Tonspuren zur Linken

Ruhr Ding Achim Lengerer 6691
Ruhr Ding Achim Lengerer 6698
Ruhr Ding Achim Lengerer 6674

From the 24 to 30 August 1973, Turkish, Italian and left-wing German workers went on strike at the Ford production plant in Cologne-Niehl. The reason for the stoppage was the dismissal of 300 Turkish workers, who had returned late from the fourweek summer vacation. Previously, it had been possible to make up for the lost time through additional shifts, but those affected were instead terminated without notice. The Ford strike is just one of many examples of how politically active, leftist migrants and left-leaning West German groups fought for their rights in Cologne and the Ruhr Area during the 1970s and 80s, networking between cities and organising in groups. These complex histories of radical left-wing politics and those of solidarity remain scarcely present in the consciousness of the majority of German society today. Tonspuren zur Linken traces these narratives as an ongoing collaborative work in progress in the tradition of “oral history”.

The project space Rekorder II, which is operated by an interdisciplinary collective of artists and cultural producers in a northern part of Dortmund, is functioning as a recording studio for the duration of the Memory Station. Multilingual interviews can be heard with contemporary witnesses, whilst further conversations with guests and activists will continue to be recorded. As the collection of Tonspuren zur Linken recordings continues to grow, the interviews are being simultaneously uploaded to, compiling a comprehensive collective mixtape of oral narratives.

Tonspur zur Linken is part of the project Memory Stations by the Academy of the Arts of the World/Cologne.


The project Tonspuren zur Linken was developed as part of the exhibition Ruhr Ding: Territorien and was on view from May 4—June 30, 2019 in Dortmund.

Achim Lengerer baege 187745 ret Artist ©

Achim Lengerer

Achim Lengerer explores medial language in his practice. He examines images, texts and original soundtracks as vehicles for political power and emancipatory potential.