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Today, November 9th, 2018, the campaign of the DECLARATION OF THE MANY starts with press conferences and publications in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin.

Image above: Private individuals can also support the DECLARATION OF THE MANY: www.ichbin.dievielen.de

Regional, such as here in Berlin, cultural institutions are currently joining forces and, by signing the DECLARATION OF THE VIOLENDS, are creating regional forums for the exchange of experience with regard to the threat to artistic freedom and the questioning of the foundations of our democratic coexistence through a nationalist authoritarianism.

Over 140 cultural institutions have so far signed the BERLINER DECLARATION OF THE VIELS alone and are thus committed to cohesion, against racism and for a society based on solidarity.

The campaign thus sends a clear signal against right-wing populist and nationalist movements. The activists from the fields of art and culture specifically initiate a dialogue with participants, employees, audience and visitors on the socio-political responsibility of culture and advocate an open, democratic further development of our society.

Solidarity instead of privileges. It’s about everyone. Art remains free! is the motto for the multifaceted campaign, which is spreading nationwide from now on and focuses on the self-activation of networks in culture in order to become active against discrimination and for artistic freedom.
Joint actions, events and discussions are planned, such as the nationwide Shining Demonstrations of Art and Culture together with other civil society groups in May 2019.

The BERLINER ERKLÄRUNG DER VIELEN is part of a nationwide campaign of the association DIE VIELEN e.V., which starts today, 9 November 2018. In addition, as of today, individuals can support the declaration of the many and express their solidarity with the campaign via the website www.dievielen.de.


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 possibilities!

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 Berlin theatres, art galleries, museums and cultural spaces and their associates reject these attempts with a clear position:

  • 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!

Declaration of the Many – Our Commitment

  1. Only cultural institutions, art institutions, theatres, museums and their interest groups or associations are requested as signatories.
  2. Signatories of this declaration are exclusively cultural institutions, galleries, theatres, museums and their associates.
  3. With their signatures, the leadership or leadership team agrees to circulating the declaration within their organisation, promoting discussion with employees, company members, curators, audiences and the public.
  4. The declaration will be published on web pages, in programmes, as announcements, in foyers, etc.
  5. All cultural institutions supporting the declaration will be mentioned on the homepage of the Association of the Many, Die Vielen e.V. at: www.dievielen.de. Linking is requested.
  6. The golden rescue blanket, the symbol of the Association of the Many, Die Vielen e.V., shall be used in support for the declaration and as far as the corporate design allows. Be it as an actual ag, a layout background, as an icon, in form of gold lettering, etc. (Toolkit will be provided.)
  7. The signatories will organise events, talks and activities that inform and foster dialogue in regard to the four positions as stated in the declaration. Events and dates will be announced on the website: www.dievielen.de
  8. In conjunction with individual public relation work and a central press conference, the declaration and the campaign will be published on a key date: the 9th November, 2018. Activities to mark the campaign launch, such as hoisting the golden rescue blanket at cultural institutes, initial information events, readings etc. will be realised independently and coordinated together.
  9. The campaign launch for the Declaration of the Many is regional by nature and will spread through cultural institutions as “the Hamburg, NRW or Dresden Declaration” – to name but a few.
  10. Once the institutions have signed and the declaration is launched (for Berlin on the 9th of November 2018) individuals and artists groups are invited to declare their support and sign by sending an email to: unterstuetzung@dievielen.de.
    (Cultural institutions can still become signatories a er the 9th November and join the declaration by sending an email to erklaerung@dievielen.de)
  11. The institutions that have signed the declaration will participate in country wide campaigns comprising events, dialogue, forums. Further, they will mobilise for the “Glittering Arts and Culture Demonstration on the 18th of May 2019. – Solidarity over privilege. It’s about all of us. Freedom for the Arts!”
  12. All signatories commit to showing their solidarity with those cultural institutions and artists targeted by smear campaigns and vilification.

Die Vielen e.V. / Mariannenplatz 2 / 10997 Berlin / erklaerung@dievielen.de


Stiftung Brandenburger Tor, Board Member Kai Uwe Peter:
The Stiftung Brandenburg Gate signs the BERLINER ERKLÄRUNG DER VIELEN (BERLINER DECLARATION OF THE VIELEN) because it has the following goal: “We want to protect democracy with and through culture”.

HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Director Annemie Vanackere:
HAU Hebbel am Ufer is there because theatre and dance have great potential for promoting exchange and a change of perspective, cultural education and critical dialogue. This potential for We will continue to actively use encounters in the future to counter authoritarianism, populism, hatred and exclusion with imagination and artistic strength. The action of the VIELEN is also exemplary because we all not only know it, but it is now also proving to be a necessity that solidarity is so much more important than the eternal profile neurotic competition between the institutions.

Friedrichstadt Palace, Director Berndt Schmidt:
The Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin signs the BERLINER ERKLÄRUNG DER VIELEN, because we know from our own experience what can happen if we position ourselves against right-wing extremism: Hate mails, Death threats, short-term evacuation of 1,800 guests and 200 employees due to bomb threat, AfD requests to cut funding. Together we are stronger

Akademie der Künste Berlin, Vice President Kathrin Röggla:
The Akademie der Künste joins the initiative of the VIELEN, because as a representative of all branches of art it sees the necessity to defend the freedom of art against the voices of exclusion and agitation. We see it as a continuation of our work as an academy to set a limit, which we have addressed in numerous events, namely at the moment when democratic principles are to be leveraged with conscious manipulation and means of hate speech. Art is in the critical tradition of the Enlightenment and should not be used to glorify one’s own nation, as right-wing extremist forces demand. Freedom of the arts is one of the most highly protected assets of our constitution.
In addition, we see ourselves connected to historical memory work, not least through our large and important archive of modern art, which is marked by a focus on the arts in exile. We, the Academy of Arts, stand for diversity and pluralism in our society.

Deutsche Oper Berlin, Director Dietmar Schwarz:
The Deutsche Oper Berlin signs the BERLINER ERDÄRUNG DER VIELEN (BERLINER DECLARATION OF THE VIELEN), because for me, as the artistic director of this great cultural institution, it is part of my elementary self-image to work for an open, diverse and to be an equal society. And of course, the major cultural institutions can most effectively bring the discussion about us and our future to the centre of society. Already the art form Opera is inherent in the close cooperation across country, template and genre boundaries – and so today I can also say that the Deutschsprachige Opernkonferenz, the association of the largest opera houses in the German-speaking world, will sign the BERLINER ERKLÄRUNG.


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