4 October 2023

23rd Academy Discussion: Right-wing Shift in Germany

Djamila Benkhelouf in discussion with Seda Başay-Yıldız, Michaela Hailbronner, Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Peter Laudenbach and Jeanine Meerapfel

Tuesday, 10 October 2023, 7 pm
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Press tickets available at presse@adk.de, Tel. 030 200 57-1514

The election and poll results of the AfD are frightening. This success cannot be explained solely as a protest against the politics of the current governing coalition. For years, the number of right-wing attacks and acts of violence in Germany has been on the rise. Right-wing populism is growing. The central question is: How can we make democracy more capable of defending itself, while protecting our open society at the same time?

Seda Başay-Yıldız, Lawyer
Michaela Hailbronner, Professor of Public Law, Universität Münster
Wilhelm Heitmeyer, Senior Professor and former Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Bielefeld University
Peter Laudenbach, Journalist, author of the book Volkstheater. Der rechte Angriff auf die Kunstfreiheit
Jeanine Meerapfel, FilmmakerandPresident of the Akademie der Künste
Moderation: Djamila Benkhelouf, journalist

Seda Başay-Yıldız is a German lawyer. From 2013 to 2018, she represented before the Munich Higher Regional Court the family of Enver Şimşek, who was murdered by the right-wing terrorist group Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund (NSU) out of racist motives. Since August 2018, she has received a series of death threats signed “NSU 2.0” and containing data originating from computers of the Hesse Police. She fights for adherence to constitutional principles and against structural racism in the security authorities.

Michaela Hailbronner has been a Professor of Public Law at Universität Münster since 2023. Prior to that, she was a professor at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and a visiting professor at the universities in Madison, Wisconsin (USA), Ottawa (Canada) and Pretoria (South Africa), among others. Her research focuses on comparative public law, human rights and constitutional theory. Since 2021 (until 2024) Michaela Hailbronner has been Deputy Secretary General of the International Society of Constitutional Law (ICON-S). She is co-editor of Verfassungsblog.

Wilhelm Heitmeyer has been a Senior Professor at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) at Bielefeld University since 2013. From 1996-2013 he was the founder and Director of the IKG. He was a member of the “International Panel on Social Progress” (IPSP) in the area of “Violence, Wars and Peace” as part of the first World Social Report. His research interests focus on the theory of social disintegration (TSD) and empirical disintegration research, violence, group-focused enmity, social conflicts, ethnic/cultural conflicts, Islamism and right-wing extremism.

Peter Laudenbach works for the Süddeutsche Zeitung and brand eins. He has published interview collections with Jonathan Meese, Frank Castorf and Alexander Kluge and, along with two management consultants, co-authored the book Die Humanisierung der Organisation. The journalist has been doing research into right-wing attacks for years and has collaborated closely with the cultural alliance “Die Vielen”. His book Volkstheater. Der rechte Angriff auf die Kunstfreiheit (Verlag Klaus Wagenbach) was published in the spring of this year.It documents hundreds of right-wing attacks on artistic freedom and examines patterns, functions and impacts of the targeted threats of violence as part of the right-wing strategies of violence.

Jeanine Meerapfel has been President of the Akademie der Künstesince 2015.
The film director and screenplay writer has made numerous award-winning documentaries and feature films, including the documentary In the Country of My Parents (1981) and the feature film The German Friend (2012). Her current film, A Woman (2021), deals with themes such as emigration, remembering and forgetting.
With her work she advocates for human rights, freedom of expression and the equality and diversity of cultures. In 2020 she initiated the “European Alliance of Academies”, an association of over 60 art academies that work together to defend democracy and artistic freedom.

Event information
23rd Academy Discussion
Right-wing Shift in Germany
Tuesday, 10 October 2023, 7 pm
In German
Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin
Admission: €6/4, free admission for under 18s

Press tickets can be reserved by calling 030 200 57-1514 or by sending an email to presse@adk.de.