Daten zum Projekt

Critical Art(ist)s and Urban Development - A collaborative study comparing German and Israeli Cities

Initiative: zukunft.niedersachsen (nur ausgewählte Ausschreibungen)
Ausschreibung: Forschungskooperation Niedersachsen - Israel
Bewilligung: 20.01.2016


Artists have been engaged in political urban activism, linking aesthetics and political protest, for a long time, to the extent that they are now considered a key political actor. But what exactly are the forms and models in which artists do and can make a genuine impact when it comes to urban development? How can artists be engaged with the practice of changing the city, from presenting alternatives to the dominant urban life and work forms by exemplifying different and creative forms of artistic lives and work to critical interventions, by outspoken opposition and protest? And why and when do they choose various models for action? In this research project this conjunction of artists and cities within a theoretical triangle of urban studies, cultural studies and political science will be considered. Equipped with this relatively new perspective and comparing four cities - Hamburg, Hannover, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - valuable results about artists' political participation in the city should be reached. First, it is intended to explore and interpret the existing living and working conditions of the arts and artists in the four cities. Second, the shapes and scopes of political activism of artists in the selected cities shall be explored and analyzed. And, third, the impacts urban artists and their art have on urban development in these cities will be explored and assessed. This is understood in a normative sense (what can artists do?) but also in a descriptive and analytical sense (what are they doing, and why?). The third object - the roles of artists as "change agents" for urban development - is dependent on the findings of the first and second research fields (cities and artists). Combining different methods (qualitative PRE interviews, guideline oriented expert interviews, focus groups, some videoed and analyzed using, among other tools, Atlas.ti), these models of artists' urban intervention will be studied, aiming to find out what political, cultural and social circumstances, topics and causes drive and encourage (or discourage) artists to intervene in the respective cities and countries.


  • Prof. Dr. Volker Kirchberg

    Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
    Fakultät Kulturwissenschaften
    Institut für Soziologie und Kulturorganisation
    Geb. 5 / R. 222

  • Prof. Avner de-Shalit

    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Department of Political Science
    Social Sciences Building