December 2nd, 2022 to April 10th, 2023


What is love?

What does love have to do with colonialism?

How are love, gender and sexualities, racism and power relations connected?

To what extent is love political?

And how do love and colonialism relate to each other in ethnological museums?

After the major special exhibition "RESIST! The Art of Resistance," in which we examined colonial history from the perspective of anti-colonial resistance in the Global South, we will explore the theme of love in the experimental and collective workshop exhibition "LOVE?".

What for some embodies eternal happiness, security and belonging, for others evokes anger, fear and pain. What may be fulfilled for some in the classic nuclear family, is sought and found by others in completely different constellations.

The workshop-exhibition LOVE? takes a queer* perspective and brushes the "romantic" love, as it is told in many movies or novels, against the grain. In the form of workshops, talks, performances, happenings, readings, film screenings and other actions, LOVE? questions, among other things, binary gender constructions, according to which there are only the two genders "man" and "woman". Based on the critique of the heterosexual norm and the concept of monogamy, LOVE? questions the political and spiritual potential of love. What forms of love enable the spiritual growth of all people? Where does normative love exclude people? How can love promote social justice?

The experimental workshop LOVE? for young and old, offers space for different narratives of marginalized, i.e. otherwise rather unheard and misunderstood people about all things "love" and especially creates space for their visibility and own representation.

LOVE? is a collective, participatory, interdisciplinary and polyphonic workshop that continues to grow during its runtime. Within five months, a wide variety of people from Cologne's urban society, local and global artists, researchers and activists will develop new utopias of love. The perspectives of queers of color and black queer people will be at the center.

The workshop nature allows for open exchange, loving, critical discussion for the creation of new ideas and respectful attitudes towards love, gender, and sexualities. Visitors are invited to actively participate and also become part of the workshop LOVE?

So what can people actually do in the LOVE? workshop? Here we will see artworks that will continue to be added to every month, discover historical objects from the collection, hear numerous stories that will gradually fill our workshop. We will also: cook, dance, write, make love amulets or produce zines. And we will listen to and produce podcasts, discover exciting literature and poetry in our library or discuss the future of love in the LOVE reading circle.

The LOVE? workshop is a place for talking and listening, for asking questions and learning together, for networking, being together, solidarity and for a new togetherness.

LOVE? is a joint project with the Office for Integration and Diversity of the City of Cologne, iJuLa-Intersectional Youth Labs in the Veedel, Integrationshaus Kalk e.V., Jugendfreizeitwerk Köln e.V.

Numerous artist groups, collectives and Cologne initiatives and projects will be added during the term.

The project is generously supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Stiftung der Sparda-Bank West and the 360° Fonds für Kulturen der neuen Stadtgesellschaft program of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.



"Queer is a collective term for people whose gender identity (who they are in terms of gender) and/or sexual orientation (who they desire or how they love) do not conform to the cisgender, cissexual, and/or heterosexual norm." (Diversity Arts Culture Glossary:


On view again from March 2023:

Coletivo Bonobando from Brazil critically and humorously addresses the political living situation of minorities such as the LGTBQ+ community in Rio de Janeiro in their performances.

The multidisciplinary Mexican artist Javier Ocampo questions and connects in his works central thematic complexes that contribute to the creation of a normative Mexican identity: gender, sexuality, politics, history, urban spaces and colonialism.

In his multidisciplinary way of creating art, Colombian Carlos Motta documents the social conditions and political struggles of minorities who are discriminated against because of their gender, gender identity, or ethnicity. He thereby challenges dominant and normative discourses through visibility and self-representation. The RJM presents "My dearly beloved R. - Monument to Alexander von Humboldt," a photographic triptych that highlights the sexual orientation of Prussian geographer and explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Directed by Claire Cross & Blanche Wiesen Cook, this private photo album photographically documents the life of U.S. activist and writer Audre Lorde. This work offers intimate glimpses into the life of the woman who described herself as "black, lesbian, feminist, mother, poet, warrior."

Experiences and agency stemming from colonial power and violence continue to perpetuate in human thought and action across generations worldwide today. The Haitian-born actress, artist and choreographer Kettly Noël addresses this in her video performance "Errance" with regard to the alienation of female desire. This includes the exoticization of Black bodies through patriarchal and colonial patterns of oppression.


In the short film "I cannot decolonize my body" Tiara Roxanne refers to the fact that indigenous people have been and are negated and silenced in social, political and technological paradigms. Through a multidisciplinary approach, her research on data colonialism questions how Big Data and datamining systems navigate a colonial imposition through design and (visual) representation. These datamining practices emerge from black boxes of machine learning and artificial intelligence that lack intersectional intelligence and indigenous knowledge.

Fabián Cháirez is a contemporary Mexican artist who explores masculinity through representative figures of Mexican pop culture.

