REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER (RotO) was founded by Xenia Fink (São Paulo / Berlin) and Jinny Yu (Seoul / Ottawa). RotO has shown their work at Kunstpunkt Berlin (Berlin, 2017), Union Art Fair (Seoul, 2017), and Gallery 101 (Ottawa, 2019). In Spring 2020 RotO realized a project focused on social practice which concluded in a second publication. RotO will show their publications as part of “unstately”, an exhibition curated by Godfre Leung upcoming at Ho Tam Press Bookshop/Gallery in Spring 2021, and are currently developing a public art project.


REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER, a contradiction in itself, reflects our questioning of geographic and national identities defined by borders and boundaries, and is the basis of our research on the attraction to form an entity. Our collaboration started with the urgency to express our resistance against the generalized right-wing tendency, with nation-states and borders strengthening with great force worldwide and with the conviction that we have something to contribute to the discussion.


We gathered under the shared experience of feeling foreign everywhere and claiming it as a positive state. This shared experience and understanding is neither new nor particular to us. In fact, Hugues de Saint-Victor put it aptly in 11th century and Edward Said later often quoted it: “The person who finds his homeland sweet is a tender beginner; he to whom every soil is as his native one is already strong; but he is perfect to whom the entire world is as a foreign place. The tender soul has fixed his love on one spot in the world; the strong person has extended his love to all places; the perfect man has extinguished his.” The “conscious pariah” that Hannah Arendt describes in her text We Refugees is another example of a positive state of feeling foreign everywhere.

We have been making works based on our thoughts on border, be it personal and/or political: Do personal and psychological boundaries mirror political borders? Does our basic instinct of fearing what is unknown to us affect how we behave as a political being, particularly with regards to migration crises? Looking into contemporary politics and its representation in the media, be it mass media or its reiterations in social media, we are researching philosophical discourse and its manifestation in artworks.

RotO on Instagram



is either capitalized or abbreviated as RotO.

RotO is an art collective consisting of and founded by Jinny Yu and Xenia Fink. In the past, it has included Guillermo Trejo and as of spring of 2020, twenty-one Berliner ninth graders.

As a collective, we members of RotO maintain our individual practices and weave them together into additional collaborative works. Within the context of RotO, authorship is intentionally blurred. We bring our differences into making cohesive works.
The thinking and works of RotO live in the intersection of the political, social, personal, and intimate. (Exhibit 1) (Exhibit 2)

RotO is a grouping about not belonging.

Embracing this intrinsic oxymoron, RotO has to constantly define itself:

Our flag refuses to be one.
It is open, it is transparent, it is something akin to a cage.

Our artwork began creating manifestos:

One manifesto has taken the form of a booklet (a LITTLE GRAY BOOK), to be picked up and to spread RotO.

Another manifesto is a video.

A third manifesto is a written statement on a letter-size page.

We also define what we are not.

We think in text and graph form.

Our research looks at the desire for simplicity towards ideologies and the entanglements of our ever-complex world.

We are armchair activists, but also believe in art as a social practice.

Through the radical affirmation of Otherness, we want to dissolve othering.


In late January 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China starts to be reported in Western media.

February 17, 2020
REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER starts the project with ninth-grade students from classes of Hille Winkler and Frederik Kupferschmid at Humboldt-Gymnasium in Berlin. Xenia Fink and Jinny Yu briefly present their work and the project. Students are asked to reflect on the questions “What does Other mean to you?” “In which situation did you consider yourself an Other?” Also, “Is Coronavirus an Other?” Conversations alternate between German and English.

Beginning with the idea that accepting one’s otherness from another’s is a positive quality in a society instead of desiring to maintain the myth of purity or universality, the questions are asked to elicit ways of thinking forward, to imagine a more accepting and pluralistic society. The students’ responses touched on topics of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and social background, but were abstracted into more general notions of otherness.

February 19, 2020
In Hanau, Germany, nine people were killed and five others wounded in a terrorist shooting spree by a far-right extremist targeting two shisha bars.

February 24, 2020
Lengthy discussions in class about Hanau terrorist and racist attack. The shocking nature of the crime and how it was reported in the media, make it difficult to have a dialogue about it, as the inconceivability of the act othered thoughts about everyday xenophobia.

