They?re Still Painting, and More: The Leipzig Art Scene

First a success, then a bubble: the hype surrounding the ?New Leipzig School? put the city on the map of the art world, but also blinkered its vision.... more more

GoetheInstitute

29/03/2005

What the press says about us

"Europe needs a bold new story - and to invent new ways to tell it", writes Timothy Garton Ash. "What we have here is more than just a problem of communication in both directions, explaining and listening. It's also about the lack of a European public sphere. Europeans read different newspapers and watch different television channels, usually in different languages. The only publications all may have read are American ones. There are virtually no pan-European media. Just getting a proposal like the new European story out into the many languages of Europe is a full-time job. The common language of trans-European web debates on sites such as opendemocracy.net and signandsight.com (motto: "Let's talk European") is English - and that's a major limitation."
The Guardian
, London, 22 March, 2007


"Amazing and indispensable."
The National Review, New York, 5 January 2007

What Europe needs, argues Helga Trüpel the Member of the European Parliament for the Greens, in the wake of the French and Dutch "no", is to sharpen its focus on culture and promote a European public sphere. "Why are we not giving Erasmus scholarships to all EU students? Why do we not have more resources for city partnerships, where European contacts and European identities can grow from the roots up? Why are we not getting together to show European cultural diversity to the world? The European Union has to finance investments in the future, if they want to lead Europe out of crisis." The politician suggests five key projects that fit the bill, one of them being signandsight.com.
Die Tageszeitung, Berlin, 2 January 2007

On December 16, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, de Volkskrant, reported on a podium discussion hosted by the Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam, in which our colleague Gabriella Gönczy took part: "Gabriella Gönczy lives in Berlin and is a Europe fan. Her project is called signandsight.com. What is this website doing? 'Translating, translating, translating.' From the German and occasionally from the Hungarian (further Eastern European languages are to follow) into English, because this is the language of European youth, she believes. The people of Prague learn about their neighbours in Hungary through English newspapers – "which have one correspondent in Vienna responsible for covering all of Eastern Europe" – because they can't read Hungarian. Gönczy finds this simply crazy. It would be make the most important articles from Eastern European newspapers and magazines available in English as a lingua franca.... International communication between Europeans helps. Gabriella Gönczy was recently in the Serbian capital of Belgrade for the first time and was surprised. She thought Serbia would be isolated, turned away from the rest of Europe. That may be the case for many politicians and the majority of the population. But she met with fifteen young journalists from all states of the former Yugoslavia who are fed up with the nationalistic fuss of politicians and the mainstream media. They set up an Internet site. In it, Gönczy sees the seed of a European spirit that will, slowly but surely, oust provincialism. On the other hand, her report exposes the difference between a young, smart, well-educated, English-speaking youth who knows how to access various EU funding pots and a population outside the creative centres who, from Hungary to the Netherlands, continue to elect Euro-sceptical politicians."
de Volkskrant, Amsterdam, 16 December 2007

A truly excellent, valuable, intelligent product with a commitment to quality and a sense of wit. I especially appreciate the remarkable zest of the translations.
openDemocracy, London, June 2006

Another step in the field of transnational media to decrease the cultural barrier across nations... Information seekers will find it the best source of knowledge on the culture of Germany and cultural events in the rest of Europe.
The Statesman, New Delhi, 2 February 2006

... I am able to report these facts not because I have suddenly learned to read German, and have perversely set out to conquer it with a book that runs 1,008 pages, but because generous scholars have gone to great lengths to make available in English much of the best cultural writing in German and Swiss newspapers.
Every week signandsight.com e-mails to anyone who wants it a collection of articles translated from the pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Berliner Zeitung and several other papers. Behind this program lurks the frustration of German writers who feel isolated within their mother tongue. One of the editors involved, Thierry Chervel, says « German newspapers have the best feuilleton pages in the world » but hardly anyone outside the German-reading countries knows about them. « Feuilleton pages » indicates a somewhat elevated version of what we call arts and entertainment sections, a little heavier then we are on philosophy and more likely than we are to shift over to into political and social commentary.
In Germany they have become the major forum for sophisticated and open discussion. Chervel and his colleagues have given up hoping that they will get any more readers in German. So they set out to get German views distributed wherever people read English.
When they started this service they held a public discussion of the question, « Do we have to speak English to become Europeans? » The answer appears to be yes. Chervel claims that the French now learn less German and the Germans less French. The Internet has hugely expanded the power of English, which was becoming the global language even in the pre-Internet era. ...
As a connoisseur of arts writers and critics, I am now in touch with a fresh regiment of them, all previously unknown to me. Sweet are the uses of the Internet.
In: "The Deutsch: my kind of volk. A new Web service brings the best of German ideas to ausländer inboxes" by Robert Fulford, National Post, Toronto, 22 November 2005

