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People carry inflatable island with palm trees on the beachPhoto: © Ihti Fahim

Dialogue and Creativity

We enable cultural exchange and common understanding.

Our Approach

We believe in the potential of international cultural exchange.

Cultural encounters, artistic creativity and constructive exploration of different attitudes and values are more important than ever, in order to find common answers to global challenges in a world of upheavals and uncertainties.

With our partners, we create places of artistic creation and dialogue on diverse societal issues. We communicate forward-looking perspectives and thereby support democratic developments worldwide – especially in places where the wings of freedom are currently being clipped. Reflecting on our own history is our foundation for shaping the future.

  • Three women perform on stage wearing traditional clothes. They are accompanied by a band. © Goethe-Institut La Paz / Fátima Choque
    Elvira Espejo Ayca, winner of the Goethe Medal 2020, and musician Nina Uma at the final concert of the project “The Century of Women”.
  • Several people are standing in the exhibition space. They carry large pens on their heads, drawing on the ceiling. © Goethe-Institut/Maik Schuck
    Performance of works by the winner of the Goethe Medal 2021 Toshio Hosokawa with the Ensemble Musikfabrik at the Schießhaus Weimar.
  • Several people are dancing in a gymnasium. © Goethe-Institut Marokko/Friederike Frost
    In collaboration with EUNIC, the Goethe-Institut in Morocco, the Instituts français Rabat and Casablanca, the Délégation Générale Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the project “Dance Fusion Morocco” was presented in January 2021. The project supports local contemporary and urban dance artists whose activities have been affected by the pandemic.
  • Many people are standing in front of the town hall. The logo of the House of Europe can be seen on a wall in the foreground. © Goethe-Institut Ukraine
    The “Mobile Pavilion” is a transportable architecture built by a team of young Ukrainian architects for the House of Europe. The opening concert of the Ukrainian band Dachabracha in front of the city hall of Ivano-Frankivsk was attended by 1,500 locals.
  •  People are standing at the "Studio Bosporus" exhibition stand People are standing at the “Studio Bosporus” exhibition stand © Stephanie Steinkopf/OSTKREUZ
    The Kunsthaus Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin celebrated “Studio Bosporus - 10 years of the Tarabya Cultural Academy”. The Tarabya Cultural Academy was founded on the grounds of the historic summer residence of the German ambassador in Istanbul in 2011 and facilitates artistic exchange between Turkey and Germany.
  • A black woman in a white dress stands on an empty pedestal of a dismantled Confederate monument © Chris Chapa
    With the project “Shaping the Past”, the Goethe-Instituts in North America bring together artists, cultural mediators and activists from North America and Germany who are looking for anti-racist and anti-colonialist perspectives in the culture of remembrance. In her work “LandMarked”, Ada Pinkston, an US-American artist, explores possible rededications of the empty pedestals of dismantled Confederate monuments.

Our Spheres of Activity

Artistic encounters

We trust that art emanates from within itself. The aesthetic contains a distinctive power that helps people to experience multifaceted perspectives and opportunities for understanding, opening up new insights on other people. Through our global network we create digital and physical spaces for the free unfolding of the arts. In all branches of art, we make aesthetic experience, creation and co-production possible. We enable access to the German and international cultural scenes, and connect cultural professionals with each other worldwide.

Global dialogue

In our network, we bring viewpoints from different cultural spaces and spheres of experience together as well as offering platforms for intellectual and artistic exchange. We make it possible to see globally relevant topics through local perspectives. In this way we are able to enrich the exploration and discussion of international challenges as well as cross-border social issues with new perspectives and future-oriented approaches.

Safe spaces

We contribute to the fact that censorship-free analogue and digital spaces enable personal encounters, exchange and creative work to take place. We connect people who stand up for democracy, the rule of law and an open society – in Germany, Europe and worldwide. The protection and safety of all those involved is of central importance.

Dealing with history und remembrance

As a German and European cultural institute, we stand up for a self-critical culture of remembrance worldwide in our language, cultural and educational programmes. Processing the National Socialist history and its effects stands at the heart of this, alongside the examination of inner-German history. A further focus of the culture of remembrance is examining the colonial heritage in Germany as well as within and outside Europe. All this takes place within an awareness of a changing German immigration society and its diverse (family) histories. We place a special focus on issues of communicating history to young people.

Example of our Work

Berlin Damaskus Photo: Bernhard Ludewig

The Goethe-Institut in society

Art requires space, security, freedom, and support. In over 150 countries, the Goethe-Institut is working to ensure that local cultural scenes can flourish as freely as possible.

A man and a woman are standing at a table talking. They are holding hand-held microphones. © Goethe-Institut

A visit to the Žanis Lipke memorial site

In September 2022, Radioeins and rbb Kultur broadcasted live every day from the Goethe-Institut in Riga, the Latvian capital. In the Radio Bridge 2022, they spoke about the people who run politics, art, music, urban planning, clubs or cafés in Riga.

Further Goals