Corona: Will the mask remain the norm in culture? | – Culture

Status: 4/4/2022 5:47 PM

In almost all federal states, since Sunday, cultural organizers have been able to decide for themselves whether to wear a mask in their homes. Playwright Hartmut El Kurdi called on cultural regulators in an appeal to maintain the mask requirement.

With the exception of Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, cultural organizers in all federal states have been able to decide whether masks have been mandatory in their homes since the weekend. Hartmut El Kurdi is one of the co-founders of an appeal to theaters and other cultural institutions. The message: “Please make the obligation to wear masks at cultural events a standard.”

Mr. Kurdi, many people have been longing for freedom for a long time. You can not say: now it is good – a mask?

Author Hartmut El Kurdi works at the Staatstheater Hannover, among others.

Kurdish: I can understand that very well. However, given the current high accident rate, it is still unreasonable. Many are still seriously ill – many may not be anymore, but they are. People are suffering from Long-Covid. That’s why we think raising the mask requirement is a mistake.

To whom exactly is your request directed?

Kurdish: This is aimed primarily at cultural organizers. Now they can say according to the house rules: Instead of all the G’s regulations, we are simply providing a very simple regulation: wear an FFP2 mask at home during the whole event.

But of course this request also goes to the viewers who have to participate. If it’s said that anyone wants to keep wearing the mask, that doesn’t work for us performers. We can’t wear a mask on stage. We have to talk, we sing, you have to see our faces. We do this for the people. But we want it to be safe for us. We also want it to be safe for the public. There are still weak groups in the audience. People with autoimmune diseases, for example, who are no longer protected. It is a shocking idea that cultural events can make someone seriously ill. It doesn’t matter if someone is from the audience or whether they are an artist.

What’s your impression so far – how careful are theaters in Hanover, for example?

Kurdish: This is very different. I think it is still under discussion in many homes. Of course, there are also people who are understandably tired and who want to end the epidemic. But it’s not over yet. And there are always people who are cautious and think in solidarity. You’ve got the full spectrum: that you’re complying with the regulations for now, but it’s also been said: there are no longer any legal requirements and we’re pleading cause for our viewers. I think the discussion process is not over yet everywhere. This is why we want to contribute to our campaign and encourage people in One Direction.

If this path is so mainstream in the long run and theater masks are really blowing up in so many places: what does that mean for you and your colleagues who are caught up there?

Kurdish: It’s very clear: Either we can’t perform anymore or we have to take risks. Since it is our profession, we may not have a choice. We have no alternatives. All aid and support from the state will now be cancelled. Especially in times of crisis – with the terrible war in Ukraine – money will no longer flow easily. We count on going up on stage. Then we have to bite the bullet and there will be diseases. There will be people who will bear the consequences. Indeed unnecessary consequences if a simple and effective measure such as wearing a mask in the public is carried out.

It is also possible that with the other variables, there will again be a point where the closing and closing of cultural institutions will be discussed again. The culture industry and, above all, many individual artists will not survive. Then our existence is taken from us.

The interview was conducted by Jan Wiedemann.

additional information

An empty cinema hall with red seats © Picture Alliance Photo: Klaus Ohlenschlaeger

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Culture NDR | The magazine | 04.04.2022 | 4 pm

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