Overview of Sacha Kagan’s professional activities in 2017 and early 2018

Please find here a chronological overview of my professional activities (besides my daily university work, i.e. my ongoing research in Hannover for the “SaM” project (“The City as Space of Possibility”) and teaching at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, which both ended in February 2018) in 2017 and until April 2018:

  • In Oslo, Norway, in January 2017, I was invited by Karen O’Brien and her team, as Guest Speaker: “Art & Sustainability: Culture of Complexity and Artful Sustainability”, at the “AdaptationCONNECTS project kick-off meeting: Lysebu Workshop”.

  • In Berlin in March 2017, I was invited  as Guest Panelist to a panel discussion entitled “Reduction or Reform: Conflict and opportunity for a modern society”, which was part of the “DeLight Sustainable Light-Art Festival”.

  • In Hannover in May 2017, I was invited  as  Guest Panelist to a panel discussion in German language: “Stadt. Vielfalt. Entwicklung”, as part of an event by the German Commission of the UNESCO: “14. Konsultation der Bundesweiten Koalition Kulturelle Vielfalt. Deutsche UNESCO Kommission.” the event was held at Kulturzentrum Pavillon.

  • In Hannover, also in May 2017 (and as part of the “SaM” project, i.e. the “City as Space of Possibilities” research project), I gave a workshop entitled “Village Triangles (systems thinking & qualitative-complexity games)”, within the workshop series on “Positiver Aktionismus” organized by “Das Wundersame Aktionsbündnis der Tante Trottoir / Theater an der Glocksee”.
  • On the Island of Vilm (Germany) in June 2017, I was invited to give a talk (in German) on the theme of “Forschung statt Vermittlung” (Research instead of Mediation), at the “Auftaktworkshop: Neue Ansichten! Kunst – Kultur – Wissenschaft – Nachhaltigkeitspolitik im Dialog.” This was part of an artists residency program by the Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries, Umweltbundesamt & Bundesamt für Naturschutz.

  • In Berlin in July 2017, I curated again (for the second time) the “Xplore Symposium (Shifting Backstages and Frontlines of Embodiment)” for its second edition, organized within the Xplore Festival Berlin. Besides curating the symposium as a whole, I also gave a lecture + workshop myself at the Symposium, entitled “BDSM Sagacity: embodying complexity”.

  • In Athens (Greece) in August-September 2017, I coordinated the Sociology of the Arts Research Network (ESA RN2) sessions (130 papers), at the 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association, entitled “(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities” . (I was the chair of ESA RN2 from 2015 to 2017.) During the ESA conference, I chaired 4 sessions, and contributed 2 Papers presentations: “City as Space of Possibility – Alternative and Artistic Initiatives Towards Urban Sustainability” (together with Volker Kirchberg) + “BDSM as a playful and artful way to experience several realities and complexity at the ‘Xplore Berlin’ festival of arts, sex and bodywork” (together with Regine Herbrik).  The ESA Conference was held at Panteion University + Harokopio University.

  • At my home university in Lüneburg, in September 2017, I gave a workshop (“Trans-Place-Making: A ‘walking with video’ workshop”) as part of the “International Transdisciplinarity Conference: Transdisciplinary Research and Education – Intercultural Endeavours”, organized by td-net & the Leuphana University Lüneburg, under the coordination of Ulli Vilsmaier.

  • In Nancy (France), also in September 2017, I contributed a paper (together with my colleagues Ursula Weisenfeld and Antoniya Hauerwaas, from the SaM project team) entitled “Assessing and enhancing the potential of design thinking for sustainability: the case of a Sustainability Jam in Hanover”, at the 2nd Organizational Creativity and Sustainability International Conference (ARTEMOCC), organized by the Nancy Business School on the ARTEM Campus.
  • In Grenoble (France), still in September 2017, I gave an invited presentation on “Urban Spaces of possibility: the case of Hanover (Germany)” (based on the SaM research project), at an international congress entitled: “Creative Mobilities International Forum”, organized by “Culture et Développement”.
  • In Geneva (Switzerland) in October 2017, I was invited as Guest Speaker, on “Urban spaces of possibility and imaginaries of sustainability”, as part of “The Anthropocene Atlas of Geneva (TAAG) International Symposium”, organized at the HEAD-Genève/Geneva School of Art and Design. (I am also a member of the advisory committee of the TAAG research project)

