Cultural lockdown in Germany, my thoughts on the subject, Oct. 30, 2020

Since Wednesday I have also been very concerned that our work as artists and cultural workers is so commonly subsumed by politics under entertainment and that our contribution to our democratic society is apparently rated so little. I would like to say right away that I take the current pandemic very seriously. Of course, risk groups must be protected and our medical infrastructure must not be overused. I have a lot of respect for the work of our democratic politicians! I don’t want to have to swap with politicians in key functions at the moment. We all live in difficult times. But culture is not just entertainment, it creates the values ​​of a society! We artists and cultural workers create the space in which a society becomes clear about its values ​​and its democratic cohesion! Concerts, theaters, museums and cinemas are the places where people can listen and watch creatively and, together as an audience and as individuals, are encouraged to rethink our values! This is essential for a society! Culture is not pure entertainment from the can, which I can watch in the stream alone on the couch in the evening so that I can work on the gross national product the next day. Sure, that’s nice too – but that’s not enough in the long run! It is dangerous for a political system to misjudge this.
The fact that, with the current restrictions, all the hygiene concepts and all financial investments made by the organizers, as well as all the exemplary behavior of our audience at our events in the last few months, is completely irrelevant in the political assessment, that also gives me a problematic picture of the fact that it will depend so much on our personal behavior whether we can cope with this pandemic. I see great contradictions here and, once again, an excessive focus of politics on industrial aspects and players. The fact that we are a really large branch of the economy as a cultural branch in Germany is not taken into account. Artists and cultural workers are hard-working people who are often satisfied with little and who also make a significant financial contribution to society! We need honest, comprehensible guidelines from politics that focus on the responsible behavior of us citizens and the question of whether we take the risk of the pandemic seriously. The culture industry as a whole has clearly shown this in recent months. If a work ban actually comes for us now (which may well be clarified by the courts in the near future), then we artists and organizers must be compensated financially accordingly. And what we urgently need in any case are prospects for the future! And if they don’t come from politics, then we have to create them for ourselves, for example new game formats.
We as a scene have to stick together! We as a democratic society must stick together! There is a lot to be done now – let’s stick together constructively and in solidarity! Our work as artists and cultural workers has a great political dimension for our country!