Neukölln's Oyoun is a place for critical debate and radical solidarity. Colorful and radical, edgy and inclusive. But what is the place exactly ,and what does it stand for? We asked.
What is Oyoun?
Oyoun primarily presents artistic-cultural work by people of marginalized groups – Black, POC, queer, trans ,and intersectionally marginalized people. Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we showcase projects through exhibitions and interactive interventions in public spaces, among other things. We would also like to focus on more formats that emerge from an artistic laboratory and are developed in collaboration.
What makes Oyoun so unique?
Oyoun positions itself as an anti-disciplinary institution that centers queer, feminist, migrant, class-critical, and decolonial perspectives.
What can you experience at Oyoun as a visitor?
What you can't experience here is a concert every Sunday, or a painting class every Wednesday or something like that. We primarily focus our projects and programming on what the team and people from the community say is relevant at the time. Last year, for example, it was “Embodied Temporalities”, which was about the embodiment of trauma.
In what formats can visitors see the work?
We try to be anti-disciplinary. We often might not even find the words to define the artistic work, but it's more about an experience or an encounter. For example, there might be a research project that has regular workshops to develop the work, ultimately taking the form of a performance or interactive exchange in a public space. Then there are theater productions, but those also incorporate digital elements, which have been a key focus from the beginning.
What is so unique about the perspectives you try to represent?
It's not about representation per se, but using those perspectives to highlight certain issues and inequalities. The goal of Oyoun is to make a meaningful contribution. You can see throughout the art and culture scene that everyone wants to become more diverse. But there is a fundamental structural conflict. Oyoun is a best practice example. We show that it is possible to fill leadership positions with people from marginalized groups.
What feeling best describes Oyoun?
I would say belonging. A place where we don't have to code-switch, where we don't have to explain ourselves all the time.
What excites you about Berlin's cultural landscape?
There are great artists and people working in art and culture in Berlin, but there are also many dead ends structurally conditioned in many institutions, grants and opportunities. I am inspired by the abundance of perspectives, the diversity of artists and activists and their motivation to come to Berlin.
Light Art Space, or LAS, highlights what's to come: at the intersection of art, science and technology, founder Jan Fischer, director Bettina Kames and their team stage exhibitions that immerse you in the future. With immersive sensory experiences that erase the boundary between space and imagination, LAS has been making a name for itself in Berlin since 2019.