METROMOD marks out a unique and unconventional map of life and work in exile metropolises in the first half of the 20th century: New York, Buenos Aires, London, Istanbul, Bombay (now Mumbai) and Shanghai. The project refers to urban topographies, inner-city districts, outlying suburbs and streets, to places where interactions took place, but also to the venues used for exhibitions and collaborative projects.


We are pleased to announce the following Call for Papers!

Location, dates: online, 7-8 April 2022.

Deadline: 15 January 2022.

We are very grateful to the mid-day team for continuing to support and amplify our work!

Public lecture at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR.

Two entries in METROMOD’s Archive are dedicated to Ala Story, who was a transatlantic mediator of British Art between London and New York.



METROMOD’s second digital project: an archive of artistic and intellectual exile is now online and ready to be explored from all over the world!

Cross-border research can already begin when people change their surnames after emigration. Therefore, it is often difficult to trace the émigré life and work back to their homelands and to their future life in exile. This is the case with the German-born photographer Walter Süssman.

Public lecture at the annual conference of exile research “Vor Ort: Erinnerung, Exil, Migration” [At site: memory, exile, migration] on 03.09.2021.


Exile research means facing the challenge of the global dispersion of works, archival records, estates. Thus, the knowledge for the archives of METROMOD, which we will publish in September, is based primarily on repeated research trips in the METROMOD cities.

The Mumbai based newspaper mid-day interviewed Rachel Lee and Mareike Schwarz for a report on the Bombay Walk.

After more than a year of work we’re very much looking forward to release our curated walks on our METROMOD cities today. 

Helene Roth’s essay on German-speaking émigrés photographers is part of the recent outcoming publication “Contact Zones. Photography, Migration and Cultural Encounters in the United States” edited by Justin Carville and Sigrid Lien with the publishing house Leuven University Press. 



Ekaterina Aygün’s new article on Russian-speaking émigré artists in Istanbul (Beyoğlu) in the 1920s was published in June in Toplumsal Tarih magazine! 


We are very happy that our project can now also be followed on our new Instagram channel: _metromod_

Looking forward to meet you there!



The panel “Mapping/ Spatializing Sites” took place as a kick-off for a transnational and transdisciplinary discourse on the occasion of METROMOD’s second book “Urban Exile”.

The panel “Placemaking/ Belonging” took place as a kick-off for a transnational and transdisciplinary discourse on the occasion of METROMOD’s second book “Urban Exile”.

The panel “Sourcing Traces” took place as a kick-off for a transnational and transdisciplinary discourse on the occasion of METROMOD’s second book “Urban Exile”

METROMOD is pleased to foster a transdisciplinary and transnational discourse on the theory and methodology for researching exile, cities and modernities. As a kick-off for our upcoming second book “Urban Exile” we invited researchers and artists for an online panel in December 2020 and January 2021.

This week we had the pleasure to welcome Mareike virtually to our METROMOD team

We are very pleased to announce that our first publication Arrival Cities: Migrating Artists and New Metropolitan Topographies in the 20th century has been published!




The article focuses on Jules Kanzler, who spent part of his life in the Russian Empire as a painter and the other part in Turkey as an émigré photographer, where he decided to stay and become a Turkish citizen. He is known not only as a photographer who portrayed Russian-speaking émigrés of Istanbul but also as a figure who “documented” the early years of the Turkish Republic.

Call for Papers for the Publication
Urban Exile: Theories, Methods, Research Practices

The theme section of the current issue of the peer-reviewed, open access journal ABE: Architecture Beyond Europe is out now! Co-edited by Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi and Rachel Lee, the section explores intersectional histories of migration, margins and architecture from a feminist perspective.

Mexico City, February 2020. The former prison known as Lecumberri, installed in 1900 by President Porfirio Diaz, now houses the National Archives of Mexico. The site, which ceased prison activity at the end of 1976, has been restored to preserve and perpetuate the memory of the nation’s past.


One of the main difficulties in working on Russian speaking migrants in Istanbul is the dispersal of material on this topic.

The Newspaper Library is a department of the National Library. In 1929, the National Library ceased to be part of the Ministry of Public Education and became part of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. It functions as a Legal Deposit, receiving two copies of books, newspapers, and magazines published by publishers from all the states of the Republic.


Laura Karp Lugo gave a talk at the workshop “Art/Histories: Migrations, Transculturality; The Idea of Latin America”. This event was organized by Miriam Oesterreich and Paulina Bachmann as part of the activities of the Research Group “Art Production and Art Theory in the Age of Global Migration.” It was held at the Lateinamerika-Zentrum of the Universität Zürich from 5 to 7 March 2020.

