Reshaping the City’s Identity through Culture


28 Feb | Michael Shindhelm talks about a city's culture as an ecological system and its role in reshaping a city's identity, focussing on Dubai and Hong Kong.

The city’s culture is a delicate and sensitive ecological system, which responds to immigration and emigration, to gentrification and tourism, and to economic downturns and upswings, often with unforeseeable consequences. Furthermore, the history of its population, and the legends and anecdotes illustrating their specific character all form the substance from which concepts designed to attract tourists or capital can be formulated.

Due to their economic specifics, their particular demographics, or their climate conditions, some emerging cities exemplify the laboratory-like character of the city of today and tomorrow. Life in these cities significantly heightens the contradictions and assumptions about the future, and lays bare processes that often remain invisible in “traditional” cities.

This talk will focus on cases in Dubai and Hong Kong.

The speaker

Michael Schindhelm was born in Eisenach (former East Germany), and based in Lugano and London. He studied Quantum Chemistry in Voronezh (former Soviet Union) and is a writer, filmmaker, researcher and teacher. His credentials include:

  • CEO of Theatre Basel (1996 – 2006)
  • Founding Director General Opera Foundation Berlin (2005 – 07)
  • Founding Director Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, UAE (2007 – 09)
  • Cultural advisor in Dubai, Muscat, Hong Kong, Beijing, Moscow, Zurich, Singapore (present)

Most recent films
Bird’s Nest – Herzog & de Meuron in China, 2008
The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg, 2016

Most recent books
Dubai High, Arabian Publishing, London, 2011
Lavapolis, Sternberg Press, Brlin/New York, 2014
Happy Tropics 1, Zurich, 2017
Letzter Vorhang, Theater der Zeit, Berlin, 2017

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Wed Jun 28 12:40:12 CEST 2017
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