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Day of Action: Recognizing Barriers - 05.12.2022

source: Christina Zhu

Barriers we see, are barriers we can challenge

Reconizing Barriers - A day of action at the UdK Berlin on 05.12.2022

The first step to ending discrimination is to recognise that it exists. The UdK is not a discrimination-free space. On the contrary: students, staff and teachers experience intersectional discrimination e.g. racism, (cis/hetero)sexism and ableism. The action day "Recognizing Barriers" will focus on critical voices and empowering strategies for challenging systemic discrimination:



Starting at HZT Uferstudios.


Starting at HZT Uferstudios.

9:30 Soft launch “Awakening Senses” with artist Gugulethu A. Duma (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios)

10.10 - 10.15 Welcome address (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios)

10.15 - 11.30 Panel "Recognizing What?! Only what is recognized can also be changed?" (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios)

With Nanna Lüth (AG Critical Diversity), Sandrine Micossé-Aikins (Diversity Arts Culture), Sophia Neises, Ahmed Shah (Theater X), Christian Schmidts (UdK)

Moderation: Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz

11:30 - 14.30 Lunch + mobility break

Continuation of artistic interventions in the foyer of Hardenbergstr. 33

14:30 - 16:30 Artistic interventions by Eine-Krise-Bekommen (“We are sorry to inform you…”), Ivan Txaparro (Art, Music and Activism in Defense of Environmental Leaders in South America), Therese Bendjus & Marta Ruszkowska (The Shy Artist), Shae Husakovski (Safety Buffer Zone) (all artistic interventions: UdK Foyer Hardenbergstr. 33)

Continuation of workshops Hardenbergstr. 33 and Fasanenstr. 1

14:30 - 16:30 Workshops among others by Artist Training Lab (How to create a safer space) (UdK HA33 Raum 201 Aula, Hardenbergstr. 33), Aki Krishnamurthy (Embodying Vision - BIPoC FLINTA* Empowerment Workshop) (UdK FA1 Raum 311, Fasanenstr. 1b), Ragnild A Mørch (From positioned teaching to discrimination-free art) (UdK HA33 Room 004, Hardenbergstr. 33), Eight Fang (Sounds of Justice - Empowerment Workshop) (UdK FA1 Raum 109 Kammersaal)

Respondency in the concert hall of the UdK

17.00 - 18.00 Respondency Stephanie-Lahya Aukongo (artist) and Dirk Sorge (Berlinklusion) (UdK concert hall, Hardenbergstr. 33)

Open discussion forum in the concert hall of the UdK and conclusion

18.30 - 19.30 Fishbowl with Luïza Luz, Vivian Chan, Chris McWayne (student curators "Recognizing Barriers"), Kathrin Peters (AG Critical Diversity), Ariane Jeßulat (Vice president UdK), Avila Lorena Sarode (I.D.A.), Liesa Fritzsche (I.D.A.), Norbert Palz (President UdK) (UdK concert hall, Hardenbergstr. 33)

Moderation: Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz

19:30 Convivial conclusion (UdK foyer concert hall, Hardenbergstr. 33)


The day will be held mostly in English. An awareness & translation team will be available.


We are looking forward to meeting you there! Because only what is recognized can be changed


Vivian Chan, Luïza Luz, Chris McWayne (Student Curators “Recognizing Barriers”)

Ariane Jeßulat (Vice president UdK),

Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz (Diversity- & Anti-discrimination officer UdK)

The event will be livestreamed here.

Programme Day of Action "Recognizing Barriers" 05.12.2022

9:30 Kick-Off Day of Action "Recognizing Barriers" at HZT Studio 11 (Uferstudios)

9:30 - 10:10 Awakening Senses with Gugulethu Duma (aka D U M A M A) (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios)

source: duma

Gugulethu Duma (aka D U M A M A) explores intersectionality in her transdiscplinary artistic practice allowing the structures in formlessness to simply be. Her practice involves consciously deconstructing and critiquing archaic modes of representation of Southern African/African sonic and performance culture, while also composing music for herself and others. Ritualising modes of togetherness, Dumama is concerned with the ways in which new forms can organically emerge when collaborations can center in intimacy and openness.

10:10 - 10:15 Welcome address by Luïza Luz (Student Curator "Recognizing Barriers") (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios)

10:15 - 11:30 panel discussion “Recognizing What?! Only what is recognized can also be changed?“ (HZT Studio 11, Uferstudios) With:

source: privat

Sandrine Micossé-Aikins manages Diversity Arts Culture and consults the cultural department of the Berlin Senate. She is a cultural studies scholar, curator and equity manager whose work focuses on racism and empowerment in the arts. Her work also examines the power and effects of colonial imagery, politics of the body, and representation and equality in the German speaking arts and cultural sector.

