The many - under this name, actors from the arts and culture have come together since its founding in 2017 in order to show an attitude together. Attitude to the increasing right-wing populist and extreme right-wing capture and instrumentalization of art and cultural institutions. The association acts as a supportive network and, for example, offers opportunities for publicity campaigns. The aim is to work together for an equal and open society.
NRW-declaration of "The Many" (Die Vielen)
As participants in the cultural sector in Germany we do not consider ourselves to be above or in any way distanced from current developments in this country, in fact we have our feet firmly on the ground, the very ground on which the most terrible crimes in human history were committed in the name of the state. Once before in this country, art was defamed as degenerate and culture was abused for propaganda purposes across the board. Millions of people were murdered or forced into exile, among them many creative people involved in the arts.
Today we perceive art and cultural institutions and facilities as open spaces which belong to “the Many” (Die Vielen). Our society is a pluralist collection of people. Many different interests come together and find themselves in the in-between. Democracy must be re-negotiated every day – but always on one condition: this is about everyone, about every single person as a being of many possibilities!
Right-wing populism, which attacks cultural facilities and institutions as protagonists in this vision of society, is very hostile to the art of the many. Far right-wing groups and parties repeatedly disrupt events, attempt to intervene in the selection of repertoires, polemicize against the freedom of the arts and aim to achieve the re-nationalisation of culture.
Their contemptuous treatment of refugees and exiles, of the dedicated people in the cultural sector, and of all those who think differently clearly reveals how they intend to treat society if the balance of power should ever lean in their favour.
We, the signatories of this declaration, as stakeholders in the arts and cultural facilities, institutions and establishments in NRW, as members of related interest groups, or as members of the independent arts and cultural scenes, are all taking a clear stance to actively resist such efforts by the right-wing etc. as expressed in the following:
The signatories to this declaration from the arts and cultural institutions proactively organise and foster open-minded, informative and critical discourse about right-wing strategies. They formulate and devise this dialogue together with performers, participants and the public, with the clear conviction that the participating institutions, facilities and establishments have a mandate to uphold and continue developing our democratic society.
None of the signatories provide a platform for ethno-nationalistic propaganda.
We reject the illegitimate attempts of right-wing nationalists to instrumentalise cultural events for their own purposes.
We are united in expressing our solidarity with people who are being forced further and further to the edges of our society by extreme right-wing politics.
Racism is something we encounter every day. Right wing extremism is one symptom of racism. This alliance of DIE VIELEN (The Many) does not just want to fight against the symptoms but wants to have a much deeper impact. We will therefore look carefully into our own structures, put them to the test and subject them to renegotiation. We must open up our arts and cultural spaces as well as our society so that we can really become “The Many”!
Solidarity not privileges. This impacts everyone. The arts will always be free!