The Institute

The Institute for Affirmative Sabotage (IAS) was founded in 2020 by Miriam Yosef and Thu Hoài Tran. IAS is a thinking space for artistic and scientific research & intervention. We aim to bring about power-critical and structural change in cultural and academic institutions through targeted and affirmative acts of sabotage.
Here we see affirmative sabotage as an act of self-empowerment and appropriation of those who have so far been systematically and actively excluded from culture and science for centuries.


Inspired by the approach of postcolonial theorist Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, we understand this kind of sabotage as a strategy to appropriate tools of the dominant discourse for critical intervention. We initiate artistic (educational) projects and open spaces for people in the field of art and science, especially those who are affected by multiple oppressions. This includes among others people of African or Asian origin, Muslims, Roma and Sinti, Jews, people with migration history.

Together we want to think about the transformation of institutions and at the same time create new places and spaces where people can influence complex social conditions along categories of difference such as age, origin, gender, class, disability, etc. using aesthetic-artistic means. 

The IAS’s fields of work range from (archival) research, workshops and performance to documentation. We always work with the approach Sabotage together – Intervene together.