Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality

With this symposium we wish to shed some light on the fraught encounter between the values that characterize the idea of an open, egalitarian society, and the intolerances articulated in the name of morality. As with previous Acts of the program, the symposium guests have not been asked to specify the meaning of morality, but rather to introduce case studies through which to think constructively about spaces and instances where binary distinctions – good and evil; right and wrong – fall apart. From the figure of the zombie and its dubious status as an allegory of the contemporary capitalist subject, through the role of comedy as a site for the performance of political critique, to the social organization of tent cities as forms of social protest; each guest will share her or his intellectual experience to form a base for concrete discussion.

The participants represent a wide range of disciplines: philosophy, psychoanalysis, literature, curating, criticism, art, anthropology and architecture.

  • Lars Bang Larsen (critic, Barcelona/Copenhagen)
  • Clémentine Deliss (director, Museum de Weltkulturen, Frankfurt)
  • Dessislava Dimova (art historian and freelance curator, Brussels)
  • Felix Ensslin (Professor for Aesthetics and Art Mediation, State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart)
  • Nikolaus Hirsch (director, Städelschule, Frankfurt)
  • Candice Hopkins (curator, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)
  • Koyo Kouoh (administrator, curator and critic, Dakar)
  • Mian Mian (author, Shanghai)
  • Matthias Mühling (Head of Department Collections /Exhibitions/ Research, Städtische Galerie im Lembachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich)
  • Wendelien van Oldenborgh (artist, Rotterdam)
  • Adriano Pedrosa (independent curator, editor and writer, Saõ Paulo)
  • Tariq Ramadan (Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University)
  • Aaron Schuster (philosopher, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin)
  • Tirdad Zolghadr (independent critic and curator, New York, teacher at Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College).
  • And with New-York-based artist, Rainer Ganahl, as a special respondent from the audience.


  • Clémentine Deliss, Dessislava Dimova, Felix Ensslin, Rainer Ganahl, Nikolaus Hirsch, Candice Hopkins, Koyo Kouoh, Mian Mian, Adriano Pedrosa, Tirdad Zolghadr