Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, the political theory of communism was put into practice for the first time. Its expansion as a societal model far beyond the borders of Russia and the resulting friction between competing political systems shaped the history of the 20th century. The world polarised into two halves – capitalist and communist – each touting its ability to provide true freedom to the people. With the collapse of Soviet communism in 1990, many were quick to declare the “end of history”, confirmation that democracy founded on the principle of market economy offered the best of all possible worlds. Today, however, it appears that cracks have formed in this world order as well, and the combination of “freedom” and market economy is itself a grand narrative. In spite of everything, communist practice – in the working world, art, media, the school system – has influenced several generations throughout the world and continues to do so today. In the project “100 Years of Communism”, the Kunstfest Weimar not only commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, but also examined the legacy and relevance of this social system today. Together with partner organisations in Weimar and international guests from former and self-described communist countries, the project investigated everyday life, the disappearance and legacies of communism, and the meaning and necessity of grand narratives. Film screenings, dance and theatre performances, an opera world premiere and a discussion programme have asked: What is left of the idea and practice of communism? Might it be worth taking a closer look at this ideology that so many have dismissed as outdated? And what stories can explain the world to us today?
Artistic director: Christian Holtzhauer
Composer: WANG Lin (CN)
Stage direction: Andrea Moses
Curator: Konstantin Bayer
Dramaturgy: Anja Goette
Musical director: Kirill Karabits (UA)
Artists: Dai Hua (CN), WEN Hui (CN), Sanja Mitrović (RS/NL) and others