The Lower Saxony Declaration of the Many
The development of our society is a positive one. Our country is now more diverse and liberal-minded. As a result, new questions concerning the social coexistence need to be answered. The process of asking questions and finding the answers is more and more taken over by populists who cause anxiety and insecurity. The cultural institutions of Lower Saxony want to fight against these powers and work together with a progressive and mediative approach. Democracy doesn’t work without contradictions and needs to debated and defended everyday anew. As people working in the field of culture we are very much aware of our reponsibility. After two dictatorships in this country, the fascist tyranny with immense crimes and a socialist dictatorship, we became sensitive for these movements in a special way. We are strictly against every ideological dictation, inhuman propaganda and extremist danger for our liberal society, also with our artistic work. We fight off indoctrination of every kind. Freedom of expression is one of the most important achievements and a basic requirement of our community. This freedom is inalienable, especially for the arts. Art often causes provocative ideas and utopias and therefore is an essential part of the development of our society. It is our duty to protect and defend the rights of our constitution. With help of the arts we always fight against the defamation of the other, against racial violence, against oppression of sexual orientation, against censorship, but always for the right of the freedom of expression. Together with many other cultural institutions in Germany we want to protect our liberal fundamental order and with that the freedom of the arts.
- All cultural institutions, theatres, museums and associations, groups of artists and individuals are asked to be a signatory. It is of course possible to sign after the publication.
- With their signatures, the leadership or leadership team agrees to circulate the declaration within their organisation, promoting discussion with employees, company members, curators, audiences and the public.
- The signatories are obliged for mutual solidarity with cultural institutions and people in the arts who are victims of hate campains and suffer from restrictions of the freedom of art. The signatories fight against all attempts to instrumentalize art for individual aims.
- The declaration will be published on the website, in theatre programmes, as posting in the foyer and via press release. The design of the „Many“ will be included in the institutional webdesign. The signatories are published on the website dievielen.de.
- The signatories are standing in permanent exchange and are part of the national campaign: „Glänzende Demonstration der Kunst und Kultur – Solidarität statt Privilegien. Es geht um Alle. Die Kunst bleibt frei!“ („Glittering demonstration of the arts and culture – solidarity over privileges. It’s about all of us. Freedom for the arts!“)
On May 8 2020 in occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Europe and the defeat of the national socialist German state, and on May 9, in honour of the 70th anniversary of the European Union, THE MANY created a space where it was possible to come together while remaining physically distant. Events have taken place in urban spaces, cultural locations and on the internet in more than 32 different cities. Hundreds of people sang an alternative European Anthem of THE MANY on live streams and on their balconies.
In the election year 2021, the signatories of the 32 declarations of THE MANY not only dealt with the further development of democracy in artistic practice and in their programs, but also actively campaigned for individual and joint, regional and nationwide campaigns for the right to vote for all: From November 2020, the regional declarations of THE MANY for the campaign have collated and exchanged knowledge, networked with civil society initiatives and planned or already implemented actions and events. In August and September 2021, the results of this work were then visible nationwide. In the run-up to the federal election on September 26, 2021, from September 12 until September 19, a nationwide week of action took place. The undersigned conduct an open, enlightening, critical dialogue about strategies that attack the society of the many and thereby undermine fundamental democratic values. They shape this dialogue with participants and the audience in the conviction that the institutions involved have the task of developing our society as a democratic one.
The signatories lead on an open and critical dialogue focussing on strategies that attack the society of the Many and so undermine the democratic values. The signatories organize this dialogue with participants and the audience in convictions that the involved institutions have the mission to develop our society further into a democratic one.