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.

How to Create a Safer Space I: Code of Conduct

Together with the moderator of the podcast series Johanna Madden, Armeghan Taheri and Elena Buscaino reflected on the first workshop and discussed further the needs of UdK Berlin, as well as the possible implementation of a Code of Conduct.

Unboxing – Diskriminierungskritische Perspektiven an der Schnittstelle Bildung/Kunst

Claudia Hummel und Nanna Lüth im Gespräch mit Carmen Mörsch über die Konzeption eines Materialiensets für diskriminierungskritische Arbeit in der Kunstvermittlung. Ein Unboxing-Video, das alle, die an der Schnittstelle von Kunst und Bildung in Schulen, in Kunstinstitutionen oder an Kunsthochschulen arbeiten, einlädt, dieses umfassende Lernpaket zu benutzen.

“Alles ist Dildo!”

Bei der Lektüre von Paul B. Preciados “Die Logik des Dildos oder die Scheren Derridas” im Seminar „Queer-feministische Ästhetik“ fragt sich Laura Thiele, ob Dildos, die einige Feministinnen als künstliche Nachbildungen des Penis und somit Symbol der patriarchalen Hegemonie bezeichnen, nicht eigentlich das exakte Gegenteil sind: inhärent queere Objekte, die sexuelle Machtstrukturen verschieben.

TERF aesthetics

In autumn 2021, Professor Kathleen Stock of the University of Sussex in England leaves her post. Her resignation is the result of self-organized protests by an anonymous group of queer, trans* and non-binary students of the same university. A huge and often violent media coverage follows. A retrospection.

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Critical Diversity Policy

On December 7th, 2022, the Critical Diversity Policy – Concept for Antidiscrimination and Diversity of the UdK Berlin – was unanimously approved by the Academic Senate of the UdK Berlin after many years of intensive work by various actors and committees.
It can be read here.

Day of Action at UdK Berlin: Recognizing Barriers – 5th December 2022


The first step to ending discrimination is to recognise that it exists. The UdK is not a discrimination-free space. On the contrary: students, staff and teachers experience intersectional discrimination e.g. racism, (cis/hetero)sexism and ableism. The action day “Recognizing Barriers” will focus on critical voices and empowering strategies for challenging systemic discrimination.
Further Information

Hochschulöffentliche Workshopreihe zur Entwicklung eines Code of Conducts für die UdK Berlin

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

#10 How to create a safer space II: Anti-Discrimination-Clause
4. November 2022, 12:00 Uhr – 15:00 Uhr, Einsteinufer Raum 531

How to create a safer space @ Zukunftstag der UdK Berlin
18. November 2022, 14:00 Uhr – 16:00 Uhr, Design Transfer/Einsteinufer Raum 203

#11 How to create a safer space III @ Recognizing Barriers
5. Dezember 2022, 14:30 Uhr – 16:30 Uhr, tba

Rückfragen und Anmeldungen bitte an: artisttraining-ziw@udk-berlin.de

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.

Racism is an ideology that devalues people or groups based on their appearance, name, (perceived) culture, origin, or religion. People who experience racism are attributed physical/social/cultural/biological characteristics. These attributions are contrived stereotypes that have become entrenched in thoughts, structures, and systems. Racist stereotypes are pejorative, exoticizing, or exclusionary. People affected by racism are marked as “different” or not belonging in a white majority society and suffer everyday, structural and/or systematic discrimination and violence.

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.