Quo vadis ars?

The situation in the cultural sector has been described and discussed in numerous interviews, corona diaries, comments and reports in the past few weeks. Our annotated collection of currently 193 sources gathers voices from different sectors and media. This creates a picture of the cultural landscape in crisis, whose temporal transformation can be explored interactively via a dedicated tag cloud.


Der deutsche Staat verachtet Selbstständige und Kreative
The German state is contemptuous of self-employed and creative people

by Sascha Lobo (09 Dec 2020)
Original source: Der Spiegel

Why do solo self-employed people receive so little support from the GroKo during the crisis? This is the question that author and strategy consultant Sascha Lobo addresses in his column. Based on an interview with the SPD politician and Lower Saxony's Minister President Stephan Weil, in which he pointed out that Corona aid is a means of solidarity. Since the self-employed have not paid into any unemployment insurance so far, they are now dependent on transfer payments from the state.  For this reason, he calls in the interview for compulsory insurance for the se lf-employed.
What sounds plausible at first glance turns out, on closer inspection, to be an attempt to curb self-employment in Germany. In principle, the self-employed make an important contribution to the community of solidarity. For years, one-third of the pension fund has been replenished with tax revenues, since the pension insurance would otherwise be bankrupt. In other words, the self-employed pay for a benefit that they themselves do not receive. Unemployment insurance for the self-employed has been discussed time and again since the turn of the millennium, but it has never been implemented. The failure to include non-permanent employees in social systems is now being used to the opposite effect, however, as the solo self-employed in particular are being accused of taking advantage of transfer payments - i.e. benefits without receiving anything in return. The fact that the self-employed are also taxpayers is tacitly passed over. Even the comment by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz that the solo self-employed, who have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, are being supported with all their might is no more than lip service. They are being offered a total of 5,000 euros until next summer to cushion their massive sales losses. November aid is only available to self-employed workers who are directly affected. But because the self-employed in particular are diversely positioned, they quickly fall below the 80 percent threshold, which means that if they have generated less sales with companies directly or indirectly affected by Lockdown, they will not receive any assistance. Yet it is precisely the solo self-employed who drive the economy forward with innovations and, under certain circumstances, lay the foundation for large companies. But it is only when the self-employed generate permanent jobs that they receive recognition from the state in the form of billions in aid, state loans or short-time work.
Lobo uses the example of author and director Anika Decker to show how little the work of creatives and the self-employed is respected. She wrote the book for the mega-successful film  »Keinohrhasen« (No Ears), but was not given a share of the success by the production company. The commercializing company has now been sentenced to pay for the author's creative work, but the example shows how little creativity is valued in Germany.
Why does self-employment still have the reputation in Germany of being unsound and somehow unserious? Permanent employment, on the other hand, is considered sacred? One important reason is that too many self-employed people could bring down our social security systems. From 50 percent tax contribution to the pension fund, the self-employed could overturn the pension system, since it violates the equal treatment system of the German constitution. Thus, they will probably not be offered a worthy instrument for old-age security in the future either, and instead they will have to accept accusations of unsolidarity.

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tag Festanstellung Stephan Weil Solidarität Solo-Selbständige Arbeitslosenversicherung Olaf Scholz Novemberhilfe Wertschätzung Konzerne
All sections Statement

Deutsche Filmbranche sucht Auswege aus der Corona-Krise . Filmkunstmesse in Leipzig
German film industry seeks ways out of the Corona crisis . Film art fair in Leipzig

by Ole Steffen (17 Sep 2020)
Original source: mdr Kultur

The film art fair takes place in Leipzig. The event was the first industry meeting in Germany since the beginning of the Corona crisis and thus also served to reflect on the current situation.
As an introduction to a panel discussion at the Alte Handelsbörse in Leipzig, the Minister of State for Culture, Monika Grütters, had the opportunity to make a statement on cultural funding during the Corona crisis. This was followed by a panel discussion with, among others, Carlo Chatrian, festival director of Berlin, and Michael Kölmel, managing director of Weltkino distribution. The latter assessed the film industry's funding awards - for producers, distributors and cinemas - as fundamentally positive, but complained that film distributors only receive funding for German films. Since the film business is now international, this hardly helps at all. Monika Grütters pointed out that the extra billion for culture is financed by taxpayers' money, which is why it is necessary to look very closely at how the funding is distributed.

