CITYTALKS: “Unpacking Shifts in Berlin’s Cultural Ecology: New Actors, New Communities, New Policies”

presented by Friederike Landau, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University Berlin

Friday September 30, 2016
1:00 -2:00 pm
764 Kaneff Tower

The presentation sketches out the changing composition of Berlin’s cultural policymaking community: Since the 2010s, various attempts of the Berlin Senate Chancellery for Cultural Affairs (SKA) to engage with actors from the independent cultural scenes have not brought about much constructive dialogue or material improvements for the latter. When the Koalition Der Freien Szene (KFS) emerged as a new collective actor in Berlin’s art field (2012), the relationships between the cultural administration SKA and the independent scene significantly changed. Unlike pre-existing artist-led organizations and formations such as the discursive think-tank Haben und Brauchen, the Netzwerk freier Berliner Projekträume und –initiative (NBPI), lobbying for maintaining the variety of ephemeral artistic production and presentation spaces in the city, and Rat für die Künste, an advisory board with cultural institutions and practitioners, KFS gained a strong influence in designing new policies together with SKA. Via a systematic content analysis based on qualitative interviews with spokespeople from the transdisciplinary Koalition der Freien Szene, the multiple organizational and personnel entanglements of this new cultural policy stakeholder will be investigated. It is argued that through the emergence of this new cultural protagonist, Berlin’s cultural governance arrangement underwent a significant change and brought forth a new policy network, engaging precisely the mentioned actors from the independent scene and the administration.