Pochen

Symposium program

You can find everything about the program here. Most of the events will take place from October 5th to 8th, 2023 in the Wirkbau Hall F in Chemnitz. Access via building C, 2nd floor, above the coffee roasting company. The best way to enter the area of the structure is Lothringer Str. 11, 09120 Chemnitz (barriers next to NOMAD) and then straight ahead.
Admission to the entire symposium is free of charge, please register here.
The venue is wheelchair accessible. The opening will be translated into sign language. Food and drinks can be purchased on site for a small fee.

Arrival, orientation, meeting each other before exploring the city

A different kind of two-hour city tour, including a stop at the Carlfriedrich Claus Archive of the Chemnitz Art Collections – boarding possible on request.

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The Pochen Symposium will open brilliantly: With a keynote by Marina Weisband on the fragile in demo­ cracy, her own vulnerability, and what art and humor have to do with surviving a crisis. The musicians of Walls & Birds are best known for their enigmatic and often extraordinary live shows. For the opening night they show how poetry, humor, seriousness and amusement can be combined. Afterwards, performer Olja Grubić brings our attention to the disproportionate impact of environmental destruction on women with Fertile Soil. Melanie Stein will lead us through the evening. As a journalist and psychologist, she has a feel for the guests and thus comes into conversation with Saxony’s State Secretary Ministry of Justice and for Europe and Equality Dr. Gesine Märtens, Dr. Jeanne Bindernagel (Federal Cultural Foundation) and Louisa­Dominique Riedel (Beisheim Foundation).

The opening will be translated into sign language

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From 9:00 a.m., Check-in, Wirkbau

Join artist Paula Erstmann and the Pochen team at the breakfast table. Together we will approach the questions of the symposium in a culinary and sensory way. We consider food to be a social practice and a space for intensive exchange. We'll explore whether the topics on the table belong to the easily digestible or the hard-to-swallow variety.

Registration closed

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After its move, the new location of the Stasi Archives Chemnitz is not far from our venue. Together we will learn about the internationally significant reappraisal of the work of the GDR secret police in a short input discussion on site with director Dr. Annette Zehnter and Sandra Meier (education and public relations).

Apple pie smells like childhood and sweat like Saturday at your favourite club? Scents have an enormous influence on our feelings, memories and even our behaviour. But what is a scent made up of and how does it affect us? Together with the perfumers Stephanie Franz and Jens E. Reißmann, we will first learn the basics about the creation and effect of scents. Afterwards, we will try it out ourselves. The project group “ganz nah” (close-up) who develops a fragrance from regional memories in the next few years, will offer an initial inspiration for what a scent composition can look like.

Registration closed

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Closures of cultural institutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, right-wing populist cultural politics against independent media and cultural workers, and the Russian attacks on Ukrainian cultural institutions to erase the country's cultural identity – in times of multiple, overlapping crises, cultural institutions and festivals have the challenge of countering these grievances through glocal processes of adaptation and learning, always with the aim of being prepared for changes and emergencies and mastering them as robustly and creatively as possible. What resilience strategies are needed at the regional and global level to enable sustainable (international) cultural production and to establish solidarity-based forms of partnership?

With Serge Klymko (Kyiv Biennale), Mei Shimada (CCBT Tokyo) and Birte Sonnenberg (HELLERAU / Hybrid Biennale), moderated by Peter Purg (GO!2025, Nova Gorica European Capital of Culture)

Link to YouTube Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXl9VI3rh8k

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In a candid chat, artist Christiane Wittig, psychologist Melanie Stein, and Dr. Martin Weichold from the Institute of Philosophy (TU Dresden) dive deep into the concept of the fragile self. Is it merely an individual's essence? How does "fragile" translate in a psychological context, and how is this reflected in Wittig's art?

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We want your feedback! We want to hear what was successful and what could be improved. Meeting point in front of the big board after the gong!

Together with filmmaker Juliane Henrich we will set off for Silesia and come face to face with collective narratives, fossils and bizarre representations of human history. The evening will be moderated by Agnieszka Kubicka-Dzieduszycka. [for more information]

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Come and celebrate with us! What? A lot of things: Zentrale für Kunst is celebrating the opening of their exhibition "INSEL", Pochen Symposium  half-time of its 4-day-event and Atomino life in general. The common island: the Wirkbau Chemnitz.

With special guests: Ken Okuda (@kenokuda_), Preller (prllr) und Nokia (@djnokiia)

What happens before?

From 5 October, the Pochen Symposium will take a look at the conceptual pair fragile/fragility, focusing on Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe. Discussion rounds, workshops and a flea market form the framework of this third symposium.

From 6 October, the ZfK's "INSEL" exhibition will be looking at the dearest spot on earth, a parallel world, a feeling or a dreamlike imagination and asking the question: "What does an island mean for you?“ The theme of the exhibition focuses on the space created by subdivision and defined by borders and unlimited freedom.

