Resources > House of World Cultures
26 Jun 2011

House of World Cultures

The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is a place for international contemporary arts and a forum for current developments and discourse. Located in the capital city of Berlin, it presents artistic productions from around the world, with a special focus on non-European cultures and societies. Visual arts, music, literature, performing arts, film, academic discussions and digital media are all linked in an interdisciplinary programme that is unique in Europe. In a time when local and national issues are inextricably tied to international developments, the Haus enables the voices of the world to be heard in their great diversity and gives them a productive place in the inner-societal dialogue.

The Haus brings together artistic and social relationships in a special network that extends throughout and beyond Berlin. Here visitors can experience art as the practice of experimenting, questioning and discovering. Culture is in a perpetual state of change and comprises everyday as well as pop cultures. Working with these, the artistic formats establish connections with the visitors’ realm of experience and offer opportunities for active participation and identification. Against the backdrop of the transformation in Berlin, Germany and Europe, the Haus provides orientation in an increasingly complex world, reflecting societal and global processes from an international perspective.

With theme-based exhibitions and international conferences in spring and fall, the Haus makes today’s globally relevant artistic and societal processes experienceable. In central projects, HKW devotes itself to questions of artistic research and knowledge production. The biennial BERLIN DOCUMENTARY FORUM presents developments in the documentary arts and puts these up for discussion. The summer open-air festival WASSERMUSIK combines concerts on the Spree River with experiences and reflections around the theme of water, as well as around cultural connections across currents and oceans. Given annually, the INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE AWARD – HAUS DER KULTUREN DER WELT draws attention to outstanding international voices and the importance of translation in communicating ideas.

HKW collaborates with partner organizations in developing, hosting and presenting numerous events, such as the media art festival TRANSMEDIALE. In a two-year interdisciplinary program (2012-2014), THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT examined the implications of the thesis of the “human age.” Running until 2018, the long-term project HUNDRED YEARS OF NOW will address the processes of sociopolitical upheaval that have led to today's conditions of global capitalism. It will investigate current social problems within the context of historical perspectives: a diagnosis of our time in discursive events, essay-exhibitions, music festivals, commissioned artistic works, and educational projects.

The Haus brings diverse societal groups in the immigrant-rich metropolis of Berlin into conversation with one another. It collaborates with universities and initiatives to involve local organizations in its international projects. The Haus is a forum and a meeting point for the many Berlin inhabitants who have close ties to cultures around the world. Through the EDUCATION programme it develops offerings for curious people of all ages and backgrounds. It opens new spaces of knowledge and aesthetic experience.

Not to be overlooked, the Haus’s publications are a further and lasting source of knowledge. In its 20-year history the Haus has put out some 150 works in print as well as over 40 CDs.