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The Iranian island of Kish has a special status. A globalized free trade zone was established here, inspired by political and economic hubris. The artists Nasrin Tabatabai and Barak Afrassiabi tell the story of the island’s history and an unusual shipwreck. To article...

The binary juxtaposition of race and technology is an extremely problematic component of the Western narrative of civilization. With the aid of historical examples and science fiction, the literary scholar Louis Chude-Sokei exposes its absurdities. To article...

Certain words have recently come to determine our everyday lives, one of these is fear. In combination with flight, migration, and a supposed flood of foreigners, it has been employed frequently of late. Reflections on a discussion at the HKW between the poet and author Sinan Antoon, the cultural scientist Joseph Vogl, and the anthropologist Allen Feldman on an emotion which is also instrumentalized by politics. To article...

The culture and media theorist Benjamin Steininger from the group Beauty of Oil explains the fusion of coal chemistry and petrochemistry since the 1920s and sketches their far ranging consequences from the Second World War to the present. To article...

Environmental concepts have their own time. The media historian Orit Halpern describes the engineering-driven transformations of architecture and design since the middle of the 20th century and how they led to ideas of a technological habitat. To article...

1948 – a visionary moment in which anti-genetics, ideology, and the exploration of life in other worlds mutually inspired one another. The historian of biology Luis Campos casts light on the “avant-garde” of breeding biology, on their ideas for the creation of new organisms and habitats. Is it just a question of time before visions of the future from back then become reality? To article...

Sometimes words do what they want, and no one knows this better than Herta Müller. For decades the Nobel Laureate for Literature has explored the recalcitrance and permeability of language. In the coming edition of the talk series Dictionary of Now, together with the writer Marcel Beyer, she discusses when language becomes an expression of resistance and when an instrument of the exercise of power. On this occasion, we reproduce here a text from an anthology of the literary magazine Akzente. To article...

What meaning does Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the readymade have for contemporary art? The symposium The Readymade Century at Haus der Kulturen der Welt will explore new perspectives on the artist’s famous works and appropriation strategies in contemporary art. In the journal the art historian Dieter Daniels, curator of the program, reflects on the history of the art concept’s influence and its contemporary relevance. To article...

What connections are there between art forms and political systems? Rabih Mroué’s works revolve around the social situation in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. For “Why Are We Here Now?” he examines, together with representatives from the post-civil war art scene, Lebanese concepts of identity and the special role of the lecture performance. To article...

What form of theater can reflect changed realities? The journalist Katja Petrowskaja and the artist and playwright Mohammad Al Attar discuss Noam Chomsky and the international left, migration and military conflicts as lived experience, and theater as a political tool. To article...