EU policy wonks and Brussels correspondents enjoy talking amongst themselves and get paid handsomely for doing so. But where is the real European dialogue among real people? The British and the Irish live in their English-speaking bubble. Anglophobe French refuse to talk to anyone else in anything except French. The Germans are only to happy to dump Deutsch despite it being the most spoken language in the EU. And nobody can honestly imagine talking to the Poles, Hungarians or any of the other new EU member states in their mother tongues.
Without this dialogue, there can be little hope of overcoming the mortifying ignorance of our European neighbours. That's what why the German website signandsight.com is so fascinating.
signandsight.com provides an English-language forum for the feuilletons' lively debates and discussions from central and eastern Europe on themes that are of interest to us all but which, because of the language barrier, might as well not be taking place for someone in Dublin.
The internet is the perfect place for signandsight.com. Publishing online keeps costs low and topicality high, and allows it to reach far-flung intellectuals as well as bored office workers dying for something to read.
The website is a wonderful resource of absorbing articles, from German politics to literature, immigration and integration to music and cinema. But it goes beyond that to offer a diverse collection of articles on the European constitution, a profile of the "pope of literature" Marcel Reich-Ranicki and Polish reflections on the end of the war by Adam Krzeminski.
For people looking for a different view of Europe and the world, signandsight.com is one of a growing number of English language websites that do just that, including Spiegel Online and Deutsche Welle.
signandsight.com is a pragmatic and innovative attempt to stimulate real European debate, and it is appropriate that its name is a pun on German philosopher Martin Heidegger's "Sein und Zeit" - Being and Time. A forum like this for real European debate really is about time.
Derek Scally, Irish Times, Dublin, 8 Oktober 2005

This summer, around the time French registered their Non! Vote on the European charter, I began hearing a familiar questionthat recurred over the course of the subsequent months: "Have you looked signandsight.com yet?" A clearinghouse of opinion peaces from all the larger German dailies and magazines, as well as other European publications, signandsight.com pithily summarized the debate on the French decision, and it also linked to more crucial discutants' essays. I hastily bookmarked the website, and it has since become a must-read daily. I talked to Anja Seeliger, a Berlin-based editor of signandsight.com and a founder of its sister magazine, Perlentaucher, about the online site.
In: "Export Opinion. SIGNANDSIGHT.COM" by Eric Banks, Bookforum, New York, Oct/Nov 2005

Der englischsprachige Dienst des Perlentauchers ist vom ersten Tag an Zielscheibe der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung. Die Redakteure der renommierten konservativen Tageszeitung meinten damals, dass es eine sinnlose Initiative sei, die Artikeln der deutschen Feuilletons im Internet in Englisch zugänglich zu machen. Hundert Tage nach dem Start von signandsight.com greift die FAZ das Thema wieder auf. ... Es ist jedoch nicht gelungen, die Redakteure des englischsprachigen Metazins zu entmutigen. Sie setzen ihre Arbeit fort, das Interesse für signandsight.com wächst ja kontinuierlich. Dazu trägt auch die FAZ bei, ob sie will oder nicht.
In: "Der Krieg der Metafeuilletons" by György Bence, Nepszabadsag, Metazin, Budapest, 19 June 2005

Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung spottet nur über das Unternehmen. Wer wird sich in Frankreich für deutsche Feuilletons interessieren? Und um was für eine europäische Öffentlichkeit handelt es sich hier überhaupt? - fragt die FAZ. Den Redakteuren des Perlentauchers wird unterstellt, dass das ganze Unternehmen nur dazu diene, Fördergelder in die Tasche zu stecken. "Eurotaucher" - lautet der Titel des FAZ-Artikels, obwohl signandsight.com die Unterstützung der Kulturstiftung des Bundes wirklich braucht, unter anderem um die besten feuilletonistischen Texte aus Deutschland ins Englische zu übertragen, und Copyrights bzw. Übersetzungen sind teuer.
Warum ist die FAZ überhaupt so böswillig? Nicht schwer, zu erraten. Im Perlentaucher wurde schon öfters die engstirnige Online-Strategie der FAZ kritisiert. Thierry Chervel erwähnt auch im Manifest von signandsight.com, dass die Website der FAZ kaum noch kostenlose Inhalte enthält. Was den Perlentaucher übrigens nicht abschreckt: unermüdlich machen sie weiter Werbung für die Feuilletons der FAZ und kommentieren sie - zu ihrem großen Bedauern ohne Hyperlinks. Die FAZ stellte diesen einzigen Artikel, in dem sie für abonnementpflichtige Online-Publikationen plädieren, eine Ausnahme. signandsight.com können wir natürlich weiterhin kostenlos lesen.
In: "Neues Metafeuilleton in Englisch" by György Bence, Nepszabadsag, Metazin, Budapest, 6 March 2005

