2 – 13 June 2021
in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mülheim an der Ruhr + Online
Die Vielen (the Many)
The Berlin Declaration of the Many
Art creates spaces for change
As creators of arts and culture in Germany we do not stand above
things. Rather we have both feet firmly on the ground – the very ground
upon which one of the worst state crimes against humanity was committed.
This country has seen art vilified as degenerate and culture being
abused for purpose of propaganda. Millions of people were murdered or
driven into exile, amongst them many artists.
Today we see arts and culture as well as their venues, i.e. museums,
theatres, galleries, clubs and urban places as open spaces belonging to
many. We view our society as a plural gathering – an encounter of
different interests that find each other in the spaces between.
Democracy needs to be renegotiated daily – but always on the premise
that it concerns us all, every single one of us, as beings of multiple
By attacking cultural institutions as agents of this societal vision,
right-wing populism stands in hostile opposition to the art of the
many. Right-wing groups and parties frequently disrupt events, aim to
determine repertoires, polemicise against the freedom of art and above
all are working on the re-nationalisation of culture. Their
disrespectful reaction to people seeking refuge, to dedicated artists
and dissidents, clearly shows how they plan to deal with our society
should a shift of power in their favour become reality.
We, the supporters of theatres, art galleries, museums and
cultural spaces and their associates reject these attempts with a clear
- The cultural institutions signing this declaration will lead an open
and critical dialogue that creates awareness in regards to right-wing
strategies. The Institutions engage in these dialogues with all
participants as well as the public under the premise that their
institutions have a commitment to advancing our society democratically.
- All signatories commit themselves to not providing a platform for racist-nationalist propaganda.
- We reject the illegitimate attempts made by right-wing nationalists to exploit art and cultural events for their own purposes.
- We unite in solidarity with people who, in the light of right-wing politics, are further marginalised within our society.
Solidarity over privilege. It’s about all of us. Freedom for the Arts!