For a while now, an increased visibility of right-wing extremist has been registered in and around Göttingen. The so called “Freundeskreis Thüringen/Niedersachsen”, that first acted under a pretext of being a hardline conservative organization, has intensified its activities and has not even recoiled from attacks and the use of deadly weapons on differently minded people.
Attacks carried out by right-wing extremists are sadly part of everyday life in Germany. Antisemitic hostilities are taking place on a regular basis, secondary Antisemitism is becoming socially acceptable. Legislation discriminating against foreigners and a questionable handling of refugees and migrants are part of daily routine.
In the presence of a local group like that and a swing to the right in Europe and other parts of the world it is more important than ever to mobilize and fight against racism, right-wing extremism and antisemitism, publicly.
Racism and discrimination are topics that explicitly concern students. Even at the University there is discrimination taking place. Often, foreign students are faced with obstacles that are unknown to German students. And in society as a whole racism and antisemitism are virulent problems. This is especially visible during public appearances of neo-Nazi groups and/or the AfD. It should not be ignored however that these are all problems rooted deeply within German (mainstream-) society as a whole. The university and its students should not isolate themselves high up in an academic ivory tower but constantly and actively exert their influence within civil society itself.
The festival wants to point out all these grievances and provide first suggestions and stimuli for taking action by offering a mixed program of different political, cultural and informative events within itself, including for example concerts, workshops, talks… It wants to provide a platform to engage with different issues. Furthermore, we want to take a stance against the aforementioned swing to the right and for an open and caring society.