"Let's talk european! Plaidoyer pour un espace public supranational" by Thierry Chervel
(Reprint of the author's signandsight.com Manifesto)
Courrier international, Paris, 21-27 April 2005

signandsight.com is the English version of the German cultural magazine Perlentaucher, one of the few independent German online magazines. The magazine provides an informative window onto intellectual life in Germany, aiming to fill a cultural vacuum with an accessible, English-language service, accessible to the largest number of readers.
El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile, 6 March 2005

Sometimes it is silly: A country like Portugal will start broadcasting a knockoff of American Idol, as countries are wont to do, and everyone will start having a heated debate about the merits of this depressing waste of airspace, utterly unaware that precisely the same debate, with some useful arguments, took place a few months before in neighbouring Spain.
And sometimes it is serious: These people are supposed to be agreeing on a constitution, with the consent of all of Europe's 450 million people, this year. There is no Europe-wide debate over this life-changing document, absolutely zero. What was said in Spain about it last month, when they voted in favour of it, stays in Spain. England, which is likely to reject it, will never hear.
On Tuesday, Mr. Chervel decided to do something about this problem. He published a manifesto in Berlin calling for an end to the "self-contented thumb twiddling" and the endless "threat of provincialism" in European letters. In a deliberate insult to orthodoxy, he declared: "Let's talk European!"
Yes, he declared it in English. And he declared it in an on-line magazine he founded, with solid funding and good editors, that summarizes and contributes to the great German debates of the day, and does so completely in English. If his manifesto were not trouble enough, his magazine, http://www.signandsight.com (which also happens to be a fantastic website, full of extremely engaging writing and argument pulled from the mysterious netherworlds of German debate) is a direct affront to the European ethos.
You see, there already is a debate going on, at quite an elevated level, about how to bring Europe together linguistically.
The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 5 March 2005

Perlentaucher, German for "pearl diver," has long been one of the best-kept secrets of the German Internet. Each day, its editors cull the pages of the feuilleton sections of the country's top newspapers and present the best of the lot. What the heck is a feuilleton page, you might be asking? Imagine a philosopher like Jacques Derrida hijacking the Washington Post "Style" pages and you'd get a pretty clear idea -- you get everything from musings and rants on the Iraq war to meditations on this season's Prada. At times insightful and entertaining, at others simply pretentious and impenetrable, the feuilleton pages play an important part of the national dialog here. Since its inception, Perlentaucher has done a great job of filtering the best of the German feuilleton into small, well-written truffles. This week, Perlentaucher launched signandsight.com, the latest entrant in the growing English-language media in Germany and the first continental European companion to Arts & Letters Daily, a Web site American intellectuals have long known and loved. The site includes Perlentaucher's respected daily press review along with translations of a handful of editorials from major German media.
Spiegel Online, English Site, Hamburg, 4 March 2005

"It's a new window on the intellectual life of Europe, produced in the only pan-European language. Arts & Letters Daily welcomes the appearance of signandsight."
Arts and Letters Daily, Christchurch (New Zealand), 1 March 2005

Perlentaucher is now taking its phenomenal success a step further by launching an English Web site in the first week of March. Called signandsight.com, the site aims to make urbane German culture, as well as intellectual debates in the German-language media, accessible to a wider audience.
Much like the German site, it will also peruse leading newspapers to offer an English review of the features' and arts highlights of the country's leading newspapers.
signandsight will rely heavily on a team of translators, who will sift through the arts and culture pages of newspapers and translate interesting texts into English.
Deutsche Welle, Cologne, 28 February 2005

