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An Interview with Klaus-Dieter Lehmann
“Creating formats that point to the future”

Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut
Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, president of the Goethe-Institut | Photo (detail): Goethe-Institut/Andreas Wrobbel

In an interview with “The Latest” at Goethe, president of the Goethe-Institut Klaus-Dieter Lehmann explains how the coronavirus pandemic is changing international cultural and language work, how the Goethe-Institut enables encounters even in the digital space, and how it is supporting its worldwide partners.

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t changed the mission of the Goethe-Institut, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann said in the interview. Its task is still to create connections and enable encounters. But in times of travel and contact restrictions these encounters are happening in the digital space. The Goethe-Institut president cited the festival “Latitude” and the global arts calendar Kulturama.digital as examples of digital cultural and communication platforms.

In spite of such digital programmes, international cultural exchange is in danger, said Lehmann, for the existence of many cultural institutions around the world is threatened by the pandemic. He explained how the Goethe-Institut, the Federal Foreign Office and other partners aim to secure the existence of cultural institutions abroad with an aid fund and why it remains important to work sustainably during a crisis in the interview with “The Latest” at Goethe.