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Großes Haus

From 27-31 May 2020 we're planning a transcultural theatre festival under the title POSTWEST. In Berlin, the European window to the East, and as a cooperatively built theatre, the Volksbühne is characterised by a dramatic history between East and West. The festival takes the “between place” of the Volksbühne as an anchoring point, opening the window to the East and empowering art makers themselves to be actors that analyse attributions in order to shape them in their own way.

Together with partner theatres from Eastern Europe, which serve in their own countries as places of reflection and critical engagement with the socio-political situation, new productions will be created that challenge the questionable conflict between East and West, interrogating the concepts and the stereotypes that go along with it. Different artistic and discourse formats are planned around the festival's productions in order to expand on the theatrical works and extend the spectrum of the content.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Upcoming Activities:
Platform East: Urban Activism in Eastern Europe, 28.01.
Der Weg aus der Nische? Belarussische Literatur und ihre Zukunft, 18.02.
Platform East: An Unholy Alliance? “Christian Values” and Anti-Gender Politics in Central and Eastern Europe, 26.02.

Past Activities


An event of the international festival POSTWEST

As a prelude to POSTWEST Festival in May 2020, the ensemble will thoroughly yet sensitively explore the world of POSTWEST and present artistic contributions on (un)familiar subjects and figures, their own ideas and approaches to the festival’s theme. Get to know our ensemble in a completely different way, and let this snapshot for your mind and senses guide you around the evening performance and to POSTWEST Festival.

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Ivan Krastev: The Light That Failed – A Reckoning

Book premiere
English with consecutive translation into German by Johannes Hampel

An event of the international festival POSTWEST

Susan Neiman (director of the Einstein Forum, Potsdam) talks with author Ivan Kastev about sources for the current global crises, on the occasion of the German-language release of his book The Light that Failed - A Reckoning.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the model of liberal democracy was supposed to be the only alternative. Today the liberal world is breaking apart before our very eyes. Populism, nationalism and a departure from liberal democratic values are accompanying its downfall. The West won the Cold War, and yet it has lost its political relevance. How could it come to this?

In the political analysis presented in The Light that Failed, Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes argue that the supposed “end of history” turned out to be the beginning of an “Age of Imitation”. For almost three decades the imperative for the East was: “Imitate the West”! Through this imperative, the life of the imitators was increasingly dominated by feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, dependence, and the loss of identity.

Ivan Krastev, born 1965 in Bulgaria, is a political scientist. He is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and permanent fellow at the The Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, where he is head of the Democracy in Questionprogramme. Krastev writes for the international edition of The New York Times. His essay After Europewas published in 2017.

“Ivan Krastev is one of the great European minds of today.” Timothy Snyder

“Reading Krastev is a pleasure, because a love of literature, political realism and the beauty of thought all flow together in the art of his style.” Elisabeth von Thadden, DIE ZEIT

“Ivan Krastev is one of Europe's leading intellectuals.” Madeleine Albright

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

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