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In Search of Europe?

Art and Research in Collaboration. An Experiment

Andrea Heister, Samuli Schielke, Daniela Swarowsky (eds.)


In Search of Europe?

Art and Research in Collaboration. An Experiment

Andrea Heister, Samuli Schielke, Daniela Swarowsky (eds.)


Art / Theory



Graphic designer

Eps51, Berlin

Number of pages


Book size

17 x 24,5 cm



English (multi-lingual)

Release date: November 2013 


This publication has been made possible by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). For more information about the exhibition, research and publication In Search of Europe?: 

'In Search of Europe: Considering the Possible in Africa and the Middle East' is an interdisciplinary research project at the ZMO (Zentrum Moderner Orient) in Berlin funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the framework of the funding initiative %22Freedom for Research in the Humanities“, theme %22Junior Research Groups  – Europe Seen from the Outside“ from June 2010 to May 2014. 

In tandem with the six researchers, curator Daniela Swarowsky is working on an artistic exhibition project scheduled for November 2013 at the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin.

Can we speak about Europe without being Eurocentric? How can we meet on equal footing in an unequal world? 

These were questions that emerged from a research project and an experiment of artists and researchers working together towards an art exhibition in Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin in 2013. 

This group of artists and researchers set out on a journey on which they - together and collaboratively - tried to “Search for Europe”. Europe – long time ago the metaphor for one's own dreams, the paradise for many in their imagination but also the hell of reality for some. With an eye on creativity, political ideologies, traveling, and migration and with a range of research locations from West Africa, the Middle East, and Western Europe to Southeast Africa and the Balkans, the participants set out to understand how people remember the past, strive for a better future, or think about alternatives in an entangled world. 

In the course of the exhibition project, seven research-art collaborations evolved and developed these themes into artistic positions. In this book, the researchers, artists, and guest authors document and reflect about the process that resulted in the ISOE exhibition through essays, artwork produced for the exhibition and documentary imagery. The experience of these cooperations/collaborations tells about the dynamics, possibilities, and limitations of academic-artistic co-working practice in general. Rather than providing definite answers, the coming together of research and art creates a third space of openings and experimental formats of reflection and engagement where the world can be conceived in new and different ways. 


Mohamed Abdelkarim, Francesca Bayre, Metod Blejec, Esra Ersen, Vanessa Díaz Rivas, Gemuce, Knut Graw, Bettina Gräf, Karem Ibrahim, Maher Sherif and the Iskenderiyan Standards group, Aïssatou Mbodj, Leyla von Mende, Charlotte Menin, Anissa Michalon, Nástio Mosquito, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Pere Ortín, Samuli Schielke, Arndt Schneider, Daniela Swarowsky.