(c) Mandanography, (c) Die Vielen / Die Parlamente den Vielen 2021

Volkstheater – The right-wing attack on artistic freedom

  • Talk

The New Right has discovered culture as a battleground. But why are AfD politicians suddenly interested in dance theatre and contemporary music? And what is going on in the minds of people who set fire to booksellers’ cars or throw explosives at youth centres?

Theatre directors and pianists receive death threats, the audience has to leave a Berlin revue theatre because of a bomb warning. In Zwickau, skinheads march in front of a gallery. In Stuttgart, AfD MPs demand a list of all theatre employees with a migrant background. Right-wing politicians utter vile insults. None of these are isolated incidents.

Journalist Peter Laudenbach has documented over a hundred right-wing attacks on artistic freedom. What patterns do we see emerge? What functions and consequences do the targeted threats of violence have in right-wing escalation strategies? What makes theatres and art installations into attractive targets? Laudenbach discusses this with Ann-Katrin Müller, political editor at SPIEGEL’s capital city office, and activist, theater maker and city councillor Mirrianne Mahn. They analyse the marking of enemy images, the stirring up of aggression and the polarization of society. The attack on artistic freedom is an attack on an open, liberal society.

Ein Projekt im Rahmen des Bündnisses internationaler Produktionshäuser, gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.