Via Times of Israel:
“I am allowed to be a little bit emotional,” Anneliese Fikentscher said, excusing herself for her use of foul language in front of the roughly 30 people gathered in the Künstlerhaus to discuss the banned exhibit.
Fikentscher is co-head of the Arbeiterfotografie photography association — which developed the current exhibit on the Cologne Wailing Wall — along with her comrade Andreas Neumann.
Fikentscher and Neumann claim the ban is against the city’s restrictions, and have described the actions against their group as censorship, saying the municipality was being unconstitutional. Article 5 in the German constitution prohibits censorship.
Yet some of the meeting’s attendees had other questions — such as why Arbeiterfotografie works together with right wing-publicists, and why the group went to Iran to meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Elias Davidsson, an Icelandic composer who described himself as a Palestinian of Jewish decent, stepped to the microphone and declared, “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is one of the greatest statesmen in the world!”
A shouting match ensued, with supporters of Arbeiterfotografie taking aim at the critics. At one point, one critic stood up and said, “Fuck off,” before leaving the room.
Two women continued to ask questions, inquiring why Arbeiterfotografie works together with Salafist radicals. After one of the women was physically attacked, the Left Literature Fair’s organizer, Walter Bauer, lost his temper and threw the women out. The attacker, however, remained in the room undisturbed.
Arbeiterfotografie has participated several times at the Left Literature Fair, where this year more than 60 events were held.
Fikentscher and Neumann, heads of Arbeiterfotografie, have been accused of trying to form a “national-socialist querfront,” or unification of the extreme Left and extreme Right. The two contest the fact that Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust, and have reported that the US might have induced the earthquake in Fukushima using weather warfare technology.
The planned exhibit in Nuremberg, which was published online following the ban from the festival, does not mention the discussions about the Cologne Wailing Wall. The installation includes phrases like, “An elite of criminals, the New-World-Order-Mafia, enslaves the rest of the world and controls politics, media and corporations.”
According to Arbeiterfotografie, the Cologne Wailing Wall is an “outrcy against racism and war,” and “a memorial to democracy and freedom of expression.”
But prior to the fair, the publishing house Ventil Verlag decided to cancel its participation, stating that the exhibition is anti-Semitic.