| Degenerate: the red line on name and origin | - |Degenerate art 2018| Berzan Kejo |

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Degenerate art 2018

I am Berzan Kejo
In Syria I was banned as an artist who did not belong to the Baath Party and therefore could not exhibit anywhere in public galleries and exhibition halls.
And in democratic Germany?
The Baath Party wanted me as their mouthpiece, so I could have slipped through as an artist to success.
In Germany, I have to adapt to the prevailing themes or fashion or I and my art have to stay outside.

Migration is the search for home, a place where one is "adopted". Where to be taken.

This concerns me: flight and its consequences.
It's my life. Thirty years ago I went into exile, seeking protection for life and limb and for my art. My subjects are man, justice and human suffering, social inequality, isolation and exclusion.
Migration is not a one-way street. Integration is two steps. Everyone takes a step to come together in the middle.
Since March 2011, the Syrian revolution has been pushing  me onwards. The deep flow of my emotions has become a torrent.
My art is my spiritual bread, my works are mirrors of my ego.
My art is also my resistance. Resistance against  racism, against exclusion.
I said that more than 30 years ago and today  I accentuate it even more.

Democracy means protection of diversity, and every artist has his or her own priorities and themes.
As long as migrants are viewed as a burden and chaos, as perpetrators of violence and invaders, and all lumped together, and not as a cultural enrichment of the "host country" horizons, all integrative formal efforts will be left ineffective.

Degenerate: thinking, painting or writing differently.
Degenerate, say my many cancellations.
Degenerate because the artist himself and his works are an intruder.
Degenerate: Any art that does not participate in the mainstream.
Degenerate: the red line on name and origin.
Degenerate: the child in the fairy tale of the Emperor with the new clothes.
Degenerate: do not paint what is prescribed.
Degenerate because the artist is too versatile.

In a few months I have received many cancellations from gallerists, museums and art institutions in Germany. Among the hundreds of cancellations were three acceptances. These three were not Germans, but foreigners.
When I received the cancellations, I visited the pages of these cancellers. I saw unwashed underpants and rubber penis.
Who judges what art is?
The money and rulers whose strategy suits one and the other does not? Does it have to do with topics? In Germany, the issue of flight and its consequences in connection with Syria, as I see it, is a taboo?
An honest welcome culture gives migrants more freedom to develop, give and enrich. This welcoming culture gives migrants the opportunity to make the country more diverse, colorful and participatory.
I am not a mouthpiece for anyone, neither for a party, nor for a religion, nor for any other groups, but only for humanity and justice.

Degenerate thematic art is the fear of the truth.
Degenerate thematic art is Cover-Up.
Artificial degeneration is the covering of sunlight with a sieve.

For more than 30 years, I have been asking myself every day: When will I be treated like an equal person, artist and author?
As long as a foreigner sells kebabs or works as a street sweeper in Germany, everything fits into the picture. But woe, we knock on doors that are not meant for us.
No migrant expects flying roast pigeons in the sky in the host country. Being a stranger is a test that not everyone composes.
Degenerate: when the minority prevails over the majority.
Degenerate: when democracy becomes a clean dictatorship.
In Syria, the tyrant was rude, and it was understandable that as a stateless person and my art, I was declared degenerate.
In my exhibitions in Germany, I meet many visitors, who receive my works with enthusiasm and feel touched in the heart.
That's when I realize the huge difference between the people who are interested in art and the lobbyists of the prevailing artistic taste.
In Syria, all this is controlled by a family and in Germany it is dominated by a merciless stratum.

I jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
In Germany: who thinks differently, or does different art or writes remains ... but outside!

But do not forget:
Degenerate creates more resistance, strength, courage and creativity to fight.
30 years struggle for freedom and justice for man and the arts.

Degeneracy is racial hatred, discrimination
Degeneracy is the highest level of fundamentalism
Degeneracy is like a concentration camp with no visible barbed wire and lethal gas
Degeneracy is when the perpetrators play the role of the victim
Degeneracy is someone pulling out of his skin.
Degenerate art started in Nazi times. When will it stop?

I'm like the fire: the more you blow in, the harder I get.
I'm not looking for enemies, but for friends, on an equal status.
I'm a fertile tree looking for its place in the plantation.

I don‘t like it, veto!
No refugee leaves his home voluntarily.
After more than 30 years living in exile, in Germany:
The Germans say, "We are in a democratic country."
I answer: "I do not feel this democracy."

What I feel is:
More than 30 years of dissatisfaction, exclusion, discrimination, being a stranger, no one.
I wrapped myself in silence for more than 30 years. That does not mean that I said yes to everything and found everything good.

The waiting that one day the stone will soften and that I can feel this democracy.
And it does not just pretend.
Waiting for one day to change everything has reached its limit. The pain too.
I am now renewing the degenerate art. I know that many Germans will take offense at that.
Some will say:
"He's crazy, that can not be, he's lying, there's no such thing in our democratic Germany, he hates us, that's a prejudice, why is he still here?"
I answer, "Escape is not as easy as going from one house to another. Ask me."
My failed attempt in Sweden was the second and will not be the last one. Otherwise I would be forced to spend my entire life dealing with the new degenerate art.
Life for me after this declaration of Degenerate Art 2018 in today's Germany will not be better than it was.
It will certainly get worse because German nationalism is stronger than love, kinship, friendship and solidarity.
PS: a short time after the publication of this page some german "friends" have already confirmed this opinion.

Everything I describe relates to me and is in my view. As a Kurd, Syrian, foreigner and artist  I am stuck in a land controlled by xenophobia like Germany.
I would like to say the opposite of a country like Germany, where I spent more than half of my life.
But I can no longer lie to myself, especially when it comes to me, to be my life, my dignity, my humanity and artist.
Democracy means talking and listening. I have listened to Germany and the Germans for over 30 years in vain.
Now I come to speak.

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©  1998-2018 Copyright www.moving-art.de by Berzan Kejo
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