Hungarian parliament declares theatre makers to “national security risks”

Hungary’s National Security Committee vice-president and Fidesz VP Szilárd Németh identified three opposition activists by name during a closed-door session of the committee on 12 September. Among them are the stage director Árpád Schilling and Márton Gulyás, co-founder of Schillings theatre group Krétakör. Together with the former “Politics Can Be Different” MP Gábor Vágó they could each be expected – according to Németh – to engage in subversive activities this autumn with the intention of “participating in the disruption of Hungary’s internal order.”

After the law against foreign NGOs and attacks against journalists this is another step of the Hungarian government to criminalize expression of political opposition in the country.

Sources: The Budapest Beacon,

Appeal to the Federal Government of Germany to Initiate an Agenda for Persecuted Artists

Freedom of speech and the freedom of arts and science are constitutional rights that need to be defended in times of growing pressures against artists. This may be carried also by acts of solidarity with persecuted artists, as prominent cases in Turkey and Russia have recently shown. Yet a more systematic and comprehensive support is needed.
The initiative, which was signed by a number of artistic and festival directors, calls for a government program to support refugee artists in Germany with financial means to provide them with the opportunity to work within their respective field in German institutions. At least 1,000 persecuted artists could thus be supported every year.
This “Aufruf an die Bundesregierung” was, among directors of other cultural institutions, signed by

Amelie Deuflhard, Intendantin Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik GmbH
Shermin Langhoff, Intendantin Maxim Gorki Theater
Matthias Lilienthal, Intendant Münchner Kammerspiele
Joachim Lux, Intendant Thalia Theater / President ITI Germany
Thomas Ostermeier, Künstlerischer Leiter Schaubühne Berlin
Annemie Vanackere, Intendantin HAU Hebbel am Ufer

Full story of Kirill Serebrennikow’s show trial

John Freedman, theatre critic for The Moscow Times, provides analysis and background for the case against Russian director Kirill Serebrennikow as worldwide protest continues.

The Moscow Times also reported that Serebrennikow allegedly passed a letter to the German actor Lars Eidinger (Schaubühne Berlin) with instructions to publish in the case of his arrest. “Kirill did not send him anything and did not ask for any help,” Serebrennikow’s lawyer Kharitnov is cited, “We assume this is a provocation.”

International artists protest against the arrest of Kirill Serebrennikov

“We protest against the arrest of Kirill Serebrennikov. The charges against him are untenable and indicative of the fact that the intention is to silence an internationally renowned director.” Director Thomas Ostermeier and playwright Marius von Mayenburg (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin) have started a petition on to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Prosecution Service. Serebrennikov has been arrested on 22nd of August. The petition has already more than 3.500 supporters. See also entry from June 27.

Petition on (German and English)
Serebrennikov’s facebook page
Voices from Russian artists: Ivan Vyrypaev, Lyudmila Ulitzkaya, Teodor Kurentsis

Sources: The Guradian, Tagesschau

ACAR at 35th ITI World Congress (2)

ACAR made a successfull presentation about tools and partners for artists rights, presenting the recent Freemuse Report on artistic freedom violations “Art under Threat” and the Artists Rights Justice Toolkit. The congress decided unanimously a resolution to support the initiative of Ole Reitov at the 2017 World Press Freedom Day to call the UNESCO, UN and parties to create an UN Plan of Action for the safety of artists and the safe promotion of art, according to the reaction scheme for journalists. The second resolution which ACAR brought to the congress was also fully adapted. It expresses the support of ITI with the Israeli theatre and performance artists in their protest against the exclusion of PRISONERS OF THE OCCUPATION from this year’s Acco Festival (see letter to ACAR for detailed information). For congress participants ITI Germany and ACAR organized also a seminar on the role of Civil Society Organisations for the implementation of the UNESCO convention on Cultural Diversity. “The Declining of Diversity” was conducted by Cornelia Dümcke, ITI’s representative at UNESCO Cultural Diversity IG Committee.
Thomas Irmer (Germany), journalist and theatre expert, will be the new coordinator for ACAR. Ann Mari Engel (ITI Sweden) remains as spokesperson. Thomas Engel (managing director of ITI Germany), ACAR coordinator from 2011-17, remains in ACAR for backup from the German ITI centre.

Resolution 1 (en, fr), Resolution 2 (en, fr), Presentation sheets Tools and Partners for Artists Rights