Even 30 years after the fall of the Wall, the history of the GDR has not yet been told. The official politics of memory still largely reduces life in this vanished land to perpetrators and victims of the Stasi. It’s time to take a new look into the past to shed light on complex historical processes without romanticising or demonising – “the rehabilitation of the rehabilitation of GDR history,” as historian Karsten Krampitz demands.
Society in the GDR, marked by a completely different relationship to property and fellow people, was suddenly faced with the task of adjusting to a previously unfamiliar system at high speed. This meant that the eastern part of German was almost entirely de-industrialised within a very short period at the beginning of the ‘90s, a development that continues to have its effects to this day.
In 1997, looking back at the process of reunification, the writer Wolfgang Hilbig came to the point: “Perhaps one day we will realize that it was only our admission into West Germany that allowed us to become citizens of the GDR in the first place, which we never were, at least not as long as we were being compelled to be.”
The programme is devoted to the question of the politics of memory after 1989, which includes a critical look back at life as it was lived and the political processes relating thereto. Along with a discussion with Karsten Krampitz, Klaus Lederer, Luise Meier and Carola S. Rudnick on the GDR politics of memory, various artistic contributions from Berlin, Chişinău and Belgrade will deal with the social upheavals closely associated with the political events around the Fall of the Wall. The festival is named after the piece “Drugovi, ja se ni sada ne stidim svoje komunističke prošlosti / Comrades, I Am Not Ashamed of My Communist Past” by Sanja Mitrović.
In “little red (play): ‘herstory’,” their docu-fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood as a socialist West pioneer, andcompany&Co. travel back to the time of great utopias, asking: What remains of the ideology that turned the 20th century upside down?
In “Requiem for Europe” Nicoleta Esinencu shows how international players have enforced their discourse, policies and their economic interests on Moldavia, and how the European idea rubs shoulders with its opposite there.
The country where director and actor Sanja Mitrović and actor Vladimir Aleksić grew up now only exists – just like the GDR – in memory: the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The so-called “black wave,” an avant-garde film tradition in Yugoslavia in the ‘60s/’70s, serves as the starting point to focus on their own memories and the question of what is left of shared values in “Comrades, I Am Not Ashamed of My Communist Past*.”
There are still some things that have not yet been talked through: She She Pop, all of whom grew up in the West, meet their counterparts who were all socialized in the East in “Schubladen.” Working along the great worldviews – and against them – the stage becomes a site for a utopian dialogue about German-German history over the last 40 years.
30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall students from three Berlin districts in “Ihr wart mal da, wir sind jetzt hier!” come together with the artists Club Real & Elie Gregory, KGI, Luise Meier & Maximilian Feldmann, Annett Gröschner and Florian Keller, who themselves were still in school or training in 1989, to deal with aspects of the fall of the Wall and the histories associated with it.