In fall 2021, Schauspiel Köln will be part of the nationwide initiative KEIN SCHLUSSSTRICH! in which cultural institutions from 13 cities have joined together to artistically adress the acts and background of the so-called NSU throughout Germany. Involved are actors in the cities that were and are directly affected by the NSU-complex: the cities in which ten citizens - Enver Şimşek, Abdurrahim Özüdoğru, Süleyman Taşköprü, Habil Kılıç, Mehmet Turgut, İsmail Yaşar, Theodoros Boulgarides, Mehmet Kubaşik, Halit Yozgat und Michèle Kiesewetter – were murdered by racists. Also cities where perpetrators of the NSU grew up, resided or found support are part of the project. It aims to bring the perspectives of the victimes‘ families and the migrant communities into the public focus and expose racist structures in our society. At Schauspiel Köln the project is based on four pillars.


Exhibition on the NSU complex
The multilingual travel exhibition OPEN PROCESS, curated by Ayşe Güleç and Fritz Laszlo Weber form ASA-FF e.V. in Chemnitz, will be on view in the foyer of the Schauspiel Köln during the entire project period of three weeks. It illustrates migrant knowledge of the NSU complex through artistic work that deal with racism in its various facets and focus on practices of resistance. With the approach of a »living memory«, it brings marginalized perspectives into focus. In addition the exhibition takes aim at structural an institutional racism.

With works by Želimir Žilnik, Harun Farocki, Thanh Nguyen Phuong, Sefa Defterli, Forensic Architecture, belit sağ, the initiative 12th August and a work on Oury Jalloh.

21 OKT - 07 NOV
THU-SAT 5.00 pm & SUN 12.00 pm


A documentary by Andreas Maus
The film tells the story of the nail bomb attack outside a turkish hair salon in Cologne‘s Keupstraße on 9th June 2004, focusing on the consequences for the victims and their relatives, who were investigated as the main suspects for years.
The film reconstructs the police investigation on the basis of the interrogation protocols, it becomes obvious that the victims were the main possible perpetrators for the police. A xenophobic motive was largely omitted. Years later the attack was allocated to the so-called National Socialist Underground (NSU). 2015 I 92 min

Afterwards, talk with Abdulla Özkan (Affected by the attack), Karmen Frankl (Artist, Keupstraße ist überall), Andreas Maus (director) Moderation: Stawrula Panagiotaki (Dramaturgin, Schauspiel Köln)
21 OKT • 7.30 pm


To the exhibiton »Open Process«
Direction: Saliha Shagasi, David Vogel & Burak Şengüler
According to the motto » Listen, Deepen, Get active « we approach the exhibiton of »OPEN PROCESS« with selected exhibits of contemporary artists with migrant situated knowledge. We listen to the artists, their work and voices, deepen our knowledge on the NSU complex, of power and racist structures in Germany and discuss how we can be active. The 90-minute workshop is made to help with orientation in the exhibition and to impart extra knowledge about the NSU complex in a playful way. Recommended for all ages 12 and up.

24 OKT • 1.00 pm
24 OKT • 3.00 pm
in german and turkish language
31 OKT • 1.00 pm
31 OKT • 3.00 pm
in german and turkish language

Next Generation

Meeting place for teenagers and young adults
Direction: Karmen Frankl & Saliha Shagasi
During this 3-hour evening actors from the Keupstraße will meet the next generation: teenagers and young adults from the Import Export Collective from Schauspiel Köln, the Jugendladen Keupstraße will exchange ideas. Questions we want to ask during this evening: Is trauma hereditary? How can we stand in solidarity with the bereaved? How does the urgency for anti-racist activism and solidarity with trauma differ from 2004 to today? Is it different at all? Recommended for all from 14 years.
26 OKT • 6.00 - 9.00 pm • Café Paradies
in german and turkish language


Procession over Keupstraße with end in Carlsgarten
MANIFEST(O) is a transmedial and participative Oratorio of the composer Marc Sinan. It will be performed at seven key locations across Germany were the so-called NSU committed acts of violence. Marc Sinan created the polytopic oratorio MANİFEST(O) with the participation of international artists and local actors. Parts of the evening will be digitally transferred from seven cities, including Cologne, to Jena and Nuremberg where they merge precisely into the live performed Oratorio which was compose for KEIN SCHLUSSSTRICH!