Bildbeschreibung: Abgebildet ist eine Draußen-aufnahme der Vorstellung „Ohren Sehen“. Sophia Neises befindet sich als Performerin in der Mitte des Bildes. Der Hintergrund ist unscharf und lässt auf Büsche und Bäume in der Ferne schließen. Der Himmel ist grau.  Das Publikum ist warm gekleidet und befindet sich so nah um Sophia Neises herum, dass sich alle im Bild berühren könnten. Der Bildausschnitt zeigt ihre Oberkörper. Sophia Neises in der Mitte ist weiß, hat kurze blond gefärbte Haare und grüne Augen, die in verschiedene Richtungen schauen. Sie lächelt und spricht in ein Headset, welches sie gemeinsam mit einem Kopfhörer auf dem Kopf trägt. Sie trägt außerdem einen grünen Kaputzenpullover, der mit grünen und orangenen Schnüren überwachsen ist.
source: Dieter Hartwig

Sophia Neises is a freelance performer, access dramaturg, theatre pedagogue (MA University of the Arts Berlin) and disability rights activist in the cultural sector. She has lived and practised in Berlin since 2015. Among other things, she has been developing the dance form "Non-visual Dance" with the choreographer Zwoisy Mears-Clarke since 2016. In 2019, she collaborated with Jess Curtis/Gravity in the performance "(In)visible" to explore a barrier-free aesthetic of dance for blind and visually impaired audiences. Since then, she began to explore the spectrum of audio description as accessibility and audio description as an art form. For example, October 2022 saw the premiere of the dance performance "Souled" at Kampnagel Hamburg by Michael Turinsky, where she realised a poetic audio description embedded in the sound in artistic collaboration. She identifies herself as a disabled artist and encourages people to value their individual styles of perception to the highest degree and to create unconditional access to art already in the process.

source: lueth

Nanna Lüth, Prof. Dr. phil., works and researches in the fields of art, art education and media education. She is committed to a difference-reflective artistic-educational practice. After diverse experiences in program design and research in art mediation, she was junior professor for art didactics and gender studies at the University of the Arts Berlin from 2013 to 2021. From 2018 to 2020, she was deputy professor for art didactics and pedagogy at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Together with Dr. Sabine Sutter, she received the Diversity Teaching Award there in 2020. Her work focuses on the opening and diversification of educational institutions, art- and theory-based method development, and currently visibility and humor policies in arts education.

source: Rami El

Ahmed Shah is the artistic director of the theatre, author, director, theatre pedagogue and one of the co-founders of Theater X. Theater X is a self-managed CommUnity Theatre in Berlin Moabit. X stands for self-determination, self-representation, active resistance and rediscovering and writing one's own history from below.

11:30 - 14:30 Lunch & mobility break

14:30 - 16:30 artistic interventions UdK, Foyer HA33 (Hardenbergstr. 33)

source: Krise

What: "We are sorry to inform you ..."

The interactive installation is a reaction to the rejection letters sent out every year, which deny thousands of applicants access to art colleges. While otherwise the reasons for rejection are not visible and form an invisible wall of exclusion mechanisms and discrimination, here answers are collected collectively.

What exclusions and discriminations are already at work before admission to the imposing walls of art colleges? What expectations are naturally placed on students and who is able to fulfill them at all? How do universities present themselves to the outside world and how do we experience the reality? How diverse is the student body and who is excluded before and during their studies?

Who: Eine Krise Bekommen (Having a Crisis)

The collective consists of students and graduates of the UdK Berlin (Destina Atasayar, Katharina Brenner, Luisa Herbst, Lucie Jo Knilli), critically examines the teaching as well as the structures of the art academy and organizes exchange, learning and action formats.

Where: UdK im Foyer der Hardenbergstr. 33

When: 14:30 - 16:30

source: Resonar

What: Art, Music and Activism in Defense of Environmental Leaders in South America

Three music videos are inspired by interviews with several environmental activists in southern Colombia, the place in the world where most nature defenders have been killed in recent years. The musical and audiovisual material was made as a long-distance collaboration, by artists from Germany, Colombia and Argentina, in order to engage a diverse audience in this discussion. 

Who: ResonarResonar means resonance. We develop artistic activism projects to promote processes of environmental protection, social justice and collective awareness, involving design, music, technology and collaborative practices.

Ivan Txaparro Designer, artist, musician and educator who is deeply motivated to promote processes of individual and collective awareness. His background and practice combine illustration, music, dance, design, architecture, social research and interactive art. He leads the creative ensemble at the lab from a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach.

Where: UdK, Foyer Hardenbergstr. 33

When: 14:30 - 16:30

source: Therese Bendjus

What: The Shy Artist

Being an artist can be tough. But imagine being an introverted artist, an anxious one.
How does the space look like that a shy* artist inhabits in this university and how do we invision it to transform? How does one communicate when always quiet?

