What kind of country do we want to be?

Tuesday, 20.06.2017, 20:00 to 22:00
School auditorium: Gymnasium in den Filder Benden, Zahnstr. 43, 47447 Moers

Our so-called open society is under pressure. All over Europe, right-wing populist and right-wing extremist parties are getting stronger, people who are hostile towards our open society have acquired parliamentary seats and governmental positions in nearly every European country, exclusion movements are gaining momentum and a culture of hate is increasingly infiltrating mainstream society. At the same time, a debate has been sparked in our society on the question "what kind of country do we want to be?" Would we rather be an open society guided by the ideals of liberty and human rights or an exclusive society eager to safeguard its identity against a perceived external threat? And if we want to be an open society: What are we willing to do to achieve it?
Modelled on American town hall debates, the invited guests will provide food for thought with short statements and then open the discussion up to the audience.

On the occasion of WESTWIND, we would like to host this debate and do our part to ensure that NRWs children `s and youth theatres continue to advocate an open society.

Director Hannah Biedermann from the group pulk fiktion will give impetus to the discussion: Her group regards the question of what collective life could look like with all generations, nations and cultures as well as contemporary theatre for all as a key consideration of its work.

Antje Dijksma (a long-time Moers resident) and Elie Azzi (a new Moers resident) will relate how encounters between refugees and local residents can succeed with mutual respect.

With the initiative "Tellavision", Sascha Ivan will demonstrate how a fashion label for human rights was founded and maintained.

Author Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer will team up with the festival organizer and translator Hakan Silahsizoglu to tell of their lives in Istanbul, a city in the process of transforming from an open to a closed society.

Jan Schmidt from Backa Teater in Gothenburg will share information on a research project to the play "Acts of Goodness": Young people from Greece, Serbia, Germany, France, Romania, Hungary, England, Italy, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland answered the question of whether they have ever performed an act of kindness in their lives.

Moderation: Stefan Keim, journalist and author