The Cologne part of the project, entitled THE CHOIR OF FORGIVENESS / AFFETME KOROSU, includes a procession on Keupstraße with the participation of the following choirs: Mixdur, Chor Unerhört, Chor der Burg Disternich, Chor der TH Köln, Die Liederlinge und dem Türkischen Gesangsverein Leverkusen under the overall management of Niklas Genschel
28 OKT • 7.00 pm


Discussion Evening
Racist attacks against Roma and Sinti are a daily occurrence in Germany. The experiences of the people concerned are invisible in the public discours. There have been no comprehensive studies until 2021, when the report of the » Independent Commission Antiziganism « was published and funded by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The issues that need to be negotiated are manifold: it is about historical racist continuities, police violence, asylum law, experiences of racism in everyday life, at work, in housing, education or access to the health system. Some of these issues will be made visible on this panel through the perspective of affected people. The Cologne area will be observed but also a greater overall view on Germany.

With: Fatima Hartmann (Activist, Founding member of Rom e.V. Köln), Gianni Jovanovic (Activist, Performer), Isidora Randjelović (Director of the feminist Roma archive) / Moderation: Nadine Michollek (Journalist).
29 OKT • 7.00 pm

The memorial on Keupstraße

Discussion evening
Supported by the performing arts fund with funds from the commissioners for culture and media
Within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR

The building of the memorial on the Keupstraße/Schanzenstraße area commemorating the racially motivated bombings by the so-called NSU in Probsteigasse (2001) and on Keupstraße (2004) was approved in June 2021. While there are already places of remembrance in other german cities where the Nazi network had committed murder, there is no such place in Cologne yet. For a long time there was no agreement on the part of the city and the investor group and thus no assurance of the place. This was despite the fact that with the memorial design of the artist Ulf Aminde, an approved plan was already available since 2015 and initiatives and individuals repeatedly pointed out the urgent need for the building of this memorial. The discussion aims to find out which function the memorial takes over in the urban discourse, how a sustainable confrontation with structural racism, right-wing terror and state violence is promoted by the memorial and learning site, and what a continuous augmented reality performance of the memorial by the "next generation" might look like? A generation for whom structural racism is part of the reality of life and often represents a continuation of the racism experiences of parents and grandparents.

With: Ulf Aminde (Artist), Kutlu Yurtseven (Co-founder of the initiative Keupstraße is everywhere), N.N. Moderation: İdil Baydar (Actress, cabaret artist)
30 OKT • 6.00 - 7.30 pm


Discussion Evening
Death lists, death threats, right-wing groups stockpiling ammunition and body bags to take over power in Germany on »Day X«. These are not confused single perpetrator who are acting there. The groups are named: »NSU 2.0«, »Hannibal«, »Westkreuz« or »Gruppe S« and they consist of connected perpetrators who act partly with the support of the german security authorities such as the police, the german armed forces, special forces or constitutional protection. How can right-wing extremist connections be identified and made visible? How can right-wing networks within German state institutions be combated? The participants of the talk will discuss these questions and tell about their experiences.

With: Seda Başay-Yıldız (Lawyer, joint plaintiff for Enver Şimşek) + Dirk Laabs (Author und Journalist) und Nuran David Calis (Director and Author) Moderation: Ferda Ataman (Journalist, Author und Co-founder Neue deutsche Medienmacher*innen)
30 OKT • 7.45 - 9.15 pm

Microphone Mafia

Welcome guests and meanwhile one of the oldest active hiphop acts in Germany: Mikrophone Mafia - always political, always good!
30 OKT • 9.00 pm


by Nuran David Calis
Editing of the production »Die Lücke« (2014)
2021 marks the 17th anniversary of the nail bomb attack in Keupstraße in 2004. The bomb injured 22 people strongly, several were hurt life-threatening. For many years the following was determined exclusively among residents. Victims and relatives of the attack were seen as possible perpetrators and indications that the attack was racially motivated were in part actively concealed by the police investigators. Director Nuran David Calis developed with three local residents and three ensemble members the play DIE LÜCKE, to let the people whose lives were deeply threaten by the attack have their say. At the premiere of DIE LÜCKE the process against the members of the so called national socialist underground in Munich just begun. It took five years and it ended with a devastating result for the relatives of the victims because many codefendants got light penalties, some of them were released immediately after the end of the trial.

In DIE LÜCKE 2.0, an adaptation of the original production, the three people affected from the Keupstraße are interviewed again after seven years.

