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Walter Benjamin in Berlin: City, Stage, Remembrance

This project locates Benjamin’s life and work in Berlin to critically and creatively intervene in current urban debates.


The life and work of the German-Jewish thinker Walter Benjamin are closely intertwined with Berlin. This project locates Benjamin in Berlin and invites new readings of his writings.

As an interdisciplinary team of scholars, curators, artists, architects and sound designers, we lay traces across the city:

  • Where did Benjamin live and work?
  • What places did he describe to anchor his interest in the city?
  • Which places are used nowadays to publicly remember him?
  • Which places exemplify the topicality of his work?

Based on our Benjamin-Berlin topography, we develop polyphonic audio pieces and curate collective listening events, invite artists to develop performative interventions in public spaces, design a reading room where public discussions take place and a website that operates as an open archive to enable multiple perspectives on Benjamin today.

In so doing, we develop a critical praxis of remembrance, contribute to current urban debates, intervene in right-wing spaces and challenge the commercialisation of urban life.


  • Advanced understanding of Benjamin and his life and work in Berlin by means of rigorous, critical and creative place-based analyses.
  • Critical understanding of alternative practices of remembering, counter-hegemonic and non-normative readings of cities, everyday histories, present conditions and potential futures.
  • Critical engagement with contemporary urban processes through the biography and ideas of a theorist.
  • Shared learning in a collaborative project by an archive, a museum responsible for public remembrance and a practice of urban communication with artistic approaches.



This research was made possible through the support of the following organisations: