Guest Fellowships 2020

Artists have and continue to be affected, often existentially, by the corona crisis while, at the same time, their ability to interpret complex social contexts in open, critical and interdisciplinary forms grows in importance. In response to the challenges and constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, PACT has created 16 new Guest Fellowships alongside its established long-term Fellowship Programme.


These fellowship awards are not project specific or commission based, but rather aimed principally at enabling the recipient artists to continue with their current work and research and to build new networks.

The 16 artists taking part were proposed by an interdisciplinary advisory board. Our thanks go to Fanti Baum & Olivia Ebert, Johanna-Yassira Kluhs, Christine Peters and Leonie Radine

Meet our Guest Fellows!

Princela Biyaa / Association of Black Art_ists
© Photo: Megha Kono-Patel

Princela Biyaa / Association of Black Art_ists

Princela Biyaa currently works in the education department of the Competence Center Anti-Black Racism at Each One Teach One e.V. As a cultural worker, she commutes between the Ruhr area and Berlin.Co-founding various exchange spaces for BIPoC in Dortmund and Bochum were important steps for her in supporting the visibility of black perspectives and promoting discourse in the Ruhr area around Germany’s colonial past and postcolonial present. Currently she is the curatorial director of the Curl Collective which is aimed at offering a platform to artists and cultural workers of Color in Dortmund to form independent networks. Within the framework of the Fellowships, she will work on the association’s mission and vision and continue her artistic research on issues of self-care and the community of black communities.

Marny Garcia Mommertz
© Photo: Lis Camelia / Fayo Said

Marny Garcia Mommertz / Association of Black Art_ists

Marny Garcia Mommertz is a curator and cultural producer. In her practice she supports black artists and multipliers to realize projects that contribute to the self-strengthening of black communities. In 2018, she co-founded the Afro Student Association in order to create a platform for exchange with international black students and to promote positive representation of and for black people. Together with Princela Biyaa, she will conduct a research residency on Fasia Jansen in 2020/21, sponsored by Interkultur Ruhr and the International Women's Film Festival. During the fellowship she will actively work on the structures of the newly founded Association of Black Art_ists e.V. and will help plan various projects.

Fayo Said / Association of Black Art_ists
© Photo: Lis Camelia / Marny Garcia Mommertz

Fayo Said / Association of Black Art_ists

Fayo Said is a photographer and board member of the Association of Black Art_ists e.V. She is profoundly interested in how positive social changes can be initiated through creative methods and channels. In the past, she was actively involved in the Afro Student Association in The Hague - a platform that aims to empower the black community. As part of a research traineeship at the University of Leiden, Fayo conducted a combined literary and linguistic analysis of Iraqw tales. During the PACT Fellowship, Fayo will be working on a photography project which aims to highlight Oromo voices in the diaspora.

Association of Black Art_ists
© Association of Black Art_ists

Association of Black Art_ists

Marny Garcia Mommertz, Fayo Said and Princela Biyaa are the co-founders of the Association of Black Art_ists e.V. The association is committed to the international visibility of Black art and artists and the long-term archiving of Black art in Europe.

Uri Bülbül
© Photo: Das Hardenberg Projekt

Uri Bülbül

»Enchanted by German system philosophy, he tried to transfer this universal system to his literature. Despite all the openness of his dialectics, which he sought to develop into a rhizomatic, as he called it in reference to postmodern French philosophy, he could not abandon the idea of an all-encompassing monistic philosophy of literature. He wanted to write about the individual and the whole, both concrete and abstract at the same time.« Uri Bülbül, born on 19.01.1963, is a writer and philosopher and is currently working on the focus 'Cultural Philosophy - The Aesthetic Foundations of Diversity and the Uniformity of Modernity'. Most recently he gave a lecture for Globalkultur.org at the KulturAkademie-Ruhr on ›What is independent about the independent scene? A Provocation‹.

Lütfiye Güzel
© Photo: Ben Knabe

Lütfiye Güzel

Lütfiye Güzel is a poet from Duisburg. She was awarded the Ruhr Literature Prize in 2017 and her book 'nahezu nichts gelingt' was published in 2020. As part of her fellowship, Güzel would like to make a poetry film clip about Duisburg-Marxloh and realize an accompanying chapbook. The district in which Güzel grew up is marked by strong social stigmata and has inspired many of her poems: "Unfortunately, Marxloh is often - by many people and also the media - called a no-go area. Güzel's poetry clip and chapbook are to be presented in a film screening and exhibition in the Ruhr area in late 2020 and early 2021 respectively.

