News |VATMH Night 2023

VATMH-Nacht 2023 | Foto: Phil Dera

VATMH Night 2023

Berlin, October 12, 2023 – The VATMH Night 2023 was all about music. At various locations in the Betonhalle at silent green, our event venue, guests were able to see and listen to impressive concerts and performances: Philipp Krebs showed a sound installation developed specifically for the VATMH Night, and the duo wassermannvogel (Ute Wassermann and Sabine Vogel) took the audience on a sonic journey with voices, flutes, and objects, while Alex Nowitz presented his composition for voice and strophonion.

The festive ceremony following the wandering performances started on a thoughtful note. Opening the evening, Markus Klimmer, Chairman of the Board of VATMH, made clear that we, as residency and cultural centers commemorating Jewish exile in particular, take a clear stance: “The Hamas attack is not one that needs to be viewed 'from both sides.' We stand in solidarity with Israel and Israeli artists.” As an institution whose history is inextricably linked to war and exile, our thoughts and deep empathy are with all civilians affected by the ongoing events and developments.

In her welcome address, Anna Bartels, Commissioner for Foreign Cultural Policy of the German Federal Foreign Office, noted the difficulty of even talking about art and culture as a bridge between nations given the horrific terrorist attacks on people in Israel. Putting foreign cultural policy in the context of geopolitical conflicts, she concluded her speech by expressing her firm belief that residency programs like VATMH are able to overcome language barriers and borders and remind us that we are all a community of people.

Following these two speeches, Felix Kubin impressively demonstrated why there is a documentary film about him called Felix in Wonderland. His concert included Hungarian post-punk, gabber techno co-composed with his mother, and a virtuoso air piano piece.

The second half of the official evening contained an outlook by VATMH Executive Director Jakob Scherer on the future focus of VATMH’s work, which includes identifying and approaching additional target groups for future fellowships and institutional partners.

In her keynote address, Alice Hasters highlighted various aspects of her fellowship in Los Angeles: from her everyday experiences at the Thomas Mann House to the inner dialogues she had with “Thomas” while being the first Junior Fellow and Black woman to sleep and work in his room to her whole-hearted devotion to the mission of the Thomas Mann House: the fight against fascism and for democracy. For her, public intellectuals are people who find a language for dealing constructively with contemporary phenomena and injustices: “We want to understand the world. We want to stay in dialogue with one another, building compasses out of words, giving mental provisions for the journey into an uncertain future.”

Visitors of the festive evening also learned about who has been selected for the Villa Aurora and Thomas Mann House fellowships in 2024.

→ To the Villa Aurora Stipendiat:innen 2024
→ To the Thomas Mann Fellows 2024


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