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nGbK Lecture

nGbK Lecture: Die leere Mitte: Film screening and conversation between Noa K. Ha and Hito Steyerl

Saturday, 10 December 2022, 19:00

Address:See announcement
Language(s): German
Entry: free
Organized by: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst
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Die leere Mitte: Film screening and conversation between Noa K. Ha and Hito Steyerl

Hybrid event at Stadtwerkstatt and via livestream on
Limited seats, registration for Stadtwerkstatt via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The event takes place in German with simultaneous translation into English.

The livestream will be embedded on this page.

Following on from the nGbK Lecture Where We Stand: European Cities, Colonialism and the Other Histories and Futures of Berlin's Mitte, Hito Steyerl will show her film Die leere Mitte (The Empty Center, 62 min., 1998). After the screening, the artist will talk to urbanologist Noa K. Ha.

Hito Steyerl’s documentary film tells the story of Potsdamer Platz from Berlin’s old customs boundary to the “Congo Conference” of 1884 and the Nazi period through the years following the fall of the Wall. Steyerl uses footage of central Berlin from the 1990s, portraying the megalomaniac construction projects around the “empty center”—Potsdamer Platz—as a dubious “rise from the ruins.” This highlights not only the way history and power build on the ruins of the past, but also how architecture and urban planning include and exclude national identities, obscuring the visibility of other stories behind the walls of a specific narrative and agenda. Long cross-fades are used to render upheavals in the urban fabric visible, revealing traces of anti-Semitic and racist-colonial history, of global restructuring, and of the ongoing existence of such social and political dividing lines. The history of Berlin-Mitte shows that exclusion has always been necessary in order to build a powerful center for a nation.


Noa K. Ha is scientific managing director of the German Center for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM). She has taught and conducted research at Berlin’s Technical University and was visiting lecturer at Weissensee School of Art and Design. Her work focuses on postcolonial urban studies, migrant-diasporic politics of memory, critical integration studies, and critiques of racism.

Hito Steyerl lives and works as a filmmaker and writer in Berlin.




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