Tümay Kılınçel
© Photo: Cornelius Schaper

Tümay Kılınçel

Artist Tümay Kılınçel works with movement and the body. She completed her education and further training in Berlin (HZT), Giessen (Justus-Liebig-University), Istanbul, Lagos, Rishikesh and Cairo. In her work she approaches the topic of fear analyzes how power structures affect the body and movement, pushing it into precariousness and triggering fear. Since 2010, she has been exploring 'belly dance', which has numerous exoticizing attributions, in order to develop practices of decolonization through art. In her works she understands humor as a means to create a positive approach to complex topics. Tümay Kılınçel was a scholarship holder at danceWEB (2011), the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation's Studienwerk (2012-16) and Tanzpraxis (2020-2021). She has been invited to festivals such as Impulstanz (Vienna 2011), Favoriten (Dortmund, 2016-20), ZÜRICH TANZT -(2015), Tanzplattform (Rhein/Main, 2019) as well as Tanzplattform Deutschland (Munich, 2020).

Christine Sun Kim
© Photo: Lexi Sun

Christine Sun Kim

Christine Sun Kim uses the medium of sound in performance and drawing to investigate and explore her relationship with spoken languages and her acoustic environment. Her work has been shown internationally, including exhibitions and performances at De Appel (Amsterdam, solo); Serralves Museum (Porto), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 (New York). As a Deaf American living in German, she has experienced how disability regulations vary in many countries; some fully enforced, some completely ignored, and some non-existent. She testifies to issues that have been plaguing the Deaf community in America such as police brutality and language deprivation. Considering the social movements of the last few years, she intends to explore the patriotic aspect of her deafness, how it parallels tribalism, tribe mentality, and how damaging it is. During her Guest Fellowship she will create either a new series of charcoal drawings or compile a video essay.

Nicholas Grafia
© Photo: privat

Nicholas Grafia

Nicholas Grafia was born in Angeles City, Philippines. He holds an MFA from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and has also studied at the Kunstakademie Münster, the School of Arts and Cultures in Newcastle as well as British, American and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Münster. He works in painting, video and performance, frequently made in collaboration with Polish artist Mikołaj Sobczak. His works were recently exhibited at Capitain Petzel (Berlin), Shoot the Lobster (New York), Kunsthal Aarhus (Aarhus), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), K21 Museum Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf), Tramway (Glasgow), Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Düsseldorf, Dortmunder Kunstverein, Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw) and BOZAR (Brussels).

Lea Letzel
© Photo: Frederike Wetzels

Lea Letzel

Lea Letzel’s artistic work centres around developing interdisciplinary scenographies and performative formats at the interfaces of sound and music, visual and media art, dance and space. Her particular interest lies in concert formats questioning the relationship between music and the visual arts, within which the notation and score are regarded as artistic performative instructions. The peculiarities, plasticity, aesthetics and acoustics of space play an essential role in her work. »Often my work largely eludes conventional production and presentation spaces and therefore first has to conquer or create new spaces and then come up with working methods and strategies. As a trained pyrotechnician, I qualified as a certified fireworks operator in July and would like to use the Guest Fellowship to look at aspects of ecology and sustainability in fireworks. I am also working on a publication that deals with the relationship between sound and fireworks from a scientific and artistic perspective.«

David Guy Kono
© Photo: Martina Gimplinger

David Guy Kono

As part of the MusraraMix Festival in Jerusalem in 2017, Kono conceived the performance ›Lah Kâm‹ which explored the tension between an inside and an outside. In cooperation with Antoine Effroy, he developed the performance ›Tchâ. Sol. Boden‹, in which he explored the historical parallelism of wealth and exploitation. In 2018 David Guy Kono was awarded the Promotional Prize of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for young artists. During his fellowship, Kono will develop a new work entitled ›WG Quarantäne‹ exploring his perception of the world during the lockdown, which was consistently rectangular in shape: whether it was through the window, the screen of a laptop or that of a mobile phone. David Guy Kono was born in Douala (Cameroon). After completing his training as an actor, dancer and puppeteer in 2005, Kono was awarded Best Actor at the 2009 Theâtralement Vôtre festival. Together with kainkollektiv from Bochum, Kono has worked on performances like ›Fin de Mission‹, which followed the traces of European colonialism. In 2015 Kono developed the performance ›no title‹ as part of the programme ›The Incantation of the Disquieting Muse‹ at SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin, which dealt with different perspectives on the body and the invisibility of the soul.

