Art and Resistance in Germany investigates ways in which cultural producers across the twentieth century have sought to resist, confront, confound, mock, or call out situations of political oppression in Germany. It responds to the recent rise of right-wing populism in numerous political contexts and in the face of resurgent nationalism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and demagoguery. Germany’s unique history makes it a particularly fruitful case to use: the changes in political system from new, revolutionary democracy founded on the heels of monarchy in 1918, to notorious dictatorship under Adolf Hitler in 1933, to divided nation between 1945 and 1989.
The book opens with an essay that theorises four ways that artistic production can be resistant: by altering perceptions of the world, inspiring political action, critiquing conventional cultural symbols, and performing resistance. Essays then examine work across a range of media from traditional ones like sculpture to new ones like film presenting a broad range of targets and strategies. Essays address the challenges of the Weimar period, injustices of the Nazi era and some of the issues facing Germany today.