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Weimar Rendez-vous with History – 2023 Edition
Tempo, Tempo ! Time and How it is Perceived Throughout History
Higher, faster, further seems to have been the motto for nearly every technological, social, political and cultural developments since the beginning of modernity. Today is no exception and this is everywhere to be felt. Be it in communications, where we can be reached at any hour, or when one item of breaking news item pushes another off the screen every day. Be it in the world of work or in transporting goods, where every second counts and today’s Internet order should preferably have been delivered yesterday. Or, in politics, where the quickest off-the-mark statement sets the tone for the debate. The feeling of fatigue, however, which often accompanies such a compression of time is hardly new. Time and again, people have felt overwhelmed by the pace of history, whilst others have allowed themselves to be driven or even propelled by it.
This prevailing perception that the pace and tempo of society is steadily increasing is, however, relatively new and closely linked to modernity. Before that, ideas about time were more strongly oriented toward Arcadian rhythms or focussed on religious elements. These temporal notions therefore also epitomised the stability of a social order, and not so much its dynamic development.
This year’s festival aspires to take a closer look at these and other temporal phenomena and the perception of time. We are devoting ourselves to that material from which history is made of, so to speak. For, what is history but narrated time? It will also become clear that time is relative not only in physics but also in history. As clearly and distinctly as we can divide time into years, months, and days: History is much more than a sequence of such temporal divisions. At times, events seem to rush by, sometimes even historical time stretches like chewing gum. And above all, each and every »contemporary« of a particular region and an era entertain highly diverse ideas concerning time and how and to where it flows for them.
Dr. Andreas Braune, Program Director 2023