Free International University

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File:Documenta 7 Free International University 1982.jpg
Title page of the Free International University's event program for documenta 7

The Free International University (FIU), was a support organization founded by the German artist Joseph Beuys together with Klaus Staeck (1st chairman), Georg Meistermann (2nd chairman) and Willi Bongard (secretary), based on principles laid down in a manifesto written by Joseph Beuys and Heinrich Böll.[1] It was founded as a "organizational place of research, work, and communication" to ponder the future of society.[2] As a free University it was intended to supplement the state educational system while at the same time campaigning for legal equality with that system.[3]

The FIU was founded on 27 April 1973 in the Düsseldorf studio of Joseph Beuys and existed as a non-profit, recognized, and registered association up to its dissolution in 1988, more than two years after the death of the artist.[4]

The idea of the Free International University was revisited and taken further by various people and groups, including the author Rainer Rappmann under the FIU-Verlag and the F.I.U.s in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, and Munich, which were begun by students of Beuys. They also include the organization Mehr Demokratie e.V.[5] and the Omnibus for direct Democracy.

See also


  1. Joseph Beuys; Heinrich Böll (1973). "Manifesto on the foundation of a 'Free International School for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research'", often referred to as "Manifesto for a Free International University", published in: Christos M. Joachimides and Norman Rosenthal, ed. (1974). Art into Society, Society into Art: Seven German Artists – Albrecht D., Joseph Beuys, K. P. Brehmer, Hans Haacke, Dieter Hacker, Gustav Metzger, Klaus Staeck (exhibition catalogue)|format= requires |url= (help). Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. pp. 49 ff.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>, reprinted in: Joseph Beuys (1993). Carin Kuoni (ed.). Joseph Beuys in America: Energy Plan for the Western Man. Four Walls Eight Windows. pp. 149 ff. ISBN 978-1-56858-007-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. (First publication in: Frankfurter Rundschau, 23 December 1978)
  3. Susanne Anna (Ed.): Joseph Beuys, Düsseldorf, Hatje Cantz, Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf, 29 September to 30. December 2007, Ostfildern 2008, 134
  4. FIU Informational brochure, published by the organization
  5. Towards the birth of Mehr Demokratie e.V.


  • Susanne Anna (Ed.): Joseph Beuys, Düsseldorf, Hatje Cantz, Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf, 29 September to 30. December 2007, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-1992-6
  • Michael Ende and Joseph Beuys: Kunst und Politik - Ein Gespräch. FIU-Verlag, Wangen 1989, ISBN 3-928780-48-4
  • Flensburger Hefte 24, 1789-1989 Direkte Demokratie. Interviews with Hans Peter Bull (SPD), Heiko Hoffmann (CDU), Gerald Häfner (Grüne), Joseph Beuys and Direkte Demokratie, das Kunstwerk Omnibus für Direkte Demokratie approx. 226 pages, 1989.
  • Rainer Rappmann (Ed.): Denker, Künstler, Revolutionäre - Beuys, Dutschke, Schilinski, Schmundt - Vier Leben für Freiheit, Demokratie u. Sozialismus, Wangen 1996, FIU-Verlag, ISBN 3-928780-13-1
  • Götz Adriani, Winfried Konnertz and Karin Thomas: Joseph Beuys; New printing, Cologne, DuMont (1994), ISBN 3-7701-3321-8

External links