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Monuments of the Future?© Goethe-Institut e.V.

Monuments of the Future?

In a public landscape haunted by visible and invisible memories, can Art and Design transform monuments into vessels that uncover what was previously unspoken? How can we answer the call for sites of multi-directional memory? And how can we find solutions that evolve as society changes over time?

About the Event

On Friday, July 15 2022, 12-7pm, the Goethe-Institut and Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb will invite international artists, historians, activists, and a growing transatlantic coalition of changemakers from the US, Canada, and Germany to imagine what is in store for the future of memory spaces. 

This daylong event in the Haus der Statisik in Berlin, Germany, will feature a mix of discussions, panels, film screenings, and opportunities for exchange that spotlight diverse voices and design practices in the memory field. During the program, guests have the opportunity to exchange ideas with students and get to know their approaches from art, design and history for the change of memory landscapes.​

Monuments of the Future? is a project by the Goethe-Institut, in partnership with the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Harvard University's History Design Studio, and Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), and with financial support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The public share-out on July 15 is in cooperation with the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb. This event will also feature speakers from FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum, Zitadelle Berlin, and Weißensee Academy of Art.

Registration (for free)

The Haus der Statistik in Berlin The Haus der Statistik in Berlin | Foto: Dario Radišić

Program of the event

11:00 Uhr

Monument for Historical Change A walking tour and conversation with Mischa Kuball & Christian Nagel
Starting at Gallery Nagel/Draxler, Berlin  (Weydingerstraße 2-4 Google Maps)

12:00 – 20:00 Uhr
Program at Haus der Statistik (OTTO-BRAUN-STRASSE 70-72, 10178 BERLIN Google Maps)


Welcome – opening remarks and introduction to “Monuments of the Future?”
with Dori Tunstall and Lena Jöhnk

Discussion Sessions (happen simultaneously and in English)
Making erased histories visible with  der Künstlerin R. Stein Wexler
Memorializing protest with Natalie Bayer, FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum
What to do with removed monuments? with Urte Evert, Zitadelle Berlin

Coffee break and screening of the short film  Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery
(the film starts at 4pm and 4:30pm)

Panel discussion An Honest Talk on Memory Culture
with Michael Rothberg, Vincent Brown and Noa K. Ha, moderated by Shoshana Liessmann

Remembrance work begins when a piece of history that has been successfully suppressed is uncovered. In doing this work, the aim is not merely to erect monuments or to build static memorial sites. One must engage with social resistance and debates and prepare to answer with complex solutions. What constraints exist when negotiating a multidirectional culture of remembrance? And can approaches be developed from these techniques to create monuments of the future?

Closing Reception

Monuments of the future?© Goethe-Institut e.V.

Short bios of the participants

is the director of the FHXB/Friedrichshain‑Kreuzberg Museum, Berlin. She is a cultural anthropologist and has curated and supervised, among other things, the open archive Re/Assembling Anti-Racist Struggles (2022) and the exhibitions Laboratory 89 – New Perspectives on the Period of Transition Around the Fall of the Berlin Wall and Dach über Kopf (2019–2020).
is the Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies and Director of the History Design Studio at Harvard University. Brown authored Tacky’s Revolt (2020) and The Reaper’s Garden (2010). His documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness won the John E. O’Connor Film Award and was chosen as Best Documentary at the Hollywood Black Film Festival.
is the director of the Zitadelle Spandau Museum, Berlin. She has curated the permanent exhibition Unveiled, which tells the story of Berlin through dismantled, toppled and forgotten monuments and in which new forms of deauratizing monuments were developed.
is an urban studies researcher and lecturer at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin. Since July 2020 she was acting Scientific Manager at the German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM-Institut), where she is currently acting head of the National Discrimination and Racism Monitor (NaDiRa). She is a founding member of the “Critical Race, Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies Association.”
was the Director of Cultural Programs, North America at the Goethe-Institut (2017 to July 2022). She conceived and organized the transatlantic projects Shaping the Past and Monuments of the Future?, which deal with artistic approaches to forms of remembrance culture.
is a conceptual artist who uses light as a medium to explore architectural spaces, as well as social and political discourses. Kuball is a professor for public art at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne and a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Duesseldorf.
is a Judaist and cultural scientist with a focus on Jewish music and cultural history, women in Judaism, Italian Judaism in the Renaissance, music and Kabbalah. She works for the Goethe-Institut in the field of education and discourses.
founded the Christian Nagel Gallery for Contemporary Art in 1990 with exhibition spaces in Cologne, Berlin and Munich. At the beginning of 2009, Christian Nagel partnered with Saskia Draxler to form Galerie Nagel Draxler.
works in the fields of Holocaust studies, trauma and memory studies, critical theory and cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and contemporary literatures. He is the author of several books, including Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009) and The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019).
ist in den Bereichen Holocaustforschung, Trauma- und Erinnerungsforschung, Kritische Theorie und Kulturwissenschaften, postkoloniale Studien und zeitgenössische Literatur tätig. Er ist Autor mehrerer Bücher, darunter Multidirektionale Erinnerung: Holocaustgedenken im Zeitalter der Dekolonisierung (2009/2021) und The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019).
is a public artist, urban planner, and consultant. She produces community-engaged public artworks, facilitates public art initiatives, and designs public space interventions. She has guided urban policy, developed and applied organizational strategies, and has served on numerous advisory and selection committees. Her art and policy work are imbued with her research-intensive and process-driven approach to creative placemaking.

Project Partners

Monuments of the Future? is a project by the Goethe-Institut, in partnership with the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, Harvard University's History Design Studio, and Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU), with financial support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.