Until the Beginnings

Schauspiel Köln | Depot 2

"Until the Beginnings" is an energetic dance poem. The dancers and musicians from West Africa and Europe weave a choreographic tapestry from their different worlds that questions the nature of hospitality. Political implications of the criminalisation of hospitality and images of utopian community spaces are the impetus. The team embarks on a journey to deconstruct the concept of "home" and cultivate a communal garden.
Group of people dancing. They wear white and black clothing and are in a large, open space for training.


As an open-air kiosk, the festival center moves between our venues: from the large Theater-Carlsgarten in Mülheim to Oskar-Jäger Straße, from there to the garden of the Orangerie Theater and to the Cologne-Ossendorf prison. KIOSK is a meeting place for you and everyone in between.

Enrique Rottenberg - above and about

Galerie Horbach

Enrique Rottenberg's works subtly incorporate a critical examination of political and social conditions in his adopted home of Cuba. Formulated with great empathy, humour and satirical acuity, the expansive photographs can be experienced as an installation.
Photo by Enrique Rottenberg of two elderly ladies kissing on the lips.


ehem. Autohaus

ON THE MOVE is a multimedia exhibition on the situation of refugees at the EU's external borders. The works of photographers Abdul Saboor, Giorgio Morra and János Buck depict the developments of recent years on the so-called Balkan route. With panels, a film screening and special events, we will shed light on different perspectives with the Balkan Bridge and the Cologne donation convoy.
A man stands with his back to the camera in a large abandoned factory building. He is barefoot in an improvised mosque, praying. Several tents can be seen in the factory hall



The FORWARD DANCE COMPANY takes a critical and personal look at one of the most famous works of classical ballet: Swan Lake. The six dancers with different backgrounds and physicalities engage with the iconic piece that still shapes our viewing habits today. SULLE SPONDE DEL LAGO opens up spaces of repair and renewal in which our ideas of norms can encounter new narratives.
Photo by a lake of six people pulling each other by the arms. Two are in a wheelchair and they are all wearing white sunglasses.

Queere Revolution

Freies Werkstatt Theater

"Queer Revolution": a participatory theatre project based on the novel "Lavender Sword" (1966) by Cologne author Felix Rexhausen, which describes the attempt at a "homosexual revolution". In 2024, the Petra P. production office, together with queer experts, travels back in time to the beginning of the queer emancipation movement and asks: Does "We Are Family" still apply to today's community or is there now only a coexistence of queer bubbles?
Group picture of five men. Four are standing and one man is lying on the floor in the foreground.

Der kleine Container_setzt Grenzen

Lenauplatz Köln Ehrenfeld

Art Meets Empowerment: In the walk-in installation, you can explore feminist issues surrounding the topic of setting boundaries together with the artists from Der kleine Container. Over four consecutive days, the 12.5 square metres of a wooden container with audio and video installations and text works will become an experiential space that invites you to lean back or get involved.
Work of art in which you can see parts of the face of different people.

Crossing Common Borders

Orangerie Theater | Bühne

Crossing Common Borders is not only theatre, but also film, light and sound composition - and everything is live. It is an ode to failure. A confession of loneliness. A longing for a great collective. The piece is a collaboration between Studio Trafique and the editorial team Ohrenkuss.
Three large, red-lit light boxes made of fabric, in which there are people of whom you can only see the shadows.

we in a box


The concert event we in a box with Everline Akinyi Odero on the punching bag and percussionist Joss Turnbull is a beat battle between concert and performance. An improvised exchange of blows that touches on archaic questions of the "fighting" human being and explores the limits of musicality.
Photo of two people in black sports suits. On the left is a dark-skinned person with black curly hair looking at the camera and on the right is a white person looking at the ground.

Wuthering Heights

Theater im Bauturm

Long marginalised as a Victorian tearjerker, Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights, published in 1847, has been experiencing an astonishing renaissance for some time now. For Mithu Sanyal, it is even "the postmodern novel of the 19th century". Frederik Werth reinterprets the dark material. In a multimedia theatre performance, the narrative positions of the novel are questioned by the safe fireside of our own perspectives: the True Crime Podcast.
Image of brown shapes in a purple smoke



The South Asian diaspora in Germany is as diverse as its music. In a programme that spans generations and styles, musicians and artists reinterpret the boundaries of what is possible and what can be said. In the context of (post-)migrant narratives, they celebrate the diversity between traditional Indian raga and pop, between tabla and electronic beats.



Gratwanderungen explores physical and psychological limits and probes the boundaries of intimacy. To this end, director Svetlana Fourer and her performers take us on a dance journey to the edges of the human condition.


Freies Werkstatt Theater

MUTTERSEIN brings together the polyphonic experiences of women* and gives space to their stories and diverse realities. The result is a collection of things and narratives that take everyday life seriously. The exhibition is opened by a choir that observes and comments on motherhood in our society and itself becomes a collection of attributions, observations and experiences - sometimes tender, sometimes angry and with necessary humour.


