“Home is not a place, home is a feeling,” says Herbert Grönemeyer in his song ‘Heimat’. In this age of globalisation, economic crisis and changing values it is important for many people that they feel at home somewhere. A feeling of security or loneliness, at home or in a foreign place – the idea of ‘home’ has many different facets.
This is the theme to which this year’s poesiefestival is devoted. It is looking at the idea of home in poetry from various angles and asking about whether and if so where there is a place for poetry. Is it at home everywhere, does it live in exile, or is it even without a home? What meaning do terms such as identity, migration, exile or home have for the many diverse forms of poetic expression?
For the 14th time now, Berlin is providing poetry and poets and artists from around the world with a living platform in June for presenting their art. As in previous years, the festival is presenting a blend of traditional poetry, the pure word, performance, and the interplay between music, art, film, image and text. Hungarian poetry meets Finnish poetry, German slam meets international HipHop, Spoken Word art from four continents meets images from every country in Europe on the theme of poetry. The poesiefestival is an especially wonderful example of this city’s cosmopolitan outlook. This is where poetic cross-border forays take place with a lively exchange of ideas and concepts.
I am pleased that it has again been possible this year to secure the financing of the festival through the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. I would like to thank Thomas Wohlfahrt and his team for once more conceiving, planning and organising this latest festival programme. And I would like to wish visitors to the poesiefestival a time of intensive enjoyment of the world’s poetry in the metropolis on the Spree.
Bernd Neumann MdB
Minister of State at the Federal Chancellery