WHY GERMANY ? is an international lecture series addressing the crackdown on free speech in Germany and beyond. The weekly lectures are co-hosted by a network of institutions that grows over time. By means of a rolling program, it creates a space for creative, informed and considered expression. Importantly, the series will move beyond critique alone, to propose strategies for the future: which languages, alliances, policies and support systems might ensure a measure of autonomy in the longer term?

Within Germany, some of the most effective actors in the intimidation of Palestinians and their allies over recent months have been cultural venues, art schools and universities. The hostility towards advocacy for Palestinian lives has surpassed recent escalations across Europe or even the USA: the lockstep is more thorough, the language more hateful, the measures more extreme. With the help of historical perspectives and specific case studies of German art schools and universities, this series addresses the eclipse of free speech and its ramifications for local cultural landscapes, but also for neighbors and allies - not to mention for Palestine itself.

Participating venues

L'Observatoire des Mondes Arabes et Musulmans (OMAM), Université libre de


De Appel Amsterdam

SWOP Institute & Department of Fine Arts, Wits University Johannesburg

Academy of Fine Art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Zurich University of the Arts

Center for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London

School of Architecture Royal College of Art London

Ashkal Alwan, Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut

Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm

Dutch Art Institute (DAI Roaming Academy)

The Racial Reckoning in Art and Performance at Yale University.

The Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender (ISSG), Columbia University


Tuesday 7 May 6pm CET

Host: L'Observatoire des Mondes Arabes et Musulmans (OMAM)

Université libre de Bruxelles

Lecturer: Nadija Samour

For link and updated info please visit:



Tuesday 14 May 6pm CET

Lecturers: Tirdad Zolghadr & Hanan Toukan

Host: de Appel Amsterdam

For link and updated info please visit: https://www.deappel.nl/nl/events/


Tuesday 21 May at 6pm CET

Lecturers: Noor Niefgotodien & Ulrike Kistner,

Host:  University of Witwatersrand (Wits) Johannesburg, South Africa

event link


Tuesday 28 May at 5pm CET

Host: The Academy of Fine Art at Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Lecturer: Sami Khatib

event link


Tuesday 4 June at 6pm (CET)

Lecturer: Marwa Arsanios,

Host: Masters of Transdisciplinarity in the Arts at Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland

event link


Tuesday 11 June at 6pm CET

Lecturers Sarah Naira Hachem Herfurth & Laura Fiorio, introduced by Alessandro Petti,

Host:  Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

event link

Tuesday 18 June

Lecturer TBA,

Host:  Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom


Tuesday 25 June

Lecturer TBA,

Host: Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon


Tuesday 9 July

Lecturer: Ana Teixeira Pinto

Host: Dutch Art Institute, Roaming Academy. 


The zoom link, as well as more lectures from partner institutions, will be announced soon on this page. 


For more background on the developments in Germany, see also DAI's evolving feed on our homepage (since October 2023). Scroll to the chapter MEANWHILE IN GERMANY.