Missions of the IKG

The IKG is a member of the German Arts Council and thus of the superordinate umbrella organisation, the German Cultural Council. This is an independent working group of cultural and media policy organisations and thus the umbrella organisation of the federal cultural associations.  The German Cultural Council is the point of contact for federal, state and European Union politicians and administrators in all matters of cultural policy. The aim of the German Cultural Council is to stimulate discussion on issues affecting culture at all political levels and to advocate for freedom of art, publication and information. The Cultural Council has currently convened 8 expert committees to which the members, i.e. also the German Arts Council, send their representatives. 

The IKG is currently involved in the following expert committees
Labour and Social Affairs: Ina Bierstedt
Education: Katja Hoffmann Wildner
Europe and International Affairs: Claudia Chaseling
Media: Matthias Lindner
Digitalization and artificial intelligence: Petra Spielhagen

In addition to the specialised committees, so-called ad hoc ags are convened for urgent issues, to which representatives of the member councils are delegated.

(For structure and topics, see www.kulturrat.de where you can also subscribe to the newsletter).

The International Artists Forum IKG supports the network ARC AtRiskArtists, which campaigns for the interests of art actors worldwide. More and more artists are not allowed to work freely due to the political or social situation in their countries. They risk their livelihood or even their existence, are persecuted or raped. Many are on the run or imprisoned or are not allowed to leave their country. Covid 19 also exacerbates this situation, with several governments using the pandemic to reinforce authoritarian, illiberal structures. 

Please check out this important page: https://artistsatriskconnection.org/guide

Statement on Ukraine War

The IKG is shocked by Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine. Our solidarity is with the people in Ukraine and Russia who are fighting for peace, artistic freedom, democracy and human rights.
War, which never left, is now back in the middle of Europe, and the foundations of the always fragile world order are threatened. The unthinkable has now actually happened. Let us hope with Ukraine and all people on its side that the war can be defeated as soon as possible, that death, destruction and immeasurable suffering may end.

Dr. Dorothée Bauerle-Willert, former President of the IKG, 1 March 2022

Statement on Belarus

IKG – International Committee of Artists The International Artists Forum/IKG is appalled and shocked by the unprecedented excesses of violence by the Belarusian security apparatus after the election Sunday on August 9 2020. Thousands of people were arrested, inhumanely treated and maltreated in captivity – since then there has been no trace of many of them. 

Despite the brutal violence and arbitrary arrests of more than 7000 people thus far, with which the autocratic president of Belarus has reacted to the peaceful protests against his re-election, people are overcoming their fear and proving that the desire for freedom can no longer be suppressed, in a civil movement that is very broad by now.  For decades, freedom of speech, art and press was suppressed in Belarus. Today, the people who were not allowed to say what they want for 26 years are demonstrating. As a reaction to this self-empowerment, resistance is being silenced, killed. Only with the means of his repressive police state does Aljaksandr Lukaschenka still hold on to power.

The freedom of art, which the IKG advocates, has always been the measure of democratic freedom. Human dignity, culture, an open society and democracy are closely linked. The confiscation of entire collections, the blocking of the Internet, the suppression of free, even artistic, creativity are symptoms of barbaric narrow-mindedness, with the fear of humane potential breathing down their necks. Today,

when many of the brave demonstrators wear the confiscated painting EVA by Chaim Sutin on their T-shirts, art becomes visible as a persistent analogy to freedom: in art, the possibility of self-realization crystallizes into form.  The Belarusians can no longer be deceived and intimidated.

The IKG supports the democracy movement in Belarus and the demand for the resignation of Alexander Lukashenka. We condemn the violence and the suppression of human rights and appeal to those in power to recognize the signs of the times, to end the repression and to finally make free, fair and transparent elections in Belarus possible. 

For the IKG: Dr. Dorothée Bauerle-Willert, President, 16 Aug 2020

Video from the film maker Jurij Chaschtschewatski to Klaus Steak, 16 Aug 2020