Symposium Day 1: Between Participation, Money and Solidarity – the Future of Cultural Journalism in Dialogue with the Independent Performing Arts Community

Culture Journalism
30. August 2022 | 11:00 -
Silent Green, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin

Symposium Day 1: Between Participation, Money and Solidarity – the Future of Cultural Journalism in Dialogue with the Independent Performing Arts Community

2-day symposium on August 30 and August 31, 2022

With Georg Kasch (cultural journalist), Sarah Stührenberg and Belén Marinato (PAP Berlin)

The field of cultural journalism is in upheaval. This is precisely why, in August 2021 in the symposium Between Scathing Reviews and Marketing: the Future of Cultural Journalism in Dialogue with the Independent Performing Arts Community, we asked what makes cultural journalism important in a time where, on the one hand, the cultural section of newspapers and thus the economic basis of many cultural journalists is shrinking and, on the other, the exchange about art is being shifted to other channels. We discussed which partners cultural journalism needs, which partnerships could help, what distinction from PR and influencers are important but also what the dialogue with the independent performing arts community could look like as one of the groups most affected by the disappearance of reporting.

One year later, we want to build upon these questions: how do things look in terms of solidarity - within cultural journalism and within the entire cultural sector? Who do we make theater and journalism for? Who is this “we? Who has the opportunities to produce, who is excluded and for what reasons? Are new cultural journalistic formats necessary in order to portray the theatrical developments and create new points of access?

On the second day, these questions are meant to be explored in greater depth in workshops: what financing models exist? What does barrier-free cultural journalism look like? How is it possible to get started working in the field today under more difficult conditions? How can social media be used for (self-) marketing?

This event will take place in German spoken language. If needed, personal simultaneous interpretation into English can be provided for individual formats. A translation into German sign language will not be provided. The premises are either located at ground level or are accessible via a platform elevator.

If you need a personal simultaneous interpretation into English and/or have an urgent need for childcare, we ask you to please let us know by July 20, 2022 by sending an email to: kulturjournalismus [at] ( )


Schedule DAY 1 – Tuesday, August 30, 2022


10:00 am
Accreditation & Coffee

11:00 am
Opening Greeting

Georg Kasch (cultural journalist in, amongst others,, Sarah Stührenberg and Belén Marinato (Berlin Performing Arts Program)

Block I: Solidarity

11:15 am
Keynote Speech What We Could Achieve Together

With Mehdi Moradpour (dramaturg, author, translator and former theater critic)

During the intense phase of the coronavirus pandemic, there was the impression that those working in culture and the media closed ranks with each and often acted in solidarity with each other. Is this a model for the post-pandemic future? Or does critical distance continue to be required so that art is not only produced for the culture section of the daily newspapers and so that critics do not become an extension of the PR department? Can there be and may there be a solidary language that is used in reporting? And what does responsibility mean in this context?

11:45 am
Keynote Speech Challenges in Advocating for Freelancers

With Dr Alexandra Manske
(Sociologist, main areas of work include Work and Society, Culture and Creative Economics)

While, on the one hand, cultural journalists are increasingly calling louder and louder for greater advocacy, they are also, on the other hand, also continuously complaining about having fewer and fewer colleagues. What expectations do freelancers have of associations and unions, how can they be met and where exactly are the challenges located?

12:15 pm
Discussion Including Audience Discussion

Moderated by: Georg Kasch, Sarah Stührenberg

12:45 pm
Coffee Break

Block II: Target Groups

1:00 pm
Panel Discussion Who Are We Doing All of This For? And Who is “We”? Barriers for Writers, Performers and Audience Members in the Production of Art and Media
With Thomas Renz (cultural scholar and social scientist), Josephine Papke (journalist, performer), Judyta Smykowski (cultural journalist, published in, amongst others, taz, Die Neue Norm, and Melanie Kühnemann-Grunow (member of Berlin’s House of Parliament, speaker for culture and media of the SPD party, invited)
Moderated by: Georg Kasch

Where is the audience hiding? After the pandemic, a great deal of (independent) theaters have had to come to terms with the fact that their auditoriums have not filled back up as quickly as expected. What reasons are there for not going to the theater? Why is it that editorial teams, as well as the leadership of some theaters, are not very diverse in comparison to the rest of the population? And does the one thing have anything to do with the other?

2:30 pm
Lunch Break


Block III: Financing

3:30 pm
Keynote Speech Money & Obligation - A Longer Breath Thanks to Continuous Financing
With Dorothea Marcus (independent cultural journalist, published in, amongst others, Deutschlandfunk, WDR, Theater heute,, kritik-gestalten)

This doesn’t happen all that infrequently: you discover a new format on the internet, you follow it and, other just a brief time, it disappears again. While the opportunities for producing and distributing have strongly increased, particularly in the digital realm, the challenges of financing have still not been resolved. What effects does the lack of financial security have on the production of discourse and what does that mean for the work of cultural journalists and their communities of fans?

3:45 pm
Keynote Speech Money & Solidarity - Forms of Solidary Cash Flows

With Marcel Weiß (independent strategy analyst,

While we dealt with formats such as Substack, Steady and Co. during the last symposium on cultural journalism in August of 2021, we would like to take a look at additional financing models and ideas this year: what is worth it for whom, how can we lift each other up more effectively and where are the dangers lurking?

4:00 pm
Discussion Including Audience Discussion

Moderated by: Georg Kasch, Sarah Stührenberg



4:30 pm
Speed Dating

With Georg Kasch, Sarah Stührenberg, Belén Marinato
In a quick and relaxed format on the lawn of silent green, we will enter into conversation with each other
and want to discuss the questions in spontaneous teams of two: "What do I mean by solidarity and what do I wish for? Who is my target group and how do I reach them? What do I need to be able to finance myself?" We collect the results and summarize them at the end of the day.

Block IV: Formats

5:30 pm
Debate Are Reviews Still the Form of the Day?

With Christine Wahl (, author, theater critic), Dorte Lena Eilers (professor in the Master’s program in cultural journalism ​​at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich, theater critic), Antigone Akgün (performer, author, dramaturg and co-curator of the Theatertreffen blog), Mehdi Moradpour (dramaturg, author, translator and former theater critic), Moderated by: Georg Kasch

The critic as critical judge is (almost) dead, but there is still the genre of text. It has certainly become more accessible and closer to what has happened. But is the genre of text still appropriate for the phenomena of theater, performance and live events? Is there a need for hybrid forms, more fragments of sounds and moving images? Starting off with brief statements on social media directly after the premiere? A mixture of reporting, profile and review? Does publishing on the internet perhaps require a completely different approach? Would the form change if more people wrote about theater who brought other perspectives and greater diversity with them?

7:00 pm
Closing Moderation Followed by a Round of Discussion


Shedule of Events DAY 2

Please register by August 26, 2022 to: kulturjournalismus [at]