The Ampelkoalition’s understanding of culture is somewhat overbearing

The R2G-WG is not only a charming cartoon, but also dry reality. In the capital’s cultural policy, everything will probably stay the same, Klaus Lederer, the Senator for Culture, should keep his office. Before the election to the House of Representatives, a hundred Berlin artists had cuddled publicly with the top left man – with the “best cultural senator we have ever had”. It doesn’t get any better …

It looks different in the federal government. Klaus Lederer soon has to deal with a new counterpart: Claudia Roth, formerly a music manager. For the Greens, she took care of foreign cultural policy. Otherwise hardly anyone from the party in the federal government has made a name for itself in terms of cultural policy. For the first time the Greens occupy the BKM and are now taking over culture and media.
Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters (CDU) has to leave after eight years, the Union is in the opposition. It is the end of a long tradition. Whether Gerhard Schröder and Michael Naumann, Christina Weiss and Julian Nida-Rümelin, whether Angela Merkel and Bernd Neumann or Monika Grütters – the cultural personality always came from the party of the head of government, with an office in the Chancellery.

Carsten Brosda from the SPD will not. The Hamburg Senator for Culture and long-time confidante of Olaf Scholz was considered to be ready for the new task in Berlin until shortly before the end of the traffic light negotiations. Brosda was negotiator for the social democrats in the working group on culture and media. And what is written about it in the coalition agreement bears his signature.

The culture was the bargaining chip

In September, Scholz and Brosda had advertised in an article in “Die Zeit” for the “great solidarity between culture and politics” and a “great cultural debate”. That is a venerable tradition of the SPD. It will now be given a green dress in the new legislative period. The culture was a bargaining chip, which, however, applies to many government offices, especially when three parties want to be served.

The traffic light paper has 170 pages. The K-word appears inflationary, albeit in a different context. It’s about planning culture, aquaculture, etc. The coalitionists come to the real point in Chapter VI. “Freedom and Security, Equality and Diversity in Modern Democracy”, on pages 121 to 127. Where are you headed? “We want to make culture possible with everyone by ensuring their diversity and freedom, regardless of organizational or form of expression, from classic to comic, from Low German to record store.”

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The traffic light men and women invite and recharge: “Cultural and artistic impulses can promote the departure of our society, they inspire and create public spaces for debate. We are committed to a strong cultural scene and creative industry. We stand for a non-discriminatory cultural and media policy. “

Diversity, gender equality, sustainability

In addition, the SPD, FDP and Greens want to “anchor culture in its diversity as a national goal and stand up for accessibility, diversity, gender equality and sustainability.” Culture as a national goal – the idea is not new and also not undisputed. Such formulations make it clear how much the coming federal government wants to approach culture. And how the culture is politically clamped. Diversity, gender equality, sustainability are big and important issues. Many cultural institutions have already committed themselves in this direction, act and perform accordingly and do not need any tutoring. It is more the case that the three coalition parties have learned from the theaters, museums and the independent scene.

In some points it sounds like fundamental changes: “We are making the gender pay gap transparent, want to close it, strive for equal and diverse juries and committees as well as term limits.” The latter raises the question of how this should be implemented. Can female directors, if they have become one, then only be in office for eight or ten years? A 25-year-old Frank Castorf directorship or over 20 years Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne or a Daniel Barenboim eternity at the State Opera would in principle be a thing of the past, even if the responsibility here lies with the state.

One can welcome that, but it also harbors dangers. The Ampel coalitionists’ understanding of culture is certainly somewhat overbearing. And then again it is caring, precautionary and aftercare when it comes to the free and self-employed in the creative industries. They should be strengthened. The club scene can be happy because “Clubs and live music venues are places of culture. We secure cultural uses in densely populated areas and support investments in noise protection and sustainability. We want to further develop music venues funding and support free cultural venues such as galleries. “

Culture of remembrance, looted art and colonial heritage

Klaus Lederer sees it that way too; it corresponds to his cultural policy, which is geared towards younger audiences. In general, it is noticeable how close the parties – apart from the AfD – are on the major and minor issues of culture. A culture of remembrance, looted art and colonial heritage, monument protection: Here the newcomers are continuing the previous agenda, they want to accelerate and work more ecologically.

The Goethe-Institut is celebrating its 70th birthday these days and is sure to find itself in the coalition agreement when it says: “International cultural policy is the third pillar of our foreign policy, it connects societies, cultures and people and is our offer for a set of values – and community of responsibility in Europe and worldwide. We will continue to strengthen it, make it more flexible, coordinate it across departmental boundaries and coordinate it closely at European level. ”Here, too, it should and must be about the climate, there is talk of comprehensive sustainability, diversity and digital strategies” and “Science Diplomacy through international Cooperation and exchange. “

It comes as no surprise to the Greens that politics harnesses culture for overarching issues and goals; with the Liberals and a little with the SPD. At the same time, during the pandemic, large numbers of cultural workers approached politics. They sought protection. Many artists have lost their place and their earning potential. They have to be helped so that they can play freely again and not have to ask for support.

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