With: Ismet Büyük, Ayfer Sentürk Demir, Stefko Hanushevsky, Kristin Steffen, Kutlu Yurtseven
Direction: Nuran David Calis, Stage: Anne Ehrlich, Costumes: Amelie von Bülow, Music: Vivan Bhatti, Video: Sterntaler Film / Adrian Figueroa, Dramaturgy: Thomas Laue, Stawrula Panagiotaki
05 NOV • 8.00 pm
06 NOV • 8.00 pm

Only courage, Only anger

Empowerment-Workshop for BIPoC
Direction: Bassam Ghazi & Ella Steinmann
In this workshop BIPoC are invited to take time out from dispute about right-wing and racial discrimination. We provide a safe space where we can exchange and share empowering skills. We will try different strategies to strengthen our selves. "It is not differences that paralyze us, but silence." This phrase from Audre Lord can be encouraging to break through silence, shed powerlessness, and move into action. In this spirit, we remain vigilant and ally ourselves to strengthen our own resources and share visions with one another.
04 NOV • 5.00 - 8.00 pm
in german and turkish language

Mark Terkessidis:
The post-imperial labor market

Seasonal and »guest« labor in the context of German imperialism
The idea of postcolonialism has only been applied to labor migration to Germany by a few pioneering works. Even though the connection is obvious - starting with the Polish seasonal workers in the German Empire up to the recruitment agreements of the 1950s and 1960s with Greece, Yugoslavia, Morocco or Turkey, migration movements were almost always preceded by colonial or imperial efforts. However, expansion efforts have not always aimed at direct land gains, but dependence through »economic penetration« and »moral conquest« . A thoroughly complicated panorama, but it is worth developing the idea of the postcolonial by using the example of labor migration to Germany.
06 NOV • 4.00 - 4.45 pm

Rascism never stops?

Continuities of Right-Wing Violence in Germany
Hanau, Halle, Kassel, Chemnitz - in all these places racist murders have taken place recently. In the context of KEIN SCHLUSSSTRICH and the confrontation with the acts of the so-called NSU, racist continuities in Germany as well as the relationship between institutional racism and right-wing extremism will be discussed during this event. With people affected by racism, better known and less known cases of the last 50 years will be negotiated, because "in no other Western European country is the number of right-wing extremist attacks, acts of violence and murders as high as in Germany." (Quent, Matthias 2020). At the same time, the panelists also discuss long-standing resistances and possibilities for solidarity.

With: Vanessa Eileen Thompson (sociologist with focus on racism), N.N., + N.N. Moderation: Aurora Rodonò (cultural scientist)
06 NOV • 5.00 - 6.30 pm

The bookcase tour

A reading by students of the Hölderlin-Gymnasium
Students from our cooperation school, the Hölderlin-Gymnasium in Cologne Mülheim, show playful examples from their school's racism-critical project days. They talk about experiences of discrimination and racism, their hopes and the results of their creative examination of the »Place for All«. In the project lessons, older students act as tutors and guide the younger grades to playfully deal with racism and resistance, also within themselves. In the past, some students were in Munich at the NSU trial and participated in the NSU tribunal here at SCHAUSPIEL KÖLN with the presentation of their app "Migration and Racism in Cologne-Mülheim".
Part of the reading will also be excerpts from »A Very Ordinary Jew« by Charles Lewinsky with the actor Andreas Schmid (Theaterkunst Köln). The play focuses on the lives of Holocaust survivors after the end of World War II in Germany.
06 NOV • 3 pm
Cooperation partners

The second attack

Racist Violence in Germany.
An indictment of those affected
A movie by Mala Reinhardt
For decades, racist riots, attacks and murders have been repeated with frightening continuity in the Federal Republic of Germany.
DER ZWEITE ANSCHLAG (The Second Attack) documents the perspective of those affected by this violence, which has received little attention to date, and places them at the center of attention. In in-depth interviews, the film develops a precise picture of the sometimes traumatic experiences that the protagonists of the film went through. Osman Taşköprü recounts the murder of his brother Süleyman, committed by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in Hamburg in 2001. Ibrahim Arslan describes his memories of the racist arson attack in Mölln in 1992, which he himself barely survived, and Mai Phương Kollath himself lived in Rostock-Lichtenhagen when the Sunflower House was set on fire by neo-Nazis there to the applause of hundreds of onlookers.
DER ZWEITE ANSCHLAG brings together these and other stories of those affected in a multi-layered narrative and opens up a detailed insight into the struggle of migrant communities against racism in Germany.

07 NOV • 7.30 - 8.30 pm
Kulturbunker Mülheim