The Damaged Planet – Solidarity With Our Fragile Earth

2021-2022, Academy of Media Arts Cologne and Online

According to the most recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, the ecological crisis will be an existential threat to all living things on the planet—that includes Germany—within a generation. The necessity for global social and ecological transformation within a very short period of time represents a huge challenge. The arts are not exempt and its role will change fundamentally. In recent years, questions around our global relationship—trans-humanist, postcolonial, critical of economy and institutions—have been increasingly articulated. Artists and activists strive to find possible courses of action. They demand a global society in which we act in solidarity with the earth as an organism.

But what does taking care of this damaged planet mean? It specifically involves questioning and changing one’s own self-image, institutions and actions. Whether in areas of urban development, questions of globalisation—in both jurisdiction and economy—digitalisation or in the natural sciences, whether used socially or discursively in the media, the new remit of our work presents itself as one that recognises the problem as “connected”. These are the reasons that the KHM, as an art college, aims to bring together protagonists with precisely these diverse approaches.

The KHM’s series of events begins with the earth system researcher and marine biologist Antje Boetius and the dramatist Frank M. Raddatz, on their collective project Theater des Anthropozän (Theatre of the Anthropocene). Uriel Orlow’s research-based and multidisciplinary praxis sees plants as political actors and deals with the ghosts of colonialism. Aneta Rostkowska, the director of the Temporary Gallery in Cologne, talks about her curatorial praxis, in which the emancipatory potential of plants plays a special role, and the nature guide and woodland educator Michael Zobel leads us on an excursion through the Hambach Forest.

Programme 2021/22
Antje Boetius und Frank M. Raddatz: Theater des Anthropozän
Wed, 27/10/2021, 7 pm, auditorium

Uriel Orlow: Conversing with Leaves
Thu, 11/25/2021, 7pm, online

Michael Zobel: Wald statt Kohle — Waldspaziergang im und am Hambacher Wald
Thu, 16/12/ 2021, 1:30 pm

Aneta Rostkowska: Moss time. Towards vegetal curating
Thu, 27/01/2022, 7 pm, auditorium

Organisers: Pascal Marcel Dreier, Beate Gütschow, Thomas Hawranke, Ute Hörner, Fatima Kastner, Isabell Lorey and Kathrin Röggla.