12 April 2023

21st Academy Discussion
Climate Disaster and the Last Generation

Vladimir Balzer, in conversation with Lina Johnsen, Robin Celikates, Iris ter Schiphorst and Jeanine Meerapfel

Monday, 24 April 2023, 7 pm
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Press tickets: presse@adk.de, +49 (0)30 200 57-15 14

What contribution can artists make to advocate for political reform that will have immediate effects in counteracting the impending climate catastrophe? In what ways can art encourage necessary transformations in society? Which actions seem convincing, and which steer away from the real issues? And how can diverse artistic initiatives and protest movements mutually strengthen one another? At the 21st Academy Discussion, members and guests discuss all these topics with a Last Generation representative.

Under the direction of Jeanine Meerapfel and her predecessor Klaus Staeck, the Akademie der Künste has continuously used its programmes and the further development of its energy concept to advocate for an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable future. During the last general assembly in December 2022, despite their actions being met with differentiated opinions, most Akademie members declared their solidarity with the Last Generation – especially given the group’s disproportionate criminalization.

Robin Celikates, social philosophy professor at the Freie Universität Berlin
Lina Johnsen, speaker for the Last Generation
Jeanine Meerapfel, filmmaker and president of the Akademie der Künste
Iris ter Schiphorst, composer and deputy director of the Music Section, Akademie der Künste
Moderation: Vladimir Balzer, journalist and moderator, Deutschlandfunk Hauptstadtstudio

Robin Celikates is a social philosophy professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and deputy director of the Centre for Social Critique at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is co-publisher of the journal Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory and spokesperson of the interdisciplinary research group “Transforming Solidarities. Praktiken und Infrastrukturen in der Migrationsgesellschaft” (Transforming Solidarities: Practices and Infrastructures in a Migration Society). He studies the connections between democracy, social movements, migration and solidarity, and civil disobedience within democratic systems.

Lina Johnsen is a student in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) degree programme with a primary emphasis on Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University College Freiburg (UCF). She has been engaged with the Letzte Generation (Last Generation) group since the beginning of 2022. Initially, she was on the de-escalation team; then, she glued herself in place with others to help form street blockades and participated in various protests in front of government buildings. Johnsen notes, “I understood the urgency with which the government’s destructive course has to be countered. We still have the chance to turn things around, and we have so much to gain”. For this purpose, she is willing to put up with personal risks and repercussions, whether in fines, criminal complaints or legal actions.

Jeanine Meerapfel has been president of the Akademie der Künste since 2015. The Academy Discussion series, for which she is responsible ‒ focusing on art-related, political and cultural-political topics ‒ interviews artists, politicians, scholars and journalists about current events. A film director and screenwriter, Meerapfel has filmed numerous award-winning documentaries and feature films (most recently, Eine Frau, 2021). She uses her works to advocate for human rights, freedom of expression and the diversity of cultures without discrimination.

Iris ter Schiphorst has been deputy director of the Akademie der Künste’s Music Section since 2021. She also uses this honorary position to initiate internal and public discussions considering the need and the possibilities for advancing climate protection. Among other projects, Schiphorst helped develop the upcoming Time to Listen festival, scheduled from 18 August to 3 September 2023, in which the Akademie der Künste will explore sound, environmental changes and climate catastrophes. Iris ter Schiphorst is a composer, performer and author.

The Akademie der Künste views itself and its programmes as a provider of ideas dedicated to sustainability. The 21st Academy Discussion is the first in a series of events addressing climate and environmental crises.

Event Information
21st Academy Discussion
Climate Disaster and the Last Generation
Monday, 24 April 2023, 7 pm
In German
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Admission € 6/4, free for visitors under 18

Press tickets can be reserved by phone or email: +49 (0)30 200 57-15 14, presse@adk.de