Focus White Spots

Grafik Blinde Flecken
© Julia Praschma

Burg Hülshoff - Center for Literature works decidedly to democratize the speaking about literature. To support this with literary means, the Center is launching a series of projects in the focus White Spots/White Spots that deal with the white spots of our society. In other words, there are voices standing up for literature that is not just white, not just heterosexual, not just male, not just middle class, not just Christian.

Let's start with ourselves: The Droste Museum at Hülshoff exemplifies Westphalian Biedermeier. Let's call in a few accomplices to test what the Biedermeier has to say to us - and where perspectives are hidden there that have not played a major role so far, if at all. In experimental tours, lectures, and other formats, the Center for Literature will re-emphasize individual objects from the exhibition.

What kind of more global understanding can we develop in this way? After all, the cultural heritage we draw upon can only ever be incomplete. For example, what can the story of a man who was abducted in Ghana in the 17th century, sold to Europe as a slave, and eventually worked as a serf at Hülshoff Castle tell us about colonialism? And who tells us such a story today? What changes when people of color tell it? What perspectives buzz through the space, and how can it become a shared space precisely because of this?

In this way, CfL also positions itself against the overpowering nature of market statistics. Over the past two decades, the pressure of numbers has eroded the publishing landscape. More and more, it is the market that dictates to publishers which texts should be printed and which should not.

Beyond book premieres, book prizes, book fairs, the Center for Literature probes white spots of the business and also of the literature created in it, from market faith to colonialism, racism and classism to hatred of homosexuals, transgender people and people with disabilities.

There is a lot of catching up to do here. Let's tackle it. With everything we have at our disposal: Space, light, sound, image, touch, smell, taste, memory, faith, hope, love, words.

Because "words can release - well-oiled doors that open and close between intention and gesture. The pulse in your throat, the agility of your hands, an involuntary blink, the conversations your eyes carry translate everything and nothing." (Claudia Rankine)