Art in Times of Crisis. How do Creatives Cope in Lockdown? Episode 4

Art in Times of Crisis. How do Creatives Cope in Lockdown? Episode 4 Looking forward to film screenings with live audiences soon: Monika Haas Michael Münker

It’s a situation that we’ve lived with for months now: deserted museums, cancelled festivals, no music, theatre, no dance – these days, culture has moved almost exclusively online. Our series »Art in Times of Crisis« asks questions including: How are artists and creative people coping with lockdown? What are they really missing and what are they looking forward to? In this episode, our questions are answered by a writer, the managing director of Filmstadt München, and an alternative Munich pop band.

»My state of mind swings between frustration and optimism on almost a daily basis«

says Monika Haas, managing director of Filmstadt München e. V. »But I have noticed that I am finding the situation increasingly stressful. The last year, with so many of our festivals and film series not being able to take place or having to be cancelled at short notice, often after months of preparation, has been painful. The brief period of relaxation after the summer and the fact that a few of the autumn festivals went ahead was wonderful, even if some of them were in a different form and most of them had no direct interaction with the audience. The support from the Department of Arts and Culture is a huge relief. I really cannot wait to finally be able to go to the cinema again, to a museum, to readings or concerts! Culture is what I miss most, although I’m also longing to meet up with friends, of course, without having to worry about the risk of infection. I’m trying not to make too many plans and to focus on taking everything as it comes – and then enjoying the situation if something does actually come off at short notice. Of course, everyone at Filmstadt is hoping that we’ll soon be able to screen films in cinemas again; for example, during the Turkish Film Days, the Osterfilmtage film festival and the DOK.fest in May. That would be absolutely wonderful!«

»I am longing unbelievably for being able to sit in a restaurant, for people holding glasses rather than being screened behind them.«

Picture shows Friedrich Ani
Longing for people holding glasses: Friedrich Ani © Heike Steinweg/Suhrkamp Verlag

Friedrich Ani is a freelance author and screenwriter who was born in 1959 in Kochel am See and now lives in Munich. As well as crime novels, he also writes poetry, stories, young adult fiction and screenplays. He has won many awards for his work, including the Toucan Prize (Tukan-Preis), and is a three-time winner of the German Crime Fiction Award (Deutscher Krimipreis).

How are you?
Even though the readings and literature festivals have all been cancelled, I’m lucky enough to still be able to work and I really appreciate that. Good sales in recent years meant that I had built up some financial reserves, which have tided me over the current situation. I’ve completed a new novel, a series of shorter texts and – unfortunately, for a very sad reason – a screenplay that will be filmed next spring, all being well. I didn’t want to simply lose faith, here in my room as well as in life in general.

What are you longing for?
I am longing unbelievably for being able to sit in a restaurant, for people holding glasses rather than being screened behind them, for a kind of lightheartedness and for packed theatres, music rooms, cabaret stages, bookshops and other literature-related places. I am longing for an end to enforced social distancing.

What are your plans for the future?
Looking ahead, I’m finally planning a trip to the North Sea again, to the foot of the lighthouse where my wife and I got married two years ago. Everything else remains to be seen.

Picture shows Matija
Matija © Hieronymus Josh

A blend of pop, indie rock, hip hop and alternative music – that’s Matija. The Munich band’s plans for the year include playing at the ISARFLUX Festival organised by Gasteig on Easter Sunday:

»We are longing to play concerts; we’ve missed that so much! It’s incredible how long it’s been since we played in front of a crowd of people. We want to go on tour in the autumn and we’re writing new music. What happens after that is a different question and nobody can answer it yet.«

Text/interviews: Isabella Mair
Other voices from lockdown:
Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3

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