In Berlin this weekend 27 Clubs, funded each 3000 euros by the Federal Foreign Office, are celebrating the Fall of the Wall as well as Freedom of Movement in Europe. Of course this has generated debates, for example the artist Elliver has criticized this as a shameful propaganda event and also stated early in April: “Might as well take a shit on the dancefloor”
Why this events feels strange is because it is not just cultural funding, but a political festival. Some see it as european-antinationalist, some as a representation of freedom, and the organizing Club Commission see it as a self-critical festival of European values. As such the event is special and needs to be discussed.
Michelle Müntefering of the SPD and state minister in the funding institution Federal Foreign Office had this to say about the event: “While some in the world use isolation and nationalism, we must stick together more strongly, especially in Europe.”
Ok Boomer, our European isolation against the nationalism of “some in the world”, that is sooo German, pointing at others (Trump?) and at the same time letting migrants drown at the coast of Italy instead of getting your own hands dirty. Müntefering further stated: “Walls and barriers are no solution”. This is pure orwellian newspeak, to say something like that in the middle of Fortress Europe and only to mean the European economic zone (which of course has strong walls and borders to the outside). We are all anti-racists now, just not those that have to stay outside, right?
These were also the contradictions the Clubcommission themselves had to chew on, but only in their English advertising, apparently there was some improvisation going on:
“Yet there are still military conflicts, repressed and marginalized groups and wrong immigration policies.” (European Club Night Website)
“Yet across the globe military conflicts continue, whilst repressed and marginalized groups are further limited by ingrained systems and immigration policies that stifle these communities freedom of movement.” (European Club Night on Facebook)
The participating clubs didn’t seem to dare to use such terms. In anticipatory obedience they were only writing empty phrases like:
“setting an example for a peaceful Europe without borders and against nationalism” (ACUD, in Müntefering newspeak)
“We celebrate 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall and invite our dear colleagues from HALL Club Tallinn for European Clubnight” (Kater Blau)
“The European Club Night gives us the opportunity to come together through music and to create awareness about the social and cultural significance that the 30th anniversary that the fall of the Berlin Wall marks.” (Panke)
And now the price question. Who is to blame for people drowning in the Mediterranean Sea?
Racism? Nationalism? The Mediterranean Sea?
No, it is the oh so borderless EU, which is using the very effective natural border and has closed other refugee routes with force and then even pushes back people to Turkey. That is all that critics like Elliver are pointing at, that you cannot have the EU without EU politics. Elliver is just criticising the ideological flexibility of clubs, who are doing events about sea rescue and the on the blessings of free movement of labour for EU citizens.
In the difference between the Clubcommission’s statement with its EU-critical twist and then how clubs produce political statements one can see the ideological problems of this celebration of unity² (German Unification and EU).