Announcement awardees Goethe Medal Migration of Cultures, Cultures of Migration

The award ceremony at Schloss Weimar, 2015
The award ceremony at Schloss Weimar, 2015 | Foto: Maik Schuck

Every year in August, the Goethe Medal honours three figures who have performed outstanding service to intercultural dialogue with Germany. Now this year’s awardees have been announced: the Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi, the Ukrainian writer Yurii Andrukhovych and the Georgian museum director David Lordkipanidze. All of them make special contributions to the theme “Migration of Cultures – Cultures of Migration.”

Akinbode Akinbiyi
Akinbode Akinbiyi Akinbode Akinbiyi | © Emeka Okereke Photographer Akin Akinbiyi, who has lived in Berlin since the early 1990s, is considered one of the most important artistic mediators between Germany and sub-Saharan Africa. The main focus of his work is on rapidly growing and changing African megacities. With his photographs, he brings viewers closer to urban life in Africa and the migratory movements there – also at documenta 14, which will be held in Athens and Kassel next year.
Akinbode Akinbiyi was born in Oxford in 1946, grew up in Lagos and in England and studied literature and English in Nigeria, England and Germany. In the mid-1970s he began to photograph as an autodidact and, after stays in Heidelberg and Munich, finally moved to Berlin where he has lived ever since.
His focuses are reportage, architectural and cultural photography. He is also an intercultural mediator in his curating work and is additionally an important mentor of young photographers from Africa.
Yurii Andrukhovych
Yurii Andruchowytsch Yurii Andruchowytsch | © Anna Voitenko Yurii Andrukhovych translates German writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Robert Walser into Ukrainian thus giving the readership there new access to the German classics.
Born in 1960 in Western Ukraine, the writer studied journalism in Lviv and literature in Moscow. He is one of the intellectual voices of Ukraine and is part of the critical, creative scene that reflects and advances civil society processes after the Maidan revolution.
With his writing, he familiarized German readers with the literary territory of his home country. Migration and transitional movements through Europe are central themes of his own literary work.
David Lordkipanidze

David Lordkipanidze David Lordkipanidze | © Shakh Aivazov Associated Press David Lordkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, is networked with academics and museum strategists worldwide. He initiated international collaborations with German cultural and educational institutions such as the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. They were accompanied by an active exchange of scientists and museum experts.
The archaeologist was born in Tbilisi in 1963 and studied geology and geography at the State University there and at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. His scientific focuses are Paleolithic research and paleoanthropology, with a focus on early human evolution, the reconstruction of early hominids, their natural environment and researching their material remains.
For more than 20 years David Lordkipanidze has led the excavations of Dmanisi in Georgia. He became famous mainly by the finds there of 1.8 million-year-old skeletal remains of early hominids. This discovery and its scientific evaluation revolutionized existing knowledge about early human development and migration.
Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut, will present the awards at Weimer’s Stadtschloss on 28 August. The award ceremony is organized in close partnership with Klassik Stiftung Weimar and the City of Weimar.