READINESS TO PROTEST - Contemporary Activism between Attitude and Style
Like other European countries, Germany has a long protest tradition. Since 1945 the increasing willingness of citizens to protest is part of lived democracy. People take to the streets to express their political concerns; demonstrations contribute to resolving conflict and are an important outlet for pent-up resentment. Movements like Fridays for Future, Stuttgart 21, the occupation of the Hambach Forest, strengthened by the new phenomenon of social media, are an integral part of the political culture of the twenty-first century—but so, too, are Pegida and the marches of radical right-wing alliances, such as in Chemnitz in 2018. Slogans, buttons, banners, barricades, human chains, vigils, megaphones, whistling and catcalls, yellow vests, torches, and candles are a part of the aesthetic evidence of this protest culture.
Since 2020 students in artist Christian Jankowski’s class at the State Academy of Fine Art in Stuttgart together with the fashion design program at the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences have been developing interventions on the subject of protest culture. A number of these are now on show at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart.
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