Symposium 23 and 24 November 2017 in cooperation with Akademie der Künste, Berlin, on the occasion of IGBK's 60th anniversary.

Retrospective - Against the background of authoritarian and nationalist movements in many European countries, transnational cohesion and open, democratic societies are getting under increasing pressure. In many countries, artists are increasingly restricted in their freedom or excluded from exchange. The acceptance of the European unification process is fading. With more than 100 international participants and speakers, amongst others from Poland, from Hungary, from Turkey and from Great Britain we discussed the ways in which artists preserve and shape necessary spaces for their activity today facing these challenges.

"Stabilizing Affinities" - In order to strengthen existing networks and to continue promoting the exchange among artists in Europe, we note:
•    The achievements of the European Union with regards to freedom and mobility need active support in public, also by artists.
•    Against the backdrop of many nationalist and partly authoritarian tendencies in Europe, open, protected spaces for dialogue must continue to be possible for artists, must be built up and maintained.
•    This also means that the networks and collaborations that have been built up over many years all across Europe have a chance at being solidly financed. It is important to ensure that adequate financial support for the Arts and for European cultural projects is provided under the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) beyond 2020.
•    Travel Grants which can be individually applied for in a low-threshold way facilitate and support the mobility of artists. We strongly suggest an EU Mobility Fund for artists in the next EU funding framework.

Programme (download

The IGBK was founded in 1957 with the aim of bringing German artists back into the international discourse. It has been the guiding idea of IGBK since its beginning to foster worldwide cooperation amongst visual artists in all directions.

Today we are unfortunately experiencing political trends opposing to this objective, also in Europe. Against the background of authoritarian and nationalist movements in many countries, artists too are becoming growingly restricted in their rights to freedom or excluded from exchange.

We are concerned about the alarming developments in Turkey, the increasing erosion of democratic institutions in the EU Member States of Poland and Hungary, and the British vote to exit the EU. With this year’s election a nationalist party is 3rd strongest group in the German Bundestag.

Considering also most recent German-German history, these examples cause us to debate the ways in which artists preserve and shape necessary spaces for their activity in times of decreasing social cohesion within Europe, as well as in some places, under political repression.

How do artists position themselves between activist self-instrumentalisation, their ideological exploitation by political regimes or the flight into (inner) exile? We plan to discuss ways and means of strengthening international artistic collaboration as well as maintaining and promoting opportunities for exchange and communication.

Thursday, 23 November 2017 Studiofoyer

  • 19:00 Welcome
    Prof. Dr. Wulf Herzogenrath (Director, Visual Arts Section, Akademie der Künste, Berlin)
    annette hollywood (Artist, Speaker of the Board of IGBK, Berlin)
  • 19:20 60 Years of IGBK - Fostering international artistic collaboration
    Prof. Dr. Frank Druffner (Acting Secretary-General, Kulturstiftung der Länder, Berlin)
    Dr. Roland Bernecker (Secretary-General, German Commission for UNESCO, Bonn)
    Andreas Schmid (Artist and Curator, Delegate of Internationales Künstler Gremium - IKG, Berlin)
  • 20:00 Focus German Democratic Republic (GDR) 1949-1990
    Lutz Dammbeck (Artist, Hamburg) and Via Lewandowsky (Artist, Berlin) in conversation, moderated by Prof. Dr. Wulf Herzogenrath
    Followed by Q&A
  • 21:00-22:00 End of the day in the Studiofoyer and Sesselclub

Friday, 24 November 2017 Studiofoyer

  • 10:00 Welcome
    Andrea Knobloch (Artist, Member of the Board of IGBK, Düsseldorf) and Dr. Anke Hervol (Secretary, Visual Arts Section, Akademie der Künste, Berlin)
  • 10:15 Focus Poland / Focus Hungary
    In case of Poland: Introduced and moderated by Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska (Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Berlin), Contribution by Małgorzata Ludwisiak (Director, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw)
    In case of Hungary:  Introduced and moderated by Esther Slevogt (Theatre Critic and Managing Director,, Berlin), Contribution by György Szabó (Artistic Director, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest)
    Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A
  • 12:15 Lunch break
  • 13:30 Focus UK
    Introduced and moderated by Johanna Zinecker (Centre for British Studies, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Contributions by Jeanie Scott (a-n The Artists Information Company, London), Joseph Young (Sound Artist, Brighton and Berlin) and Claudia Zeiske (Director, Deveron Projects, Huntly)
    Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A
  • 15:30 Coffee break
  • 16:00 Focus Turkey
    Introduced and moderated by Achim Wagner (Poet and Translator, Berlin), Contributions by Selda Asal (Artist, Apartment Project, Berlin and Istanbul), belit sağ (videomaker/visual artist, Amsterdam) and Dr. Necmi Sönmez (Curator, Düsseldorf)
    Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A
  • 18:00 Snack
  • 19:00 Concluding discussion
    Selda Asal (Artist, Apartment Project, Berlin and Istanbul), Katherine Heid (Acting Secretary- General, Culture Action Europe, Brussels), Dr. Elke Ritt (Head of Arts, British Council Germany, Berlin), György Szabó (Artistic Director, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, Budapest), Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska (Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Berlin), moderated by Joanna Krawczyk (Head of Polish Office, Evens Foundation, Warsaw)
  • 21:00-22:00 End of the day in the Studiofoyer and Sesselclub

The event will be in German on 23 November (w interpreter German/English) and in English on 24 November. Free entry. Please register by email <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Location: Akademie der Künste Berlin, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin.

ADK Leporello Karte bunt

A symposium organised by Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK) in cooperation with Akademie der Künste, Berlin on the occasion of IGBK's 60th anniversary.


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Fragile Affinities / Photos: Jörg Wagner, 2017

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