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Who's coming?

Creative artists, creators and curators from around the world encounter the North Rhine-Westphalian art scene and network with its participants.


Cultural managers and festival directors from Egypt, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, India, Spain, Taiwan and Greece dedicated themselves to the FIDENA Festival, Puppet Theatre of Nations, in Bochum, Essen and Herne at the invitation of the International Visitors Programme from 16 to 20 May. As participants of the symposium “Third International Meeting of Festival Directors” which formed part of this year’s festival, they dealt with the issue of artistic freedom vs. cultural education. A meeting with protagonists of the local puppet theatre scene, including Anton Bachleitner (Düsseldorf Marionettes) as well as Claus Overkamp and Tina Jücker (Marabu Theatre Bonn) was also on the schedule of the programme.

The participants were: Amina Abodoma, cultural manager at the Teatro Eskendria and organiser of the Backstreet Festival, Alexandria/Egypt, Evelina Hristova Kyosovska-Kostolova, director and actress at the Puppet Theatre Plovdiv, Sofia/Bulgaria, Annika Land-Reisser, managing director of the Puppet Theatre and Museum NUKU, Tallinn/Estonia, Christophe Loiseau, photographer, Lille/France, Anurupa Roy, director of Kat-Katha Puppet Art Trust, New Delhi/India, Toni Rumbau, author, puppeteer, director of the Puppet Theatre at the Centre Cultural el Born, Barcelona/Spain, Pei-yu Shih, director of the “Close to you” Festival, Taipei/Taiwan, and Dimitris Stamou, co-founder and director of Merlin Puppet Theatre, Greece.

A research trip to art and culture in the Ruhr region for international cultural journalists took place from 15 to 18 May on the occasion of FIDENA with participating journalists from Belarus, Great Britain, Bulgaria, France and the USA. They met with the director of FIDENA, Anette Dabs, as well as artists of the festival for conversations and interviews. The group’s schedule also included a visit to the Video Art Centre Nordsternturm in Gelsenkirchen and a meeting with managing director Dr. Maria Mense as well as a visit to the Creative Quarter in Gelsenkirchen. The guests visited the Fringe Festival as part of the Ruhr Festival in Recklinghausen and the Gasometer Oberhausen with its current exhibition “The Appearance of Beauty”. World Heritage Site Zollverein coal mining complex and the large special exhibition “1914 – In the Middle of Europe” were one target point of the group of visitors, consisting of Taciana Arcimovich, art critic and journalist for pARTizan Magazine and ziErnie Platform, Minsk/Belarus, Dmitri Carter, puppeteer and director of a puppet theatre centre and journalist for Puppetry Journal, Seattle/USA, Felix Clay, photographer for The Guardian, London/Great Britain, Katerina Georgieva, dramaturge at the State Puppet Theatre Vidin and journalist for KuklArt, Plovdiv/Bulgaria, Claudia Orenstein, theatre lecturer with a focus on puppet theatre and journalist for Puppetry International, New York/USA, as well as Chloé Stevenson, journalist for www.cafebabel.com, Paris/France.

A group of international curators, film makers, directors and journalists visited NRW on the occasion of the 60th International Short Film Days in Oberhausen at the beginning of May and had by means of the International Visitors Programme various opportunities to get to know the local media art scene. Several festival events in Oberhausen were on the schedule as well as a meeting with Hilke Doering, director of the international competition of the Short Film Days. The group visited the “Number Eight: Sturtevant” exhibition in the Julia Stoschek Collection and led discussions with the curator and artistic director Philipp Fürnkäs in the state capital. Filmmaker Christoph Stark guided the visitors on a tour through the Video Art Centre in the Nordsternturm in Gelsenkirchen.

The guests were: Jon Gann, director of the D.C. Shorts Film Festival, Washington D.C./USA, Mick Hannigan, artistic director of the IndieCork Film Festival, Cork/Ireland, Shinsuke Ina, professor for media art at Kyôto Seika University, Kyôto/Japan, Gabe Klinger, independent journalist, Chicago/USA, Erica Papernik, curator for media and performance art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York/USA, Jangwook Lee, director of the Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul/South Korea, Eero Tammi, independent journalist, curator and filmmaker, Helsinki/Finland, and Ken-Yu Wang, filmmaker and director of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Taipei/Taiwan.