Wer wissen will, woher kulturell der Wind weht im deutschen Blätterwald, sieht nach beim "Perlentaucher". Seit fünf Jahren ist die Feuilleton-Rundschau im Netz präsent. SPIEGEL ONLINE sprach mit Redaktionschef Thiery Chervel über Subventionen, Selbstausbeutung und die Europäisierung der Öffentlichkeit. ... signandsight.com, der englischsprachige Onlinedienst des Perlentauchers, informiert ebenfalls täglich über kulturelle und gesellschaftliche Debatten in den deutschsprachigen Medien und zitiert aus den interessantesten Artikeln in Englisch. Vor allem aber erwirbt signandsight.com die Rechte der interessantesten Artikeln aus der deutschsprachigen Presse, übersetzt sie und platziert sie im Netz – eine Sprachgrenzen und überwindende und die kulturelle Öffentlichkeit internationalisierende Maßnahme, die bislang beispiellos ist.
In "Wir sind journalistisch unabhängig!", Interview mit Perlentaucher-Chef Thierry Chervel. Von Andreas Borcholte
Spiegel Online, 15. März 2005

Nicht nur für emphatische Leser, auch für Daten-Dandys und Info-Junkies ist der Perlentaucher das zeitgemäße Update des Kafeehauses: Man muss nicht alles selbst lesen, man bekommt's mundgerecht serviert und in kleinen Portionen aufbereitet. Insofern pflegt der Perlentaucher auch eine Ästhetik der Liste: Hier das, da das und dort wieder etwas anderes. Die Liste ist nicht nur das einzig Schöne am Positivismus, sie beruhigt auch, weil sie signalisiert, dass nicht Nichts ist, sondern etwas, in diesem Fall feuilletonistische Vielfalt. Knapp 500 000 Mal im Monat wird das Portal derzeit besucht. Der fünfte Geburtstag ist Anlass zu einer Podiumsdiskussion über Europas Öffentlichkeiten. Gleich mitgefeiert wird die Eröffnung des englischsprachigen Dienstes signandsight.com.
Seit fünf Jahren durchforstet www.perlentaucher.de Deutschlands Feuilletons – jetzt auch auf Englisch. Von Thomas Wegmann
Der Tagesspiegel, 15. März 2005

Englisch für Engel
Eine europäische Öffentlichkeit kann nur entstehen, wenn sie Englisch spricht. Hier ist das leidenschaftliche Plädoyer für die neue lingua franca des alten Kontinents. Von Thierry Chervel
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1. März 2005

Kinder, wie die Zeit vergeht! Die Internetseite perlentaucher.de - das ist die Homepage, die jeden Morgen vor der Frühkonferenz alle Feuilletonredakteure anklicken, um dort einen Überblick zu bekommen, was die lieben Kollegen so alles gemacht haben - wird nun auch schon bald fünf Jahre alt; am 15. März 2000 ging dies Metafeuilleton erst mal online. So alt wird kein Schwein, hat unser Onkel Herbert früher bei so einem Anlass immer gesagt. Im realen Leben würde man sich nun mit der baldigen Einschulung beschäftigen. Der Perlentaucher überspringt aber ein paar Entwicklungsschritte und bekommt sogar schon Nachwuchs: den englischsprachigen Ableger signandsight.com. Auf ihm sollen die deutschen Feuilletondebatten auch der nichtdeutschsprachigen Welt zugänglich gemacht werden - was einen deutschen Kulturredakteur naturgemäß freut, aber auch ein wenig schaudern lässt: wieder ein Stück Weges vorangeschritten auf dem Weg zum Weltwichtigkeitsfeuilleton; andererseits: die Chance, die Fackel der Aufklärung auch über Sprachgrenzen hinweg leuchten zu lassen, ist natürlich zu begrüßen. Kurz: erst mal abwarten, was sich daraus so alles ergibt!
Die Tageszeitung, 28. Februar 2005

Wer soll das bloß alles lesen, haben sich die Macher von perlentaucher.de gedacht und vor fünf Jahren den mit dem Grimme-Online-Award 2003 ausgezeichneten Internet-Dienst ins Leben gerufen. Täglich wählen drei feste und rund 20 freie Mitarbeiter die wichtigsten Artikel des deutschsprachigen Feuilletons aus und stellen sie mit Kurzkommentaren versehen ins Internet - zu besseren Orientierung in der uferlosen Zeitungslandschaft. Damit sind Anja Seeliger und Thierry Chervel, die Gründer von perlentaucher.de, mittlerweile recht erfolgreich - um die 500 000 Nutzer registrieren sie pro Monat. Doch das ist den beiden nicht genug. Jetzt startet das Berliner Unternehmen unter www.signandsight.com eine englischsprachige Ausgabe ihres Perlentauchers. Drei Redakteure werten die Kulturseiten von FAZ, Süddeutscher Zeitung (SZ), Frankfurter Rundschau, taz und Neuer Zürcher Zeitung aus und übersetzen die interessantesten Texte ins Englische.
"Perlentaucher auf Englisch. Kultur-Onlinedienst stellt neuen Service ins Netz". Von Birte Hedden
Berliner Zeitung, 24. Februar 2005

