Berlin Senator Klaus Lederer: This is my mid-term review of cultural policy

Berlin’s most popular senator
:So the mid-term review of Klaus Lederer

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  • Harry Nutt

    Harry Nutt

Berlin's cultural senator Klaus Lederer (The Left) thinks: "This coalition is without alternative."

Berlin’s cultural senator Klaus Lederer (The Left) thinks: “This coalition is without alternative.”


Christoph Soeder / dpa

Berlin’s cultural senator Klaus Lederer can speak quickly. But that was also necessary to accommodate all the many key words he was worth mentioning in the mid-term review of his term since 2016.

It dealt with the connection between tariff increases and minimum fees, the establishment of a festival fund, the increase of district cultural funds, European town twinning, heritage protection for Tegel Airport, more money from the capital city financing agreement, the library development plan and much more.

Klaus Lederer hopes for a solution in the Volksbhne case

Quite important things that are quickly put aside when it comes to the great excitement issues of Berlin’s cultural policy, which had been stylized over and above the sheer pros and cons of aesthetic challenges again and again to fateful decisions (Volksbhne, art project Dau, etc.).

Klaus Lederer must have been clear that he would not get very far with the strategy of detail, because of course he had on Wednesday in the Berlin cultural administration in the Brunnenstrae also answer to the personnel decisions that have moved and angered the Berlin city society last , About the working atmosphere at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is spoken in several rounds behind the scenes for several weeks since General Music Director Daniel Barenboim has moved into the center of a bullying affair.

Berlin loses spaces for cultural workers

Lederer also hopes to be able to present solutions over the course of the summer, as in the case of the Volksbhne, through his succession, over which decisions are also pending beyond the affair. The procedure for the replacement of the director’s post at the Hohenschnhausen Memorial was not least because of the heated party-political debate about the 2018 termination of the Treaty of Hubertus Knabe in the hands of Federal Minister of State Monika Grtters (CDU).

View into the exhibition "Nineties Berlin", which can be seen in the Alte Mnze until the beginning of 2020.

View into the exhibition “Nineties Berlin”, which can be seen in the Alte Mnze until the beginning of 2020. More will happen in this place.


imago / tagesspiegel

In the one-hour press conference, in which the two State Secretaries Torsten Whlert (Culture) and Gerry Woop (Europe) had their say, a theme of Berlin’s cultural policy finally crystallized with growing urgency. It was also fueled by a recently distributed leaflet by a group of artists who drew attention to the dramatically escalating spatial situation for creative artists. Berlin loses about 350 studios annually due to rising rents. With the senator’s vague announcements about securing 2000 work spaces for artists, they did not want to be satisfied.

Klaus Lederer wants to facilitate access to culture for the underprivileged

However, Klaus Lederer attached great importance to structurally tackling the problem. Whereas just a few years ago it was easily possible to find suitable spaces for artistic activities and temporary uses, so now one has to deal with the framework conditions of an overheated market. In this situation, it would not be a good idea to switch from the culture senate to the rental mode. “We can not save every break-away area with public funds,” said Lederer sober assessment. In addition, the need for a speedy provision of new space is at odds with the usually lengthy participatory processes. Your say is good, but it may take a while. On Lederer’s balance sheet, however, the old coin is positively noted, which will be developed in a participatory process as a cultural location.

The question of free admission to the future Humboldt Forum remains unclear. Klaus Lederer pursues the idea of generally facilitating the access to culture for the underprivileged. The Humboldt Forum must therefore be included in an overall concept of Berlin cultural institutions. There is currently a difficult negotiation process in which the Federal Ministry of Finance recently intervened. However, according to Lederer, it does not help. The second half of his term has already begun.