Eine Besetzung und ihr würdeloses Ende

Volksbühne VB 61-12 Glitzer zu Staub! Der Kommentar zur Volksbühnen-Besetzung und ihrem würdelosen Ende liegt mittlerweile auch in englischer Übersetzung vor.
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Link zur deutschen Originalfassung

Commentary on the occupation of the Volksbühne theater (September 22th – September 29th 2017) and its undignified end.

On September 30th 2017, the communication channels of the occupiers of the Volksbühne theater from the collective VB 61-12 (Staub zu Glitzer – “Dust to Glitter”) were shortly hacked and the text below was published on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

When the curtain falls

1st act: losing control

First: this is not a staging! These last few days, massive differences of opinion arose about the content and form of the occupation of the Volksbühne theater. A part of the collective has now decided to leave the stage. We have taken complete control over all means of communication. We don't care about retaliations from the moralizers of the school of applied democracy.

2nd act: the rabble at the theater

It was a fine idea to choose the particular location of the Volksbühne in the middle of the city and to take advantage of its current situation with the controversial change of artistic director. What moved us and convinced us take part in the theatre occupation was the chance to create a disruption and refuse the miserable everyday life of this city. For six days, a theatrical pause for reflection took place, which, apart from the refugees of the Gerhard Hauptmann school, the unruly pensioners from Prenzlauer Berg and the New Yorck squatters at Bethanien, was one of the few occupations that was not evicted within the standard 24-hour rule of Berlin. A space was opened in which people from different milieus gathered together: angry artists, former squatters, stubborn retirees, rebellious welfare scroungers from Berlin or elsewhere. There was a lively exchange of ideas and opinions, sometimes naive, sometimes banal, but often also interesting. In that moment, something seemed possible.

3rd act: from glitter to dust

This feeling of self-empowerment was encouraged because the collective Vom Staub zu Glitzer (“from Dust to Glitter”) claimed “[to position themselves] resolutely against the present development. It is not a natural law but arises from an order established by us human beings, and is valid only as long as we accept it and support it.” The opportunity to gather in this particular place in order to discuss (precarious) work relations in and outside of the cultural sector, rising rents, radical critique and critical art, was recklessly put at risk by the fact that Staub zu Glitzer staged hierarchies and reproduced the social impositions that were supposed to be fought against. From the outset, there was a deliberate professionalization of various kinds of activity. And, not by chance, in the spheres of control—such as press, programming and communication—all the important decisions were ultimately taken without the legitimacy of the assembly. What's more, some individuals declared themselves the so-called speakers of the occupiers or the collective direction and were not even embarrassed to shove their faces in literally every passing camera. The actors of the shadow cabinet - consciously or unconsciously - behaved in the background as professional political and cultural bureaucrats. This often blocks and paralyzes a dynamic of self-organization. In some cases, the art performance could certainly help keep competitors at bay for the next project proposal or job application at the Gorki Theater. But we do not want to waste our time with these third-rate Schlingensief imitations any longer. Glitter to dust!


After the eviction, it became grotesque. Instead of discussing how to reclaim the city through wild occupations, the so-called spokesmen of the occupation threw themselves at a Culture Minister who just took part in the eviction order. They begged for the resumption of an offer which had long been withdrawn, and they were glad to cooperate with the minions of the state who put them out on the streets the day before. They even wanted to get back the new director back on board—a guy they were just demanding should be removed from the Volksbühne.

The grand stage is vacated. The collective draws the consequences from this and dissolves itself. It goes back to clandestinity, back to the contradictions, to the unspectacular edges and cracks of this city. No glitter, but the sadness of everyday life, not of the theater. This is deeply unsatisfying, but still better than attending a bad imitation of what already exists. The audience sees through the staging, gets up from their seats and takes the tomatoes from the baskets. This undignified spectacle is sabotaged and brought to an end with this action, which it deserves. Those who can make something of our words, we will see again. When, wandering together, we reclaim the city. At the theater or elsewhere.

11:15 04.10.2017
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Glitzer zu Staub

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Glitzer zu Staub