program 2023

Monumental Affairs - Living with contested spaces

August 19 - September 3, 2023

"Saaleck provided the perfect opportunity to explore Monumental themes. The ability for the fellows to witness and augment physical monuments, rife with contentious legacies, yield incredible discussions over the length of the fellowship."

- Germane Barnes

As historically excluded voices increasingly expose the failures and discriminatory practices of the architecture and urbanism fields, a holistic, constructive examination of these disciplines becomes all the more pressing. Global terror and dissent typically identified as political and militaristic have slowly revealed their spatial influences. Design Justice continues to peak through creases often closed shut by popular architectural theory and discourse. This shift towards a more egalitarian and non-western intellectual approach is the impetus for the 2023 iteration of the dieDAS Fellowship, Monumental Affairs. Within this framework, designers, theorists, architects, critics, and beyond are challenged to posit the necessity of monuments.

Monumental Affairs asks: How does the process of canonization come to fruition? Who determines which architecture becomes part of the canon? What overt or subtle forms of oppression are inherent in this process? How does one utilize the public sphere to dismantle these canonized monuments?         
Situated in Saaleck, Germany at the former home of German architect and racist idealogue Paul Schulze-Naumburg (and a one-time hub for the country’s totalitarian National Socialists), dieDAS presents fellows a fraught yet fertile environment in which to deploy acts of tactical urbanism as a means of architectural and spatial resistance. During their stay, the interdisciplinary cohort will attempt to use architecture as a vehicle for alternative histories. The speculation of design ideas will support workshops surrounding race, ethnicity, immigration, displacement, and nationalism. Monumental Affairs acknowledges the nationalist agenda of this historic site, its contested legacy, and its explicit exclusion of non-white constructors.            
By addressing these issues directly—and mindful of the urgency and opportunity posed by our current global climate—dieDAS aims to cultivate an environment of rigor, reflection, and imagination.
Germane Barnes
dieDAS Artistic Director 2023     

"It is quite rare to encounter, in the Design world, someone sincerely interested in content, and even more limited are the occasion to engage in content creation in a critical and open manner. To be able to debate and disagree on crucial issues of our time is the base of any design process, and the possibility to learn and introduce new visions of designers can do and be. DieDas create the framework for this to happens and more and more tries to include voices and perspectives that have been neglected and marginalized."

- Zeno Franchini

"Taking part in the dieDAS Fellowship stokes critical questions regarding the moral basis of art and design that are being answered on the principles of humanism, historical recognition and territorial introspection. What had made the dieDAS Fellowship a valuable and engrossing experience was witnessing how the theoretical and instructional tools that were developed by the fellows during our time together were utilized to redeem marginalized spaces and narratives."

- Ido Nahari

Right to left Adam Maserow, Silvia Susanna, Zeno Franchini, Arne C. Wasmuth, Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Yassine Ben Abdallah, Germane Barnes, Tatjana Sprick

Rudelsburg, Mo Asumang, Silvia Susanna, Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Yassine Ben Abdallah, Zeno Franchini, Germane Barnes, Adam Maserow

Zeno Franchini, Silvia Susanna, Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Yassine Ben Abdallah, Adam Maserow, Studio Labour Workshop by Colin Hacklander and Farahnaz Hatam

Workshop with Mo Asumang

Workshop Wildrausch, collecting and cooking edible wild plants

Artistic Director Germane Barnes

Prof. Kenny Cupers and Adam Maserow

Antoinette Yetunde Oni

Regional excursion

Zeno Franchini , Antoinette Yetunde Oni, Prof. Kenny Cupers

Regional clay

Antoinette Yetunde Oni

Workshop with Ido Nahari, editor of the Arts of the working class

Go To
Go To

The dieDAS Fellowship Program 2023 was led by Artistic Director Germane Barnes and Head Mentor Zeno Franchini. Well-known mentors and lectures in 2023 included the film maker and activist Mo Asumang, Prof Kenny Cupers, scholar and educator who works at the intersection of architectural history, urban studies, and critical geography and Nana Biamah Ofosu, director at YAA Projects Architect, writer & researcher and the architectural historian and monument conservator Prof. Daniela Spiegel, Ido Nahari, sociologist, researcher and writer who works as an assistant editor for Arts of the Working Class, a street newspaper covering art, poverty and LABOUR, the duo of Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander who create works based on sound. The fellows foraged edible plants with Christine Rauch of Wildrausch.

Our heartfelt thanks go to all of them for their commitment, time and support during this fellowship.