Mit den Gespenstern leben (haunting|heritage)

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"Since everywhere is haunted, Hülshoff is now haunted as well." (Annette von Droste-Hülshoff)

Ghosts appear in very different places. They appear where things have remained unfulfilled and do not leave them alone even after their death. This place can be a castle or a house.

Ghosts can haunt us in our minds, such as when deceased family members suddenly come back to life in dreams.

Even great cultural treasures sometimes don't let us go. They reappear again and again in our everyday lives. Many of these ideas and customs don't end, they haunt and occupy us.

That's how we feel here at the Center for Literature with the life and work of poet Annette von Droste Hülshoff. So on the occasion of her 225th birthday in 2022 and the 175th anniversary of her death in 2023, we are questioning her, her spirit, and other ghosts.

»Home is where the haunt is.« (Mark Fisher)

Kronleuchter in der Dunkelheit
© CfL/Lennart Lofink

For phenomena of haunting and ghost-seeing are also prominent in Droste-Hülshoff's texts: in her, ghosts permeate the world and give us the living a comprehensive sense of how our possessions, privileges, stories, particular language, rituals, and communities came to be.

Yes, a more and more global society is forcing new and old questions on us: How does the past haunt our present? Who does language include, who does it exclude? Who does belonging to the nation make living, who a ghost? These questions are as persistent as hauntings.

We cordially invite everyone to join us on a ghost hunt. For this purpose, we are opening the Droste Lab in the museum. We will playfully explore traumas under the guidance of Studio Marshmallow from Hamburg. And in performances and new texts, we show the power with which language can haunt our reality.

Teilnehmer am Droste Lab
wie wir traumata erben mit studio marshmallow
Essays vom Westopia Festival 2021
Curatorial team

Jörg Albrecht (CfL); Jenny Bohn (CfL); Dieu Hao Do; Anneke Lubkowitz (CfL); Dan Thy Nguyen & Nina Reiprich (Studio Marshmallow); Dominik Renneke (CfL); Senthuran Varatharajah

Head of Production

Sophia Kisfeld (Overall project) & Sophie Stroux (Die Judenbuche, Novelle by Rimini Protokoll)


Mit den Gespenstern leben (haunting|heritage) is funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in the funding program »Regional Culture Program NRW«, the Commerzbank Foundation and the Kunststiftung NRW.

Media partners

Mit den Gespenstern leben (haunting|heritage) is presented by taz and kultur.west.