JVA Köln Ossendorf

HALT is set in the Cologne-Ossendorf correctional centre. It is about security and structure, about setting boundaries and setting oneself free in the absence of freedom. The performers from the prison bring strong, original texts to the stage in an intense mix of music, movement and words.

to learn from the light

Orangerie Theater | Bühne

VESNA's music is characterised by acoustic beats, electronic soundscapes and intense vocal art. In their programme "to learn from the light", contemporary poetry from the Ukraine forms the backbone for the songs. VESNA invites you to a special evening of music in the Orangery Theatre, where the Jewish, Muslim and Christian music of today's Ukraine come together.


Experience a future in which our use of water has fundamentally changed. On the journey with our theatre bus from Cologne to the Rheinische Revier mining area and Türnich Castle, you will become part of the action and help shape a vision that is committed to a sustainable world. Climb aboard and be inspired by the possibilities of a water-conscious future.
Artwork of a red bus driving through a magical green landscape. Rehts in the picture is a crane overgrown with plants, standing on an island in the water. Wind turbines can be seen in the distance.

Near My Ears

St. Aposteln

"To be in a time of war", a text by Lebanese philosopher Etel Adnan, is the starting point for a stroll through the streets of Cologne. At the same time as reports of war and world events, tourists stream towards the city centre, following homeless people, workers and partygoers as they go about their everyday lives. Near My Ears seeks out places where the everyday and the political meet and creates an approach to global networking.
Four loudspeakers pointing in different directions. There are also two arms protruding into the picture, one of which is carrying a cell phone.


Orangerie Theater | Bühne

Inspired by playfighting, the players in ZOO JUTSU fight and wrestle for a blueprint of new forms of dialogue. They and the audience are confronted with physical boundaries in a playful way. The wrestlers enable a physical dialogue in which physical conditions and self-imagined rules are mixed in a variety of ways.
Photo of two women wrestling on the floor, one woman wraps her arm around the neck of the other woman and points her finger upwards with her other hand.

Mein Onkel David

Alte Feuerwache | Halle

Director Svetlana Fourer follows the traces of the Shoa in her family and the unspeakable aspects of their history. Like her uncle before her, she does not remain silent. She devotes herself to the incomprehensible, which runs through the generations right up to the present day. A theatre piece about not being allowed to know, the fear of experience, the force of knowledge and the search for a way to deal with it.

Pickup Artist

Sankt Peter Köln (Kunst-Station)

A forklift truck transports the young Viennese performance artist Philipp Muerling from place to place in a large art transport box. As a mobile sculpture, Philipp, who is in a wheelchair, pushes the boundaries - his own, but also yours. At Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, he will be showing a new version of the performance "Light / Dark" by Marina Abramovic & Ulay.

Koche und Klaafe mit Cassy Carrington

Buchforster Nachbarschaftstreffs (BuNT)

Cologne's Zu Huss e.V. invites you to a queer cooking show for seniors and allies. At Koche und Klaafe, Cassy Carrington, one of Cologne's hottest drag queens, will be behind the cooking pot to answer questions. Traditional Rhenish cuisine will be served. After the meal, the singer and activist will show off her show talent and take the audience on a journey through her eventful life.


Orangerie Theater | Bühne

Video Vixens: The models who appeared in hip-hop video clips of the late 90s and early 00s, often in hypersexualised images, inspired Cherish Menzo to create the performance JEZEBEL. When MTV still stood for Music Television, the sensual and scantily clad video vixens played a central role in the clips of the mostly male-dominated rap genre. JEZEBEL refuses to be defined by others. She navigates her way through hip-hop culture and looks for ways to reclaim her image.



We make ourselves loud against the far right and peacefully take to the barricades against discrimination and marginalisation. The MAD PRIDE marches colourfully, loudly and together with you from Ehrenfeld's Neptunplatz to Odonien. In all our colours, we will confidently demonstrate for diversity and difference.



The end of MAD PRIDE is the beginning of Big Bääm. It's going to be pretty raucous and a bit heavy here. We celebrate with music, art, dance and the desire to be wild. The line-up includes Jam for Breakfast, Markus Reinhardt, Unfall! and Station 17.

Minor Swing


Join us on a journey into the worlds of Sint:izze- and Rom:nja. The bus will take you from Bonn via Cologne to Düsseldorf. Sinti:zze and Rom:nja tell you in songs and monologues about their lives, their culture, their work at the university, in the state parliament, in companies, etc. Cologne violinist Markus Reinhardt and director Stefan Herrmann - both Sinti themselves - will accompany you on the journey.
Picture of a concert by Markus Rheinhardt. He is playing his violin with his eyes closed. He is dressed in black. A guitarist is playing next to him.