Re-Narrating History
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Re-Narrating History

Today a global quantification industry is engaged in the measurement of learning achievements. However, the education of self-determined, empowered subjects cannot be expressed in figures. What alternatives are there to a concept of teaching as the exercise of control? In his contribution the educational theorist Gert Biesta focuses on the role of teachers in an emancipatory education program. To article...

Who has the sovereignty of interpretation over history? What new perspectives and approaches to it are possible? The artist, filmmaker, and theater creator Ho Tzu Nyen on the tiger as a metaphor for the historical entanglements between man, nature, and culture in Malaysia and Singapore, the meaning of language and song in his work, and the uncertainties generated by engaging with (colonial) history. To article...

How to develop a non-essentialist conception of identity? What strategies are conducive to decolonize the imagination? Anselm Franke and Hyunjin Kim, the curators of the exhibition 2 or 3 Tigers, discuss the colonial beginnings of worldwide surveillance, the dangers of nationalism in history and today, and the possibilities for emancipation from understandings of tradition in both East Asia and the West. To article...

From “Freedom Now” to “White Zulu”: Writer Max Annas spent several years at the University of Fort Hare in East London, researching South African jazz. In this interview, he speaks about the political importance of jazz for the history of the country, from Freedom Now to White Zulu. To article in German...

The writer Rana Dasgupta questions sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos about the state organizing its own erosion and the lack of alternatives to protect our societies from the consequences. To article...

The historian Cemil Aydin about the effects of breaking up multi-ethnic societies and the Ottoman Caliphate as a symbol for Cosmopolitanism. To article...

A conversation with the curators of Now is the Time of Monsters and the writer and journalist Slavenka Drakulić about national narratives, international law, and the obstacles of “official history”. To article...

Class, race, and Pop: How a marketing professional in the USA invented the racial division between “black” and “white” music. The musician Dom Flemons, himself affected by this pigeonhole thinking, speaks about a little known aspect of American Folk music. To article...

What could be a contemporary definition of public benefit housing? For the 100 Years of Now. Journal, architectural historian Anne Kockelkorn explores central issues of social housing construction in West Germany. In an interview on the core question of the new publication “Wohnungsfrage,” she describes a paradigm shift from housing quantity to housing quality in the 1970s, and develops scenarios that could lead to an improvement of the living situation of many: away from housing as a commodity to an understanding of housing as a use-value. To article...

The international controversy of the housing question, cultural transfers and the Bauhaus: A conversation between HKW director Bernd SchererClaudia Perren and Franziska Eidner. To article...

Alexandra Kollontai (1872–1952) was one of the most significant Russian revolutionaries and feminists. Through her engagement with class struggles in the wake of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, she came to the conclusion that the working class could not be successful in realizing its program without the active participation of women or without adopting the issue of women’s rights. She spoke up for equal rights for women, free love, and an end to the bourgeois structures of marriage and family. The social scientist Gisela Notz shows how Kollontai fought for these throughout her life. In her essay contribution to the current cooperation between the HKW and HAU Hebbel am Ufer “Utopian Realities – 100 Years of Now with Alexandra Kollontai” she points to how these struggles continue today. To article in German...

Is democracy dead? For the launch of the program series STAAT 1-4 (2016-2018) from Rimini Protokoll to post-democratic phenomena and the gaps in the system, the philosopher Boris Buden illuminates the historical “truth” of modern democracy. Focusing on the purification of the idea of democracy against the background of a “dirty” history he explains the reasons for history’s contemporary return from ideological repression. A look beneath the cloak of the sublime instance of democracy. To article...

How should today’s European societies deal with the damage of the colonial era? With the consequences of the destruction of places, bodies, and identities? And what forms of “reparation” for contemporary injustices would be appropriate? Within the framework of the event BODY the artist Kader Attia and the philosopher Françoise Vergès addressed old and new collective wounds, amputations and their associated phantom pain. Hannah Gregory attended the film and discussion evening for the journal and discusses here their complementary positions. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

Artist Kader Attia – observes the film maker and composer Manthia Diawara – has a special gift: He can talk about alterity and the traumas caused by the colonial “Other” without lapsing into antagonisms. Attia’s “Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures” provides a clear demonstration of this. The work shows familiar looking masks and sculptures from Africa and Europe, all of which are damaged and disfigured and in need of repair. Perhaps it is the trauma that Attia alludes to which generates a sense of commonality: The shared longing to be restored, to be repaired. The carnage of modernity – the guilt of colonialism and the First World War – is the starting point for the relationship between the self and the “Other”. Even if they are only relationships between damaged identities which Attia so emphatically postulates in his work. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...

The First World War was by no means “the war to end all wars” it was conceived to be: Anonymous killing and the total removal of boundaries on a technological and bureaucratic war machine are mortgage debts that remain unpaid to this day. According to Jörn Leonhard in his contribution to the project Tatort Schlachtfeld “The victor wasn’t a nation, a state, or an empire, and the First World War’s result wasn’t a world without war. The real victor was war itself.” To article in German...

Introductory speech from Bernd Scherer, Director of the HKW, on the occasion of the kick-off to 100 Years of Now on 30/09/2015.

Emergency administration of the moment versus history as a space of possibility: How can our society develop new models for action instead of just continually reacting to unexpected challenges? In order to answer this question Bernd Scherer has thrown a wide net—from contemporary history to military and technological history. Capitalism, technology and acceleration have given rise to an explosive amalgam whose composition urgently requires analysis: the present. To article...

An interview with Jihan El-Tahri

Documentary filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri takes a close look at modern Egyptian society in the shadow of the three “Pharaohs” Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak. A discussion about her planned trilogy. To article...