14/03/2007

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.

Spiegel Online, 14.03.2007

In an interview with Michael Sontheimer, theatre director Claus Peymann defends Christian Klar's critique of capitalism (more) and explains why for him the RAF terrorists were no normal murderers, "who kill after they've raped a woman or in order to make some money. These terrorists killed because they thought killing would do something against the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children and women in Vietnam, because they believed they had to take action against the misery of the Third World. Just as Brecht has his holy Joan of the slaughterhouse say, 'Violence only helps where violence rules.' For me, Christian Klar is a tragic figure."


Die Welt 14.03.2007

In an interview with Gerhard Gnauck, Polish author Andrzej Stasiuk explains Poles' relationship to the Russians and the Germans. "I fear them both, the Germans and the Russians. I despise the ones just as much as the others, and I admire them both. Perhaps that's the fate of the Poles, having to meditate continuously on their place in Europe and the world. Being a Pole means living in total isolation. Being a Pole means being part of the last people living east of the Rhine. Because for a Pole, the Germans are something like well-constructed machines, robots. The Russians, on the other hand, are a bit like beasts. And the Slovaks to the south, for their part, offer little consolation."

Lothar Schmidt reports from the Prado Museum in Madrid, which for the first time in its long existence is showing the works of a living artist: photographs of artworks hanging in museums. "Of course, the pictures are by German photographer Thomas Struth, who began a series in 1989 dealing with the public space of the museum and the meeting between visitors and artworks.... The result is an intervention with eleven photographs from 1989 to 2005. These hang in different rooms, practically on the same hierarchical level as the paintings. That creates confusion, but there's more to it than the surprise effect. The glossy surface of the C-Prints gives the impression that the august paintings had been infiltrated by double agents. Here among the old masters, the museum photos not only show what can be seen in them; they're also like windows in time, linking the past with the present."


Frankfurter Rundschau, 14.03.2007

Günter Seuffert reports on an evening hosted by the Orient Institute Beirut-Istanbul and the Goethe Institute on immigration policy in Turkey. "Even those who enter the country legally are never granted real rights as foreigners in Turkey. The integration of immigrants amounts in effect to assimilation (...) Until 2003, foreigners were not allowed to work as, for instance, musicians, photographers or shoe makers. With the new law on work permits, the list of careers that are prohibited to foreigners has been shortened, but even today, doctors and engineers, lawyers and ship captains have to be Turkish citizens."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 14.03.2007

Regina Mönch looks at why young Lebanese are so highly represented in Berlin's crime statistics. The answer is unsettling: "Islamic associations have long had this community under their sway, and they increasingly secure control using Islam. Children learn their mother tongue Arabic in the Koranic schools, along with everything else the Imam believes they should. The value system is dictated by the Sharia, not by the German Basic Law.... Secular projects which, for example, educated Arab Kurdish women have run out of funding. Youth work, women's work - all of that comes from the mosque nowadays."


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 14.03.2007

Samuel Herzog was not too impressed by the "USA: American Video Art at the Beginning of the 3rd Millennium" show that is being presented in a luxury shopping centre as part of the Moscow Kunstbiennale. "The video pieces by more than thirty artists are being shown on monitors and projection screens in one large space – without any divisions. The competition between the images is one thing – the far greater problem would have been the sound mixing. 'Would have been' – they decided to avoid the problem by playing most videos mute."

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