  • In Sao Joao del Rei (Brazil), also in October 2017, I was invited as Keynote Speaker (“Art in urban Spaces of Possibility for Sustainability Transformation”), at the “Art, Urbanity & Sustainability International Symposium (SIAUS)” at the Federal University of Sao Joao del Rei. I also gave a workshop (“Village Triangles” – a corporeal game to learn systems thinking and qualitative complexity) at the “PIPAUS Postgraduate Program in Arts, Urbanities and Sustainability”.
  • In Hannover, in November 2017, I gave a guest lecture (“Sustainability Research, Culture and Music”) at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.

  • Still in Hannover and in November 2017,  I gave a workshop, together with Antoniya Hauerwaas, entitled “Spielerisch Lernen für Nachhaltigkeitsprojekte durch Systems- & Design Thinking”, at the 5th Utopianale Film Festival, held at Freizeitheim Linden. Our workshop was part of the SaM research project.
  • In Cape Coast (Ghana), in March 2018, I was invited to give a guest lecture on “discourses on culture and sustainability” and two workshops on applied sensory ethnography (walking with video) and on systems thinking games, at the SDG Graduate School “Performing Sustainability. Cultures and Development in West Africa” (which is DAAD-funded and organized by the Hildesheim University). The event was held at the University of Cape Coast.

  • In Geneva (Switzerland) in March 2018, I was a guest speaker (“Artful Sustainability: The Artistic Turn in Sustainability Research”) at the “Along Ecological Lines” Symposium (held at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève); and a participant  at the “Along Ecological Lines” workshop  on environmentally engaged art, held in Zurich by Barnaby Drabble of the Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais, with the ETH Zurich.

  • In the first half of 2018, I finalized my documentary film Hanother: Urbane Möglichkeitsräume für nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung (original German language version). The English version (Hanother: Urban spaces of possibilities for sustainable futures) is still in preparation (i.e. English subtitles) and will be available in the late summer 2018. Preview versions of the German orginal version were showed on February 28th 2018 at the ‘Konferenzwoche’ of Leuphana University Lüneburg, and on April 21st at the Zukunftswerkstatt Ihme-Zentrum and again at Platzprojekt, both in Hannover. The finished film has not yet had its Premiere, neither in German nor in English version. For more information about the film HANOTHER and updates about future shows of the film, see especially  http://www.facebook.com/hanother.film (most up-to-date) ; or else http://hanother.wordpress.com (less often updated).


MOOC videos (from 2015) are online again

I just noticed by ‘accident’ that my MOOC videos from 2015 are online again, i.e. the 6 video-clips (2 series of 3) where I am talking:

  • On this page you can find my 3 videos about arts organizations and sustainability (as well as several great videos by other colleagues, e.g. Nishant Shah on co-creation).
  • On this page you can find my 3 videos about shaping spaces of possibility at arts organizations (as well as several other videos by e.g. experts in cultural marketing).

These videos were part of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) “Managing the Arts: Marketing for Cultural Organizations” at Leuphana University Lüneburg, for the Goethe Institute, which was developed in 2014-2015, took place over 14 weeks in 2015, and again in 2016 with new elements and a new theme.

I was involved at that MOOC as member of the scientific coordination team and as online lecturer.  The project leader was Nishant Shah. Our MOOC was attended by about 8000 online students in 2015, had a very high retention rate of the students across the 14 weeks (unlike many other MOOCS), and was awarded with the Comenius-EduMedia-Seal 2015.