Our team contributed two essays to the anthology “Leave, left, left. Migrationsphänomene in den Künsten in aktueller und historischer Perspektive” which is the result of a conference held on the 20th and 21th April 2018 at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) of the LMU Munich in the context of the focus “Representations of Migration”.

The traditional and picturesque neighborhood of Coyoacán hosts Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul (Blue House) and Leon Trotsky’s House Museum.

We are very pleased to inform you that our first book “Arrival Cities” will be published. It will be available as paperback and e-book very soon. More information about the publication is available here here

On Thursday, 16.02.2020 METROMOD went on a walking tour around Munich’s Central Station. The tour was guided by Dr. Simon Goeke; an expert in Munich’s migration history who works at the City Museum in Munich.

Karaköy was an arrival point for many Russian émigrés coming by dozens of ships to Istanbul. For Ekaterina Aygun Karaköy became a starting point of her fieldwork.

On the second day of the conference Simin Patel of Bombaywalla Historical Works guided us on a walk through the history and sites of Bombay’s early hotels.

An intense day of discussions about communities, culture and the city of Bombay/Mumbai.

The first stop on our walk through the city was at one of Bombay’s earliest photo studios.

The posters are ready, the catering is organised, and the registrations keep coming. The Metromod team is looking forward to the conference at the Sir JJ College of Architecture tomorrow.

On Friday 13 December, METROMOD and the Sir JJ College of Architecture will convene a conference in Mumbai to discuss “Bombay’s Spaces of Sociability: Exile, Migration and Contact Zones”

Part two: Arriving at the Broadway


Part one: Boulevards, lanes and alleyways – Walking through Xuhui

Rachel Lee gave a presentation at “Spaces of Unnationalism,” a workshop convened by Farhan Karim and Duangfang Lu at Zentrum Moderne Orient, Berlin, on 7 and 8 November 2019.

Burcu Dogramaci gave a lecture at the conference “Innovation and Acculturation: The Émigré Art Historians and Britain” on 5-6 November 2019 at Queen Mary, University of London. The conference was organized by Hans Christian Hönes and Emilie Oleron Evans.

Today the professor of social anthropology (University of Regensburg) shared his methodological approaches with the Metromod group

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming Ekaterina to the Metromod team

In-depth article by columnist Meher Marfatia on Metromod project

On 23-24 September 2019, Laura Karp Lugo was involved in the Conference entitled “Nationalismes dans l’art en Amérique latine (XIXe-XXIe siècles)” During these two days, Laura moderate a panel and the Roundtable.

The event was held at the German Center for Art History (DFK Paris).


As part of the “Encounters” lecture series, Rachel Lee was invited to give a talk at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA), Mumbai

Refugee Artists, Architects and Intellectuals Beyond Europe in the 1930s and 1940s: Experiences of Exile in Istanbul and Bombay

Bombay’s Spaces of Sociability:
Exile, Migration and Contact Zones

On the 3rd and 4th of July, METROMOD relocated to Paris for an international conference at the German Centre for Art History

Crossing French Metropolises - Poster

International Conference of the ERC Research Project Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile (METROMOD)

Laura Karp Lugo was invited to give a lecture in the Festival d’Histoire de l’Art organized by the French National Center of Art History and the Castel of Fontainebleau. Her talk was entitled “Représentations du peuple dans l’art en Amérique latine au XXe siècle”.

Venue: Château de Fontainebleau

Date: 7-9 June 2019

Édition 2019 : Peuple – Pays nordiques

Laura Karp Lugo gave a lecture at the conference “‘Auctorialité’ Repenser l’auteur dans les arts et l’histoire de l’art”. The event was organized by German Center of Art History on 3-4 June 2019.

Laura’s talk entitled “Negotiating national identities as artists and migrants in Argentinean art in the first half of the twentieth century” was focused on crucial topics of METROMOD.

How to simplify a data model and make the inputing of data more efficient?

MUNTREF-Museum of Immigration and Center for Contemporary Art

To find out more about David Ludwig Bloch I went to Berlin to see the Alfred-Dreifuß-Archive which is located at the Akademie der Künste.

Modern Times: New Perspectives on Modern Art and the Canon of Art History
Georg-Knorr-Saal, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, 14.05.-04.06.2019
Tuesdays, 7pm

My discovery tour through New York continued on a sunny Saturday in August

The spring issue of “Fotogeschichte” has just been published. It was edited by Burcu Dogramaci and Helene Roth.

Following the footsteps of the exiled artists Hilde Holger and Charles Petras to the Queen’s Group of Friends

Vienna > Bombay > London. An expressionist dancer’s route through exile.

