POCHEN Biennale 2024

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The German Federal Cultural Foundation is financing the fourth edition of the POCHEN Biennale in 2024, which envisions a more equitable and sustainable future for central and eastern Europe. The POCHEN Biennale will commence in 2023 with an international symposium, followed by the presentation of its media art festival featuring contemporary Ukrainian art in 2024, and conclude in 2025 with a follow-up exhibition in Chemnitz as part of its European Capital of Culture programme. A total of 650,000 euros has been allocated to fund the biennial.  

Since its first edition in 2018, the POCHEN Biennale has teamed up with twenty European project partners and numerous international artists to introduce audiences to current topics of civil society and the more recent history of east German transformation. The 2024 edition of the festival is strongly influenced by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Consequently, it focuses on strengthening cultural ties to Ukraine, as well as to Ukrainian cultural protagonists in exile. The hope is that their participation at the festival will offer them perspectives for longer term cooperation with German partners. The festival will also feature artistic works from Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Latvia. 

The POCHEN Biennale will also highlight experiences of post-socialistic transformation. Be it in Chemnitz or Kyiv – all the participants at the festival have experienced social and economic upheaval in recent history and possess knowledge of the challenges that come with establishing a new democratic order. These challenges will be analysed at the European level with partners from the fields of art, culture, science and civil society, and discussed with visitors in Chemnitz and beyond, e.g. in Lviv and Kyiv, Budapest, Riga, Warsaw and Prague.

Symposium 2023

A four-day symposium at the end of 2023 offered participants an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss the thematic focuses of the upcoming biennial. The aim was to explore the relevant themes, integrate them into the city, promote networking in an international context and become familiar with academic, cultural and civic positions – especially with regard to NGOs and the role they have played historically in democratisation processes in eastern Europe. The local perspective is also significant: What works of eastern European culture are visible in the city today? How convincing are models that explain experiences of transformation in eastern Germany in view of the politically polarised perception and evaluation of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine? 

The symposium took place on the former TEXTIMA factory grounds, shifting what was once the centre of industrial production in Chemnitz into the cultural spotlight. The POCHEN Biennale aimed to get residents of Chemnitz actively involved in the project’s implementation: volunteers, students, art patrons, and fans of Chemnitz in cooperation with the Polish WRO Media Art Biennale will became cultural educators of civil society and serve as active ambassadors at the festival, advocating a cosmopolitan Chemnitz.

POCHEN Symposium 2023: Videos

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Biennale 2024

The second part of the 4th POCHEN Biennale comprises an international media art exhibition to open in September 2024. The exhibition featuring some 20 artists is being developed by the Ukrainian curator Serge Klymko, whose current position as managing director of the Kyiv Biennale has helped him gain extensive expertise in the eastern European art scenes. His primary interest lies in the power structures that persist in post-socialistic countries, especially with regard to their impact on art production. The POCHEN Biennale wants to give Ukrainian artists the opportunity to present their works to an international audience. Because some individual artists and cultural institutions have to rely on partners and public infrastructures in exile – i.e. exhibition space, resources and production means – the POCHEN Biennale can function as a bridge to cultural partners in Germany and abroad. In the run-up to the festival, the project is planning to hold multiple four-week working visits for Ukrainian artists in Chemnitz and Dresden (in cooperation with HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts). The visits are organised in cooperation with the Jam Factory Art Center in Lviv.
A unique feature of the POCHEN Biennale is its own youth exhibition, which has young people develop target-group-specific, participatory workshops on-site. By teaming up with Halle-based artists’ collective “Amt für Wunschentwicklung” (Office for Wish Development), this part of the programme now has a regional partner on board with extensive professional expertise.

Follow-up exhibition and discussion programme 2025

In 2025 Chemnitz will celebrate its title as European Capital of Culture, and with Lviv, its selection as European Youth Capital. From the point of view of the POCHEN Biennale, both cities share a common bond in their eastern and western European history and contemporary culture. In these times of war, the western Ukrainian border city of Lviv finds strength in being physically represented in the European Capital of Culture. To this end, the biennial is creating a pop-up space featuring art and discourse from Lviv which will remain open for the duration of the Capital of Culture year of festivities. The project will be managed by an international curator in cooperation with partner institutions from Lviv. The featured artworks will also be presented at various artistic events in Kyiv, Budapest, Riga, Warsaw and Prague.

About the director

Serge Klymko has worked as a curator, cultural manager, researcher and author at the interface of visual and performing arts, music and planetary research for the past ten years. He has curated a series of cultural and artistic projects in Barcelona, Geneva, Karlsruhe, Kyiv, Malmö, Prague, Riga, Tiflis, Vienna and Warsaw and worked with a broad range of artists and theorists. Serge Klymko is the managing director of the Kyiv Biennale – an international forum for art, knowledge and politics with integrated exhibitions and discussion platforms. In 2015 Klymko founded and has since managed “Khashi”, an interdisciplinary venue for performative art and urban ecosystem research. In March 2022 he founded ESI - Emergency Support Initiative for members of the artistic and cultural community facing hardship in Ukraine.


  • 26 September, 2024 to 20 October, 2024: Pochen Biennale 2024


    TEXTIMA-Areal, Chemnitz

Previous events

  • 8 June, 2024 : POCHEN auf dem KOSMOS Festival 

    gemeinsame Aktion “Schön einmischen!” mit Tanja Krone sowie Workshop zum Bau von Raum-Licht-Modulatoren für die Jugendausstellung mit dem Amt für Wunschentwicklung

    KOSMOS Festival, Chemnitz

  • 5 October, 2023 to 8 October, 2023: Pochen Symposium 2023

    Wirkbau Chemnitz, Chemnitz


Dr. Jeanne Bindernagel

Programme DevelopmentKulturstiftung des BundesFranckeplatz 206110 Halle an der Saale
Tel: +49(0)345 / 29 97 – 161Fax: +49(0)345 / 29 97 – 333E-Mail to Dr. Jeanne Bindernagel