More details and resources (including more videos by great colleagues we selected back then!) on the website of the Goethe Institute: https://www.goethe.de/en/uun/auf/dsk/mooc.html

Further information:

Overview of (and online resources from) my activities in September-November 2016

(Sorry, this was another semester without enough time to write more frequent, detailed and/or personal posts…) Please find here a chronological overview of my public activities (besides my daily university work, i.e. the ongoing research in Hannover for the “SaM” project (“The City as Space of Possibility”) and the teaching in Lüneburg) in September and November 2016:

  • September 5 to 7, Museu Municipal de Espinho (Portugal): I coordinated together with Nancy Duxbury, the CES (Center of Social Studies, University of Coimbra) and ESA RN2 (Research Network Sociology of the Arts, European Sociological Association) Summer School “Artistic and other Creative Practices as Drivers for Urban Resilience”. The core team of the summer school was also constituted of: David Haley (Manchester Metropolitan University), Nathalie Blanc (LADYSS, UMR 7533 CNRS) and Verena Holz (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg). More information: on the summer school website
  • September 8 to 10, University of Porto (Portugal): I chaired and coordinated together with Paula Guerra (University of Porto) the 9th Midterm Conference of the Research Network Sociology of the Arts at the European Sociological Association (ESA RN2): “Arts And Creativity: Working on Identity and Difference”. More information: on the conference website ; programme ; book of abstracts
  • September 28, Gängeviertel, Hamburg: Invited speaker at “Art and Culture Fostering Urban Futures” (Podiumsdiskussion) as part of URBANIZE!
 Housing the Many – Stadt der Vielen”. More info here
  • November 3, Institut d’Estudis Catalans / Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain): Keynote Speaker: “Artful Sustainability: The artistic turn in sustainability science”, as part of “Realizing Potentials: conversations and experiments at the frontier of art-based sustainability” (flyer)
  • November 11, University of Bern (Switzerland): Invited paper: “The Arts and the Cultural Dimension in Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research: Towards Artful Sustainability”, as part of the Workshop ‘Cultural Dimensions of Sustainability’ (webpage)
  • November 16, University of Exeter (UK): Paper presentation: “Emergence, Complexity, Design, Planning, Control – Approaching issues of emergence in urban sustainable development through the lens of qualitative complexity”, at “Emergent Culture”: 6th midterm Conference of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network Sociology of Culture (ESA RN7) – conference website
  • November 25, CCA (Center for Contemporary Art), NTU (Nanyang Technological University), Singapore: Guest speaker: “Imaginaries of Sustainability, Critical Imagination and Urban Spaces of Possibility”, at the conference: “The Impossibility of Mapping (Urban Asia)”, as part of NTU CCA Ideas Fest 2016-2017 – event webpage

Xplore Symposium 2016

EMBODYING ENLIVENMENT – Queer, SM and Eco-Sexual Perspectives

Symposium curated by Sacha Kagan – in the framework of the Xplore Berlin Festival
July 22-24 2016, alte Börse Marzahn, Berlin, Germany


pdf iconSymposium Flyer – Download 1,3 MB

In an age where the modern myths of Mastery and Control have started to crumble down, the rediscovery of the body, of one & many ecology/ecologies, and of intelligence beyond the narrowly rational intellectual realm, is opening up new perspectives for transformation of individuals and society.

Corporeal practices allow us to learn through embodiment, whether they are sexual, gender-related and/or otherwise exploring new territories of self and others. But how do these practices relate to existing social order? How far do they maintain the status quo, titillate social change, or even maybe foster deeper social transformation?

This symposium will explore some alternative cultures in their relations to mainstream cultures. It will investigate individual practices and temporary communities. The guest speakers will introduce different approaches and perspectives, such as Queer, BDSM, Phenomenological Animism, Queer Ecologies, Eco-Sexuality, Metahumanism, and the philosophy of Enlivenement. We will exchange and explore together how knowing and making worlds with the body, rather than ‘against’ the body, relates to philosophical, political and civilizational questions about the kind of society we want to become.

By sharing insights and reflections at the Xplore symposium alongside the Xplore Festival, we invite you to enter in a fruitful reflective dialogue with creative embodied practice, such as the artistic and practice-based insights from the workshops and performances at Xplore 2016.

Each speaker (but the final one) will be giving her or his lecture/intervention twice, over the duration of the symposium.
The symposium will also include a panel discussion among speakers and with the audience, moderated by the symposium curator, on Saturday at 20:00/8 p.m. in the Boersensaal.
Please note the language (English or German) in which each session is conducted.

