Art, Culture, Advocacy

 

Baan May Rhu Roy | Buddhist Thai temple dance | Sacred Musis&Dance Festival | Photo: Daniela Incoronato


we celebrate cultural difference!

Since January 2018, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has no longer been receiving funding from the office of the Commissioner for Integration and Immigration of the Senate of Berlin, after having received this for 24 years. Instead, it is now receiving funding from the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe. Such a change, which was already considered necessary in programme discussions held with the users of the building in 2014, creates an opportunity to update the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN, which was initially established in 1993 as a multidisciplinary venue and meeting point “for Germans and foreigners”.

Download the magazine "WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN KunstKulturAktion 2018"


 
 

Indeed, the venue has already made some changes in terms of its financial and personnel organisation, in light of the glaring recorded increase in right-wing populist movements. In autumn 2015, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN responded to the transforming demographics of the city and started its weekly recurring Raum fur Flucht event series, that has been in high demand ever since.

Every Wednesday a workshop series or event series takes place here during the day, such as the Arab-language choir rehearsals, oral-history workshops, film and acting workshops or language courses from and for refugees. In the evenings, well-attended benefits concerts, film screenings, performances and discussion panels take place on the topics of flight, refuge and exile.

And this is where the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN once again displays its strengths and distinguishing characteristics: With its decades-long tradition of three-part event production, consisting of self-funded and third-party funded events, cooperative events and guest events, it stands in contrast to a standard repertoire theatre that has to cater not least for its audiences’ tastes, by being quick and flexible and thus being able to respond with great efficiency to new discursive, artistic and cultural offerings and the challenges that result from the current situation surrounding asylum, migration and exile.

In addition to the naturally diverse events programme, this continuous integration of new, frequently-changing cooperation partners, with events that are generally planned with a short lead-up time and participants that are new to the city, into the events calendar, opens up opportunities to examine the relevance of rapidly developing production formats and respond accordingly.

Through this we have created a wide local and international network consisting of immigrants and exiles who came here decades ago, international students and academics, as well as newcomers from Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, who selected Germany as their place of exile.

Since its opening in 1993, WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has been a place for the presentation and representation of local and global, traditional and contemporary cultural practises and art forms, as well as for intellectual and political discourse. In a world where local and global issues are inevitably linked to international migration stories, WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN celebrates cultural difference daily!

 

As an multi-disciplinary event arena and festival producer of very diverse types of events, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has set itself the task of examining current political developments in migration and cultural policy. These subjects are brought into the limelight of public interest, embodied in various stimulating forms of art, culture and advocacy.

Situated in the heart of "Kreuzkölln," WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN generates open spaces for public commentary and participation in on-going discourse. We are the “visibility makers.” We spearhead the reality of bringing visibility to the creative productions of Berlin’s thriving artistic and cultural milieus. Special attention is given to the works created by People of Colour, Black people and members of heterogeneous ethnic and cultural minorities.

Serving as a platform for art, culture and advocacy, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is a meeting point for the large number of Berliners who have close biographical ties to different global regions, and thus to different cultural milieus in the city.

From a very early stage, the venue started engaging with the societal trend away from the relatively culturally homogenous society of the post-war period to a pluralist population with a significant number of small yet growing cultural minorities, and incorporated this into its programme. For a long time, it was the only venue in not just Berlin but Germany, that created a programme based on the diversity of immigrant and marginalised cultural, artistic and advocacy forms. Today there is still no other establishment that pursues this approach to such a broad extent in Germany.

Thus the results of the EU-financed "Survey European Citizenship” in 2014 were also no surprise: these demonstrated that the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN eclipsed all other Berlin cultural institutions in terms of the number of its Black and POC-occupied management positions.

In 2014 and 2015 the work of the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN was evaluated on behalf of the Berlin Senate in two analysis rounds (“Programme dialogue” and “Organisational analysis”). This certified that the venue had been successful in its undertakings. The recommendations of both evaluations have been strongly incorporated into the programming since then.
 

The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN describes itself from three different perspectives: from its artistic genres, its themes and its production formats.

Artistic genres
 

The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is a multidisciplinary venue: This means that music, film, spoken word, performance and exhibitions are incorporated into the programme and as in-house productions (about 10%) cooperative events (about 40%) or guests events (about 50%). There are recurring theme-oriented inter-disciplinary festivals. At the same time, there are also concerts, lecture concerts, instrumental workshops and a music competition and music film festival – i.e. all music event formats – that make up the majority of the programming.



  


The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.