We take a stand against anti-Black racism and all forms of racism, inequality, and exclusion. The rise of xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic violence in our own country, in particular, terrifies us. And we deplore the under-representation of minorities in German public life, not least in the field of culture.
As a research institute whose staff, study participants, and research objects come from many different countries and cultures, we also reflect on our own role in this context: We are aware of the—in part structural—weaknesses of the academic system, especially in cutting-edge research institutions, in effecting a balanced representation of social groups and real equality of opportunities; and these weaknesses also affect us. We are aware that in the supposedly international scientific community in which we operate, only a small, culturally homogeneous part of the countries of the world is represented. The basic concepts and principles of science are dominated by Western ways of thinking and exclude other epistemologies and thus those who think and research in them.
We are also aware that our field of research—aesthetics and the study of art and culture—has been and partly, at least implicitly still is, a place where Eurocentric and white supremacist views have been established and rationalized.
In our work, we explore the cultural and individual diversity of aesthetic forms, practices, and modes of reception. We pledge to do this in a spirit of scientific curiosity, respect for individuals, groups, and cultures, and a willingness to self-reflect and revise our own opinions and ideas.