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GoetheInstitute

23/03/2006

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, 23.03.2006

In an interview with Michael Mönniger, French sociologist Alain Touraine explains why the protests in France are not a sign of political hope but rather of fear and distrust (and therefore not "a new social movement"), and what distinguishes them from the revolts in the suburbs. "Immigrants are completely disoriented socially. They set cars on fire because they can't articulate themselves and have no spokesmen. The students on the other hand are much more privileged and are getting enormous support form the unions. At the same time, the immigrants and the students share a feeling of discrimination and exclusion. The youth of the suburbs have stood for a long time outside of society, while the students are afraid that their future has been ruined, and that that will make them outsiders as well."


Die Welt, 23.03.2006


Spike Lee wants to shoot a film in Berlin. In a discussion with Hanns-Georg Rodek, he talks less about his current bank robbery thriller "Inside Man" than about his next project. It is about Max Schmeling and Joe Louis. 92 year old Budd Schulberg wrote the screenplay. "Schulberg sat in the audience of the second Schmeling/Louis fight in 1938. Terence Howard, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in 'Hustle & Flow,' will play Louis, and Hugh Jackson will play Schmeling. Now I'm working on the financing (...) It's going to be an epic: Hitler, Goebbels, Roosevelt, Mussolini, Lena Horne. Ever heard of David Lean? I'm telling you: epic. Three hours at least! Bigger than 'Malcolm X'!"


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23.03.2006


Jordan Mejias analyses Francis Fukuyama's spectacular departure from the neocons in his new book "America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy" (YUP), but warns against overestimating its significance. "What is being witnessed in America's political circles is in no way a crisis of the conservative movement, more an internal debate. And one mustn't forget that Fukuyama doesn't fight only for reasonable foreign policy but also for his own reputation. It was perhaps not his fault that the title of his book 'The End of History' became such an oft-quoted and controversial slogan for the historical developments following the cold war, but of course the saying rests on him."

Thomas Steinfeld is alarmed. The Goethe-Institut in Copenhagen is drawing its last breath. As a whole, the Goethe-Institut, Germany's international cultural institute, barely has enough funding to survive, according to the latest research. The total subsidy amounts to 109 Millionen euros and it's sinking. "So it is that the largest centres of German foreign cultural work - London, Paris, Tokyo, New York – have less than a hundred thousand euros a year in their annual budgets for their programmes – that's less than a mid-sized theatre in Germany spends on a performance on their second stage. All limited work contracts at the Goethe-Institut are currently being cancelled. Nobody is being trained anymore." In addition to the article, the paper has published an open letter from Peter Ohrgaard of the University of Copenhagen to Goethe-Institute President Jutta Limbach. (see our feature by Jutta Limbach here).


Frankfurter Rundschau, 23.03.2006

Author Andrej Dynko is among the opposition figures now under arrest in Minsk. The FR prints a text from his anthology "Sarmatishe Landschaften", for which he went to the territories contaminated by the reactor disaster in neighbouring Chernobyl. There the people eat the mushrooms and berries without giving it a second thought, he writes, and listen to Lukashenko promise them the moon: "Aleksander Lukashenko has already been to the nearby evacuated town of Hrydni, where some inhabitants have now returned. He appears like a god and steps out of his powerful helicopter. 'The people have been rounded up in vain!' he calls out with his husky voice, speaking Russian with a Belarussian accent. His words come as balsam to the listeners. 'God be praised that the people here want to come back. Please give them a chance to go about their work normally.'"


Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 23.03.2006

In an essay, the theologian Friedrich Wilhelm Graf tries to explain what makes a good religion. "The goodness of a religion is basically dependent on how it imagines the divine. Are the gods gay and happy, or do they appear as a conflict-ridden constellation? In the case of monotheistic faith, is the one God an all-powerful authoritarian ruler, an arbitrary, cruel and jealous subject? Or does he appear as a loving father offering security? In what form does he reveal himself, and what kind of adoration does he demand? The image of God is decisive in how both the world and the position of humanity are interpreted by a faith."


Die Tageszeitung, 23.03.2006

Tariq Ahmia interviews Oliver Moldenhauer of Attac on the question of private copying of media, which is now being worked out in German copyright law. But the question of legality is not foremost among Moldhauer's concerns: "There's a technical arms race between the industry and the p2p (peer to peer) file sharing exchanges. The exchanges are becoming less and less sensitive to legal matters, now that there is no longer a central exchange. Napster, the forefather of music exchanges on the Internet, still needed a central computer to administer exchange transactions. The successors, like emule for example, have spread these tasks out to thousands of individual computers. The newest exchanges now encode all data transmitted. It's become impossible to trace which data was downloaded by whom. And criminal prosecution isn't possible at all any more."





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