11 December 2012
Liza Lim invited to join the Academy of the Arts of the World
The German city of Cologne has officially launched its Akademie der Kunste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World). 13 prominent artists, theorists and writers from around the world were invited to be part of the Academy as its founding members, including Australian composer Liza Lim, currently based in the UK.
The Academy is seen as a new kind of artists' society, 'consciously positioning itself in opposition to the classic idea of the academy, as a reaction to the changes in our society due to globalisation and migration, with a focus on international and non-European art and culture'. With its global orientation, the Academy aims at promoting intercultural dialogue and artistic collaboration, and 'stands for a cosmopolitan cultural life, an artistic and political practice that goes beyond national, ethnic and religious boundaries'.
The launch festival, entitled 'Cutting edge', had as its focal point the topical debate regarding circumcision. The events were covered extensively in the German press, including the musical side of the festival, curated by Liza Lim. Her attempt to find music that emphasises unifying factors between cultures was rewarded with positive media attention. 'Musically, at any rate, the Academy of the Arts of the World has succeeded in bridging the gap.' reported Deutsche Welle ('Can art build bridges', 28 October 2012).
The other 12 founding members of the Academy are: Madhusree Dutta (documentary filmmaker from India), Galit Eilat (Israeli curator based in Amsterdam), Monika Gintersdorfer (Peruvian-born, Berlin-based director), Tom Holert (German artist and theorist), Faustin Linyekula (Congolese choreographer), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Swiss curator, based in London), Lemi Ponifasio (Samoan-born choreographer, based in NZ), Walid Raad (Lebanese artist based in New York), Ali Samadi Ahadi (Iranian filmmaker, based in Cologne), Rosemarie Trockel (Cologne-based artist), Stefan Weidner (Cologne-based author with a focus on Islamic studies), Liao Yiwu (exiled Chinese author, based in Berlin), and Tom Zé (Brazilian musician).
The Academy has no permanent residence but realises its projects in cooperation with the different cultural institutions of the City of Cologne. The Academy's activities include external projects as well as Cologne-based activities, a fellowship program, and a Youth Academy, through which the young people of Cologne can carry out their own creative projects.
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