The Martin Roth-Initiative protects artists who are committed in their home country to the freedom of art, democracy and human rights by enabling temporary residence in Germany or third countries for the purpose of protecting those who are being persecuted. Special significance is placed on the cultural scenes and local civil society in the host countries which, during the scholarship period, work with the scholarship holders, provide support and enable their professional development.
Following a public appeal of leading figures of the German cultural scene who stated their willingness to accept responsibility and support their persecuted colleagues abroad, the Martin Roth-Initiative has been created as a joint project by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) and Goethe-Institut. Funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany the program promotes and supports endangered artists in close collaboration with a network of both national and international (cultural) institutions. The recipients of scholarships are selected by an independent Selection Committee consisting of members of the art and cultural scene in Germany as well as representatives from international civil-society institutions.
Martin Roth Initiative
10115 Berlin, Germany
T +49 (0)30 284491-76
The Brussels Declaration – For the Freedom of the Arts was initiated by German politicians and artists in Brussels at the beginning of July. It serves as a counter-position to the right-wing nationalist appropriation of culture and the arts.
More than 50.000 have signed the declaration which has been published in German, English, French, Polish and Hungarian.
The declaration is published and can be signed at change.org
On Saturday, 26 May about 30 protesters from an extreme right movement disrupted the performance of the play “Our violence and your violence” by Croatian stage director Oliver Frljic at the theatre festival “Divadelni Svet” in Brno. Protesters climbed onto the stage and formed a human shield to prevent the audience from watching the play while some booed and threw pieces of paper at the actors from the Mladinsko Theatre Ljubljana. The protesters were eventually thrown out of the theatre by riot police.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has condemned the festival in a letter on behalf of other bishops, from featuring the play. The theatre festival has resisted demands the play be withdrawn from the programme. Based on “The Aesthetics of Resistance” by Peter Weis, “Our Violence and your Violence” is Frljic’s comment on Fascism and Islamophobia.
Update: On 29 of May the Mladinsko Theatre has sent a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ljubljana. The theatre declares “that the Brno police, the instrument of Czech authorities, did not come to prevent the violence and protect freedom of speech and artistic expression, but were rather waiting for the violence to happen before they reacted.”
Sources: N1, MDR Kultur, Radio Prague, Mladinsko Theatre
Russian FSB investigated a case of embezzlement of 645,000 Euro for the construction of Malyi Teatr’s new venue. The internationally renowned theatre has been led by artistic director Lev Dodin for more than 35 years now and belongs to the leading theatre institutions in Russia. The case creates an atmosphere of intimidation, even though the investigations are officially directed at contractors commissioned for the new building.
Sources: Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Interfax, Moscow Times
A district court in Moscow has extended Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest by three months. His house arrest was due to expire on Friday, Jan. 19.
Also, investigators doubled the damages against Serebrennikov’s studio from 68 million rubles to 133 million rubles.
Sources: Moscow Times, Dozhd TV news
The festival announces, that all three Polish performances which were canceled before due to cuts of governmental funds, will remain in the program. The success came after launching a fundraising campaign and with the support of the local and international artists community. “Without you” wrote Tomasz Kireńczuk, the Programme Manager, “there would be no 9th ITF Dialog-Wroclaw, which this year’s slogan ‘Onwards! But where to?’ takes on a whole new, significant meaning today.”
Source: Dialog Festival