Entry: 10,00 €

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9:00 a.m. Check-in, Wirkbau

We want to network with you – at our first Pochen Barcamp, also known as a "non-conference"! Under the guidance of the Pochen team, you will define your discussion topics on site, meet people in small groups who are interested in your topic and, ideally, find fellow campaigners for your cause. 

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Under the exhibition title "Kapital," the Leipzig artist duo FAMED currently occupies the entire ground floor of the Museum Gunzenhauser. In their diverse and tragicomic works, they explore capitalism as an all-pervading atmosphere. The artists, who were born in the former GDR, delve into the specific economic and political situation of the region and the related question of (East) German identity. Personal experiences from the post-reunification years still flow into FAMED's work today, which often operates with language and playfully integrates references to high and pop culture. As part of the symposium, FAMED will present an artistic piece on the theme of "fragility," which can be seen as a performative extension of their exhibition, aiming to create a spontaneous and expressive community.

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Always the same discussion, but also always the same content? Circling around the topic, we would like to discuss with you what "East Germany" is and whether we are just continually creating this construct ourselves.

Our guests: Ethnologist Juliane Stückrad, dramaturge Ludwig Haugk, author and filmmaker Claudia Tuyết Scheffel, and Sascha Aurich, deputy editor-in-chief of the "Freie Presse".

The event will take the form of a “fishbowl.” This is a format in which, in addition to the invited panellists, people from the audience can join the discussion at any time.

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We want your feedback! We want to hear what was successful and what could be improved. Meeting point in front of the big board after the gong!

With the slogan "The crown is our man (Die Krone ist unser Mann)", Tanja Krone ran as a candidate for the mayoral election in Mannheim in 2023. Without previous experience in local politics, without money, without a programme. That's possible? Of course it is. Everyone who is between 26 and 65 years old, everyone who has an EU passport, can stand for election in any place in this country. And they should, because then the feeling of powerlessness will end. Tanja Krone campaigned for five long months: she debated on podiums, talked to people on the street, conscientiously answered the so-called election test questions, played its social channels and in the end, as a non-Mannheimer, was elected by 1.2% of the electorate. That's 903 votes. Not a hit, but a start.

"Schön einmischen, schön aufmischen!" is a slide show, debate room and workshop at the same time.
On this evening, Tanja Krone gives insights and guidance on how a stimulating (beautiful) election campaign goes. Krone reports on who and what you need, what you (can't) plan and how you learn to deal with loneliness. A different kind of grassroots movement. Here you learn not only to know better, but also to do better. Along the way, the first campaign texts for the programme of the future, campaign songs for a world that gives hope and, of course, potential campaign teams are created.

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9:00 a.m. Check-out, Wirkbau

Crystal glasses, castles in the air, pipe dreams: All kinds of fragile things are traded at this flea market. Rummage for unique treasures, question the stories and put your own world view on the scales. Come to trade and negotiate. Would you like to have your own stall? Send an email to tina@pochen.eu.

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Art mediation is a central pillar for getting people excited about art and transporting content. In this two-hour workshop with art educator Constanze Eckert, we will together discover various dimensions of art mediation and, with the help of practical examples, see which adjustments should be made in order to also take over the space.

Registration closed

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Chemnitz and the region have one of the oldest populations in Europe. The origin of these developments is the drop in birthrate and the departure of many young people at the beginning of the 1990s. In a dialogue, Mayor Dagmar Ruscheinsky, who is responsible for social affairs, youth, health, culture and sports in the city, and Katharina von Storch, chairwoman of Gute Zieten e.V., discuss what Chemnitz has to offer young people in a city where the issues are primarily set by older population groups.

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In the press and in media articles, we read about different terms that attempt to describe the Eastern European region in various contexts. But what unites or divides these terms? Who is talking about whom and with what intention? The lecture by Markus Sattler (Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography) will approach a fragmented conceptual landscape.

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Despite weaker classical institutions, Ukrainian society successfully opposes the threat of strategic nihilism, exemplified by Russia, through decentralized mutual aid networks, emergency altruism and, sometimes, circumvention of digital platform logic. The Ukrainian art scene also combines high levels of commitment with pre-invasion levels of authenticity and introspectivity, although it lacks tangible institutional support. Moreover, it has long emphatized socially engaged art, outsider practices, and meaningful ethical gestures.

Institutionally robust societies have remained myopic about the challenges epitomized by the Russian-Ukrainian war. Still, artists, researchers, and technologists outside Ukraine are looking for ways to move beyond both the rigidity of institutions and the extractiveness of platforms. What emerging technologies could Ukrainian artists and activists leverage to supplement their decentralized solidarity? What can artists, researchers, and technologists, especially from Eastern Europe, learn from Ukraine's "antifragility strategies"? With Tatiana Kochubinska, Timur Dzhafarov, Waldemar Tatarczuk. The event will be moderated by Anastasiia Kalyta and Mykhailo Bogachov.

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PS 2023