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01/11/2006

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Die Zeit 01.11.2006

Jörg Lau comments on the new headscarf debate in Germany: "The clash of cultures really is taking place, but increasingly it is happening within the respective camps. Even within Islam, self-conscious reformers are standing up to the conservatives more and more frequently. Today it is primarily women with a – oh terrible word – migration background who are demanding their rights and not allowing themselves to be silenced. These are people like laywer Seyran Ates, sociologist Necla Kelek, author Serap Cileli (interview in English), SPD Member of the Bundestag Lale Akgün and now also Green Party representative Ekin Deligöz. In fact, Turks in Germany can be proud to have produced such a range of remarkable women."


Die Welt
01.11.2006

Sven Felix Kellerhoff and Uwe Müller report on the recent, hastily formulated amendment to the law on Stasi files, which civil rights experts and politicians see as detrimental to the working through of the injustices of the SED (the former East German communist party). "The result would be a comprehensive amnesty for Stasi involvement. Already, the various courts can prevent the identification of former employees of the Ministry for State Security with reference to generously defined personality rights. The most recent example is the Berlin hotelier Thomas Klippstein: he was granted an injunction against the publication of his activity as a Stasi spy before he had to admit at the end of September that he had spied on guests and colleagues prior to the fall of the wall. The Berlin media rights expert Jan Hegemann warns: 'If this amendment passes, there's a danger that it soon won't be possible to report on Stasi involvement.'"

Berthold Seewald reports that a state of emergency has been decreed in Irkutsk in Siberia: "733 people were taken to hospital there with alcohol poisoning, and at least 33 have died from it already. In all, around 120 people in eight regions are said to have died from drinking in the past days, and almost 3,000 hospital cases have been reported. That should put the number of deaths from adulterated vodka over the official 42,000 mark. All official attempts to limit consumption by raising prices or curbing production lead only to a corresponding amount of poisonous industrial alcohol coming onto the market."


Berliner Zeitung 01.11.2006

In an interview with Christian Broecking, the New York bassist William Parker, who will be performing at the Total Music Meeting that starts in Berlin tomorrow, talks about the bind that African American improvisational music is currently facing in the USA. "Art doesn't count here, and art that makes people think, that puts them in a revolutionary frame of mind, is out of the question. And if these ideas are of African American origin, forget it. Rap and HipHop have their own industry for white and black audiences but that's something quite different. I played with the Roots but the HipHop community wouldn't play a concert with us. What we make is holy healing music and people who need it, find it. It goes deeper than black and white, European, Indian, African – it's a universal language – but in America, everything has a racist element. Creative black music is not supported for this reason, but European oriented classical music is. If more people listened to our music, we wouldn't have these problems."


Frankfurter Rundschau
01.11.2006

Mirja Rosenau takes an interested look at the "Anonymous" exhibition in the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, where labels identifying works and artists have been completely dispensed with. "At the very latest on reading the manifesto displayed by the anonymous curator on the wall of the entrance to the Schirn gallery, it is clear that here 'resistance' is being offered: resistance against the 'increasing barbarism of thinking through bypasses and snapshots', against 'thinking that functions merely as a knee-jerk reaction'."


Die Tageszeitung 01.11.2006

Ulf Erdmann Ziegler reports from another exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle, "I like America" on the image that Germans have of the Wild West. For Ziegler, the show is "beguiling and complex. (...) One of the qualities of Schirn exhibitions under Max Hollein, and this one in particular, is that they take measure and the effect of space into consideration. Under the buffalo-skinned shimmer of the artistically whitewashed cabinets, one snuffles through the segmented convolute, to pause at angled showcases, be sent through wide and narrow inlets, and finally land in a festive room which is illuminated with yellow and orange-red glowing paintings by three artists - Carl Wimar, Alfred Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. Wimar is to a certain extent the inventor of the West, prior to cinema. Bierstadt proves himself as master of the pastoral with little figures in majestic landscapes."

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