Between Scathing Reviews and Marketing – the Future of Cultural Journalism in Dialogue with the Independent Performing Arts Community

Presentation & Discussion
12. August 2021 | 13:30 -
Refugio Berlin, Lenaustraße 3-4, 12047 Berlin

Between Scathing Reviews and Marketing – the Future of Cultural Journalism in Dialogue with the Independent Performing Arts Community

The media landscape has changed radically: on the one hand, cultural journalists are losing gigs and income while the independent arts community is finding that it is featured less and less in newspapers, online magazines and on the radio. On the other, previously unknown perspectives, media and distribution channels are opening up. How can these changes be dealt with in a productive manner? How can cultural journalism be rethought? Has the time come, perhaps, for new alliances and solidarity between these two spheres? What opportunities do freelance cultural journalists have to earn a living from their work and yet remain independent? What alternatives does the independent arts community have for making its work known to a larger audience?

We would like to discuss all of this with representatives of the independent performing arts and with representatives of cultural journalism – and, in doing so, build upon the knowledge that we have gained in these matters over the course of non-public working meetings with specialists in advance. This will result in an open exchange of thoughts and ideas whereby controversies, the unforeseen and surprises are all expressly desired.
Can the independent performing arts and cultural journalism actually work together at all – and if so, how? The performer Sahar Rahimi and the critic Georg Kasch will discuss this. Over the course of three rounds, practical questions will also be answered. The actor Thelma Buabeng (invited) will talk with us about how you can create your own publicity as an artist. Who holds the power today, who, under certain circumstances, can provide help in gaining access to money and fame or attention? This will be discussed both by the artistic director of Sophiensæle Franziska Werner as well as the juror and journalist Elisabeth Nehring and also by Christian Rakow ( and Susanne Burkhardt (Deutschlandradio Kultur). In addition, we will discuss the following question with experts from the fields of cultural and media policy: can, should and may the public sector support (cultural) journalism?


Important Information for Registration

The programming will take place as a live event at the Refugio Berlin – in order to participate, a same-day negative COVID-19 quick test result with corresponding certification is mandatory. A list of nearby testing stations will be provided upon registration.

We ask you to make a binding registration by August 4, 2021 by sending an email to symposium2021 [at] The detailed hygiene concept for taking part in this event live and on location will be provided upon registration.


Schedule of Events

2:00 pm
Opening Greeting by Janina Benduski (LAFT Berlin)

Introduction and sharing of the experiences gained within the advance work groups

2:40 pm
Keynote Speeches and Discussion

What do I want from cultural journalism? What do I want from the performing arts? And how will we work together?
With Sahar Rahimi (Monster Truck), Georg Kasch (critic) amongst others, moderated by Elena Philipp ( and Julian Kamphausen (Performing Arts Program)

4:30 pm
Parallel Keynote Speeches, Rounds of Exchange and Table Conversations with experts on a variety of questions and topics:

  • How do I empower myself and create my own publicity? New journalistic and high-visibility cultural techniques
  • Gatekeeping Today I – who can help in the pursuit of money and fame?
  • Gatekeeping Today II – who can help to gain attention?

With experts including Thelma Buabeng (actor), Elisabeth Nehring (author, critic), Franziska Werner (Sophiensæle), Susanne Burkhardt (editor, author), Christian Rakow ( amongst others

7:00 pm
Presentation and Closing Discussion

Can, may and should the public sector support reporting on culture? And other media policy discussions

8:00 pm
Reception / Closing with wine, beer and snacks

Registration by August 4, 2021:
symposium2021 [at]