Bernd Scherer

Bernd Scherer has been director of Haus der Kulturen der Welt since 2006. The philosopher focused the program on the examination of transformation processes in our societies; post-colonial structures, ecological and technological upheavals. It began with projects such as The Potosí Principle (2009–2010) and Über Lebenskunst (2010–2011) and, starting in 2012, the multi-year research projects The Anthropocene Project, 100 Years of Now and The New Alphabet, which includes the event series Dictionary of Now (2015–2018). He thus advanced HKW from an institution that represented non-European cultures to a laboratory of ideas in the making for a world that is changing not only globally, but also planetarily. One chief curatorial approach taken by Bernd Scherer and his team is to interweave art and science, politics and technology. The program is developed collaboratively with international artists and researchers in the interests of a variety of perspectives. Scherer has been an honorary professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin since 2011. Before he became director of HKW, he headed the Goethe-Institut Mexico from 1999 to 2004 and then the Arts Department at the Goethe-Institut head office in Munich. He is editor of books including Das Anthropozän – Zum Stand der Dinge (with Jürgen Renn, 2015), Wörterbuch der Gegenwart (with Stefan Aue and Olga Schubert, 2019) and Das Neue Alphabet (The New Alphabet) (2021).

As of March 2021


Investigative Commons

The German Colonial Genocide in Namibia

A Case for Reparations


Nov 5, 2022

Hijacking Memory

Hijacking Memory: Day 1

The Holocaust and the New Right

Conference: talks, panels, screenings

Jun 9, 2022

Earth Indices

Artist talk with Giulia Bruno & Armin Linke

Jun 1, 2022

Alle Veranstaltungen

Earth Indices

Earth Indices

Processing the Anthropocene

Exhibition Opening

May 19, 2022

Anthropocene Working Group. A Scientific Forum

Presentation, Discussion

May 18, 2022

The Broken Archive

Extractivist Memories

With Patricia Domínguez, Neville Rowley, Andreas Siekmann, Ndongo Samba Sylla, moderated by Bernd Scherer

Video series: Presentations, discussions

Dec 15, 2021

Das Neue Alphabet – Publication series

Recoding Alphabets

The DNA of the Book Series Das Neue Alphabet

Book presentation, lecture performance, live coding set

Oct 27, 2021

Investigative Commons

Socializing Evidence


Oct 9, 2021

Archive of Refuge

Archive of Refuge – Opening

Sep 30, 2021

New Alphabet School

#Instituting: Workshops & Public Program


Jun 26, 2021

The Shape of a Practice


With Jeremy Bolen, Beate Geissler, Jeremias Herberg, John Kim, Bernd Scherer, Adania Shibli, Monique Verdin and others

Oct 26, 2020

Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne

Conference: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne

With Linda Báez-Rubí, Emilie Carréon, Philippe Despoix, Axel Heil, Roberto Ohrt, Giovanna Targia, Martin Treml, Tullio Viola

Sep 25, 2020

Paris Calligrammes

On the Aesthetics of the Ethnographic Gaze

Finissage with Clémentine Déliss, Michael Oppitz, Ulrike Ottinger, Bernd Scherer, moderated by Rosa Eidelpes


Oct 13, 2019

Wassermusik: Black Atlantic Revisited

Echoes of the South Atlantic

With Paul Gilroy, Gabi Ngcobo, Thiago de Paula Souza, Nanette Snoep and many others


Jul 10, 2019

How political is the Bauhaus?

Talks, artistic interventions

Jan 19, 2019

The New Alphabet – Opening Days

Stop Making Sense

Lecture Performances, Lectures, Discussions

Jan 12, 2019

The New Alphabet – Opening Days

The Discrete Charm of the Alphabet

Performances, Lectures, Discussions

Jan 11, 2019

Refiguring Spaces

Mappings as Joint Spatial Display


Nov 29, 2018

Staat 1–4

Artist Talk

With Helgard Kim Haug, Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll), Bernd Scherer (director HKW), moderated by Florian Malzacher

Mar 3, 2018

The Apparatus of Racism

The Apparatus of Racism: Day 1

With Ayşe Güleç, Eyal Weizman, Nafeez Ahmed, Yann Moulier Boutang, Liz Fekete and others

Discourse program

Mar 8, 2017

Sprache und Wissen

Opening | Prompters of the Subtext

With Bernd Scherer (HKW), Christina Weiss (Schering Stifung), Marcel Beyer (curator, writer)

Apr 8, 2016

Wolfgang Tillmans: What’s wrong with redistribution?

With Wolfgang Tillmans, Thomas McDonough, and Bernd Scherer

Book Presentation, Lecture, and Talk

Dec 3, 2015

Anthropocene Curriculum | Campus 2014: The Anthropocene Issue

Earthbound Knowledge: A Forum II


Nov 22, 2014

Anthropocene Curriculum

Anthropocene Campus – Opening

Nov 14, 2014

The Anthropocene Project. A Report

A Report - Opening

Oct 16, 2014

Copa da Cultura 2.0

Expert Talk at Halftime

Jun 23, 2014

transmediale 2014

An Ecosystem of Excess

With Pinar Yoldas, Heather Davis, Bernd Scherer, Moderation: Daniela Silvestrin


Feb 1, 2014

Ten years of 9/11

Ten Years of 9/11

The Power of Images | The Code of the Religious | Insights/Outlook

Forum Berlin - Debates | Day 2

May 29, 2011