The Speakers:

Andreas Weber Caffyn Jesse Cate Sandilands Elizabeth Wagner
Andreas Weber Caffyn Jesse Cate Sandilands Elizabeth Wagner
Poetics of the Flesh Queer Embodiment Queering Communities:
Becoming (With) Plants
Strategies for
in sadomasochism
Fri 11:00h – German Fri 16:00h – English Fri 20:00h – English Sat 13:00h –
Sat 18:00h – English Sat 11:00h – English Sun 13:00h – English Sun 16:00h – German
Jaime del Val Robin Bauer Thomas Burø
 Jaime del Val  Robin Bauer  Thomas Burø
Metabody Transgression, transformation,
exuberant possibilities
Our Sad Contempt
for Powerlessness
Sat 16:00h – English Fri 13:00h – English Sun 18:00h – English
Sun 11:00h – English Fri 18:00h – English

SachaSacha Kagan

Curator of the Symposium

Moderator – Panel Dicussion
Sat 20:00 h – English


Tickets: 3-day pass: 60 € / students 40 € 1-day-pass: 50 € / students 30 €

Full Information and ticketing: http://www.xplore-berlin.de/index.php/en/symposium-en-16

Overview of (and online resources from) my activities in the first half of 2016

A chronological overview of my public activities (besides my daily university work, i.e. the ongoing research in Hannover for the “SaM” project (“The City as Space of Possibility”) and the teaching in Lüneburg) in the first 6 months of 2016:

  • From January 12th to 17th, I took part (as guest speaker) in the “Sinopale Forum: Culture and Creativity for Local Development”, organized by the Sinopale Biennial in the cities of Istanbul (first half of the Forum) and Sinop (second half of the Forum), in Turkey. I was especially talking as guest speaker at a plenary session entitled “Can the concept of Creative City be applied to bottom up sustainable local development strategies? Which alternative economies can be born out of these?”. See the Sinopale Forum website: http://www.sinopaleforum.org/en/
  • On January 27th at the “Kulturbackerei” in Lüneburg (Germany), I was invited to take part in a local panel discussion in German language, with local cultural actors and policy-makers, moderated by Leuphana students and prepared by Dr. Verena Holz, about the future of the town’s local cultural sector (the title in German was “Welche Zukunft hat die Lüneburger Kulturlandschaft ?”). The debate had a special focus on Lüneburg’s policies and actions in the relationship betweeen culture and sustainability/sustainable development.
  • On January 29th and 30th I took part in the international Workshop “Artistic Strategies for Building Urban Space” in Berlin and Caputh (Germany) organized by Flussbad Berlin. I contributed a case presentation about: “An Embedded Double Agent: Frances Whitehead at the 606” (about the roles of one artist at a project in Chicago, IL, USA).
  • On February 19th and 20th, I took part in the interdisciplinary workshop “SEEMING TO BE TO BECOME REALITY: SUSTAINABILITY – A NORMATIVE FICTION IN ART, SCIENCE AND SOCIETY” organized by Prof. Dr. Regine Herbrik at the Methods Center of Leuphana University Lüneburg. My contributed paper was entitled: “”Proving the World more Imaginary”. Cultures of Sustainability, Cultural Sustainability”. More information here.
  • On February 23rd, I moderated a conversational workshop (‘Werk­statt­gespräch’) in German language entitled “Zukunftsstadt – Was kann die Kunst?” (City of the Future – What can art do?), as part of the Leuphana BA 1st Semester’s yearly “Konferenzwoche” (conference week) on sustainability. Our two guests were Amelie Deuflhard (Kampnagel, Hamburg) and Markus Bruggaier (Orchester des Wandels, Berlin).
  • From April 2nd to 5th, I organized and led a workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, by invitation of the Teatro Maria Matos, within the festival “as 3 ecologias” led by the choreographer Vera Mantero. My workshop was entitled “Urban Spaces of Possibility” (being conceptually related to our ongoing “SaM” research project) and invited participants to apply and experiment with the “walking with video” method from sensory ethnographer Sarah Pink, visiting several sustainability-seeking cultural initiatives in the city of Lisbon. Mode details here (in Portuguese).
  • On June 2nd, I gave a guest lecture at the University of Greifswald (Germany) entitled “Artful Sustainability: The imagination of world-making versus the fiction of planning”. The lecture was scheduled as part of the inter-faculty lecture series “Nachhaltigkeit interdisziplinär. Anstöße für den Übergang” (Sustainability in an interdisciplinary way. Impetuses for the transition). Webpage