Peter Laudenbach on right-wing art haters – culture

The New Right has them culture as a battlefield discovered. But why are AfD politicians suddenly interested in dance theater and contemporary music? And what goes on in the minds of people who set bookseller’s cars on fire or throw explosives at youth centers? Theater directors and pianists receive death threats, the audience has to leave a Berlin revue theater because of a bomb warning, skins march in front of a gallery in Zwickau, in Stuttgart AfD deputies demand an overview of theater employees with a migration background. None of this is an isolated case.

Peter Laudenbach, the Berlin theater critic of the SZ, documented more than a hundred right-wing attacks on artistic freedom in an SZ research. In his new book, he analyzes the functions and consequences of right-wing escalation strategies: How do right-wing threat alliances work, what makes theater and art installations attractive targets for right-wing aggression? His observation: the attack on artistic freedom is an attack on open, liberal society.

Peter Laudenbach: People’s Theater. The Right Attack on Artistic Freedom. Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin 2023. 144 pages, 12 euros.

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