Ariane Mnouchkine is an iconic figure in European theatre. Over 40 years ago, she established the "Théâtre du Soleil", of which she is the artistic and stage director. Even today, its alternative approach to theatre is unique. Her productions tell of how cultures coexist and battle against one another. During the course of her travels, which have taken her all over the world, she has become a mediator between cultures. She has tirelessly fought for artists who have been subjected to political persecution, as well as for migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers on the fringes of European society. She visited Germany time after time, staging numerous guest productions. Ariane Mnouchkine is to receive the Goethe Medal in honour of her artistic and political achievements, which uphold the ideals of European enlightenment and tolerance.