Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien | Guilty, guilty, guilty! Towards a Feminist Criminology
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien | Guilty, guilty, guilty! Towards a Feminist Criminology
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Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien

Guilty, guilty, guilty! Towards a Feminist Criminology

November 12, 2022–February 19, 2023


Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2
10997 Berlin
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–8pm,
Thursday–Saturday 10am–10pm



The group exhibition Guilty, guilty, guilty! Towards a Feminist Criminology undertakes a feminist assessment of jurisdictional power. The focus is on “women on trial”—female artists, “bad mothers,” women defendants and women plaintiffs on a rather lost cause. In this context, the courtroom does not only appear as a site of legal assessment, but primarily as a space in which a political or ideological image of women is always implicitly negotiated and constructed. What else, beyond the juridical paragraphs, is debated here? And how can we render this hidden discourse visible?


“The face of war is unwomanly” stated journalist Svetlana Alexievich in her a seminal book of the same title, and the same seems to apply to the juridical history of female delinquency, women’s lawbreaking, and “unlawful” resistance. As sociologist Carol Smart has argued since the late 1970s, there is striking lack when it comes to assessing a female criminology, and even more so if we dare to think of it as a feminist criminology. To fathom the latter is one of the aims of this project.


Utilizing a diverse range of methods and forms, including sound, film, collage, installation, research-based works, and activist practices, the artists will navigate through the juridical and bureaucratic sphere, consider alternative evidence, and reflect on double standards. They consider the trials of female concentration camp guards in postwar Germany (Dominique Hurth), the case of a Palestinian underage girl detained at the gateway of an Israeli settlement (Roee Rosen), the fatal stabbing of Marwa El-Sherbini at the Dresden court (Noa Gur), the hunting down of terrorist Patricia Hearst (Dennis Adams), and the precarious conditions of queer youth in American juvenile detention centers (Sam Richardson, Krystal Shelley and Shevaun Wright, conceived by Suzana Milevska). They also address legal constructs of femininity and motherhood (Barbara Breitenfellner, Susanne Sachsse), the distribution of guilt in divorce and child custody trials (Nika Dubrovsky, Ekaterina Shelganova), as well as the particular case of the Zwi Migdal transatlantic coerced prostitution mafia (Galit Eilat). They ultimately and importantly (Rüzgâr Buşki, İpek Duben) consider cases of killings in self-defense – and those who were not able to defend themselves.


The common grounds remain the respective attempt to relocate the conviction of “being guilty” in the social and political conditions. Guilty of murder, or guilty of being alive? Guilty of breaking the law, or guilty of breaking it “unwomanly”?


Guilty, guilty, guilty! Towards a Feminist Criminology responds to these questions in two ways. First, by providing access to a specific storage of “feminist knowledge” of the accused female that is usually excluded from view or silenced in dusty mountains of files. More importantly, by creating a sense of coherence and solidarity between otherwise parceled, uprooted, or assumingly singular incidents of female disobedience—as a major key to a feminist reading of the law.


Public programming


Thursday, November 24, 2022, 7pm
Rüzgâr Buşki in conversation with Yasemin Çakal and Nayuk (Nazlı Mayuk)
In the context of the International Day for the Eliminiation of Violence against Women
Kunstraum Kreuzberg


Thursday, January 12, 2023, 7pm
Dominique Hurth
Reading, Private handbags may not be carried to the field. Notes on the Aufseherin Uniform
Kunstraum Kreuzberg


Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 7pm
Roee Rosen, Kafka for Kids
German premiere of the film Kafka for Kids (Rosen, 2022, 111 minutes) in presence of the artist, moderated by Margarita Tsomou, introduction: Sonja Lau 
HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1)


Sunday, February 19, 2023, 7pm
Buchpremiere / Catalogue Launch Guilty, guilty, guilty!
Kunstraum Kreuzberg


Curated by: Sonja Lau
Curatorial Assistant: Shohreh Shakoory


Participating artists and theoreticians: Dennis Adams, Barbara Breitenfellner, Rüzgâr Buşki, İpek Duben, Nika Dubrovsky, Galit Eilat, Noa Gur, Dominique Hurth, Kwiekulik, Suzana Milevska in collaboration with Sam Richardson, Krystal Shelley and Shevaun Wright, Roee Rosen, Susanne Sachsse, Ekaterina Shelganova


In acknowledgement of, among many others: Marianne Bachmeier, Yasemin Çakal, Çilem Doğan, Patricia Hearst, Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan, Marwa El-Sherbini, Nevin Yıldırım


Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien is an organisation of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg District Council.


The project is funded by Senate Department for Culture and Europe: the Capital Cultural Fund (HKF) and Exhibition Fund Municipal Galleries.


Made possible with the kind support of Institut Français, Berlin; Tarabya Cultural Academy, Istanbul; Danila-Freitag, Agency for the Performing Arts; and the Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme.