Diversity Arts Culture + Mathias Rodatz


In order for the diversity of Berlin’s urban society to be more strongly in the cultural sector, Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe established the Diversity Arts Culture Office as a design and consultation office for diversity development in the cultural field: the Berlin Service Center for Diversity Development – Diversity Arts Culture was founded in April 2017 with the goal of fostering and facilitating diversity oriented structural change in Berlin’s cultural sector. The establishment of Diversity Arts Culture goes back to the initiative of various members of the arts community. Over the last decades, activists and creatives have paved the way for sustainable, diversity-focused change in the cultural sector. Diversity Arts Culture offers consultations to cultural institutions on matters of diversity, develops diversity training courses for art practitioners and offers support to artists and art practitioners, who don’t have equal access to opportunities within the cultural sector. The project moreover provides consultation on diversity to the city’s Department of Arts and Culture and collects data on equity in Berlin’s cultural sector.

As part of im*possible bodies #2. An Attempted Deconstruction, Diversity Arts Culture will introduce their work and speak about possible key factors for successful structural change, based on the needs of those affected by exclusion.

Mathias Rodatz’s work focuses on the geographies of inequality. He is interested in the interplay of (spatial) processes of marginalisation with the social, cultural or political (counter)movements that they produce. In this context, he specially focuses on the role of knowledge and practices of the state. His areas of interest include migration, citizenship and racism in the neoliberal state, as well as nationalism and belonging in post-migrant society. He is a co-founder and editor of movements. Journal for Critical Research on Migration and Border Regimes. He is also since 2010 a research associate at the University of Frankfurt’s Institute for Human Geography.

Based on the example of the City of Frankfurt am Main, the contribution demonstrates ways in which current urban diversity politics promise an alternative city of equality – and prove to be futile due to neoliberal factors. Mathias Rodatz theorizes them as politics of transnational urban citizenship, whose potential as an effective challenge to state racism in the city has still to be realized.