Seit fünf Jahren gibt es eine feuilletonistische Rundschau im Internet, die über wichtige Artikel aus deutschen Tageszeitungen informiert, eine Art kulturelle Themen- und Thesenschau des Tages, kein Laufsteg, aber ein Meinungsbarometer zwischen Taz und FAZ, Zürich, Frankfurt, Hamburg und Berlin. Es heißt "Perlentaucher". Morgen wird diese Auswahl des deutschsprachigen Feuilletons im Internet in einer noch strengeren Auswahl und verkleinert auf englisch erscheinen. Heißt dann aber nicht mehr "Perlentaucher" oder "Miesmuschel" oder "Fish and Chips", sondern "Signandsight.com". Nicht "Sein und Zeit" , sondern frei übersetzt, "Ansichten und Einsichten".
Deutschlandradio, 28. Februar 2005

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Monday 1 October, 2007

We've been online since March 1, 2005, delivering a daily press review of the German language feuilletons. Starting in October, we will only be able to provide a weekly summary, "From the Feuilletons," and two rather than three full-length articles per week.
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Friday 29 June, 2007

Let's talk European! Towards a European public sphere. Over 50 chief editors and editors from all over Central Eastern Europe and beyond discussed in Prague from 15-16 June how Europe's most pressing questions could be debated across the continent. How can international media networks be extended? Read the summary of the conference here.
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Monday 4 June, 2007

In co-operation with the Goethe-Institute Amsterdam, Post Amsterdam and Dare2Connect, signandsight.com presented "Let's Talk European!" a panel discussion on the European public sphere. The event, moderated by journalist Hans Maarten van den Brink, featured Endre B. Bojtar of the Hungarian Magyar Narancs, Gerbert van Loenen of the Dutch Trouw, Arne Ruth, former chief editor of Dagens Nyheter and Arno Widmann, of the Frankfurter Rundschau. We give the text of the evening's discussion.
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signandsight.com in Amsterdam

Discussion between journalists about the European public sphere

In co-operation with the Goethe-Institute Amsterdam, Post Amsterdam and Dare2Connect, signandsight.com will present "Let's Talk European!" a panel discussion on the European public sphere. The event, moderated by journalist Hans Maarten van den Brink, features Endre B. Bojtar, editor-in-chief of the Hungarian weekly paper Magyar Narancs, Gerbert van Loenen, deputy chief editor of the Dutch daily Trouw, Arne Ruth, former chief editor of the Swedish Dagens Nyheter and Arno Widmann, head of the Feuilleton and Media section at the Frankfurter Rundschau.
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Comments please

January 15, 2007

signandsight.com is pleased to announce that our comments function is finally up and running...
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We are happy to announce

Friday 24 November, 2006

Two new developments at our website! A new layout for signandsight.com and a legal victory for perlentaucher.de.
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The Non-English Patient

Monday 6 November, 2006

On Saturday, October 7, signandsight.com took part in a panel discussion at the Frankfurt Book Fair on the state of translation in the globalised world. The event, hosted by media specialist Rüdiger Wischenbart, featured Esther Allen, compiler of an eye-opening study on translation and today's book industry; Susan Harris of Words without Borders; Anne-Bitt Gerecke of Litrix.de; and Thierry Chervel, founder of signandsight.com's sister site Perlentaucher.de. We present the gist of the discussion.
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signandsight.com at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Tuesday 1 August, 2006

In co-operation with Litrix.de and the Frankfurt Book Fair signandsight.com presents a discussion on world literature in the digital age with Esther Allen, Thierry Chervel, Anne-Bitt Gerecke, Susan Harris and Rüdiger Wischenbart. On Saturday, October 7 in the International Centre of the Frankfurt Book Fair. (Image: Frankfurt Book Fair/Hirth)
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Our user survey

Monday 3 July, 2006

We wanted to know who our readers are, where they live, what they like about signandsight.com and what they think could be improved. We had lots of reponses from all over the globe.
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signandsight.com in New York

on Friday April 28, 2006

In co-operation with 2006 PEN WORLD VOICES, signandsight.com presents a discussion on "The Limits of Tolerance" with Pascal Bruckner, Necla Kelek, Dubravka Ugresic, Richard Rodriguez and moderated by Kwame Anthony Appiah. On Friday April 28 in the New York Public Library.
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