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Haus der Kulturen der Welt

In the last 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world has changed fundamentally. In these 30 years, HKW has consistently developed new formats and content that deal with these changes – often as a trailblazer.

In the 1990s, HKW opened the public’s eyes to the non-European world and confronted them with worldviews and problems that were little-known in Germany. It reacted to criticism that its responsible curators were chiefly German in the late 1990s by commissioning curators such as Okwui Enwezor, Paul Gilroy and Yu Yeon Kim. The shift in curatorial representation was accompanied by an examination of the colonial pasts of Europe.

Schwules Museum Berlin

The story of the Schwules Museum begins in the year 1984, at the former Berlin Museum. At the initiative of three museum guards, Andreas Sternweiler, Wolfgang Theis and Manfred Baumgardt, the museum’s director allowed himself to be persuaded to take an innovative step. The three students and their activist ally Manfred Herzer had proposed to develop an exhibition on homosexual men and women in Berlin. In the summer of 1984, the legendary exhibition Eldorado – the History, Everyday Life and Culture of Homosexual Women and Men 1850-1950 took place in the Berlin Museum, curated by the three initiators in collaboration with a group of lesbian activists. With over 40,000 visitors, the exhibition was just as successful as it was controversial. The resolution to found the Schwules Museum crystallized out of this success.