Call for applications

(Un-)Learning Place (as part of Das Neue Alphabet)

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany
Deadline: 15 September 2018

knowbotiq, b(l)ack dada nonperformance. © knowbotiq.

knowbotiq, b(l)ack dada nonperformance. © knowbotiq.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is calling for applications for (Un-)Learning Place as part ofHKW’s new long-term project Das Neue Alphabet.

The present is characterized by a crisis of the established epistemic-political order. Outdated categories and terms no longer function and representational logics fail to grasp the entanglement of knowledge production in times where the distinction between producers and recipients of knowledge dissolves. Increasingly global societies experience a sharp rise in social complexity, accelerated by digital infrastructures. In this situation, it is necessary to unlearn established modes of referring to the world and to rethink methods of constructing, situating and criticizing reality.

During the Opening Days of  Das Neue Alphabet in January 2019, HKW will set up a space for gathering, discussion and workshops—a unique (Un-)Learning Place curated by Boris Buden and Olga von Schubert. From January 9-13, 2019, international participants are invited to take part in (Un-)Learning Tracks to work with curatorial, artistic, or activist strategies in close collaboration with self-organized research collectives and independent artists and curators.

How can a library of African diasporic writing be cataloged without reproducing oppressive categories? Can the necro-aesthetics of Natural History Museums be reframed by changing museum taxonomies?

How do our body molecules tell stories of their century-old political suppression and how can we reread them? What are modes of resistance in digital network cultures and what could spaces of learning and unlearning look like in a world permeated by institutional infrastructures of dominance and cultural supremacy?

In eight (Un-)Learning Tracks the (Un-)Learning Place seeks out strategies to navigate through the inherent classification and ordering systems of archives, libraries, museums, institutional architectures, and digital networks and offers approaches to situating and negotiating research in artistic, site-specific, poetic, and bodily practices. In a lexicographical laboratory, by cataloguing a library, by rearranging existing museum taxonomies, by reconfiguring data networks and spaces, and by poetically transgressing existing terminologies and given spatial allocations, participants of the (Un-)Learning Place are invited to challenge established perspectives and collectively develop ways of restructuring the order of things.

With (Un-)Learning Tracks convened by Fehras Publishing Practices, ASSET productions, knowbotiq, Telekommunisten, Tactical Technology Collective, raumlabor berlin, Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V. and diffrakt | centre for theoretical periphery.

How to participate: Participants of the (Un-)Learning Place will be able to attend several of the (Un-)Learning Tracks. Each track will offer an intense practical workshop as well as a specific theoretical entry point to the program of the Opening Days of Das Neue Alphabet. In concentrated working groups of 8–10 people, projects in response to the lectures,screenings and artistic performances will be pursued in dialogue with the organizers of the tracks. Please let us know three preferences for the tracks you would like to attend and state the reason why in your motivation letter.

Participants will also be able to attend the public program of the Opening Days of Das Neue Alphabet, with contributions by Kader Attia, Filipa César, Kate Crawford, Simon Denny, Karin Harrasser, Yuk Hui, Sybille Krämer, Trevor Paglen, Felix Stalder, Hito Steyerl, and many more. In daily plena, participants of the (Un-)Learning Place will have the change to exchange their ideas with the scholars and artists from the Opening Days program.

Linguistic and poetic observers will act as mediators between the public opening program and the non-public (Un-)Learning Place, among them Gigi Argyropoulou, Gilly Karjevsky and Nicoline van Harskamp.

The Call for application with the application requirements and extensive descriptions of each track can be found on

Das Neue Alphabet (2019-2021) is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag. Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.

Caroline Adler
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
T +49 (0)30 39787 174


Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin


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