A network of artists and intellectuals meets in Victoria Ocampo’s country house

Rachel Lee was invited to take part in a PhD colloquium and a workshop at the Department of Architecture, University of Ghent.

A narrative of two contrasting hotels juxtaposed in Bombay emerges at the Tata Central Archives.

We are offering a three-year PhD position starting in June 2019 at the earliest

At a two-day workshop Rachel Lee gave a presentation on “Prefabrications: Otto Koenigsberger and Refugee Resettlement in India”

Deadline: 15 April 2019
Place: Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris
Date: 4 July 2019

How do we approach the writing of transnational histories?

Two thoroughly productive and enjoyable days spent discussing the nexus of displacement, artistic production and urban environments with scholars from around the world.

Metromod’s first international conference!


Burcu Dogramaci gave a lecture at the conference “Sites of Interchange : Modernism, Politics, and Culture in Britain and Germany, 1919-1951” on 2/3 November 2018 at the Courtauld Institute in London. The conference is organized by Robin Schuldenfrei and Lucy Wasensteiner.

Laura Karp Lugo took part at the final Roundtable of the workshop “Travelling art histories” organized by Thomas Kirchner and Lena Bader at the German Center of Art History on 12 October 2018.

The Roundtable was integrated by Thierry Dufrêne (Université Paris Nanterre), Laura Karp Lugo (ERC METROMOD-LMU), and Anne Lafont (École des hautes études en sciences sociales).

Helene Roth and Burcu Dogramaci will present on 13.10.2018 at the conference “Mediators between Cultures” at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg.

In September, I made my first research trip to New York. As well as spending time in archives and libraries, I also discovered the metropolis and its history of European emigration during the 1930s and 1940s

Laura Karp Lugo participated in the Roundtable that closed the conference “Actualité de l’art dans le monde : histoire et théorie de l’art des Amériques en France. Esquisse de généalogie” organized by Zahia Rahmani (INHA) and Annabela Tournon Zubieta (EHESS/CEHTA) on 6 October 2018 at the French National Institute of Art History located in Paris

Roundtable “L’art des Amériques après le latino-américanisme”, with Laura Karp Lugo (postdoctoral researcher ERC METROMOD, LMU); Marisol Rodríguez (Independant curator/ Central Saint Martins, London); and Sergio Verastegui (Peruvian artist).

Rachel Lee gave a lecture on “Digital Network Visualisation: Experiences with Gephi and Nodegoat”

Rachel Lee gave a talk on “Cosmopolitan Circulations in Bombay: Otto Koenigsberger, MARG and TIFR”

Burcu Dogramaci and Laura Karp Lugo were invited as moderators at the Haus der Kunst (Munich) on 7 July 2018.

Lokalkolorit, artist colonies and exile?

Laura Karp Lugo participated at the conference “Arts & identités (XIXe-XXe siècles” (University of Montpellier) on 26 June 2018.

Helene Roth gave a lecture at the conference “Photography as Contact Zones: Migration and Cultural Encounters in America” on the 20-22 June 2018 at the IADT in Dún Laoghaire. The conference was organized by Dr. Justin Carville (Historical and Theoretical Studies in Photography, IADT) and Dr. Sigrid Lien (professor in art history and photography studies, University of Bergen).

Paris at the centre?

Laura Karp Lugo gave a lecture at the seminar “L’Histoire de l’art à l’épreuve du numérique” organized at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris on 13 June 2018.

Building a data model with Pim and Geert of LAB1100

What should the METROMOD website show? Who are the potential users? What kind of data should be visualised?

The IIAC Archive: An important institution for research in Buenos Aires. Last summer, I spent four weeks in Buenos Aires, the city in which I am focusing my research.

Laura Karp Lugo, Rachel Lee, and Helene Roth presented their research at the “Leave, Left, Left” conference at the Centre for Advanced Studies, LMU Munich on 20 April 2018

In March and April 2018, I spent four weeks in Mumbai doing archival work for my Metromod research project “Bombay Modern”. Similarly to many of the important places of the art scene I am

Laura Karp Lugo gave a lecture at the conference “Interférences de l’Amérique Latine dans le post-colonial” organized at the Musée Les Abattoirs in Toulouse on 11 January 2018.

An exploration of digital humanities tools

Burcu Dogramaci gives a keynote lecture at the conference “Cities on the Move: Turkey and Yugoslavia in the Interwar Period” (14.-16.9.2017) at the University of Basel.

At the Modernist Studies Association conference on 10 August 2017 in Amsterdam, Rachel Lee gave a presentation titled “Modernist Intersections: Otto Koenigsberger’s Exile in India”.