18 mar 2023 11:00 am
On Sunday, two films by the German-Russian journalist Alina Lipp were to be shown in the bread factory in Berlin-Pankow. After protests and pressure from media representatives, the performance has now been cancelled.
After fierce protests from pro-Ukrainian activists and media representatives, a planned screening of two documentaries by German-Russian journalist Alina Lipp was canceled. This coming Sunday, the Kulturkreis Pankow originally wanted to show the films “In Search of Truth” and “Donbass: The Origin of the Conflict”, which revolve around the war in Ukraine.
Critics accuse the journalist Alina Lipp, who mainly reports from the Donbass, of engaging in “Russian propaganda”. In the run-up to the planned event, the Kulturkreis Pankow announced that “propagandistic and distorted representations” were omnipresent in times of war, “regardless of which war camp is currently reporting”:
“So it makes sense to look from several perspectives in order to recognize history, points of contention and distorted images. Alina Lipp, a young German-Russian journalist, reports from beyond the front line of the Ukraine war and positions herself on the side of the separatists of the Donbass.”
In addition, a discussion event by the publicist Hauke Ritz entitled “The Ukraine War and the Crisis in the West” was planned for next Monday. The art and culture center “Brotfabrik” had rented its cinema space to the organizers. But shortly after the announcement of the events, according to the organizers, there were violent protests. The organizers received letters of protest from pro-Ukrainian activists, among others. The former head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Kiev, Sergei Sumlenny, wrote on Twitter:
I have an answer from Brotfabrik: it’s a private event, organized by Kulturkreis Pankow, for which they rented rooms. Brotfabrik says they did not know about the content. I asked them if they would cancel the rental contract for the room for this event. Waiting for answer.
— Sergei Sumlenny (@sumlenny) March 16, 2023
“I have an answer from the bread factory: It is a private event organized by the Kulturkreis Pankow and for which they rented rooms. The bread factory says they did not know anything about the content. I asked them if they cancel the lease of the space for this event. I’m awaiting a reply.”
According to the organizers, pressure was also exerted by media representatives. A journalist wrote to the Kulturkreis Pankow that the Lipp event “supported and relativized Putin’s war of aggression”. The organizers then decided to cancel the film screening – partly because the organizers were afraid that opponents could storm the event. In a letter it says:
“Dear thinkers, dear friends of democracy,
Unfortunately we have to inform you that we have to cancel the film matinee in the Brotfabrik on Sunday, March 19th, 2023. The bread factory received an onslaught of indignation from journalists, including the Tagesspiegel, about our plan to show the two documentaries about the Ukraine war by the German/Russian journalist Alina Lipp.
It operates ‘pure war propaganda in the spirit of the Russian Putin regime’, ‘conspiracy stories’ in ‘inhuman language’, is ‘networked in the right-wing extremist scene’ and much more defamation, which unfortunately many people now have a different or critical opinion of themselves have to endure.
Although we consider it absolutely necessary to discuss opposing views in a democratic society, we are withdrawing the event. We are only guests in the bread factory and do not want to damage their extremely important social and cultural commitment or endanger their existence.”
A Twitter comment also shows that obviously the daily mirror-Editor is behind the request.
This evil daily mirror actually made a press inquiry to the bread factory
— Julius geiler (@glr_berlin) March 16, 2023
From a press release by the Kulturkreis Pankow, the RT DE is also available, it is also clear that the art and culture center Brotfabrik “was asked by press organs to prove their position and to withdraw from the event”. In a daily mirror-Inquiry to the bread factory said:
“Lipp keeps spreading pro-Russian conspiracy theories. How does that fit with the values of the bread factory?”
The organizer then made it clear that they rejected this type of attitude control and insisted on the right to free opinion formation:
“With what right do representatives of the media and state bodies believe that they can extend their sovereignty of interpretation to all areas of society? Cultural centers such as the Brotfabrik have been committed to multi-perspective culture and education for years and must not be crushed in a climate of attitude control.”
The bread factory later decided to cancel all other events in the “Denkraum” series beyond the film screening, which had already been canceled, including the lecture by Ritz. The Kulturkreis Pankow announced in this regard on Friday afternoon:
“After a 24-hour flood of accusations and insinuations regarding the Denkraum event on the subject of ‘The Ukraine War and the Crisis in the West’, addressed to the bread factory and the Kulturkreis-Pankow association, we received a letter today from an employee of the bread factory Written cancellation for the event on Monday and the entire series of events. We see this as a gross violation of freedom of expression, which endangers social peace!”
More on the subject – “Fact finder” of the Tagesschau: defamation campaign against Alina Lipp continues
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