Diversity Cultural Education Hosting Event

Moderation of the Oval Talk at the Schauspielhaus Bochum

From the 2022/23 season onwards, Oval Talk – Gespräche zum Verständnis unserer Zeit will be exploring current topics about which we would like to know more and exchange more intensively, with experts and with each other as an audience.

For this, Prasanna Oommen invites inspiring guests to the Oval Office. The focus will be on current social debates and events, with connections to the programme of the Schauspielhaus Bochum. In a combination of lecture and subsequent discussion, we want to learn more, look deeper and learn from each other with an open mind.

The past Oval Talks in overview:

Oval Talk #5: Stars & Fans

She is unique. Icon. Goddess. Everything revolves around her: Taylor Swift. But: no stars without fans! What would she be without her Swifties? 

A true fan is one who worships to the max, not just gushes, adores, sacrifices, invests excessive feelings and time and sometimes even his or her possessions - all for the sake of their fan object. Excessive fanhood is not a new phenomenon, but it is nonetheless a highly interesting one that is currently the subject of much discussion with the star cult surrounding Taylor Swift, but it is not easy to explain. What does being a fan mean in the life of a (young) person? Do we currently need something positive more than ever, a role model, someone we can (easily) agree with in times of strong debate? Is there actually more stardom today than in the past? And how is the music industry tweaking it? Prasanna Oommen talked about this with the following guests on 12 April 2024:

  • Dr. Christoph Jacke, Professor of Theory, Aesthetics and History of Popular Music at the University of Paderborn
  • Mathea Pittelkow, WHB Popular Music and Media at the University of Paderborn, musician, cultural organiser
  • Abenaa Prempeh, actress
  • Anusha Sarah Oommen, Taylor Swift fan

Oval Talk #4: Shift change - No chance in a class society?

Many people in Germany are subject to discrimination and social exclusion due to their social and cultural background. Their chances of "changing classes" are slim, and advancement (in education) is almost impossible. Where are the impassable barriers and what does it take to overcome them? At the fourth Oval Talk on 26 October 2013, Prasanna Oommen spoke with her guests about class, equal opportunities and the consequences of attributions and prejudices.


  • Sonja Dieckmann, "Studienpioniere" of Bochum University of Applied Sciences
  • Ilija Matusko, author and sociologist

Oval Talk #3: Future of Work

Four-day week, unconditional basic income, artificial intelligence - what does the 21st century working world need? Right now, it is moving between three phenomena: People in Germany are working more and more, there are increasing numbers of vacancies, and the desire for a better balance between work and private life is also growing. The state and companies must therefore think about how they can succeed in finding and retaining staff with confidence. It is clear that many factors need to change.

But how?

What can the future look like, or rather, what can the future of work look like? Together with her guests on May 13, 2023, Prasanna Oommen presented ideas and solutions and took a look at the demands and wishes of young people in particular.


  • Nadia Shehadeh, author, columnist and sociologist
  • Ronald Blaschke, co-founder of the Basic Income Network
  • Dr. Valentin Langholf, Institute of Labour Science at the Ruhr University Bochum

Oval Talk #2: Pop-Feminism

In recent years, feminism has become more colorful and trendy. It has found its way into pop culture without losing the old vocabulary of patriarchy and women's rights. Does this path of feminism contribute to the assertion of women's rights, to equality and empowerment, to more solidarity with women, or is it a marketing strategy of the music and fashion industries? How far has the movement moved away from the women of the first hour? Who is taking over the role of Simone de Beauvoir or Alice Schwarzer, or do these roles still exist?

Questions like these were discussed by Prasanna Oommen on February 11, 23 at the Oval Talk #2: Pop-Feminism with the following guests:

  • Sonja Eismann, co-founder and co-editor of the missy magazin
  • Kathrin Ebmeier, artist, part of the collective Anna Kpok, activist

Oval Talk #1: Culture of remembrance

How can a culture of remembrance in Germany be shaped - especially with regard to the Second World War and the Holocaust - that includes the stories of all people in our diverse society? What could remembrance policy work for the fourth generation look like? What are the different and new perspectives on remembrance work?

This is what Prasanna Oommen talked about with the following guests in the first Oval Talk on 10th December 22, the theme of which is " Culture of Remembrance", based on the new production of Der Bus nach Dachau (The Bus to Dachau):

  • Dr. Annemone Christians-Bernsee, Deputy Director of the NS Documentation Centre of the City of Cologne
  • Gianni Jovanovic, entrepreneur and performer
  • Roman Domnin, Member of the Jewish Community Bochum

Image: © Florian Dürkopp