Focussing on the publication „Shy Radicals: The Anti-Systemic Politics of the Introvert Militant” by Hamja Ahsan and through a shy artistic intervention we will temporarily bring into life Hamja’s shy utopia – Aspergistan – within the walls of UdK, a space for all quiet, introverted and autistic spectrum people.

While visiting the space one will have an opportunity to take a deep breath from extrovert-supremacy, contemplate and reimagine on how the (art) world could be like if small talk would be prohibited by the consitution.

Who: Marta Ruszkowska (BA Tanz, Kontext, Choreographie, HZT), Therese Bendjus (BA Tanz, Kontext, Choreographie, HZT)

Where: UdK, Foyer Hardenbergstr. 33

When: 14:30 - 16:30

source: Shae

What: Safety Buffer Zone

It's very hard for ukrainians to communicate with russians right now. But we definitely need a dialogue to nurture progress of the situation to it's end.

Idea is to make students of UdK conductors of this dialogue. Students (not Ukrainians or Russians), who would express their will to participate, can have small interviews with Russians they know and ask them for a voice recording with a message they would like to pass to Ukrainians. And the same thing backwards.

After we collect this information we can create a plane of safe dialogue, as there will be a safe buffer of people, who show genuine interest in the problem, but not being a part of it.

Who: Shae Husakovski (Them/they)
I'm an artist from Ukraine. My projects are mostly about global issues. Love, death, sex, religion, politics. I prefer to be free in my choice of materials. I work with installations, paintings, sculptures and video. I suppose, it's really important to create practices of art activism. The world is on the verge of great changes and it's our responsibility to help people reflect on all of the changes.

Where: UdK, Foyer Hardenbergstr. 33

Wann: 14:30 - 16:30

14:30 - 16:30 Workshops UdK Hardenbergstr. 33 & Fasanenstr. 1b

source: privat

What: Embodying Vision (Workshop for BIPoC FLINTA*)

Let's end the year together with strength and loving energy. This year was certainly challenging again, many things we wanted to do, we could not implement or have developed differently than we imagined. We want to feel into our bodies, into what is bothering us, and then reflect on our resources/resilience.
I would like to invite you to connect with your power and your wishes and visions. What do you wish for? Wishes don't just come true, of course, but being clear about what we want connects us to the power and our resources to make it happen. In this workshop we will reflect with exercises from bodywork, individually and in small groups. The goal is to get more clarity about what gives us power and about what we want to do (or not do).

Who: Dr. Aki Krishnamurthy, cis woman of color, heterosexual, able bodied, now academic, with German passport. She is also a friend, sister, mother, daughter, somatic activist and intersectional feminist. Since 2007 freelance empowerment trainer, theater and dance pedagogue focusing on power relations from an intersectional perspective with a focus on racism and gender relations in different also international contexts. She believes that personal, social and political change must be thought of and with the body. In addition to her freelance work, she is currently a lecturer on anti-racism and empowerment at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin and dabbles in anti-racist decolonial organizational development and supports BIPoC students.

When: 05.12.2022 14:30 - 16:30

Where: UdK, Fasanenstr. 1, FA1 Room 311

source: Artist Training

What: Workshop How to Create a Safer Space III - The project ARTIST TRAINING is a qualification program of the UdK Berlin Career College aimed at the qualification, consulting, and networking of artists in exile. 

Since October 2022, it has been organising a workshop series Artist Training Lab: How to Create a Safer Space to discuss clear tools for implementing the principles of Safer Space at the UdK Berlin with experts inside and outside the university working on anti-discrimination/organizational development field. 

The last workshop in the series this year will take place on Recognizing Barriers Day! The aim is to work collectively on the topic of values and Safer Space at UdK Berlin with everyone who is interested to join the Recognizing Barriers Day.

Who: The project ARTIST TRAINING is a qualification program of the UdK Berlin Career College aimed at the qualification, consulting, and networking of artists in exile. 

Moderation: Armeghan Taheri

The results of the workshop will be published as a podcast produced by Johanna Madden & Sel Alizadeh on the Critical Diversity Blog.

When: 05.12.2022 14:30 - 16:30

Where: UdK, HA33 Room 201 (Aula), Hardenbergstr. 33

Sparda Bank, Erzählfestival, Eröffnungslesung, Ragnhild A. Mørch

 source: Harry Soremski

What: From personal positioning to discrimination-free art...? A hands-on, exploratory story-workshop on perspectives.
What does it take to make learning and teaching at the UdK barrier and discrimination free? Functioning lifts, unformatted Word documents and critical, inclusive language? Yes. And a look at our own positioning. What does our different perspectives actually mean? How are our values, behaviour and insights shaped by socialisation and experience? What does it mean to share ideas, visions, space at a university, which was conceived from a dominant (majority) perspective and is intent on developing individual excellence? Is that contradiction bridgeable for everyone? Can it become a point of contact? Perhaps only if we discover that each of us always also is “the other". Maybe, as in my case, by seeing myself through your eyes, I might understand why 180cm on sock lasts also matters and why diversity is the most misunderstood resource of humanity.

