Monumental Affairs

Living with Contested Spaces

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Project description

The project “Monumental Affairs” takes the example of the Saalecker Werkstätten to highlight a problem that afflicts many cities throughout Germany – how to deal with architecture contaminated by racist ideology. In 2019 the Design Academy Saaleck (dieDAS) was established in Saaleck near Naumburg. The Werkstätten were built in 1904 by the architect and future Nazi Party representative Paul Schultze-Naumburg, whose aspirations for architectural modernisation were shaped by German nationalistic philosophy.

“Monumental Affairs” is an effort by dieDAS to address what has long been a tabooed legacy in a contemporary way. It has developed a multi-perspective programme on “race”, nationalism, architecture and design in order to critically examine the Saalecker Werkstätten as a controversial site. At the same time, it reflects on current forms of racism and discrimination in our constructed environment. Under the artistic direction of the American architect Germane Barnes, the project invites renowned international experts from the fields of architecture, design, academia and art to a three-day symposium. The bilingual event programme will serve to foster networking between political stakeholders and institutional partners, such as the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Burg Giebichenstein and the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the TU Berlin. In addition to keynote lectures, workshops and local excursions will accompany the symposium which will be documented on film and in writing.

Artistic director: Germane Barnes
Curator: Tatjana Sprick
Participants: Martin Bechthold, Tulga Beyerle, Aric Chen, Hanif Kara, Mahret Ifeoma Kupka, Bryan Lee, Egidio Marzona, Ravi Naidoo, Matthias Quent, Sarah Whiting

Symposium: Neue Saalecker Werkstätten, Naumburg: 1 – 3 Sep. 2023



Design Akademie Saaleck  
Marzona Stiftung
Neue Saalecker Werkstaetten

Am Burgberg 18
06628 Naumburg
Sachsen-Anhalt (external link, opens in a new window)