Two Berliners to be new honorary doctors at the University of Gothenburg

Thomas Ostermeier, theatre director and artistic director for the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin, and Hito Steyerl, artist, filmmaker and Professor of Experimental Film and Video at the Berlin University of the Arts, have been appointed as honorary doctors at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

“Hito Steyerl and Thomas Ostermeier are both highly reputable artists in their respective fields and we are greatly honoured and delighted that they are both going to be honorary doctors at our Faculty,” says Sanne Kofod Olsen, Dean of the Faculty.

Hito Steyerl, Professor of Experimental Film and Video at the Berlin University of the Arts in Berlin, is a filmmaker, writer and artist whose research focuses on media, technology and the distribution and utilisation of images in a digital and global world.

Many of her films have gained considerable attention, of which Factory of the Sun, How to Not Be Seen, and Lovely Andrea are among the most well-known. Her art works have been exhibited at museums and exhibitions around the world, as well as at a number of the world’s most prominent art biennials. For her contributions to the field, she has also been awarded the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival Award, and the EYE Prize. Hito Steyerl has published a number of books, and is also the co-founder of the Research Center for Proxy Politics at the Berlin University of the Arts.  

“In her art, Hito Steyerl explores highly topical and important issues, such as surveillance, migration, militarisation, and the role of the media in an ever-globalised world. Her work as a pioneer is significant in the development of the role of the artist, and film art as a format,” says Sanne Kofod Olsen.

Hito Steyerl’s work has been included in our teaching at Valand Academy on a number of occasions, and she was also one of the artists who took part in the events that were arranged by our Faculty at the Venice Biennale in 2015. 

“Hito Steyerl’s work is of relevance to many of our study courses and programmes as well as to our fields of research in:  Film, Photography, Literary Composition, Fine Arts, and Crafts. It is our hope that the collaborative efforts we have established will be enhanced through this opportunity.”    

Thomas Ostermeier – the face of modern German theatre
Theatre director, Thomas Ostermeier, who has also been the artistic director for the Schaubühne theatre in Berlin since the year 2000, is considered one of Europe’s most prominent directors. He has been called “The face of modern German theatre”.

He is most well-known for his acclaimed productions of Hedda Gabler, Shopping and Fucking, and Hamlet – and has also won numerous awards for his productions. When he was awarded the Golden Lion for life achievements as a director at the 2011 Venice Biennale, he was the youngest person ever to receive this award. Thomas Ostermeier is also one of the artistic directors for the Avignon Festival. He has published a number of books, the most recent of which is The Theatre of Thomas Ostermeier – where he writes about his method when staging dramatic texts.

Thomas Ostermeier’s works are shaped and formed through his committed social engagement, and with a blend of theatrical expressions unique to him. He has had great significance for the development of performing art.

The Academy of Music and Drama (which is one of the three Departments at our Faculty) has previously taken part in collaborations with Thomas Ostermeier through Prospero, the international performing arts network.

“It is our hope that deeper collaborations with Thomas Ostermeier, together with the Gothenburg City Theatre/Göteborgs stadsteater, will be enabled, and that our students and staff will gain the opportunity to share in Thomas Ostermeier’s knowledge and experience, as well as learn more about the methods he writes about in his latest book,” says Sanne Kofod Olsen. 

Contact persons:

  • Catharina Bergil, Academy of Music and Drama (regarding questions related to Ostermeier), phone: +46 76 858 12 47, e-mail: catharina.bergil@hsm.gu.se
  • Troes Degn Johansson, Valand Academy (regarding questions related to Hito Steyerl), phone: +46 76−618 22 31, e-mail: troels.degn.johansson@gu.se

Pia Ahnlund
Communications Officer
e-mail: pia.ahnlund@gu.se
phone: +46 31 786 68 17, +46 76 618 68 17

University of Gothenburg is one of the major universities in Europe, with about 47 500 students and a staff of 6 400. Its eight faculties offer training in the Creative Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Education, Information Technology, Business, Economics and Law, and Health Sciences. The University’s unique breadth in education and research provides an interdisciplinary environment conducive to collaboration with private enterprise and public institutions. The quality of the University has earned recognition in the form of numerous awards, including a Nobel Prize, and a steady stream of applicants at all levels.

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Hito Steyerl and Thomas Ostermeier are both highly reputable artists in their respective fields and we are greatly honoured and delighted that they are both going to be honorary doctors at our Faculty.
Sanne Kofod Olsen, Dean of the Faculty