Who: Ragnhild A. Mørch (MA) trained in storytelling, physical theatre and directing and has worked in live arts since 1996. Since 2005, she is a full-time storyteller and focuses on storytelling as performance art both as a performer and a lecturer. She is artistic manager of the certificate course Storytelling in Art and Education at the Berlin University of the Arts and teaches storytelling for opera singer on Master level.  She co-curates a bilingual storytelling series at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin with performances using multiple spoken languages and visual vernacular. Her current focus lies on understanding personal positioning and the effect of perspectives with regards to story material and educational practise. She has performed at international festivals around Europe and North America and performs in German, Norwegian and English.

When: 05.12.2022 14:30 - 16:30

Where: !!! change of rooms!!! now in UdK HA33 Room 004, Hardenbergstr. 33

What: BIPoC Empowerment Workshop Sounds of Justice - Overcoming Racial Tension, Student Voices, Artistic Safe Spaces in the UdK

This workshop provides an artistic experience and a safe space at Hardenberg.33 where we can share our stories. To experience the healing process to minimize the drama in the past, this workshop also aims to mobilize our senses with seeing, hearing, smelling and talking by approaching aesthetic therapeutic processes, such as dark therapy, sound therapy and aromatherapy. At the end of this section, we will go beyond the group experience by transforming the energy of the story of being discriminated against into the empowerment, furthermore, to support others who have had the same experience at UdK.

Who: Eight Fang - The overall development of Eight Fang's practice operates according to a non-linear structure. She sees each project as a character. Some aspects of these characters involve often overlooked dynamics and conditions of relational power.

Eight Fang's birthplace is the same place as the Terracotta Warriors and Horses. Her artistic practice takes an Asian female perspective as its point of departure and explores the interrelationship between architecture, technology, and history.

When: 05.12.2022 14:30 - 16:30

Where: UdK, FA1 Raum 109 Kammersaal, Fasanenstr. 1b

17:00 - 18:00 Respondency with Dirk Sorge (Berlinklusion) and Lahya (Stephanie-Lahya Aukongo) (artist, author, activist), UdK conncert hall, Hardbergstr. 33

At the Respondency, Dirk Sorge (Berlinklusion) and Stephanie-Lahya Aukongo "respond" to the action day "Recognizing Barriers", which they will follow from the kick-off at the HZT.

source: Sorge

Dirk Sorge works as artist and educator in Berlin. Leipzig and Chemnitz. He studied Visual Art at the University of the Arts Berlin (Meisterschüler/MFA) and Culture and Technology Studies (B.A.) and Philosophy (M.A.) at Technical University Berlin. He conducts workshops and guided tours focusing on inclusive practice for Staatliche Museen Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, The Berlin Biennale and other institutions. From 2014-2016 he worked as project team member and moderator for Neue Perspektiven Gewinnen (, a series of workshops in the field of inclusion in Berlin’s museums. Dirk Sorge is a member of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Berlin and consults museums that plan to reduce barriers in their exhibitions. Currently he works for the State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz in the field of inclusion.

source: Karoline Schneider

Lahya (Stephanie-Lahya Aukongo) is a Black intersectionally interwoven artist whose social realities are reflected in all the art and political work Lahya does. Lahya's life includes One World Poetry Night, the books "Kalunga's Child", "Letter Feelings - A Poetic Intervention", some countless poems, zines, the e-book "Barrier Lines" and much more. The artistic content touches on de:privilege, decolonization, healing, individual as well as collective love and vulnerability. Lahya's pronouns are Lahya, if it must be she/her:s or they/them. Lahya's bed resides in Berlin. FB & IG: lahya_aukongo

18:30 - 19:30 Fishbowl - open discussion forum, UdK concert hall, Hardenbergstr. 33

The Fishbowl is an open discussion forum in which everyone can participate; among others with Vivian Chan, Luïza Luz, Chris McWayne (Student curators "Recognizing Barriers"), Prof. Kathrin Peters (AG Critical Diversity), Ariane Jeßulat (Vice President UdK), Avila Lorena Sarode (I.D.A.), Liesa Fritzsche (I.D.A.), Norbert Palz (President UdK). 
Moderation: Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz

19:30 Convivial conclusion,UdK foyer concert hall, Hardenbergstr. 33

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