Common Ground UdK

Who we are:

Common Ground is a student initiative focusing on supporting social art projects that foster collaboration between students, refugees, and disadvantaged internationals. Through these projects, Common Ground aims to break down internal institutional barriers and promote inclusivity. It fosters networking opportunities between the administration, students, initiatives, and artists who share similar interests.

At the core of Common Ground's mission is the belief that universities should be spaces free from fear, where experiences of exclusion are acknowledged and addressed without exception. Common Ground advocates for democratic principles, equality, tolerance, and actively opposes racism and discrimination. It promotes critical discourse and interaction among the university's diverse student body and members, striving to create an environment that values and respects all individuals equally.

What we do:

Common Ground’s members act as a consultant body for current and prospective students in areas like applying to UdK and students' concerns. Additionally, Common Ground organizes workshops to volume the student voice and advocate for inclusivity and anti-discriminatory with expertises.

Each year, the group organizes social art projects by, with, and for people who have experienced migration. Over the past nine years, these included exhibitions, performances, film screenings, music jam sessions, workshops, and reading groups, among others.

The support comes through establishing helpful contacts with students, artists, and other professionals, such as StuPa (Student Parliament), AStA (Allgemeiner Studierendenausschuss), Studierendenberatung, the International Office, the Studium Generale and the Artist Training. The student initiative received funding from the DAAD and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the efforts of the International Office.

Common Ground Studio

Since 2020, Common Ground runs the Common Ground Studio (CGS), offering access to UdK Berlin’s Institute of Fine Arts for disadvantaged individuals. Selected participants join specialist artistic classes for an academic year (October to July) as guest auditors. They engage in class meetings, studio projects, and receive guidance from professors. The year in the Studio is spent developing each participant’s art practice, encountering students, lecturers, professors; with the members of Common Ground acting as leaders, mentors and organizers. A further goal of the CGS is to create exhibition formats and workshops for participants from every cohort to work and collaborate together.

The CGS enriches the university with diverse perspectives from talented individuals facing structural inequalities - intervening against mechanisms of exclusivity and institutional temporality and normativity. We aim to open up the guest auditor+ to other UdK campuses such as HZT in the near future.

Our Space

In 2024, Common Ground launched ”Our Space” project, an in-person meeting series designed by and for students of UdK and published online as a podcast. This project emerges in response to recent challenges within our community, offering a platform for constructive dialogue and exploration. With a focus on fostering inclusivity and amplifying diverse perspectives, "Our Space" endeavours to cultivate an environment where every voice is valued and heard. Our debut episode delves into the nuanced topics of Equality & Equity, engaging listeners in a social experiment aimed at broadening understanding and promoting empathy. Featuring esteemed guest Alejandra Nieves Camacho, UdK's Diversity Manager, each installment of "Our Space" is meticulously crafted to inspire meaningful conversation and promote a culture of mutual respect. As a student-led initiative, Common Ground is dedicated to supporting and empowering both current and prospective members of the UdK community through meaningful discourse and advocacy.


Consulting in person is possible on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 

but please write us an email to set the time (as we are students too).

Our office is at Bundesallee 1-12, 10719 Berlin

Room 161

Common Ground Studio

support program for artists who fled to or are exiled in Germany. It offers access to the Institute of Fine Arts at the Berlin University of the Arts. Each participant is given an opportunity to take part in one of the specialist classes (Fachklasse) as a guest for one academic year. 

first round: December 2020 to mid-July 2021

second round: October 2021 to mid-July 2022. 

third round: October 2022 to mid-July 2023

fourth round: October 2023 to mid-July 2024

Group exhibition:

Dec 22 2022 - Hardenbergstr. 33. 10623 Berlin

Group exhibition:

Dec 7 2023 - Hardenbergstr. 33. 10623 Berlin

The Common Ground Studio residency in the UdK. From May 15th to May 28th 2023 in the Eingangshalle of Hardenbergstr. 33.

Our archive 2019-2024


1. How to study at UdK - 26 November 2019 

Room 150 , Hadenbergstraße 33, 10623 Berlin 

2. Mappen Beratung at UdK - 11 December 2019

Hadenbergstraße 33, 10623 Berlin

3. “How to make a portfolio”, Workshop for the newcomers - 05 February 2020

Room 110, Hadenbergstraße 33, 10623 Berlin

4. How to Study Music at UdK Berlin? - 14 September 2020, online

5. How to Study Performing Arts and Dance Courses at UdK Berlin? - 21 September 2020

6. How To Study Design, Art & Media, Visual Communication, and Architecture - 19 October 2020, online

7. How To Study Fine Arts in UdK - 09 November 2020, online

8. Collaboration with @floatinguniversity - June-September 2021. 

Group readings of texts from the field of Critical Refugee Studies & related activities, such as film screenings, discussions, and creative collabs.

9. Moderating a ‘Plant and Cultivate the Seeds - Rethinking, Reshaping and Reclaiming the Learning Practices’ panel discussion - 12 November 2021

10. Queer & Migrant Narratives - 14 December 2021

Bi’bak / SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA / Screenings + Q&A / Performance by QueerBerg

11. Portents of Climate Displacement - 25 January 2022

Bi’bak / SİNEMA TRANSTOPIA / Screenings / Performance

12. Precarities of migrant work, screenings - 29 March 2022

13. How to Study Music at UdK Berlin? - 6 May 2022

14. How to Study Performing Arts & Dance at UdK Berlin? - 10 May 2022

15. How to Study Design, Art & Media, Visual Communication, and Architecture in UdK? - 17 May 2022

16. How to Study Fine Arts in UdK? - 24 May 2022

17. How to Study at UdK Berlin? Guest Auditor+  - 6 April 2023, Online-Session

18. How to Study Fine Arts at UdK Berlin? - 26 April 2023, Café Hardenbergstr. 33
19. How to Study Design, Art & Media, (Visual) Communication and Architecture at UdK Berlin? - 31 May 2023
20. How to Study Music at UdK Berlin?  - 28 June 2023
21. How to Study Performing Arts and Dance? - 12 July 2023

22. How to Study at UdK Berlin? - 8 November 2023, Online-Session 

23. How to Study at UdK Berlin? - 29 November 2023, Bundesallee 1-12, Raum 340

24. How to Study at UdK Berlin? - 31 January 2024, Online

25. How to Study at UdK Berlin: Guest Auditor+ - 27 March 2024, Online


Open calls, engagement 

2. We’re looking for artists & writers to join us in the making of a publication marking 5 years of Common Ground, and 5 years since Angela Merkel's statement "Wir schaffen das".


In the past years, Common Ground offered financial (up to 500 €) and other support to social / art project projects by, with, and for people who arrived in Berlin as refugees or asylum seekers, as well as projects dealing with questions of displacement, exile, and discrimination against immigrants.

4. Solidarity with Ukrainians