Art is diversity. Art creates diversity.
As a theatre in Berlin and creative centre for New Circus, the CHAMÄLEON thrives on diversity and internationality: Every day we have the privilege of welcoming guests from different cultures with individual ideals of life and love. The same holds true for the artists and creative minds who enchant our audiences with their work every evening. The most diverse personalities enrich our team each and every day. This makes us both proud and grateful.
The constant exchange not only broadens our perspective on ourselves, but also helps us question conventions and try fresh ideas. All these influences in some way or another come to bear on our successful shows.
The CHAMÄLEON’s location in the Hackesche Höfe is an ever present reminder of history and continually strengthens our dedication to tolerance: Jewish culture, but also the destructive persecution of National Socialism, have left deep marks on this quarter in Berlin.
The CHAMÄLEON Theater and CHAMÄLEON Productions have made the conscious decision to join the Berlin branch of The Many (Die Vielen), a nationwide, active coalition of art and culture institutions and associations. With this commitment, we want to make a clear statement for artistic freedom and an open, tolerant, and democratic society which honours the potential of diversity and includes everyone.
Our solidarity is with all those who pledge themselves to freedom of art and freedom of thought. Because without elucidating, critical discourse our social structures weaken. We therefore defy any hostile propaganda and disparagement of Berlin stages, museums, and other cultural producers and facilitators.
We hold open-mindedness, social responsibility, and respect as fundamental values for our venue and our work. The CHAMÄLEON therefore cooperates with several social agencies, such as the Circus Sonnenstich, an inclusive circus project for people with Downs Syndrome and other learning difficulties, and the inter-cultural community Hi Mate. To us, living in a democratic country and working in a multicultural city like Berlin is a gift, and we are proud to participate in these freedoms every day.
Below you can read the signed complete Berlin declaration of Die Vielen.
Berlin declaration of The Many (Die Vielen)
Art creates spaces for change
As creators of arts and culture in Germany we do not stand above things. Rather we have both feet firmly on the ground – the very ground upon which one of the worst state crimes against humanity was committed. This country has seen art vilified as degenerate and culture being abused for purpose of propaganda. Millions of people were murdered or driven into exile, amongst them many artists.
Today we see arts and culture as well as their venues, i.e. museums, theatres, galleries, clubs and urban places as open spaces belonging to many. We view our society as a plural gathering – an encounter of different interests that find each other in the spaces between. Democracy needs to be renegotiated daily – but always on the premise that it concerns us all, every single one of us, as beings of multiple possibilities!
By attacking cultural institutions as agents of this societal vision, right-wing populism stands in hostile opposition to the art of the many. Right-wing groups and parties frequently disrupt events, aim to determine repertoires, polemicise against the freedom of art and above all are working on the re-nationalisation of culture. Their disrespectful reaction to people seeking refuge, to dedicated artists and dissidents, clearly shows how they plan to deal with our society should a shift of power in their favour become reality.
- We, the supporters of Berlin theatres, art galleries, museums and cultural spaces and their associates reject these attempts with a clear position:
- The cultural institutions signing this declaration will lead an open and critical dialogue that creates awareness in regards to right-wing strategies. The Institutions engage in these dialogues with all participants as well as the public under the premise that their institutions have a commitment to advancing our society democratically.
- All signatories commit themselves to not providing a platform for racist-nationalist propaganda.
- We reject the illegitimate attempts made by right-wing nationalists to exploit art and cultural events for their own purposes.
- We unite in solidarity with people who, in the light of right-wing politics, are further marginalised within our society.
Solidarity over privilege. It’s about all of us. Freedom for the Arts!
Collaboration with Circus Sonnenstich
Michael Pigl-Andrees/Anna-Katharina Andrees, Founders of the ZBK/Circus Sonnenstich say, “For us the Chamäleon is a modern, pulsating and experimental theater with a powerful and soulful vision of Cirque Nouveau in Germany. On a partnership basis, the Chamäleon Theater is open to innovative formats and is keen on crossing boundaries in terms of inclusion as a higher societal ideology. Inspired and created with a warm sense of humanity in all business levels. A fantastic partner!”
The Circus Sonnenstich and the CHAMÄLEON Theater met during a gala at the CHAMÄLEON. It has become a close connection and further projects are in the midst of planning.
The center of living art e.V. has been the new heart of Circus Sonnenstich since September 2011. Between 1997 and 2011, Circus Sonnenstich was a part of the Rambazamba e.V., which was led by Gisela Höhne, the manager of the theater and house of arts for people with disabilities. Their main office is located in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg.
The launching of an individual institution was a necessary and logical next step for a future-oriented, powerful progression of the project work of the Circus Sonnenstich. A basic foundation for the development of the center was initiated on the basis of the art of movement in circus and dance in conjunction with other art forms, new impulses for the nature of work, artistic production, further education series, and research for and with people with a mental disability.
The Circus Sonnenstich has gained an important position and role in the pedagogy of circus in Germany. They have developed an individual style, which is closely knit with the Cirque Nouveau ideologies. Their productions are performed, with great success, in both national and international theaters.
Joint activities between the Circus Sonnenstich and Chamäleon Theater include:
- the hosting of galas with a fundraising purpose,
- visits of artists to the CHAMÄLEON,
- participation of the artists in special shows in the Chamäleon Theater, and
- joint public service workshops and a joint rehearsal studio concept.