Art in the Underground 2019: Up in Arms


15th of September – 31th of December 2019
As a reaction to the accelerating growth of the global arms industry and the controversial changes to restrictions in German weapons exports, this year’s edition of the competition »Art in the Underground« takes place under the title »Up in Arms« (“protesting vigorously against something”). It seeks to focus on and make the structures of arms trade in Berlin transparent through the means of art.
Berlin here is taken as a case study for the global arms industry. A city normally connected with culture, broad-mindedness and history, yet at the same time, Berlin is a center of political power playing an important, but often-overlooked or plainly ignored role in the German as well as the global weapons industry. The project will highlight this by mapping spots, historical as well as present day, related to the system of arms trade with artistic interventions. Art will thereby be given room to fulfill its potential for being up in arms.
The political role of art has been central to the competition since the first edition in 1958. The original motivation and topic for the first edition – open for graphic artists from the DDR – was the political tensions surrounding rearmament and the fear of a new war. The competition was in 1982 for similar reasons taken up again: the arms race was reaching new highs and thus with it the need for artistic reactions or protests. This year’s edition of »Art in the Underground« can therefore be seen as a reminiscence of the link to peace-project which brought the competition into life. Since the attacks of 9/11 global arms trade has grown by more than fifty percent 1, marking a new chapter in the issue of weapons and disarmament. In such a moment, the need for artistic intervention, engagement and resistance re-emerges with pressing relevance.
This year’s edition of »Art in the Underground«, with the title »Up in Arms«, aims to do this by dedicating itself to a critical examination of the arms industry. The art works will mark important spots for the arms industry, both historical and present-day, and thereby make the economic and political structures of the trade visible. The artistic interventions will be accompanied by guided city tours focusing on the arms industry’s intense lobby-ism and by an online city map with information and research on those main actors who are situated in Berlin. The interplay of the different parts of the art project seeks to cast a light for the public on the dimensions and consequences of the industry.
Alexis Dworsky »Fitte Kadenz«
14th of September 2019 from 16:30

Starting and ending at: Platz der Luftbrücke, Tempelhof Airport main entrance

15th of September 2019 from 16:30

Starting and ending at:  The entrance to U6 Stadtmitte underground station, opposite Friedrichstraße 60

27th of September 2019 from 17:30

Starting and ending at: Kunstquartier Bethanien, Mariannenplatz 2
20th of September – October 2019
Billboards behind the tracks in the U7 Fehrbelliner Platz underground station
(20th of September – 21st of October 2019)
Billboards behind the tracks in the U8 Kottbusser Tor underground station
(1st – 31st of October 2019)
Stephanie Hanna »Worauf basiert Frieden? [What is peace based on?]«
15th of September – 15th of November 2019
Platz der Luftbrücke, Tempelhof Airport main entrance
Miro Kaygalak »Dual-Use«
15th of September – end of December 2019
Billboards behind the tracks in the U6 Paradestraße and Platz der Luftbrücke underground stations
Beatrice Schuett Moumdjian
»Forensic Excavations Inventory or The Total Deconstruction of an Armenian Family«
15th of September – 4th of November 2019
Billboards behind the tracks U6 Stadtmitte underground station
21st of September – 25th of November 2019
TOURS with LobbyControl
On Saturdays and Sundays, 14:00
DE: 21st, 22nd, 28th of Sept | 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 27th of Oct | 2nd, 3rd, 25th of Nov
EN: 29th of Sept | 5th, 20th, 26th of Oct
Further information and images on
nGbK project group:
Ayşe Güngör, Cassandra Mehlhorn, Gabriela Seith, Amalie Sølling-Jørgensen, Johanna Werner
Project coordination: Naomi Hennig
More Informationen to the »Art in the Underground« OPEN CALL (closed) here:
»Art in the Underground« is a project realized by:

Financed by:

Senate Department for Culture and Europe – Art in Urban Space
Supported by:


Left Image: Former Airport Tempelhof - Platz der Luftbrücke 5, 12101 Berlin: A place for military parades in the 18th and 19th century as well as a production place for armament in the time of National Socialism