Memory and Justice
An Exchange between Art, Law and Civil Society on Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Methods of Addressing Past Wrongs

29 September – 1 October 2016

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin

Jeanine Meerapfel: Film still from "Desembarcos – When Memory Speaks", Documentary, Argentina/Germany, 1986–89

Memory and Justice In the past, such crimes against humanity as the Shoah, genocide in Ruanda and Yugoslavia, and the history of violence in the Congo or in Argentina have been extensively discussed – though often with groups of lawyers, political scientists, activists and artists remaining among themselves. The “Memory and Justice” conference provides a forum for interdisciplinary discussions to address mass crimes and how they are dealt with. Panel discussions, readings, screenings and artistic works address the historical complex of crimes and discuss techniques of coming to terms with them. How does criminal law persecution relate to a civil society culture of remembrance? What are the cultural and political consequences of impunity and public silence over serious mass crimes?

A joint project by the Akademie der Künste and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), funded by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb). With Academy president Jeanine Meerapfel, Wolfgang Kaleck (human rights lawyer, ECCHR), Thomas Krüger (president bpb), Sylvestre Bisimwa (lawyer), Milo Rau (director), Mark Sealy (photographer) and others.

Uncertain States – Artistic Strategies in States of Emergency

15 October 2016 – 15 January 2017
Exhibition Opening: 14 October 2016

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin

Mona Hatoum: „Kapan iki“, 2012 (Detail); Foto: def image; Courtesy Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin | Paris

The exhibition project "Uncertain States" at the Akademie der Künste this upcoming fall combines an experiential space created from objects found in the Academy’s archives with an exhibition of contemporary art as well as a thinking space (Denkraum) for scholars, activists and artists.

The fragility of individual, societal and political conditions, triggered by wars, poverty and terrorism, are the focus of an artistic investigation, in which the currently dramatic situation surrounding the refugee movement makes reference to historical experiences of flight and exile between 1933 and 1945. Selected objects and documents from the archives of the Akademie der Künste, by Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Valeska Gert, Lea Grundig, Heinrich Mann, Bruno Taut, Kurt Tucholsky and others, correspond to more than 25 contemporary arts positions reflecting recent experiences and situations resulting from crisis and flight, instability, violence and loss. The latter include works by Francis Alÿs, Reza Aramesh, Ayşe Erkmen, William Forsythe, Mona Hatoum, Isaac Julien, Sigalit Landau, Maziar Moradi, Graciela Sacco, Nasan Tur, Micha Ullman and Arkadi Zaides.

A series of lectures and special events will address current political questions on themes such as neo-colonialism, the causes for flight and migration, and the new rise in nationalism in Europe, posited from within the context of cultural and artistic positions. A thinking space will be created through lectures, debates, concerts, film presentations, performances and theatre.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Kulturstiftung des Bundes