schlạch·ten (German) : [n] battles, butchering, slaughter; [v] to slaughter, to butcher, to kill.

Battles and the fields of battle – conflict, its causes and repercussions – form the central theme of SCHLACHTEN annual international contemporary arts festival.

Situated in rural Fläming, in the shadow of the great city of Berlin, SCHLACHTEN explores this theme of conflict on all levels, each year from a new perspective. Here, between the towns of Wittenberg and Jüterbog, lay 500 years ago the axis of Luther and Tetzel: the two bitter adversaries and protagonists of the great ideological power-struggle of the Reformation, its wars, schisms and mass displacements. It is an epicenter of thesis-antithesis and conflict; an example of far-ranging concerns impacting locally and local conflict reverberating across the globe. In these forsaken battlefields steeped in the history of bloody religious conflict, of Napoleonic imperial conquest, WW2 nationalism and its aftermath, and the cold aggression of East-West confrontation, we bore deeply into the substrata of conflict, wishing to expose its many underlying and overlying layers.

SCHLACHTEN is an opportunity for artists and audiences to explore these issues in depth. We work across divisions, including all forms of artistic expression: music, literature, dance, re-enactments, new media, painting, film, sculpture, culinary art, and any resulting hybrids – to transform these important concerns into something visible, tangible, audible, even tasteable.

In 2015 our international contemporary arts festival focuses on DISPLACEMENT as a cause, by-product and outcome of conflict.