Call for Papers

Call for Papers: (Un-)Learning Place, vom 9. bis 13. Januar 2019 in Berlin

Im Rahmen des neuen Langzeitprojekts »Das Neue Alphabet« des Haus der Kulturen der Welt können Masterstudierende und Doktorand*innen der Künste, Sozial- und Naturwissenschaften ebenso wie Aktivist*innen, Autor*innen u. a. sich jetzt bewerben, um mit dem Tactical Technology Collective, Each One Teach One e.V., raumlabor berlin u. a. neue Formen des Widerstands gegen die Klassifizierungen und Katalogisierungen gegenwärtiger Datenkulturen zu erproben. Bewerbungsschluss: 15. September 2018.

The present is characterized by a crisis of the established epistemic-political order. Outdated categories and terms no longer function and representational logics fail to grasp the complexity of contemporary phenomena. Increasingly global societies experience a sharp rise in social complexity, accelerated by digital infrastructures. In this situation, it is necessary to unlearn abstract, theoretical modes of referring to the world and to develop practical methods of constructing, situating and criticizing reality in order to derive new theoretical ordering systems from them. During the Opening Days of HKW’s (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) new long-term project »Das Neue Alphabet« in January 2019, HKW will set up a temporary space for gathering, discussion and workshops—a unique (Un-)Learning Place curated by Boris Buden and Olga von Schubert. In the five-day curriculum international participants are invited to take part in (Un-)Learning Tracks (listed below) to work with curatorial, artistic, or activist strategies in close collaboration with self-organized research collectives and independent artists and curators.

(Un-)Learning Tracks:

How can a library of African diasporic writing be cataloged without reproducing oppressive categories? Can the necro-aesthetics of Natural History Museums be reframed by changing museum taxonomies? How do our body molecules tell stories of their century-old political suppression and how can we reread them? What are modes of resistance in digital network cultures and what could spaces of learning and unlearning look like in a world permeated by institutional infrastructures of dominance and cultural supremacy? In eight »(Un-)Learning Tracks« the »(Un-)Learning Place« seeks out strategies to navigate through the inherent classification and ordering systems of archives, libraries, museums, institutional architectures and digital networks and offers approaches to situating and negotiating research in artistic, site-specific, poetic, and bodily practices. In a lexicographical laboratory, by cataloging a library, by rearranging existing museum taxonomies, by reconfiguring data, and by poetically transgressing existing terminologies and given spatial allocations, participants of the »(Un-)Learning Tracks« are invited to challenge established perspectives and collectively develop ways of restructuring the order of things.

Who can participate

The call for participation is addressed to master’s and doctoral students from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds including the arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, design, and architecture. We also welcome applications from independent artists, self-organized writers, intellectuals, researchers, curators, coordinators, editors, journalists, or activists from outside of academia, or from professionals working within institutions with collections, archives or other representational systems of knowledge, for which new conceptual frames might be needed.
Participation in the »(Un-)Learning Place« is free of charge. Free catering and basic accommodation will be provided for all participants throughout the five-day curriculum. However, participants are expected to pay their own travel costs. A limited number of needs-based travel grants can be provided by HKW upon request. Please contact us as soon as possible if you need support to finance your travels.


We are seeking proposals consisting of a short CV and a motivation letter in which three options must be stated as to which of the »(Un-)Learning Tracks0½ you would like to participate in. The motivation letter should have a length of 300–500 words and include information on your own research interests and/or practices as well as a statement on which kinds of settings, formats, and methods you think would be needed to negotiate the diverse and equally valid knowledge approaches existing in the world—in and outside of academia. Please formulate ideas on how you would create translation situations or raise awareness for untranslatabilities. How would you envision mutual hybridization, experiences of unlearning, collective reading and writing in your »(Un-)Learning Place«?

Please include contact details for 1 or 2 references if possible. Proposals should be sent as pdf files to

Deadline for application submission: September 15, 2018

Further information can be found on

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