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On Tyranny. Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

01|10|2021 until 30|01|2022

With Nora Krug and Timothy Snyder

The book “On Tyranny” published in 2017 caused an international sensation. In it the historian and Yale professor Timothy Snyder takes a retrospective look at important moments for democracy in the history of Europe (1918, 1945, 1989) and, with reference to current political events in the United States, underlines that civil society must be constantly vigilant if it is to counter authoritarian threats. Snyder’s precisely formulated proposals for how to withstand group pressure, defend institutions, listen for dangerous words, and check facts … encourage us to ask questions and initiate political discussions – in the best case, they prompt us to become active in the name of a robust democracy. 

Born in Karlsruhe, the prize-winning artist and author Nora Krug has lived in New York for almost twenty years. She constantly looks for traces left behind by the Nazi era – traces that embody individual memories – not least in order to understand her own origins and identity better. In her book “Heimat. Ein deutsches Familienalbum” (Heimat: A German Family Album) Krug traced her own family’s past in literary and graphic terms. Currently, Nora Krug is illustrating Snyder’s appeal for action, adding an artistic perspective to his strategies for countering populism and authoritarian leadership. She combines her drawings and hand-written graphic stories with photographs and archive pieces, thus taking a completely new approach to Snyder’s theses, framing them in artistic terms.

The exhibition is based on Nora Krug’s illustrations and her examination of historical experiences and contemporary political activity. Quotations from Snyder are juxtaposed with Krug’s original drawings and collages to from an intervention that will be shown at the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism. In addition, objects that Nora Krug found at flea markets and in antique stores in the course of her research will be displayed. The various chapters of the exhibition are linked by a commentary by Nora Krug on her methods of working.

Opening on September 30, 2021.

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