The International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund | Cologne formed the focal topic for the guests of the International Visitors Programme from 10 to 14 April. The group of female curators, festival directors and producers dealt in many ways with "Women in Art and Film". Apart from the opportunity to visit the numerous events and film screenings that formed part of the festival, meetings with the director of the Women’s Cultural Office NRW in Krefeld and a visit to  FilmInitiativ Köln e. V., the organisers of the Africa film festival „Out of Europe” were also on the schedule. The visitors also exchanged views with the representatives of LaDOC, the women’s documentary film network in Cologne.

Guests in North Rhine-Westphalia were: So-in Hong, programme curator of the International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul/South Korea, Caroline Kamya, producer and film director at IVAD Productions, Kampala/Uganda, Fibby Kioria, programme director at Maisha Film Lab, Kampala/Uganda, Pui See Teresa Kwong, curator for visual arts, media art and film at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong/China, Pecha Lo, director and programme responsible for the Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei/Taiwan, Mariam Ohanyan, producer and director of the International Women’s Film Festival KIN, Yerevan/Armenia, and Alexia Roider, artistic director of the Cyprus International Short Film Festival, Nicosia/Cyprus.


From 18 to 22 March the International Visitors Programme welcomed a group of international guests from Poland, Brazil, Great Britain, Russia and the USA on the topic of “Culture of remembrance and analysis of the past – scientific and museum mediation strategies”. They visited museums and various memorial sites in NRW and had conversations with directors, curators and scientists who are concerned with the culture of remembrance.

On the programme schedule were the Ruhr Museum Essen, the LVR State Museum Bonn with its current exhibition “1914 – World in Colour”, the House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn as well as the Kolumba Art Museum in Cologne. Their themed trip also took the participants to the NS-Documentation Center in Cologne, the former NS Ordensburg Vogelsang in Schleiden and the Thingstätte Herchen in Windeck.

The guests were: Monika Bednarek, director of Fabryka Emalia Oskara Schindlera in the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków/Poland, Caroline Grassi Franco de Menezes, coordinator of the educational programme of the memorial of resistance in Sao Paulo/Brazil, Daniel Mirer, photographer and postdoctoral assistant in the Department of Photography of Long Island University in New York/USA, Anna Mudrova, scientific assistant at State Historical Museum in Saint Petersburg /Russia and Gerwin Strobl, historian and professor for history at the University of Cardiff/Great Britain.


Young contemporary art in North Rhine-Westphalia was the topic of our first visitor group of the new year that came to visit as part of the International Visitors Programme from 12 to 15 February. Curators and representatives of art academies came from Czech Republic, Netherlands, Turkey, Bulgaria and Estonia to the Rhineland and the Ruhr district. Their visits took them to the Düsseldorf Art Academy and the Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln (Art academy for media arts in Cologne). They visited the NRW Art Collection K 20, Schloss Ringenberg and the Weltkunstzimmer in Düsseldorf. Discussions took place with the Kunststiftung NRW (Arts Foundation) in Düsseldorf and the Bundesverband Bildender Künstler (German Association of Visual Artists) in Cologne.

The guests were: Edith Jeřábková, curator and professor at the UMPRUM Academy of Arts, Architects and Design in Prague/Czech Republic; Corinne Noordenbos, director of Photography Department at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague/Netherlands, Johan van Oord, director of the Fine Arts Department at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague/Netherlands, Zeynep Öz, independent curator and founding member of SPOT, Istanbul/Turkey; Venelin Shurelov, professor at the National Academy of Arts of Sofia/Bulgaria and Triin Tulgiste, scientist and curator at the Noorus Gallery/Tartu Art College in Tartu/Estonia.

left: Programme “FIDENA – Puppet Theatre of Nations”, May 2014 © Julia Nitschke © Julia Nitschke
right: Programme “International Womens Film Festival – Women in Art and Film”, April 2014 © Markus Schulze
Looking back at 2013
Participants 2009-2013
Kultursekretariat NRW Gütersloh
kulturpartner WDR3
Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen