Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V.
Lecture Hall at the Kunstmuseum Bonn
© Deutscher Künstlerbund
Welcome and opening comments by Prof. Dr. Stephan Berg, director Kunstmuseum Bonn
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Introduction by Albert Weis, executive board
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Panel discussion moderated by Elke Gruhn, artistic director, Naussauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, with Hon.-Prof. Dr. Julia Voss, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Dr. Dorothea Schöne, Kunsthaus Dahlem, Berlin, Prof. Dr. Christoph Zuschlag, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelm-University Bonn as well as Albert Weis, executive board
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Artist Henrike Naumann, Berlin
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Artist Sara Nabil, Frankfurt/M.
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Afternoon panel discussion moderated by Elke Gruhn with the artists Sara Nabil and Henrike Nauman, with Eric Otieno Sumba, sociologist and the director of Schloss Solitude Elke aus dem Moore
Photo: Andreas Schmitter © Deutscher Künstlerbund
Symposium at Kunstmuseum Bonn
Art and Freedom. Under Pressure
A symposium organized by Deutscher Künstlerbund in partnership with Kunstmuseum Bonn. Honorary patron: Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture and the Media

> German Flyer (download PDF)

Entry free of charge| Please register till May 25, 2022:

You can also visit the symposium without prior registration, if there are still seats available.

How do things currently stand with freedom in our society? Is it an inalienable precondition for artistic work and action? Does the autonomy of art allow artists to make an impact? Does it facilitate reflection? Or is it ground down between animosity and exclusion?


The symposium “Art and Freedom. Under Pressure” looks back at the democratic rebirth of the Federal Republic of Germany while also creating a bridge to the present, examining the historical and present-day foundations on which artistic freedom is built.

The event sheds light on the ways artists have positioned themselves in authoritarian systems like the Nazi regime, as well as their political involvement and its consequences after the founding of the two German states. How do we deal today with disputed works and their creators? Which conditions are required to make artistic freedom possible?


The symposium explores strategies for artistic engagement in the face of repression, threats and hostility – from authoritarian political systems, but also from radicalized political groups within a democracy.

What happens when freedom comes under pressure? Those invited to speak include artists and art historians who have long faced and studied this question.


As a critical contribution to current cultural discourse, this year’s conference is the first in a three-part series organized by Deutscher Künstlerbund on the themes of freedom, democracy and society.


All contributions to the symposium, but the last one are in German.

10 am Words of welcome from the event’s honorary patron by video link

Claudia Roth | Minister of State for Culture and the Media


10:15 am Opening comments

Prof. Dr. Stephan Berg | Director, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany


10:30 am Introduction

Albert Weis | Executive Board, Deutscher Künstlerbund, Germany


Historical context │ Dealing with controversial works or artists


10:45 am Impulse talks

Prof. Dr. Christoph Zuschlag │ Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Professorship for Modern and Contemporary Art History, University of Bonn, Germany


Dr. Dorothea Schöne │ Artistic and Executive Director, Kunsthaus Dahlem, Berlin, Germany


Hon.-Prof. Dr. Julia Voss | Curator, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin, Germany


(Unfortunately unable to attend: Prof. Olaf Nicolai | Artist and Professor of Sculpture and Fundamentals of Three-Dimensional Design, Academy of Fine Arts Munich, Germany)


Moderated by: Elke Gruhn | Artisic Director, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany


12:30 pm –  2 pm
Lunch break


Freedom under Pressure


2 pm Lightning talks

Sara Nabil | Artist, Frankfurt/M., Germany


Henrike Naumann | Artist, Berlin, Germany


Eric Otieno Sumba | Sociologist, political scientist and writer, Kassel, Germany


Elke aus dem Moore | Director, Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany


Moderated by: Elke Gruhn | Artistic Director, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany


Foundations of Freedom

6 pm

Marita Muukkonen and Ivor Stodolsky | Co-founders of ARTISTS AT RISK, Helsinki, Finland

Subject to changes.

In partnership with

Funded by


Kunstmuseum Bonn

Lecture hall

Helmut-Kohl-Allee 2 | 53113 Bonn


By underground ad bus:

U16, U63, U66, U68, Bus 610, 611 und 630 to Heussallee/Museumsmeile

By train: RE5, RE26, RE30 und RE48 to UN Campus