Re:writing the Future 2021

© Foto von Walther LeKon
Over 200 participants* from the most diverse cities around the world and a common future: that is the festival Re:writing the Future. Art, culture, civil society and politics come together in Berlin to discuss questions about the conditions under which culture is created in times of limited space. Re:writing the Future is also a meeting of cities in solidarity in the International Cities of Refuge (ICORN) network: cities that support and promote endangered and threatened artists. And it is a festival that celebrates the freedom of art and expression. At its core is the translocal networking of cities, institutions and cultural establishments that create free spaces in which artistic work and thought can take place and develop.
The starting point of the festival Re:writing the Future is the accession of the city of Berlin to the International Cities of Refuge (ICORN) network in May 2018. ICORN is a network of solidarity-based cities that welcome endangered artists* and enable them to continue their work and art.

The festival will be attended by representatives of Berlin's cultural institutions, ICORN cities, artists and political decision-makers. In a rich programme of workshops, debates, speeches, theatre, dance and other artistic interventions, the festival enables networking and exchange of experience on the question of what cities can do as places of refuge for endangered and threatened artists. Furthermore, the title Re:writing the Future underlines that the ICORN network is also a transnational forum that critically discusses questions of our time and thinks further in the artistic debate. Such a common future cannot be designed without reference to the diversity of the population, which contributes its perspectives and stories. Who would know this better than the cities in the ICORN network? But such a future cannot be written without reference to history either. Which city would know this better than Berlin?


 © Foto von Walther LeKon
The festival is organized by the Allianz Cultural Foundation together with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the DAAD's Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme. It is curated by Esra Kücük, Silvia Fehrmann, Max Czollek and Johannes Kirsten. Other partners* include ICORN, the Maxim Gorki Theater, Sasha Waltz & Guests, the poesiefestival and the Deutsches Haus e.V.
Originally the event was planned for June 2020. Due to the Corona crisis, however, it had to be postponed until 2021. The new date has now been fixed: the festival Re:Writing the Future will take place from February 25-26, 2021.


The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) is an independent organization of cities and regions that offers protection to endangered writers and artists, promotes freedom of expression, defends democratic values and supports international solidarity.
ICORN's member cities provide long-term but temporary shelter to vulnerable people as a direct result of their creative activities. The aim is to host as many persecuted writers and artists as possible in ICORN cities and, together with sister networks and organizations, to form a dynamic and sustainable global network for freedom of expression.
Since 2006, 73 cities around the world have joined the network, and more than 200 writers and artists have found refuge in an ICORN member city. In May 2018 Berlin has become an official ICORN member city.


The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program

The Berliner Künstlerprogramm – Artists-in-Berlin Program – is one of the most renowned international programs offering grants to artists in the fields of  visual arts, literature, musicand film. Since 1963, some 20 grants are awarded to international artists for an approximately one year stay in Berlin. The names of over 1.000 former guests impressively underscore the quality of the program. During more than 50 years of existence, it has made a significant contribution to the international representation of contemporary arts in Berlin.
From the very beginning, the Berliner Künstlerprogramm has defined itself as a forum of artistic dialogue which extends beyond cultural, geographical and, certainly, beyond political borders. This forum is effective and vigorous not only through the work and presence of the artists living in the city, but also through the approximately 100 events a year which the Berliner Künstlerprogramm hosts in conjunction with its guests in Berlin and other cities, and not least, by the international juries of experts in the four sections who decide upon the invitations to be issued. In this way, standpoints of the international artistic avant-garde are mediated, not only in Berlin, stimulating both aesthetic and political discourse. In Berlin, the center of activities is the daadgalerie on Oranienstraße.

Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe

Berlin is a city of cultural diversity. Art, culture and the creative scene are among Berlin's central resources. It is estimated that over 20,000 professional artists live and work in the city. Together with the more than 160,000 employees in the cultural and creative industries, they make the city a creative center. In addition, there is a differentiated range of cultural events in all sectors and genres, which is unique in Germany. The large number of important institutions, creative scenes and actors from all over the world make Berlin a place to be for current art developments, both nationally and internationally.

 The Senate Department for Culture and Europe will set new accents in enabling cultural participation as a prerequisite for social participation and ensuring equal opportunities in access to culture. Berlin needs sustainable cultural institutions that are socially and transparently positioned.
It is the task of the cultural administration to enable cultural participation and provide equal access to culture - regardless of nationality, ethical background, gender, religion or ideology, disability, age or sexual identity.

Amsterdam (Niederlande),
Berlin (Deutschland),
Brüssel  (Belgien),
Frankfurt am Main
Hannover (Deutschland),
Mexico City
Paris (Frankreich),
Reykjavík (Island),
Stockholm (Schweden),