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.

Weaving Bonds at Eye-Level: An Interview With Samet Durgun

Samet Durgun was one of the seven participants of the inaugural edition of Common Ground Studio (CGS), a student-led program at UdK aiming to support disadvantaged people with migration experience ahead of their Fine Art study application. In this interview, Samet talks about his photographic project that tells the story of a group of gender-nonconforming, trans*, queer refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin.

Rassismuserfahrungen stehen nicht zur Debatte

Die Debattenkultur um Rassismuserfahrungen muss sich verändern – auch an der UdK Berlin. Die Autorin setzt sich in diesem Rahmen mit einer spezifischen Art des Mansplainings auseinander: Eine Studie zum weißen Mann, der gerne Advocatus Diaboli spielt.

#MeToo Machtmissbrauch im Theater – und dann?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German. Verschriftlichte Momentaufnahme vom 11. Juni 2021Wir danken Anna Bergel für die Einladung zu diesem Beitrag und die Erstredaktion des Textes. Feministische Held*innen an der Volksbühne Berlin, Emanzipationshilfe von außen und der institutionelle Wandel in den deutschen Stadttheatern Seit 2014 ist ein rasanter Anstieg der Verwendungshäufigkeit des Begriffs […]

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Signing of the Statement of Academic Freedom

The AG Critical Diversity signed the Statement of Academic Freedom, a coalition of scientists who understand academic freedom as a process to extend participation in science.

Book presentation “Eine Krise bekommen” on July 19

On July 19, texts from the student publication “Eine Krise bekommen” will be read, which takes a critical look at the effects of the pandemic, ambivalent identities, and the political responsibility of the art academy. The editors invite to discussions, drinks and book browsing in the courtyard of the UdK main building at Hardenbergstraße 33 starting at 6pm. Please register for the event here and bring FFP2 masks and rapid test results. (The event will be held in German).

Edited by Destina Atasayar, Sarah Böttcher, Katharina Brenner, Lucie Jo Knilli, Luisa Herbst. Illustrated by Sarah Böttcher.

Student assistant at AG Critical Diversity

AG Critical Diversity is looking for student assistance in the editorial team of the Critical Diversity Blog starting in June or July. If you’re interested in the intersection of art and anti-discrimination work and would like to contribute with new texts and/or podcast episodes, send a brief letter of intent to: diversity@udk.berlin.de.

The position is at the moment unpaid, but there is a possibility of a paid position in the next semester (WS 2021). The work may also be compensated in the form of ECTS credits.

Platz für Diversität!? Festival for Alliances Between Art and Education Critical of Discrimination

27.-29. May 2021

Platz für Diversität!? is a festival that creates space for knowledge about diversity and discrimination at the intersection of art and education: knowledge from art educators about exclusion in cultural institutions, from activists about strategies for dealing with structural discrimination, and from students and teachers about gaps in the curriculum.

The festival is organised by KontextSchule and numerous cooperation partners.  
More info available in the program.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

„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.