Humboldt Forum
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, digitale Reproduktion: Jester Blank GbR; Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin- Brandenburg / Roland Handrick
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum / Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, digitale Reproduktion: Jester Blank GbR; Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin- Brandenburg / Roland Handrick

February 18, 2019, 7:30 PM

Humboldt Forum Highlights

Experienced — Recounted — Claimed

@ Podewil

Free admission, registration required

in German

How were stories communicated in the past? What special practices and options exist today for relating truth? How are events interpreted as truth at all?

Truth is experienced and interpreted differently, and differently communicated depending on the aim and intention, whether in verbal anecdotes, written in letters, newspaper articles or tweets, or captured in pictures, engraved on objects, manifested in statues or on Wikipedia.

Six experts will take two Humboldt Forum Highlights – a Mayan war vase and a statue of Prince-Elector Frederick III – as their starting points to discuss methods and half-lives of historical narration.

Talk 1: Revolutions Past and Present

Martin Düspohl, curator of the Revolution Room in the Berlin Exhibition, will be talking to filmmakers and directors Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block on the mechanisms of revolution. What triggers revolutions and how are they prevented? What was this like in the past, and how does it work today?

Talk 2: Mayan war vase

How did the Maya record their history? Who commissioned the work? How do we record history today? Who are the chroniclers of our times? This will be the topic of conversation for Nikolai Grube, Mayan expert at the Universität Bonn, and Franziska Heine from Wikimedia Deutschland.

Talk 3: statue of Prince-Elector Frederick III

How do rulers and elites change, stage or manipulate the history books in order to create facts that work to their advantage? Where do journalists act to correct the picture, or fan the flames? These will be the topics for Thomas Biskup, a historian from the University of Hull, together with Kristin Joachim, a television correspondent at ARD’s Capital Studio in Berlin.


Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck are theatre and film directors who develop cross-media narrative forms under the name Laokoon. Their debut film The Cleaners had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2018 and won numerous awards.

Martin Düspohl is the curator for the Revolution aspect of the Berlin Exhibition in the Humboldt Forum. In the past he has organised exhibitions on Berlin’s urban development, and the social and migration history of the city, and most recently was co-curator of the exhibition Berlin 1918/19 – The Long Life of the November Revolution at Märkisches Museum.

Nikolai Grube is professor for Ancient American Studies and Anthropology at the Universität Bonn and has participated in various research projects in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras. He was also involved in numerous exhibitions and publications as a scientific advisor for Mayan culture.

Franziska Heine is the head of software development at Wikimedia Germany. She has conducted scientific research into software for analysing video recordings, has worked for eBay and HERE Technologies and is active in the Arbeitskreis gegen Internetsperren und Zensur (Working Group against Internet Blocking and Censorship).

Thomas Biskup is a lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Hull in Great Britain. His research interests include the political culture of European courts – with a special focus on the Prussian monarchy – as well as the history of science from a postcolonial perspective.

Kristin Joachim is a television correspondent for ARD’s Capital Studio. She reports on subjects of national political relevance for the ARD programmes Tagesschau, Tagesthemen and Mittagsmagazin as well as presenting Bericht aus Berlin.

Humboldt Forum Highlights

The first 15 of these Humboldt Forum Highlights were being presented between October 2018 and May 2019 in two formats: in an exhibition as well as during conversations that will be held at various locations in Berlin. The exhibition on Museum Island has been extended until the end of September 2019.

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