Schering Stiftung


Photo: Sergey Chuprin, unsplash


Have We Taken Leave of Our Senses?

Photo: Sergey Chuprin, unsplash


Have We Taken Leave of Our Senses?


July 11, 2024, 7–9 p.m.


Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Markgrafenstraße 38
10117 Berlin

Registration via this link.

The event is in German.

Images of conflicts and crises define our everyday lives. Sometimes it seems we need them to be “in the picture”; sometimes we feel inundated or overwhelmed by them. How do images from war zones influence our seeing habits, perceptions, and emotions?

In Terror. Wenn Bilder zu Waffen werden (2017; Terror: When Images Becomes Weapons [2020]), Prof. Dr. Charlotte Klonk examines what role images of terror have played from the nineteenth century to the present day. Using specific case studies and with an art historian’s trained eye, she maps out the visual strategies, places them in historical context, and addresses the pressing question of how to deal with images of terror in an ethical way. In his many novels and essays, the writer and poet Marcel Beyer asks how today’s writers can respond to the media coverage of war. His most recent publication, Die tonlosen Stimmen beim Anblick der Toten auf den Straßen von Butscha (The silent voices when seeing the dead on the streets of Bucha, 2023), focuses on the attack on Ukraine as a historical turning point – not just for politics and society but also for storytelling. What are the ethical questions involved in media reporting? How can we learn and practice to deal with images in an ethical way? How can storytelling help give a voice to images that are silent witnesses of events?

These questions as well as the importance and impact of images in our society will be discussed in a moderated conversation. The two guests, Prof. Dr. Charlotte Klonk and Marcel Beyer, will offer brief insights into their research and work, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Stephanie Rohde, a renowned science journalist with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

The conversation will then be opened up to the audience. We warmly invite you to use this opportunity to actively participate in the discussion.

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our panel guests 

Marcel Beyer, born 1965, lived in Cologne before moving to Dresden in 1996. He writes poems, essays, novels, and libretti; his writing is often inspired by images, in particular photographs, for example in Das blindgeweinte Jahrhundert. Bild und Ton (2017). His most recent publication is Die tonlosen Stimmen beim Anblick der Toten auf den Straßen von Butscha (2023), based on the media coverage of Russia’s large-scale attack on Ukraine.


Charlotte Klonk is Professor of Art and New Media at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She studied art history in Germany and the UK and completed her Ph.D. at Cambridge in 1992 with a thesis on British landscape painting and scientific images circa 1800. She subsequently worked for a year as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Gent and then held a Research Fellowship at Christ Church College in Oxford. From 1995 until 2005, she was a lecturer in the Department of Art History at the University of Warwick and a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin, and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. She is currently working on the role and importance of images in democracies. Her most recent publications include Revolution im Rückwärtsgang. Der 6. Januar 2021 und die Bedeutung der Bilder (2022) and Terror. Wenn Bilder zu Waffen werden (2017; published in English translation as Terror: When Images Become Weapons [2020]).



This Project is realized in cooperation with the following partners:

Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften



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Schering Stiftung

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