Who and how does one get into the art university — and out again? Who listens, who speaks? Which language? Who is considered suitable or talented? What are the criteria? To which art or music, to whose knowledge and skills do we refer? What and who is left out?


At art universities there are deeply rooted structures of discrimination and favouritism. Dealing with them is an important step towards creating more equality and justice.
The Critical Diversity Blog brings together contributions on diversity and anti-discrimination at the Berlin University of the Arts and beyond. It also offers the possibility for you to share experiences of exclusion or discrimination, so that they can be taken into account in a future diversity strategy. The more contributions and experience reports from members and guests of this university come together, the better.
Suggestions for texts, artistic contributions and discussions are always welcome. Let us set out on the path to an art university that is sensitive to diversity and critical of discrimination.

Wer gestaltet hier für wen? Lecture von Hannah Witte zu gendersensibler Typografie


„Wie divers sind die Körper, die an Entwurfsprozessen beteiligt sind? Wie differenziert ist das Körperbild im Design? Welche Normen und Regeln werden daraus abgeleitet? Und wie wirken diese auf unsere Körper zurück?“ Wir veröffentlichen hier die Aufzeichnung der Lecture der Gestalterin Hannah Witte zu gendersensibler Typografie sowie eine Tagungsnotiz von Annika Haas

The Lonesome Crowded West


In Auseinandersetzung mit ihrer eigenen Migrationsgeschichte fertigte die Künstlerin Ana Tomic eine Serie von zehn Pastellkreide-Zeichnungen an, die jeweils eine Zeile ihres Gedichts “The Lonesome Crowded West” illustrieren. Sie thematisiert in dieser eindrucksvollen Arbeit internalisierte Vorurteile über die eigene Herkunft sowie Idealisierungen der westlichen Welt.

„Die Probleme gehen jetzt erst richtig los“ – Ein Gespräch mit dem neuen Diversitätsbeauftragten der UdK Berlin


Dr. Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz ist seit dem 1. Februar 2022 Diversitätsbeauftragter an der UdK Berlin. Er ist einer der ersten Diversitätsbeauftragten mit Schwerpunkt Antirassismus an einer Berliner Hochschule. Dies ist das Resultat von den teils jahrzehntelangen kollektiven Kämpfen verschiedener studentischer Initiativen an der UdK, die im Sommer 2020 einen ihrer Höhepunkte fand. In dieser Podcast-Folge sprechen die zwei Studentinnen Sarah Herfurt und Elena Buscaino mit dem neuen Diversitätsbeauftragten Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz über die Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft von antirassistischer Arbeit an der UdK Berlin.

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Overview of AG Meetings

Second thursday each month at 2.30 pm
if interested, please contact diversity@udk-berlin.de

Open Letters for the Equal Treatment of BIPoC Refugee Students

Open Letter by the Student Coalition for Equal Rights, published 30th of May 2022
Open Letter by RAA Berlin, published 11th July 2022

“We got a List of Demands…” – Online Panel Discussion: (Art) University, Racism & Empowerment: Diversity Officer (UdK Berlin) in conversation with students and anti-racism experts

Friday, March 25th, 7 pm, online: Webex-Link
Event language: English and German

A good one and a half/two years ago, students demonstrated under the title #exitracismudk and drew attention to racism at the UdK. At the same time, in a broad coalition, the students formulated a number of demands on the UdK. As the title of the event (based on the rap song by Saul Williams “List of Demands (Reparations)“) suggests, the panel will focus on the open letter that the UdK students formulated as part of the #exitracismUdK protests. Some of the demands made in this open letter read like recommendations from a professional, intersectional diversity consultancy.

Together with the new diversity officer (focus on racism) Dr. Mutlu Ergün-Hamaz (UdK Berlin), students Dalís Pacheco (Interflugs UdK) and Elena Buscaino (AG Critical Diversity UdK) discuss these demands for intersectional anti-discrimination work. Joining the conversation will be postcolonial urban researcher Noa K. Ha and anti-racism and empowerment officer Aki Krishnamurthy at the ASH. Thereby the panel addresses also racism and empowerment at (art) universities in general.

