Landscape as place of transformation

Artist winners of tandem scholarship have been selected

Betonierte Fläche in Bitterfeld-WolfenClick to enlarge
Bitterfeld-Wolfen – place of transformation

The processes of industrialisation, political system change, economic upheaval and ecological consciousness raising have left their mark in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. How can others get a sense of these transformation processes?

Source: Aljoscha Begrich

The recipients of the tandem scholarship "The Landscape as a Place of Transformation" by the German Environment Agency (UBA), the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and Kulturpark e.V. as part of the OSTEN Festival have been selected. The jury has chosen Antonia Grohmann, Caroline Ektander and Stephan Thierbach as well as the Urbane Dermatologie group from a total of 98 applications. During their two-month stay, the artists will work on projects together with experts from the UBA and contemporary witnesses from Bitterfeld-Wolfen. They will present their results at the "OSTEN" festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen from 1 - 17 July 2022.

Bitterfeld-Wolfen exemplifies how an entire region can change. The processes of industrialisation, political system change, economic upheaval and ecological rehabilitation have left their mark - on the people as well as on the landscape. So how can these transformation processes, which have completely changed the biographical, political and ecological landscape, be made tangible? What do they tell us about the future? And what designs for the future can be imagined on the basis of this topography? These are the questions that the projects of the tandem scholarship will address.


Antonia Grohmann's project Die Landschaft als Geflecht von Transformationen [The Landscape as a Weave of Transformations] investigates the complex network of relationships between humans and the biosphere in the form of artistic field research of the three open-cast mines on site. In addition to local contemporary witnesses, non-human actors – animals, plants, pollutants – will be listened to and "their abilities of adaptation, cooperation, solidarity, reflection, learning and resistance" will be questioned.

Caroline Ektander and Stephan Thierbach’s project Der Schweiß der Erde “[The Sweat of the Soil] seeks to continue the remediation of contaminated soil in a multiple-phase process in which soil samples are distilled into a “perfume”. The aim is to launch an exchange of experience and knowledge and encourage a social healing process.

The Urbane Dermatologie group call themselves “field researchers of phenomenological drawing, criminological bioarchaeology and cultural studies." Their project Resonanz der Oberflächen [Resonance of Surfaces] seeks to make the landscape visible and audible as a biological and cultural-historically charged structure from three different research approaches - biology, drawing, cultural studies.

Tandem partners

Jan Koschorreck and Ina Fettig from UBA are two experts who work at the Environmental Specimen Bank of the federal government. They are joined by Birgitt Heinicke, a former UBA staff member who comes from Wolfen.


The jury members selecting the scholarship recipients are Ursula Ströbele (art historian, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte), Peggy Buth (Professor for Photography, Kunsthochschule Kassel), Burghard Duhm (Bauhaus Dessau Foundation), Ludwig Haugk (Kulturpark e.V.) and Fotini Mavromati (UBA).


As part of the cooperation, the UBA provides a scholarship for two months in addition to connecting them to the tandem partners. The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation provides accommodation in the studio building and a workroom as well as the use of the library. Kulturpark e.V. supports the scholarship recipients in their work and will arrange for the presentation of their work at the OSTEN festival.


The recently launched OSTEN festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Saxony-Anhalt) brings together contemporary positions from the visual arts, theatre and artistic research in July 2022. The background to the festival, which is organised by Kulturpark e.V., is the idea of recasting the image of eastern Germany in a network of cultural institutions, artists and local actors. The specific features of the history, landscape and social structure in the East become an occasion to reflect on questions that go beyond the local level.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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