From the Feuilletons


In Today's Feuilletons

Süddeutsche Zeitung 06.06.2007

"Stop Putin!" pleads journalist Elena Tregubova in an open letter to the G8. Tregubova, who fled to England after the murder of her colleague Anna Politkovskaya, writes: "Don't be fooled: Russia is not just Putin and his clan of secret service Chekists. Freedom-loving Russia is moaning and writhing in shame over Putin, over the climate of hate, paranoia, espionage, fear. Under Putin, Russia has again become a destabilising factor. Are oil and gas really enough to make the world ignore the Kremlin's extermination of its opposition, to ignore the fact that this amoral and bellicose regime is once again bringing us to the brink of destruction?"

Die Zeit 06.06.2007

The G8 summit starts today in Heiligendamm, and the weekly gives the floor to representatives of the uninvited "silent majority." For example Moroccan writer and painter Mahi Binebine: "You beat the drum for democracy and human rights - and out of sheer self-interest you support regimes that trample the most elementary rights and freedoms underfoot. You carry out humanitarian interventions in crisis areas - and you covertly sell weapons, and heavy artillery at that, as Ruanda has shown. And as if that weren't enough, you use your UN veto right as if it was the divine right of kings, or the droit de seigneur of the feudal lords. All of that puts us, the African, Arab and Muslim democrats who so admire your freedoms, in a very difficult position when we want to defend them."

In further articles, Chilean writer Jorge Edwards demands help for education and social security in developing countries from the G8 states. Antara Dev Sen, author and founder of the literary review The Little Magazine, finds it unfair that poor countries now have to pay for the sins of the rich in matters of energy consumption.

In the Malian capital of Bamako, Petra Reski observed preparations for the first African opera, the Sahel Opera Project's "Bintou Were," which now will travel to Europe. The score was composed by Ze Manel of Guinea-Bissau; the librettists are Senegalese musician Wasis Diop and poet Koulsy Lamko of Chad. Dramane Zie will sing the tenor part: "He is 79 years old and actually the master of ceremonies of liturgical song for big game hunters in Mali. He plays the bolon, which looks like a pumpkin pierced by a garden trowel, with strings. Dramane sings when hunters take off for the hunt, when they return and when they are buried; he sings when the spirits gather; he sings with a raspy, crooked voice, plucking the strings of the bolon. His bass is so dark and haunting that you think you're hearing with your belly, not your ears. With his music, Dramane brings the powers of heaven to tears; some in the troupe say he can make planes fall from the sky."

Die Tageszeitung 06.06.2007

Hans-Christoph Zimmermann presents the film project "Düsseldorf, mon amour" by director Luk Perceval, whose first command to his actors was: "Go into the city and get to know someone from Japan. His aim, Perceval said, was to provoke the discomfort about people and life that otherwise is delivered through theatrical texts or through newspapers and television commentaries: 'We are judging life, but we are not participating in life.' You don't even have to drag out Thomas Mann's nearly identical sentence to recognise the ancient trauma of artists. Whether in the Pygmalion myth or today's groups like the Rimini Protokoll, art always has sought closeness to life - whether trying Sisyphus-like to create life itself, or to produce an authentic copy."

Ekkehard Knörer is thrilled at the... yes, and? Is it a documentary film? A film essay? "Schindlers Häuser" (Schindler's buildings) by Heinz Emigholz. The 100-minute, practically silent film shows works by classic modern architect Rudolph M. Schindler. "Emigholz films Schindler's rooms congenially, never artificially disturbing the static architecture, for example by panning. A shot lasts five, six, seven seconds, then there's an immediate cut. The result is a series of fixed images, which organically reconstitute the rooms and buildings from their various parts using filmic means.... Image for image and shot for shot, Emigholz recreates the space constructed by the architect. For that reason "Schindlers Häuser" is a masterpiece not of architectural cinema, but of cinematographic architecture."

Die Welt 06.06.2007

Thomas Kielinger is blinded by death's beauty in artist Damien Hirst's "Beyond Belief" show in London's White Cube. "We stare, our mouths wide. We're ecstatic. In front of us gleams the most brilliant and at the same time most expensive object ever created by modern art: a platinum skull studded with 8,601 diamonds, the dernier cri by Damien Hirst, once one of the YBA (Young British Artist) wild ones. Not wild any more, Hirst is decidedly toned-down by the weight of his millions. With this 1,106 carat skull, Hirst has attained the non-plus-ultra of mannerism." - let's talk european