This year's 48 Stunden Neukölln theme stands for a positive, generally moral sort of courage regarding how one lives one's life and the challenges this can pose. In the framework of the festival, together with everyone involved in cultural activity here, we'll delve into the possibilities of the scope of making art and the responsibilities it has in other spheres of life. Considering both societal reality and individual processes of development, incorporating aesthetic matters as well as relaying courageous content are among the important societal responsibilities that artists have. Again and again, artists have to take a stance as a matter of their idea of themselves, then often take an active role in public discourse and calling attention to contradictions and problems. Additionally, artists' everyday lives are limited by, all too often, precarious living conditions and urban development that forces artists to relocate when rents rise.
For this year's edition of 48 Stunden Neukölln - a festival of the arts, around 250 events have been selected for their approach to the theme of Courage. In the applications process, a number of themes proved to be on many artists' minds, such as the repercussions of globalisation and gentrification, a proliferation of diverse lifestyles in societies known for being repressive, challenges to traditional world views and documentation of extremely individual lifestyles.
Artists from a wide variety of countries bring their individual cultural experiences, and ways of dealing with these conditions, negotiate these ideas in a all imaginable artistic disciplines in the programme. Contributions from Kiev, Istanbul, Barcelona, Minsk, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, North and South America illustrate global perspectives of these issues. For their works here, in the artistic laboratory that is northern-Neukölln, they focus on local aspects of these topics, covering new ground in the process..
This year, we have also initiated a Festival of Young Arts with an appropriate perspective of the annual theme, “ZEIG DICH!“ (Show yourself!). 48 different events cater to children and young people; this section of the programme supplements the festival by offering events especially for younger people. Many of these very committed projects provide young people with an opportunity to express themselves creatively, to articulate themselves or to explore how they can take a more active role in life around them. We're very happy that we can co-operate with the following partners for this part of the programme: the art academies in Weißensee, Burg Giebichenstein / Halle, as well as Young Arts Neukölln and a project known as “wohnwut” (comprised of the words for living & anger) from the Schlesischen 27 initiative. In the future, we hope that this new part of the festival will become as established as the programme for other segments of the population.
In addition to the main festival programme, 100 open studios and galleries will be open as associated venues during 48 Stunden Neukölln, providing a broad view of the palette of creative activity in what is now known as the most lively place for both producing and presenting art in Berlin.
This programme is intended to help you gain an overview of activities during the festival, to select precisely what you're interested in, or simply to better orientate yourself to meander in search of events.
We wish all of our visitors inspired hours of taking in the very varied cultural landscape in Neukölln. We hope that you'l take this opportunity to discover the complex urban dynamic here (or re-discover, as the case may be) and also that you'll meet a number of people who, in their everyday lives, courageously endeavour to assure that equality of cultures and identities becomes a reality.
Dr. Martin Steffens and Thorsten Schlenger
Directors of 48 Stunden Neukölln