Lex Rütten
© Photo: Susanne Schmidt-Dominé

Lex Rütten

Lex Rütten has been working with the artist Jana Kerima Stolzer since 2016 on installations and performances exploring humans’ entanglements with their technological environment and the associated emotional demands. His new project ›the way you look at me‹ (working title) is about automation and lifelikeness, as well as presence and absence and loneliness in times of digital connectedness: »I can build the same emotional connection to a vacuum cleaner robot as I can to a house cat. A drone with a camera can look at me and follow me in such an automized way that it seems to be alive. Full automation and human-machine interaction are becoming more and more present up to the point of 'human- excluded- zones.' I would like to conduct research on these phenomena to investigate the possibility of automated performance. The emotional connection that I can build to the simplest of electrical household objects is in the foreground of the narrative.«

Paul Maheke
© Photo: Alfredo Esteban

Paul Maheke

Paul Maheke was born in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France and currently lives and works in London, UK. With a focus on dance and through a varied and often collaborative body of work comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Maheke considers the potential of the body as an archive in order to examine how embodied knowledge and identity are formed and constituted. He studied at ENSA Paris-Cergy, Paris and Open School East, London. His installations and performances have been shown at Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Tate Modern (London), the Venice Bienial, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Lafayette Anticipations (Paris), Baltic Triennial 13 (Tallinn), Manifesta 12 (Palermo), Performa 19 (New York) and Chisenhale Gallery (London), amongst others.

Mikołaj Sobczak
© Photo: Mikołaj Sobczak, Courtesy of the artist

Mikołaj Sobczak

Mikołaj Sobczak (b. 1989) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw (PL), was a scholarship holder at the Universität der Künste Berlin (DE), and also studied at Kunstakademie Münster (DE). He works with video, painting and ceramics, often in connection with performance, and is a frequent collaborator of the German artist Nicholas Grafia. His most recent exhibitions include shows at MoMA (Warsaw), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Capitain Petzel Gallery (Berlin), Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen (Düsseldorf) and Dortmunder Kunstverein (Dortmund). » During the fellowship, I will analyse processes of 'othering' in folk-belief where various minorities were perceived as evil creatures. I will collect orally transmitted narratives that were never written down and develop a new performance on this basis.

caner teker
© Photo: Spyros Rennt

caner teker

Born in Duisburg in 1994, caner teker is a supporter, survivor and sex worker living between Amsterdam, Berlin and Düsseldorf. caner teker has a degree in fine arts from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and is currently studying at SNDO - School for New Dance Development (Amsterdam). Their work deals with the intersectional entanglements of identity, work, and post-migration in the context of their personal experience as a German-Turk as well as the life story of their own family. Within the framework of the Fellowship, caner teker will transformatively investigate the intersections of Turkish weddings, rituals and affinity politics.

Nesrin Tanç
© Photo: Fatih Kurceren

Nesrin Tanç

Nesrin Tanç completed her studies of Turkish and German language and literature at the University of Duisburg-Essen as Magistra Artium. She has worked as a freelance project coordinator on ›Baglama für alle!‹ and curated and initiated numerous different art, cultural and mediation projects (Agentur Ausländerrauş, electrOrient, Anatolpolitan, Numaqam Ikesus). In 2016 she received a research grant from the German Literature Archive Marbach for ›Global Archives‹ and between 2014-2017 was a research assistant at the Institute for Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg - Essen. Her dissertation titled ›Die Ordnung der Vielfalt. Ruhrgebietsliteratur anhand der Werke von Fakir Baykurt, Kemal Yalcın, Rauf Ceylan und Emine Sevgi Özdamar.‹ (›The order of diversity. Ruhr district literature based on the works of Fakir Baykurt, Kemal Yalcın, Rauf Ceylan and Emine Sevgi Özdamar‹) explored the cultural and literary heritage of immigrants from Turkey in the Ruhr Area in 2019. In 2019, she produced the first ‘literature map’ of the stories of author Fakir Baykurt. Within the framework of her fellowship, Tanç will continue her research on the artistic, literary reappraisal of topics such as work, archiving literary and cultural history, integration of cultural-historical knowledge, knowledge transfer - and mediation.

Khosrou Mahmoudi
© Photo: Peter Kapusta

Khosrou Mahmoudi

»I began acting in 1991 in Iran at the Tehran City Theater. In Iran I worked in many different fields from theater to film.« Khosrou Mahmoudi came to Mülheim in 2008 at the invitation of Roberto Ciulli, artistic director of the Theater an der Ruhr, where he was permanently engaged as an actor and assistant director until he resigned in 2013. Following this, Mahmoudi worked as a freelance actor with groups including Vorschlag:hammer and the KGI - Büro für nicht übertragbare Angelegenheiten. »In my proposed fellowship project, I will focus on the topic of garbage/garbage production, and artistically negotiate the extremely negative effects these have on animal life and nature. It does not matter in which element an animal moves or lives, be it in the forest, the water or the air. The effects of plastic littering are totalitarian. In spite of heightened attention through the Fridays for Future movement, the far-reaching contamination caused by materials as well as the consequences, are still trivialized. My aesthetic examination of the subject will take the form of a dance performance. The central material is plastic which we will collect and use on stage. As the performance goes on, the space increasing fills up with plastic and becomes more and more unbalanced. What are the qualities of the material that will outlive us all; what can we do with it before it suffocates us?«