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The Damaged Planet – Symposium with international guests at KHM


With Leonie Bremer, Alenda Y. Chang, Peter Emorinken-Donatus, Thom van Dooren, Fabiana Fragale, Beate Gütschow, Carmen Hornbostel, Kilian Kuhlendahl, Jens Mühlhoff, Milo Rau, Doris Schweitzer, Nicole Seymour, Esteban Servat, Agnes Stillger, Louise Wagner, Markus Wissen.

Freitag + Samstag, 6. + 7. Mai 2022, ab 10 / 12 Uhr, Aula und online
Filzengraben 2, 50676 Köln

Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, 2022

Registration via:

To the online links:

Opportunities for action in the climate crisis are being discussed worldwide: many political processes have been initiated, the EU is working on a Green Deal, and some countries have begun to convert to a CO2-neutral energy supply. Nevertheless, the limited time window available for a global ecological transformation is not being taken into account; the prevention of extinction of species as the second fundamental pillar for survival continues to be ignored. Questions of social justice arise: how can we ensure that the upcoming transformation does not disproportionately burden lower and middle incomes? What is a fair compensation for the damage already caused in the countries of the Global South? The willingness to radically rethink the economy and society is missing. At the same time, excessive political and private-sector green-washing is taking place wherever we look. At our conference, we want to meet these challenges with radical approaches and concrete action.

Continuing our series of events on "The Damaged Planet", we want to discuss the current situation in the context of a symposium. The event starts with theatre makers Carmen Hornbostel and Milo Rau, who consider their ecosocial work at NTGent to be a collaboration with activist groups. The artist Beate Gütschow, who teaches at the KHM, is linking political and artistic commitment in her photographic work as well. Students and alumni of the KHM Fabiana FragaleJens Mühlhoff and Kilian Kuhlendahl present a film about activism in Germany, created from footage filmed by Steffen Meyn during the occupation of the Hambach Forest, where he tragically died in 2018. The activists Leonie BremerPeter Emorinken-DonatusEsteban Servat and Louise Wagner report on their actions collectively. The film and media scholar Alenda Y. Chang deals with ecology in video games and advocates for a media-mediated representation of the interests of endangered species. With his Multispecies Ethnographies, philosopher and author Thom van Doorenpresents an ethics of care in which knowledge is not disconnected from one's own actions. The literary scholar Nicole Seymour looks at emotions in eco-art, activism and discourse from a queer-feminist perspective and asks if there are also counterproductive narratives of the ecological crisis. Agnes Stilliger, art historian and ethnologist, talks about environmental racism and de-colonial art practices in Africa. Political scientist Markus Wissen and legal sociologist Doris Schweitzer ask how economy and law can be re-imagined and make a strong plea for an alternative economy beyond profit, including a new law for/of nature.

Information about the individual guests >>>​​​​​​​


Friday, May 6, 2022

12:00 - 12:30, Introduction

12:30 - 13:45, Carmen Hornbostel / Milo Rau (NT Gent) – A Theater of Sustainability? Production, Distribution, Theory, Politics

14:00 - 15:00, Fabiana Fragale, Jens Mühlhoff and Kilian Kuhlendahl (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln) – A struggle with bodies and images


15:30 - 16:30, Leonie Bremer, Peter Emorinken-Donatus, Esteban Servat and Louise Wagner - Panel discussion with activists from Fridays for Future, Bündnis Ökozidgesetz, Shell Must Fall, Ende Gelände

16:45 - 18:00, Doris Schweitzer (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt) – "Rights of Nature" as a critical intervention?

BREAK with catering

18:30 - 19:45, Markus Wissen (Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin) – Imperial and solidary way of life

Saturday, May 7, 2022

10:30 - 11:45, Agnes Stillger (Universität zu Köln) – For the preservation of the balance of all living things. Ecology-critical art practices in Africa

12:00 - 13:15, Thom van Dooren (University of Sydney) –  Stories from the Snail Ark: Hope in a Time of Loss


14:30 - 15:45, Beate Gütschow (Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln) – Report from the research sabbatical

16:00 - 17:15, Alenda Y. Chang (University of California, Santa Barbara) – Cloudy with a Chance of Play


17:30 - 18:45, Nicole Seymour (California State University, Fullerton) – Climate Change and the Limits of Satire

19:00, Closing discussion

Organizers: Pascal Dreier, Beate Gütschow, Thomas Hawranke, Ute Hörner, Fatima Kastner, Isabell Lorey and Kathrin Röggla.

The further program in summer semster 2022

  • Workshop "Future of Life"

with the dramaturge Frank M. Raddatz, the political scientist Christopher Coenen and Kathrin Röggla from the KHM

Wednesday and Thursday, June 22 and 23, 10:00-17:00, Aula of the KHM

Information follows here >>>

  • Mutante: Requiem for a Forest

Performance with artists and participants of the workshop

Thursday, June 23, 20:00, Aula of the KHM

Information follows here >>>

Editor — Juliane Kuhn
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