaching staff.

Discrimination, sexualised behaviour and violence represent a violation of personal rights that severely impairs the Academy of Media Arts Cologne as a whole. They create an intimidating, stressful and degrading work and study environment and can have serious negative psychological and physical implications.

Discrimination of any sort as well as all sexual harassment and sexualised use of force are forbidden at the academy and in official non-academic interactions. All members and representatives of the Academy – whether they are involved with educational, qualificatory and managerial tasks in teaching, research and study or with technical and administrational roles – are responsible for ensuring that people’s personal rights and individual personal boundaries are respected in their specific areas of work and specialisation and should safeguard the prevention and/or cessation of sexually discriminatory behaviour and use of force. Violations of these principles will not be tolerated.

Abuse of power or the exploitation of dependant relationships at the place of work, in the course of study as well as in the handling of resources under the threat and/or implementation of personal or professional disadvantage or with the promise of benefit is considered particularly serious.

Emotions and the search for identity can be the subject of artistic work and is thus an essential component of the teaching. These are inherent characteristics of an artistic course of study. The close relationships that are formed demand these topics be tackled with particular sensitivity. This must always be viewed in light of the basic guaranteed artistic, scientific and academic freedoms.

All representatives and members of the Academy are expected to cooperate on the creation of a work and study environment that offers space for artistic development shaped by mutual regard, respect and tolerance and which encourages individuals to address conflicts openly. There is no place at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne for disadvantaging, defamation, humiliation, discrimination, sexual harassment or violence.

[approved by the senate of the KHM on 13.07.2018]

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