Johannes Ebert am 24. Oktober 2015
Show Me the World

Rede von Johannes Ebert anlässlich des Symposiums „Show Me the World” im Rahmen des Festival Spielart

Liebe Sigrid Gareis,
Lieber Tilman Broszat
Liebe Freunde, liebe Gäste,
ich freue mich sehr, dass Sie heute gekommen sind und möchte insbesondere unsere Gäste aus dem Ausland in München willkommen heißen.
It was about a year and a half ago that Sigrid Gareis and I were sitting together in Berlin and she explained her idea for Show Me the World, a project of international discourse about transcultural curating. I was very fascinated but, having worked in the operational field of international cultural exchange for many years, I also was aware of the organizational challenges of such a global approach bringing together experts, curators and theatre people from all over the world. Yet all those challenges have been overcome and today I am happy and proud that we are opening the final event in a long series of discussions and meetings here in Munich at the Spielart Festival.
The Goethe-Institut and the Spielart Festival have had close ties for many years. This is demonstrated, for example by the festival being dedicated to the memory of Martin Berg, the long-standing head of the Goethe-Institute’s theatre department, our colleague and friend, who passed away this summer. Tilman Broszat, I am very thankful to you for this gesture of remembrance.
The cooperation between the Spielart Festival and the Goethe-Institut has had a long tradition. In addition to guest performances from transition countries with funding from the Goethe-Institut, in recent years the festival has cooperated with various institutes abroad that contribute their networks of artists to the programming formats of Spielart. This year, we are also bringing international visitors to the festival with the Artivismus training, a visitors’ programme from New York and an advanced training seminar for cultural managers.
Borrowing from the title of Peter Handke’s 1969 book The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld, a description of the outer world is also a description of the inner world. In this sense, the Spielart Festival follows the same approach as the Goethe-Institut; it includes – at least from the perspective of Munich spectators – the outer world and, every two years, creates exciting moments of theatre in Munich while also providing for discussions that are just as exciting.
Show Me the World is a programme format developed by the Spielart Festival and the Goethe-Institut based on an idea by Sigrid Gareis that attempts to incorporate perspectives from all over the world in deliberations and discussions about curating and organizing events in global contexts. Whether we are in Bogota, Cairo, Lagos, New York or Singapore, in Munich or Mühlheim an der Ruhr, we are all within the same history, we are all part of the same flow of events. While people in many places are facing the challenge of establishing resilient livelihoods, western nations need to find forms of the “good life” that are not lived at the expense of others. We are certainly learning this from the present major refugee movement.
I am just returning from a 12-day trip that went to Havana, Frankfurt, Berlin, Teheran, Riyadh, Amman and finally back to Munich. I had many talks with artists, art managers and politicians. Although such a short trip always gives one only a passing impression of each country, my conversations made very clear to me that every country, every citizen is affected by the same global developments. Perspectives on these are not always the same; sometimes they differ or even contradict each other. Communication and exchange and platforms for such are needed more than ever to reach an understanding of each other’s position. These platforms are those like the Spielart Festival, the Goethe-Instituts all over the world and our symposium Show Me the World that we are opening today. Art and culture play a vital role in this global communication process because they can offer a space for free and creative discourse and open new and sometimes unexpected perspectives. The world is being rearranged and re-layered. Artists react to this individually and mostly locally. Curators on the other hand are holding the debates globally. Conducting these art theory debates in transcultural contexts is the purpose of the symposium: Show Me the World.
The Goethe-Instituts in Bogota, New York, Cairo, Lagos and Singapore were able to show their worlds by enabling preliminary intercontinental encounters among partners. For example, Singapore was the guest of Bogota and Lagos of New York. We are looking forward to hearing about the experiences, topics and theories of these encounters here in Munich. At the conclusion of this project, we will be able to hold a global debate on transcultural curating together with these international experts.
I would like to thank Sigrid Gareis (for the idea and the initiative), Tilmann Broszat (who took on the role of producer), Christian Esch (Kulturstiftung NRW), Florian Malzacher (Impulse Festival), Matthias Frense (Ringlokschuppen Ruhr in Mühlheim), Martin Berg (who encouraged the project among our colleagues), our colleagues at the Goethe-Instituts abroad who are implementing the project, Hans-Georg Küppers (from Munich’s department of culture), Christopher Balme (Institut für Theaterwissenschaft Munich), the Haus der Kunst and all of the artists, curators and theatre experts involved.
Thank you.
(es gilt das gesprochene Wort)

Gehalten am 24. Oktober 2015 in München