Performative Künste in Äthiopien: Internationale Kulturbeziehungen und postkoloniale Artikulationen


Dr. Grit Köppen

Research Area:


In my thesis, I deal with aspects of international cultural relations, foreign cultural policy and transcultural art productions realized by performing artists from Ethiopia and Kenya in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.

The guiding research questions of my PhD thesis are: What are the specific working fields in which participating actors operate? Which aspects characterize the different art-historical and art-sociological dimensions of the performing art scenes in Addis Ababa and Nairobi? Which challenges are articulated by the actors regarding their working processes in the field of performing arts and regarding their transcultural art productions? What does that say about the concrete shaping of international cultural relations via performing arts?

For a visualization of the current performing art fields in Addis Ababa and Nairobi I apply the method of cultural mapping. Furthermore, I work with qualitative research methods like interviews with cultural workers and performing artists, observations of production processes and analyzes of cooperatively produced stage productions.

The three key dimensions of my analysis are: 1) the respective theater historical contexts of the countries in which the art productions are produced, 2) an art sociological dimension in terms of artistic work processes and production conditions and 3) a theater analytical dimension in terms of stage productions.