Guest Lecture: “Juarez’s maquilas, catrinas and the female body. From ‘feminicidios’ at the border to #NiUnaMas and #NiUnaMenos”

Lecture held in English by Sarah Ibáñez O’Donnell (MA, University of Heidelberg)
Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 6 pm, via Webex
Moderation: Prof. Dr. Miriam Oesterreich

Webex-Link



Feminicides (feminicidios) became a word linked to female bodies – many of them from maquiladoras or textile workers – appearing tortured, murdered and often sexually abused in Ciudad Juarez, at the US-Mexico border in the early 1990s – the same place where activist Susana Chavez, whose poetry gave name to the now global movements Ni Una Mas and Ni Una Menos, was born and murdered. Victims’ families and allies began to denounce these acts of violence by marking them publicly and placing the names of their dead on pink crosses and phone boxes. Such visual and performative practices denouncing violence against women more broadly have become more and more mediated blurring the lines between artistic and activist intervention.

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) is the uniform central body of regulations in Germany for the implementation of four European anti-discrimination directives. For the first time, a law was created in Germany that comprehensively regulates protection against discrimination.

Imagination of a gender system that consists of only two categories, male and female. Assignment beyond which is only allowed, if at all, only as a deviation from the norm – hides the following: gender, sex, desire, performance.

Differences in values, attitudes, cultural perspective, beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender identity, abilities, knowledge and life experiences of each individual in each group of people should be considered and overcome within the university.

The concept according to Birgit Rommelspacher assumes that there is a system of hierarchies, rule and power in which the various racist, sexist and other forms of government intertwine. In this interconnectedness, a dominant group has the power, which is socially negotiated again and again.

the personal idea of one‘s own gender and one‘s own gender role. Within society, gender is the concept according to which we classify various ideas such as social status, gender presentation, role in society, life planning and sexuality into the gender categories.

Discrimination based on the organisational actions of institutions. Institutional discrimination is not present in society as a whole.

Inter * are persons born with physical characteristics that are medically considered to be „sexually ambiguous“. The generic term Inter * has evolved from the community, and refers to the diversity of intersex realities and physicalities as an emancipatory and identitarian umbrella term.

In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of discrimination, its individual forms of discrimination must not be considered independently of each other, as they are interrelated.

Discrimination based on the value of economically and educationally unequally strong classes. This is related to discrimination and stigmatisation based on actual or assumed educational status and social inclusion. Thus, the inferior classes in the hierarchy are problematised and stereotyped.

Culturally argued racism is directed against people who, regardless of whether they actually practice one culture or religion (e.g. Islam, Judaism) and how religious they are. (e.g. anti-Muslim racism (AMR) and anti-Semitism)

Describes a displacement of minorities to the social fringe. As a rule, marginalised groups do not correspond to the norm-oriented majority of society and are severely restricted in their ability to act.

Describes the basic assumption that thinking and brain structures function individually. A medical norm and the disease mongering of everything supposedly divergent is called into question.

Discrimination based on ones ethnic roots.

The conceptual distinction between gender as a biological fact (sex) on the one hand and as a product of cultural and social processes (gender) .

Any form of discrimination against people on the basis of their (attributed or supposed) sex and the ideology underlying these phenomena.

A person‘s sexual orientation describes which sex a person feels emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted to.

System of socio-cultural values and norms into which one is born (environments and classes), e.g. Educational biography, social inclusion. Values are constructed.

System of socio-cultural values and norms into which one is born (milieus and classes). e.g. Educational status and social inclusion. Values are constructed.

Discrimination of social subgroups based on the nature of the structure of society as a whole.

„Trans“ is a Latin prefix, meaning beyond and refers to people who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. The self-designation is not an identity feature that automatically indicates whether this person identifies with a different gender, gender or multiple genders. Thus, there are several trans identities.

This term is not a self-designation, but a description of a reality of people who do not experience racism. white is written in small italics and reveals privileges, which are often not named as such. So the term is not about skin shades, but about the visualisation of different access to social resources.

Negative assessment of body and mind due to abilities and skills. An evaluation pattern based on a supposed biological (physical and / or mental) norm.

Discrimination e.g. in everyday life and law based on unequal power relationships between adults, children, adolescents and young people.

Skills and abilities are questioned and rated due to ones age.

Cis or cis-gender refers to people who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. If this were not named, trans * would always be marked as the deviation of a given norm.

This term focuses on how people observe, (re-)produce and make gender relevant in everyday life.

Is a self-designation to unite people affected by racism and to fight together against power relations such as racism.

In English, ‚queer‘ was used as an insult for a long time. In the meantime, however, the term is usually used positively as a self-designation and describes the breaking out of the two-gender order as well as heteronormative concepts of life.

Reciprocal interactions as a multi-dimensional approach between the university and the non-university environment, which also includes the cultural, social and political dimensions on an equal footing.

A superficial gesture to include minority members. It is intended to create an appearance of inclusion and to divert allegations of discrimination by requiring a person to be representative of a minority.