Freiheit der | Kultur | der Freiheit
(Freedom of | Culture | of Freedom)
Art and culture are coming under increasing pressure. Illiberal forces, especially from the right wing, are taking action against unpopular artists and events. So-called cancel culture and loud protests are on the rise, and factual controversies are being replaced by demands for bans, boycott appeals or even threats of violence.
Against this background, the NRW KULTURsekretariat 2019 has launched the initiative "Kultur der | Freiheit | der Kultur". Its main purpose is to support cultural actors in their efforts to counteract the growing anti-democratic tendencies in society.
For example, a pilot study on the systematic mapping of verbal and physical assaults by extremist perpetrators was conducted in cooperation with the research focus right-wing extremism/neonazism at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf (FORENA), from which associations and initiatives such as "Die vielen" can also benefit. In the long term, these research results can be used to develop targeted counseling services for victims.
On September 24 and 25, 2020, a public discussion and a specialist conference were held in Düsseldorf in cooperation with the Kultursekretariat NRW Gütersloh, both analog and digital.
Experts from the cities and municipalities met for an exchange of ideas in workshops and dealt with the processes directed against the freedom of art and culture. In particular, the question of how local organisers, administrations and politicians can deal with these processes was discussed - in a liberal, democratic and clear-cut manner.
On the eve of the conference, soccer idol, influencer and activist Hans Sarpei and journalist and author Nina Horaczek talked about racism in culture and sport and about anti-democratic developments in Germany and Eastern Europe.
The event concept was developed by a working group set up by the NRWKS with the involvement of the member cities as well as the NRW Association of Cities and Towns and FORENA.
Recordings of this conference will soon be available on the website kulturfreiheitkultur.de
Partners of the conference were Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, Die Vielen NRW, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and WDR 3.