March 2 and 9, 2020
Students complete their work.

March 16, 2020
This is the last day of the project and classes before the closure to prevent Coronavirus from spreading. Lockdown starts in many parts of the Western world and ambient dread and fear of Others set in. It seems inappropriate to think, read, or talk about anything else than Coronavirus. Is all Otherness good?

June 2020

While students had been back at school since late April, REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER prepares the publication. The implementation of risograph printing unifies different visual languages and notions. On their last day of classes before the summer break, students are handed the publication.


Let the Right One in, There is Nothing but Space Between Us, I'm an Intruder in Your Life, What Do You Suggest, Dreamer?, Beyong the Pale, Margin of Error (RotO posters), 2017. A series of 6 letterpress posters, edition of 3, 66 x 51 cm.

Postcard, 2018. Sketch for RotO flag.

Little Gray Book (Manifesto 1), 2017, 44 pages digital print, 14.8 x 10.5 cm.

Exhibited at Kunstpunkt Berlin, Union Art Fair Seoul, and RotO solo show, Gallery 101, Ottawa.

The Only Way to Be (Manifesto 2), 2018. HD video, colour, sound, 5 mins 8 secs. (Click on image to play video)

This work evolved out of a dialogue. Jinny Yu and Xenia Fink send each other video snippets back and forth, soon one reacting to the other, over the period of about a year. 
The Only Way to Be has been shown at RotO’s first solo show at Gallery 101, Ottawa, January 2019, but might also be a work in progress.

REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER (Manifesto 3), 2017. Digital print, letter size, open edition.

Exhibited at RotO solo show, Gallery 101, Ottawa.

I am not, 2018. Drawing, ink on Tyvek, 110 x 210 cm.

A work about identification and identity politics.

Simple Complexities, 2019. Acrylic paint on PVC, 300 x 200 cm. 

Installation view, Gallery 101, Ottawa 2019.

REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER – What does Other mean to you? 2020. (Click on image to play video)

Risograph print (edition of 50), DIN A5.

We would like to thank the ninth-grade students of the Humboldt-Gymnasium, Berlin

Yusuf Aktas / Paula Leonie Albrecht / Amelie Brenske / Amelie Brücher / Reham Fares / Lioba Jakoby / Elin Miriam Jönsson / Abigail Lawal / David Linke / Michelle Masoudi / Shaimaa Mohamad / Amina Mohamad / Fatima Muhammad / Erika Marie Neumann / Seray Özgül / Darina Ariana Rasch / Charlotte Yoko Roman / Iva Scheider / Eslam Sharbaji / Paul Sonnenburg / Jonathan Winkler 

for becoming part of REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER

and Hille Winkler for her support in carrying out the project.

REPUBLIC OF THE OTHER was supported by Berliner Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung.


Postcards and LITTLE GRAY BOOK. RotO studio event, Ottawa, 2018.

Simple Complexities, 2019. Acrylic paint on PVC, 300 x 200 cm. 

Installation view, Gallery 101, Ottawa 2019.

The Little Gray Book (Manifesto 1), 2017, 

digital print on paper (booklets), 14,8 x 10.5 cm.

RotO posters, 2017. A series of 6 letterpress posters, edition of 3, 66 x 51 cm.

Jinny Yu: Not Even Silences Gets Us Out of Circle, 2017 HD video, colour, continuous shuffle.

Guillermo Trejo: Eclipsing Justice, Or, How We Forgot Justice And No-One Noticed variable dimensions.

Installation view, Gallery 101, Ottawa 2019.

RotO flag, RotO posters, Little Gray Book (Manifesto 1), The Only Way to Be (Manifesto 2, video), Not Even Silences Gets Us Out of Circle (video). Eclipsing Justice. 

RotO studio event, Ottawa, 2018.

Limits of Tolerance / Boundaries of Shame / Threshold of Fantasy, 2018. Ink on Tyvek, 150 x 120 cm. Simple Complexities, 2019. Acrylic paint on PVC, 300 x 200 cm.

Installation view, Gallery 101, Ottawa 2019.

Installation view, RotO solo show, Gallery 101, Ottawa, 2019.