auftakt festival 2022

The auftakt festival invites you to Cologne for the sixth time in 2022. After an exciting edition last year with workshops, exhibitions, readings, performances as well as the first auftakt publication, it’s time to start again. We want to think together again about collaboration possibilities between authors and artists and create an interdisciplinary festival. For this we invite artists and authors to Cologne. The auftakt festival sees itself as a place that offers artists who are at the beginning of their professional careers the opportunity to experiment freely with (un)familiar forms. Text becomes scene, video or image, and maybe text again at the end. This year’s theme { un } safe spaces forms the field we want to deal with in a multi-layered way. Accompanied by a workshop weekend in Cologne, joint works are to be created and presented over three days.

The Safe Space as a concept, as a measure, as a pause. Who has access, who doesn’t, and what happens at its borders? Is it the privilege of the few or a survival strategy for those seeking protection? Where the safe place has always been given to some, it is denied to others. Faced with the reality of war, global pandemic and climate catastrophe, the concept of Safe Space seems illusory. Depending on the angle and position, he justifies and betrays himself. What role can art play in these times if we dare to think outside the safety zone of the spatial and mental horizon?

“Poetry is not a luxury” wrote Audre Lorde in 1985. Writing as a venture into darkness, into worlds of feeling, but also into inner freedom. Words as a retreat in crises, in times of war, in mourning, in captivity, and as a way of writing against injustice. But there it is far from safe. Alongside the desire and need for safe places are considerations of insecurity as a lived practice. We want to explore this field of tension with you, criticize it, write it out and turn it into a festival together.

workshop: 01.07. – 03.07.2022

auftakt festival: 01.08.2022

festival days public: 04. – 06.08.2022

For the joint development of the festival program, a workshop weekend will already take place in Cologne at the beginning of July. Within these three days the participants can get to know each other and present their artistic work. Within the framework of an interdisciplinary workshop with invited guests, we would like to delve deeper into our festival theme and enter into a productive process through an examination of it: Collectives are to be formed and working approaches formulated, which can be further thought out and elaborated in the weeks leading up to the festival, until they are formed and finalized on the festival days in the premises of the Cologne Kulturbunker. Finally, the results will be presented to the public from August 4 to 6. The results can be anything: audiovisual, performative or dance forms, installations or scenic.

The auftakt festival was launched in 2017 by the Cologne literary association Land in Sicht and the mobile academy Cheers for Fears and taken over by a new festival team in 2021. In diesem Jahr entsteht das auftakt in Koproduktion mit Cheers for Fears und ist gefördert vom Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes NRW, dem Kulturamt der Stadt Köln und der Kunststiftung NRW.