It Needn’t Be This Way!

Monday talks on cultural politics at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Es geht auch anders!

Es geht auch anders! © Berliner Festspiele

Structural change, debt ceilings and the sudden death of culture: Alarm signals are firing on all fronts. The German culture scene is in a visible transition phase, and it will become increasingly more dramatic over the coming years. This is why the message of the moment is: act, don’t react, don’t drift along with the changes in the political scene, don’t just stare at ever-shrinking cultural budgets or stir up the independent scene against institutions. Instead, deal with the situation creatively, without tacitly accepting budget cuts. This event series does not focus on specific budget problems: rather, it is an attempt to formulate a comprehensive change instead of hold crisis talks.

To get a discussion moving on the subjects of cultural funding, cultural politics and cultural production in the coming years, the Berliner Festspiele are encouraging an exploration of inspiring and sometimes shocking examples from neighbouring countries: How are political processes, institutions and artists as well as production processes organised in Benelux countries, in Finland or Great Britain? In short, in countries that have already experienced a structural change similar to the one Germany is now going through, who stand for or propagate new models or a different definition of culture. There is a hope that learning from others will be seized as an opportunity. Aimed at cultural politicians, budget planners, artistic directors, supporting institutions and, of course, artists and producers.

Mon 11 November 2013
Support for producers – Belgium’s example
Guy Coolen, director Muziektheater Transparant
Frie Leysen, director performing arts Wiener Festwochen
Ann Olaerts, head of Toneelacademie Maastricht
Kris Verdonck, artist and director
The discussion will be in English.

Mon 25 November 2013
Participative Culture Formats – Finland’s example
Mikko Roiha, director and artistic team Tampere Theatre Festival
Erik Söderblom, festival director Helsinki Festival
Jonna Strandberg, Kiasma Theatre Helsinki
Virve Sutinen, artistic director Tanz im August
The discussion will be in English.

Mon 2 December 2013
After Drastic Economic Measures – Great Britain’s example
Eileen Evans, general manager Forced Entertainment
Simon Mellor, Arts Council England
Nick Sweeting, Improbable Theatre Company
Ruth Ur, Director Partnerships Europe, British Council
The discussion will be in English.

Mon 13 January 2014
Change instead of Crisis – Germany’s example
Sandra Klöss, co-owner ehrliche arbeit, Berlin
Barbara Mundel, Director Theatre Freiburg
Thomas Oberender, Director Berliner Festspiele
Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director German Federal Cultural Foundation

Moderation: Tobi Müller