Silent University Ruhr

Which knowledge do we permit and where are the limits of free exchange? The Silent University, initiated by Kurdish artist Ahmet Öğüt, is an autonomous platform to exchange knowledge for academics who are unable to pass on their know-how and competence as teachers as a result of their residence status or the non-recognition of their qualifications. It enables knowledge which has been silenced to be heard once again. The participants work together to develop the content of courses which are appropriate to their professional qualifications and their thoughts as refugees or asylum seekers and which liberate them from the role of waiting without a voice.

Founded by Impulse Theater Festival, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr and Urbane Künste Ruhr, the Silent University Ruhr took up residence in summer 2015 in the clearly visible location of the so-called “dezentrale” in the center of Mülheim, inventing itself as an alternative Ruhr University for everyone with no or little access to education and the transfer of knowledge. In recent months it has forged many links with initiatives and societies in the Ruhr region as well as with the relevant departments of the city of Mülheim. The Silent University Ruhr is a long-term project with its own rhythm – public where possible and a protected space where necessary. Internal events alternate with public courses. Lectures and seminars are often held in the teacher’s mother tongue – reversing the prevailing rules of exclusion and inclusion. The lectures are also translated and made accessible on the website shared with the other Silent Universities in Amman, Athens, Hamburg, London and Stockholm.

The current program of events and further information can be found at

Alle Informationen zum Netzwerk aller Silent Universitys finden unter

A comprehensive report on the Silent University can be found on the webpages of the Goethe institute.

To coincide with the Impulse Festival 2016 Sternberg Press also published a comprehensive book on the Silent University with essays and interviews on the lost knowledge of refugees, critical or radical approaches to new pedagogy and reports from the Silent Universities which currently exist in Amman, Athens, Hamburg, London, Mülheim/Ruhr and Stockholm.

Leineweberstraße 15-17
45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr