Conceptual thoughts on the 2022 programme

»Yearning for Tomorrow« is the motto for KUNSTFEST WEIMAR 2022: for us, the deep-felt desire for a time in the future combines the idea of breaking out from the present with an unequivocal will to shape that future collectively – and with the hope that we can achieve a different, more positive tomorrow than we are currently able to envisage.

The motto also contains some of the tension of our own time – as a contemporary festival, KUNSTFEST is always a reflection of the present, yet at the same time it aims to be a celebration. But how do we celebrate right now? How can we do justice to the significance of these highly topical themes and still provide entertainment? How can we awaken a desire in people to get out of the house, to go to the theatre, not simply to distract themselves from the world outside but in order to engage with it? To meet up with others, exchange ideas and to look with hope towards the future?

Many of the projects this year revolve around themes such as power, violence, the destruction of our planet and grief – and yet these are never presented as a depressive reflection of the present day but as attempts to shake things up using graphic images and powerful language, as poetic approaches to collective change.

KUNSTFEST will open with the Buchenwald Memorial Concert in the Herderkirche and the video installation »The Olive Grove« by the Israeli artist duo Sigalit Landau and Yotam From in the Theaterplatz. Here the olive grove no longer represents purity and beauty but is subject to the laws of efficiency and economics while also becoming the site of political conflict.

KUNSTFEST’S focus on legal processes against right-wing extremists is continued by Marie Schwesinger and her team with the project »Werwolfkommandos« (performance & discussions). This project draws particular attention to the language that is used in court trials. Two other core projects that explore language and power are our mobile production for this year, »Dirty Talking – Thuringian Temptations«, and »Aria di Potenza«. While Mauricio Kagel’s »The Tribune« examines the power of seduction through political speech, Krystian Lada lays real political speeches over familiar operatic arias to create a whole new level of meaning.

Projects from the widest range of disciplines engage with the issue of destruction of the planet – or of how we are dealing with and reacting to this. One particularly innovative project is »Animate«, where the audience set off in small groups as climate refugees accompanied by two performers. This immersive physical experience blending real and virtual worlds has been made possible by the latest technology. While the world premiere of Thomas Köck’s play »Solastalgia« focusses on the pain people feel in the moment they realise that the place they live in is about to be destroyed, »Welcome to Paradise Lost«, the opera world premiere from Jörn Arnecke and Falk Richter, marks the first time that the Fridays for Future movement appears as a powerful actor in a piece of music theatre. The participatory project »Trashquestra«, in which students from the Bauhaus University Weimar are joined by residents of Weimar to play music on instruments they have built themselves from waste materials almost feels like an anarchic swan song.

So, come and be part of KUNSTFEST and despite everything let’s celebrate – defiantly, courageously, boisterously and full of hope! We look forward to seeing you!


Rolf C. Hemke

Artistic Director


Marlies Kink

Head of Production and Deputy Artistic Director


The Kunstfest Weimar is central Germany’s leading festival of the arts, staged every year since 1990 in late summer. It presents outstanding examples of contemporary art at theatres, concert halls, museums, castles, libraries, streetsand plazas in the culturally historical city of Classical Weimar. This year’s programme features a wide range of theatre, dance, music, literature, film and fine arts productions. In the lead up to the festival, internationally acclaimed artists willmeet with the city’s young, creative scene and transform Weimar into an inspiring, dynamic stage. Numerous projects are specially commissioned each year for the Kunstfest, ensuring that visitors enjoy an unforgettable experience in Weimar during the festival weeks. The festivities includea variety of programmes for younger audience members and their families, as well as an extensive accompanying programme at no additional cost.

We cordially invite you to experience Weimar from a differentangle during these 17 festival days. Strike up conversation with our featured artists and fellow audience members.

Come celebrate the arts with us – in Weimar!