How can a festival of the arts like 48 Stunden Neukölln deal with the issues facing a society in the process of changing fundamentally? Our festival the me in 2014 deals with this issue, Courage, in both a programmatic as well as an experimental way:
1. Together with artists active in the area, we'll open up discussion to reflect societal issues in the
framework of the festival, while also providing everyone involved with opportunities to reflect on his or her own personal role in these developments.
We intend to discuss or point out what is 'courageous' and define what limits exist, all the while incorporating new critiques of the situation as it is. Often, societal developments lead to resignation since the courage necessary is lacking: as a result, any sense of freedom beyond freedom for commercial interests may be left by the wayside.
Urgent questions persist, such as: how open is our society? What freedoms are currently guaranteed under the rules that control co-existence? Can we develop our own ideas without external pressure? Which individuals are visible in our society and which are not? To what extent
do the powers of various institutions in our society determine our life goals, even our longevity?
Courageous art can go beyond the constrictions of everyday existence. Courage refers not only to personal freedom for artists realising work the way they want to; it also hints at the phenomena of discussing alternative ways of living to counter the threat of living precariously. Our art laboratory, northern-Neukölln, provides ideal condi
tions for examining what role citizens can play, how political resistance to the status quo can manifest itself and how to have the courage to dare to be transcultural. These projects should not be limited to social issues though: on the contrary, the challenge is to develop projects that deal with how social issues affect the arts and
creativity in general.
Artists are presented with a challenge: to take a s
ubjective stance on these crucial issues. The range of artistic expression is, indeed, unlimited, as always. Whether documentary or fictional, as an example of how reality could be or even the way it is now, in analogue or digital form, or even as a hybrid.
2. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary projects. This year, dialogue between different artistic disciplines will be initiated as more experimental possibilities for collaboration present themselves. Our intention is to encourage the participation of cross-media-projects in the festival; those who have participated over the years can consider working with others to facilitate synergies,
bringing various approaches together in the framework of a single project, working towards a common goal. These projects will be part of posing the question, together, of how behaviour has changed, how art is presented, and how to find new ways of involving audiences in the art they
3. Another focus that we'd like artists to consider is the establishment of a festival catering specifically to the needs of children and young people. The main priority here is to encourage interest, even pleasure, in experiencing art.
Together with said children and young people, we will
make art more accessible so that a wide range of different experiences can come together to create something new and in the process, encourage interest in the arts.
Projects for this coming year's festival should provide audiences with the unexpected, with surprises that expand people's horizons in new ways, making either new ideas or even older ones come to fruition while also being accessible to all. Together, we will open the festival up,
encouraging potential for both new artistic practice as well as aesthetic experiences. We're calling all interested utopians, critical spirits and those who are both active and enthusiastic – artists of all kinds – to take a closer look at our urban/cultural spaces to faciliate their becoming lively places where people meet. They interact through unconventional forms of participation which they can
try out and, in the process, encourage mutual understanding. This makes it possible to appreciate aspects of difference, making this diversity strong
er while also providing opportunities for abstraction and interaction. We can contribute to making more people make art part of their lives, enriching these lives in the process. This is especially true now, when courage is all the moreneccesary to make art...