The Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) is a non-profit cultural institution founded in 2012 by the City of Cologne. It envisions itself as an organization of artists, researchers and cultural workers rather than an educational institution in the traditional sense. A selection committee appointed 13 renowned personalities from all over the world as founding members of the ADKDW. The current 19 members – with backgrounds in various disciplines – form a network that spans the globe. They interact virtually and meet annually. Their aim is to give the concept ‘Arts of the World’ a specific and critical meaning.
The ADKDW operates beyond the Eurocentric doctrines of cultural history. It tries to expose romantic notions of multiculturalism, globalism and identity politics, while, at the same time, paying attention to the global conditions of post- and neocolonialism. In the face of a social and political environment shaped by the overwhelming logic of globalized financial markets and neoliberal power structures, the ADKDW seeks to support practices that address and challenge these very structures. It wants to initiate reflection processes, interventions and collaborations that promote a critical understanding of the arts and reveal and rethink the current conditions of cultural production. The ADKDW instigates, produces and organizes events in various artistic and discursive fields. The Academyspace is the exhibition space of the Akademie der Künste der Welt.