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A Self-Reflection Approach at a Regional Scale

As part of Good Practices Factory, africologne, a small association with no permanent employees, decided to set up the Good Practices Factory as part of a process of self-reflection on its activities and positioning, as well as its operations and methodologies, in dialogue with other cultural institutions in the city and region.

The first step was to take stock of the festival, on and off stage. africologne is the only theatre festival in Germany entirely dedicated to African productions. Journalist and author Marie Yan was invited to take a critical look at the event.  These texts will serve as a starting point for thinking about the next edition in 2025, the representativeness of the team that will run it, and the drafting of a code of conduct.

The second stage was to set up a series of round tables and workshops, in collaboration with the heads of the City of Cologne’s Diversity Office, as well as festival organizers, cultural operators, and artists at regional level, around the Common Stories theme of “Radicality: A Sustainable Transformation Towards Diversity?”. The aim is to discuss how local strategies could be implemented within structures, in programming and with audiences, to better represent the cultural diversity of the city today. The first meeting was held on February 5th, 2024, at the Orangerie Theatre in Cologne.

Lastly, the association is looking into new ways of cooperating and collaborating with existing artistic structures representing Afro-descendant communities and, more broadly, racialized people, at regional and national levels.

What’s next?

A second round table was held on May 7th, 2024, in Cologne, moderated by Dr. Sarah Youssef, on the development of a handbook for diversity in our structures, teams and content.

Two further meetings will take place in autumn 2024, with the aim of drafting a common code of conduct that can be adapted by each structure/partner.