Up in Arms

Critical artistic examination of the arms trade

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This exhibition and research project drew attention to the globally expanding defence industry as the starting point for a critical examination of the arms trade. By combining artistic work, activist practices and scientific research, the curatorial team hoped to reveal the mechanisms and ambivalences of the arms industry and heighten awareness of this topic.
The exhibition presented contemporary and historical works of art by such artists as Jill Gibbon, Dani Ploeger, Hiwa K, Julian Röder and John Heartfield, who examine the paths of weapons’ exports, explore digitalisation in a military context and highlight the relationship of war and capitalism. Germany’s weapons exports and the debates these inflame have comprised a second thematic focus of the project, developed in cooperation with activists and NGOs, e.g. “LobbyControl”, “Global Net – Stop the Arms Trade” and “Urgewald”. Public tours to various sites in Berlin and interactive maps on the project website helped direct participants to locations in Germany’s capital that play a significant role in the global defence industry, including the offices of major corporations and former arms factories. The project organisers hoped that combining art and activism would serve to create an interdisciplinary public forum that is capable of exerting influence on socio-political processes. The results have been documented on the project’s website and regularly supplemented by related texts. The central themes of the project have been expanded further by artists’ interviews, films and a lecture performance.

Artistic directors: Ayse Güngör, Cassandra Mehlhorn, Gabriela Seith, Amalie Sølling-Jørgensen, Johanna Werner
Artists: Jill Gibbon (GB), John Heartfield, Sonia Hedstrand (SE), Hiwa K (IQ), Peter Kennard (GB), Dani Ploeger (NL), Julian Röder, Constantine Zlatev and others

Developed in cooperation with: Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Adopt a Revolution, Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel!, Global Net – Stop the Arms Trade, LobbyControl, urgewald


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Previous events

  • 28 September, 2019 to 15 December, 2019: Exhibition

    Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2 , Berlin


neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst

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