Born in Haiti in 1960 and living in Berlin, artist Jean-Ulrick Désert responds to the photographic work "Man in a Polyester Suite" by U.S. artist Robert Mapplethorpe in his provocative and critical photo series "Die Troosen 'runterlassen.'" This creates stereotyping images of male, black bodies, which generate and reproduce the image of the lust of so-called 'noble savages'.


More info

Kick-Off: Party with GEEZ, food performance with Caique Tizzi, stamping event with IJuLa and more surprises.

Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. to midnight.

Finissage, Friday, 31.3., 6 pm until midnight!

Visitors can expect a varied program: music with DJ Gîn Bali, champagne reception and empanadas, speed dating with the LOVE? team, guided tours with artists present, a stamping activity by iJuLa, and a project presentation by the Cologne Youth Workshop.

The LOVE? Workshop Collective:

Caroline Bräuer, Rolando Carmona, Dr. Fabiola Arellano Cruz, Marius Förster, Dominique Lucien Garaudel, Simon Hirzel, Carla de Andrade Hurst, Mirko Podkowik, Lisa Pommerenke, Aurora Rodonò, Nanette Snoep, Dr. Anne Slenczka, Maike Wehnert.

The collective will grow successively and is looking forward to more friends.


Artists during Workshop #1 (December)

Donja Nasseri

Donja Nasseri is represented in LOVE? with two works: "Go Slowly (lovely moon), 2019" and "The Falling Wardrobe, 2022/2023", whereby the latter work directly refers to the RJM's collection and the examination of tradition and change, in a multicultural society, is a central element of the work. "Falling Wadrobe" will be responded to during the exhibition period with interventions by Nara Bak, Jana Buch, Noemi Weber and a performance by Arisa Purkpong. The performance by Arisa Purkpong will take place on 03/31/2013 at 2pm.

assume vivid astrofocus (avaf; Christophe Hamaide and Eli Sudbrack)

Barbara Prézeau Stephenson

More artists* will be addersion)ed during the run.


Artists during Workshop #2 (March)

Coletivo Bonobando

Javier Ocampo

Carlos Motta

Claire Cross & Blanche Wiesen Cook

Audre Lorde

Kettly Noël

Tiara Roxanne

Fabián Cháirez

Jean-Ulrick Désert


BBQ - the BlackBrownQueere Podcast

Dominik Dijaleu and Zuher Jazmati

Rice and Shine Podcast

Minh Thu Tran and Vanessa Vu

Podcast Acca Pilllai
with the episode "The Story of Sex" by Abby (keine Pronomen, they/them) and Mac (sie/ihr, she/her)

Performance Video Portraits by Amro a.k.a Aaro, Jane a.k.a Femdom and Lex.Tape conceived and designed by Salman Abdo (Integrationshaus Kalk e.V.)

Library Hopscotch Reading Room, Berlin


Exhibition design

Running Water
Workshop Global

exhibition graphics

Cooperation partners

Office for Integration and Diversity of the City of Cologne

iJuLa-Intersectional YouthLabs in the Veedel

Integration House Kalk e.V.

Jugendfreizeitwerk Cologne e.V.


Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Rhineland Regional Association (LVR)

Cultural Foundation of the Federal States

Foundation of the Sparda-Bank West

360° Fund for Cultures of the New Urban Society of the German Federal Cultural Foundation



Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. to midnight.

Kick-Off: Party with GEEZ, food performance with Caique Tizzi and team, stamp action with IJuLa and more surprises


Saturday, 12/03/2022, 2 p.m.

Amulet creation on the theme of love by Lucia Egana


What do we entrust ourselves with when we wish for things related to love? This workshop aims to create a space for collective reflection on different dimensions of love from an anti-racist perspective. Together we question colonial, heteropatriarchal, and capitalist logics that permeate our ways of understanding/living love. And we make our own object of power that protects us emotionally: an amulet. The practice of group craft allows for other ways of thinking and sharing knowledge and feelings about these issues based on embodied experience.


Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, 7 p.m.
Let's talk about sex, habibi
Reading with Mohamed Amjahid

From the erotic adventures of "One Thousand and One Nights" to the debates following the so-called Cologne New Year's Eve, the sexuality of "oriental" men, women, and queers has been fetishized time and again. In this book, Mohamed Amjahid wants to take an unclouded look into the bedrooms of North Africa and clear up clichés and racist stereotypes. Based on his own experiences and those of his acquaintances, friends and relatives, he gives a touching, funny, intimate and honest account of what the everyday sexuality of North Africans is really like and what desires lie behind it. One wonders: Are we all in the same bed in the end?


Preview further program:

Feminist Meme School workshop by Caren Miesenberger, Lit Kid Cologne, reading circles with Aurora Rodonò, discussion evening with Şeyda Kurt and Cuso Ehrich, Black Love program series with Rahab Njeri and Tensea Desta.

Admission is free in December!

January-February 2023: 6 Euro

March-April 2023: 8 Euro

3-day ticket: 14 Euro