International films played an important role in the discussion, because blockbusters from America usually attract visitors to the cinemas. At present, US films are being held back by German distributors, which is why many cinema owners complain that they are not only restricted by hygiene rules, but that the reduced number of films on offer also attracts hardly any visitors to the cinemas. Carlo Chatrian, festival director of the Berlinale, pointed out that defocusing American productions could also be an advantage. He also sees therein an opportunity to stimulate a new reflection on the quality of films and a European film culture.

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tag Filmindustrie Filmverleiher Filmkunstmesse Blockbuster Leipzig Monika Grütters Carlo Chatrian
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht

Kinos in Not . Betreiber fordern finanzielle Hilfen – und blicken neidisch nach Bayern
Cinemas in need . operators demand financial aid - and look enviously to Bavaria

by Tim Spark (05 Sep 2020)
Original source: Handelsblatt

The film industry is suffering from the Corona crisis. Above all, German cinema operators do not see how they can maintain their program offerings in the long term. Michael Pawlowski, co-partner of the Filmpalast Group, reports a 50 percent drop in visitors in North Rhine-Westphalia. In federal states with stricter visitor regulations - in NRW only one seat has to be vacated - the decline is even more serious. This means that cinema operations are currently being run from reserves, as the revenues are not sufficient to cover them.
This is the situation that 68 med ium-sized, family-run movie theaters have to address in an open letter to Monika Grütters. The cinema operators need financial support and a relaxation of the hygiene rules. Since the movie theaters are well ventilated and the visitors do not speak during the screening, the risk of infection is lower in the cinema than in the office, according to a study by the Hermann Rietschel Institute of the Technical University of Berlin.
But it is not only the rules of distance that make life difficult for cinema operators. Film distributors are currently holding back on film releases because the number of visitors is currently not very attractive.
Although the German Minister of State for Culture has already released funds to support cinemas, these funds are tied to conversion, modernization and equipment measures and are therefore not helping to save the cinemas in the current liquidity squeeze.
In Bavaria, there is currently an aid program in place that compensates cinema operators for every visitor they have less than last year. In the other federal states, this model is seen as an opportunity to at least cover the fixed costs of the cinemas and prevent a cinema from dying out.

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tag Kinobetreiber Filmwirtschaft Neustart Kultur Filmproduktion Monika Grütters Hygieneregeln
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht

Die Maske ist hinnehmbar . Dreharbeiten in der Pandemie
The mask is tolerable . Filming during the pandemic

by Jörg Seewald (16 Jul 2020)
Original source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The corona requirements confront the film industry with great challenges, but also lead to more concentrated work. The actors are grateful that they are allowed to work again - even if the rehearsals with masks are a challenge. A point of contention regarding payment is currently the quarantine days before shooting, which are rarely paid for the actors. A lot has changed on the film set itself. The most important man is now the hygiene officer. He is familiar with the applicable rules, advises on the implementation of the script and decides who is to be tested and which measures are appropriate. As the assessments of the situation change weekly, this task requires flexibility and tact, as the hygiene requirements also result in high costs. In the case of cinema films, these can amount to up to 150,000 euros.

There is currently still a rescue fund available for the cancellation or abandonment of shooting, which is to be replaced by the Federal Government's  »Neustart Kultur« [Restart Culture] programme. However, this only provides support for cinema film productions and high-quality series productions. Accordingly, broadcasters and production companies must bear the risks for TV productions themselves.


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tag Film Dreharbeiten Hygieneregeln Quarantäne-Tage ARD Neustart Kultur Ausfallfonds
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht



The signet of facing arts joining the faces of STORM.

Facing arts is a non-profi project. Feel free to support it and get in touch with us!

The Team

Facing arts is a projet by STORM.

STORM is an acronym playing with the initials by Miriam Seidler & Tim Otto Roth, who are hit both by the Corona crisis. Dr. Miriam Seidler is a scholar in German literature and currently works as specialist in public relations. Dr. Tim Otto Roth is a scholar in art and science history and works as a conceptual artist and composer. He is known for his huge projects in public space, cooperations with leading scientific institutions and his immersive sound and light installations. Miriam and Tim collaborate regularly for years. With facing arts they reaslize their first common art project.
You find more informatin on both initiators on www.miriamseidler.de and www.imachination.net.

Special thanks to Paco Croket for the tag cloud programming!

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