‘Palast der Republik’. Art, discourse and parliament from 8 to 10 March at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele


Press release from 25 January 2019

A symbolic reconstruction of the Palast der Republik will be held at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele from 8 to 10 March 2019. Artists, philosophers, activists, musicians and theatremakers will perform throughout the building for three days. Combined with critical reflection on the ambivalent significance of the original Palast der Republik, a ‘Palace of Counter-Narratives’ will take shape with fresh observations on the events of the years during and after the fall of the wall and reunification.

In the midst of the universal crisis that so many people are currently feeling, but which can also be an opportunity for a major transition, and inspired by the interim period between October 1989 and October 1990 the Berliner Festspiele / Immersion will open a ‘window of opportunity’: a space for visions of the future transcending the polarisations of past and present. The public can roam freely between a revue of propositions and a parliament of the future, a circus ideas and a ‘music palace’, between theatre and films.

In the symbolically reconstructed Palast der Republik the ambivalent significance of this building will be critically examined and the events of the years during and after reunification will be reconsidered. In the course of this three day festival the notion of the palace will undergo a series of transformations, morphing from a place of memory through a working forum and into a space for art. Two draft constitutions will bracket the beginning and end: on Friday, 8 March the opening will be a keynote address by the American philosopher Susan Buck-Morss. Following this, the progressive proposals of the 1989 civil movement of the DDR will be recalled, including the draft constitution put forward at the time – on which Bernhard Schlink worked as a legal adviser. On Saturday, 9 March individual aspects of reform advocated in 1989 will come into contact with today’s activists in a range of working parties and ultimately come together on Sunday, 10 March as contributions to a transnational European constitution that will help in times of increasing populism and nationalism to carry visionary social ideas into the future.

Friday, 8 March:
with Susan Buck-Morss, Boris Buden, Augusto Corrieri, Trajal Harrell, Max Hertzberg, Sanja Horvatinčić, Kerstin Meyer, Henrike Naumann/Technosekte, Ana Ofak, Pan Daijing, Elske Rosenfeld, Bernhard Schlink and others.

Saturday, 9 March:
with Boris Buden, Naika Foroutan, Bernd Gehrke, Alexander Giesche, Andrej Holm, Srećko Horvat, Gal Kirn, Bojana Kunst, Vijay Prashad, Jan Sowa, Gabriele Stötzer, Margarita Tsomou, Jeremy Wade, Anna Zett and others.
in the evening: CHEAP
with: Susanne Sachsse, Marc Siegel, Vaginal Davis, John Blue, Maurice de Martin, Şenol Şentürk, Martin Siemann, Richard Gabriel, Akira Knightly, Ruth Schönegge, Pola Sieverding, Ligia Lewis, Pamela Schlewinski and surprise guests

Sunday, 10 March:
with Ulrike Guérot, Bénédicte Savoy, Margarita Tsomou, Yanis Varoufakis (DiEM25) and others.
in the evening: ‘Musikpalast’ (Curator: André de Ridder)
with Astronautalis, Tyondai Braxton, Buke & Gase, Cantus Domus, Arone Dyer, Andi Haberl (The Notwist) & Kaj Duncan David, Anja Plaschg (soap & skin), s t a r g a z e

Installations and films by Bini Adamczak, Georgi Bogdanov & Boris Missirkov, Can Candan, Thomas Demand, Igor Grubić, Felix Grütsch, Neša Paripović, Klaus Pobitzer, Elske Rosenfeld, Christoph Schlingensief and others.

Concept Thomas Oberender
Curators Maximilian Haas, Sebastian Kaiser, Elske Rosenfeld, Joshua Wicke
Music Curator André de Ridder
Architectural design Dominic Huber

Programme updates at berlinerfestspiele.de/palast

Uncanny Valley
Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) & Thomas Melle

At the same time with ‘Palast der Republik’, from 8 to 17 March 2019, the guest performances of ‘Uncanny Valley’ by Rimini Protokoll (Stefan Kaegi) & Thomas Melle take place at Haus der Berliner Festspiele. For ‘Uncanny Valley’, Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll) made a copy of Thomas Melle in the form of a humanoid robot. But what happens when a person is copied? Can a robot move us like a human does? Can we even tell the difference? A future is projected onto the machine in which the human original is just as real as its technological double. (World premiere on 4 October 2018, Münchner Kammerspiele)
Produced by Münchner Kammerspiele in co-production with Berliner Festspiele / Immersion, donaufestival (Krems), Feodor Elutine (Moscow), FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts (Milan), Temporada Alta – Festival de Tador de Catalunya (Girona), SPRING Utrecht

Palast der Republik
Friday, 8 March from 18:00
Saturday, 9 March & Sunday, 10 March from 12:00

at Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Opening Friday € 9 / reduced € 6
Day ticket (Saturday/Sunday) € 14 / reduced € 8
3-day-ticket € 27 / reduced € 18

Uncanny Valley
8 – 17 March at Haus der Berliner Festspiele / rehearsal stage
€ 12 / reduced € 8

As of now tickets can be purchased online, at the ticket office of Haus der Berliner Festspiele or by phone (+49 30 254 89 100).

Save the date

Press talk
‘Palast der Republik’ & programme preview Immersion 2019
Wednesday, 6 March 2019, 11:30

at Haus der Berliner Festspiele / rehearsal stage.

Press contact: Svenja Kauer
Tel +49 30 254 89 267;

Press images are available on our website.


The programme Immersion was made possible by an initiative of the German Federal Parliament and thanks to the support of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

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