Events | "Artivism"- Diskussion am runden Tisch mit Nikita Dhawan, María do Mar Castro Varela, Nehemiah Dixon III, Reginald Douglas, Maria Goyanes, Renee Harrison, Maria del Carmen Montoya. Moderiert by Mia Matthias.

Goethe-Institut Washington | 11. Oktober 2023 | 9:00 (MESZ)

Im Rahmen ihres 2023 Thomas Mann Fellowships unternehmen die Politikwissenschaftlerinnen Nikita Dhawan und María do Mar Castro Varela eine Reise an die Amerikanische Ostküste. Bei Lesungen, Vorträgen, und Gesprächen mit Partnern in den USA untersuchen sie Fragen zu ihrem Projekt zu einer ästhetischen Aufklärung und der Kunst der Dekolonisierung. Bei der Veranstaltung im Goethe-Institut Washington, nehmen sie teil an einer anregenden Diskussionsrunde über die Schnittmenge von Kunst und Aktivismus teil. In einer Welt, die von verschiedenen Krisen und sozialen Ungerechtigkeiten geprägt ist, ist es wichtig, die Rolle der Kunst bei der Bewältigung dieser Herausforderungen zu untersuchen. Diese Veranstaltung bringt angesehene Podiumsteilnehmer mit unterschiedlichem Hintergrund zusammen, um einen anregenden Dialog über den politischen Auftrag der Kunst und das transformative Potenzial des Aktivismus zu führen.

In these tumultuous times, it becomes imperative to reassess the role that art plays in our society. This discussion will explore questions such as: How can art address the pressing issues of social injustice? Can critical artistic practices promote transnational justice, democracy, human rights, and environmental justice? Should art maintain its non-purposive nature, as advocated by philosophers like Kant and Adorno? Given that art exists within structures of capitalism and colonialism, how can it navigate its ambivalent position? Can the imaginative power of art be harnessed to challenge imperialist, racist, orientalist, and heteronormative structures? Furthermore, how can artivism inspire us to envision a more inclusive and just planetary future?

Don't miss this opportunity to engage in a profound exploration of art's role in shaping our world. Reserve your spot today, and be part of the conversation that could redefine the political mandate of art in our society.

Afterward, you're invited to continue the conversation during a reception, where you can enjoy refreshments and network with fellow attendees.

The Round Table Discussion will be moderated by Mia Matthias, Assistant Curator, Glenstone Museum.


María do Mar Castro Varela studied psychology and pedagogy at the University of Cologne and earned her doctorate in political science at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. She is a professor of general education and social work with a focus on gender and queer at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Science in Berlin. Her research focus on social justice, digital hate and conspiracy theories, and issues of emancipation.


Nikita Dhawan studied German Studies, Philosophy und Gender Studies at Mumbai University and Ruhr-University Bochum. She holds the Chair in Political Theory and History of Ideas at the Technical University Dresden. Her research and teaching focuses on global justice, human rights, democracy and decolonization.



Nehemiah Dixon III adds his voice and experience to the Art Works Environmental Public Art Project team advocating for social justice through his artwork, community involvement and teaching. As a native of Washington D.C. he believes that art should be experienced through any means necessary which drives him to create art for public places.



Reginald L. Douglas is a DC-based director, producer, and new play advocate dedicated to creating theater that connects audiences of diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Throughout his career and as the Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater Company he has created and produced theater that catalyzes conversation, social change, and community building.


Maria Manuela Goyanes is a first-generation Latina theatre maker, known for her work at The Public Theatre in New York City, as well as her September 2018 appointment as the artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington D.C. She received the Josephine Abady Award in 2007 from the League of Professional Theatre Women for her work on "cultural diversity" in theatre. In 2015, she became a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. She also teaches and lectures at various universities.


Renee K. Harrison is a tenured Associate Professor of African American and US Religious History at Howard University. She earned her Ph.D. in Religion from Emory University (Atlanta, GA) with an interdisciplinary concentration in History, Philosophy, African American Studies, and Black Feminist/Womanist Thought. Her research interests include an interdisciplinary and interfaith approach to African American religious history and culture; Black feminist/womanist thought; aesthetic theory and the arts; phenomenology; and rituals of healing and resistance.

Maria del Carmen Montoya is an American artist working in participatory art, sculpture and new media. Her work is inherently collaborative and collective. In 2009, Montoya became a core member of Ghana Think Tank, an international artist collective that "develops the first world" by flipping traditional power dynamics, asking people living in the "third world" to intervene into the lives of the people living in the so-called "developed" world. Montoya is an assistant professor in sculpture and spatial practices at the Corcoran School of Art and Design at George Washington University.


Attendance Information

Attendance to this event is free and open to the public.

RSVP  Here.


6:00 PM EDT


Goethe-Institut Washington D.C

1377 R St NW Suite 300,

Washington, DC 20009

An event in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Washington.

Goethe Institut