• Better Now

So, you’re standing there at the supermarket and you reach for the organic beer and place it between the steaks and the fair-trade chocolate with satisfaction. But then you remember that you once read, that single-use glass bottles are the worst possible containers. But there is no organic beer in cans or returnable bottles. What do you do? What’s better?

Or you’ve booked this meditation class to finally get away from the daily pressure to perform. And you’re lying knackered on the mat and the teacher asks you to envision the best version of yourself. Like what? If you how you could be better, you’d have started to be just that ages ago. And anyway: Better for whom? Better for what? But thank God, the person on next matt also has a puzzled face. They’re not better at this either, even though they’ve been in this class for much longer. That really reassures you.

Or you’re trying to explain the concept of Tinder or of online shopping (doesn’t make a big difference) to you Grandma and you’re just illustrating how you can just keep scrolling or swiping for something better, as she shakes her head and says: «We didn’t have those kind of problems.» And that really annoys you because no, not everything was better in the old days. But then Grandma says: «But at least today you’re better off with all that gender-fluidity and the climate youth.»

It’s hardly ever clear what’s «better» but still, day in and day out, we strive for improvement, for self-optimisation, we compare each other and judge. We at auawirleben are no exception. We can’t avoid and instead try to use this momentum positively. Like other European cultural institutions, we wrote ourselves a manifesto at the beginning of this year which gives us guidelines in our work. We’re standing in for more fairness, transparency, diversity and sustainability, starting with ourselves. This definitely has an impact on the everyday life of our team. Please see for yourself whether it also has an impact on the festival programme.

At this year’s aua, you can get to know artists from France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Italy, Estonia, Finland, Bolivia, Switzerland and one robot. You’ll also find a dense programme at the festival centre, which extends over 15m at the PROGR – this time counted upwards, from the courtyard to the attic. Here, you can learn a lot at our proven crash course, the restaurant and bar serve you delicious specialities, an exquisite late-night programme with gigs, stand-up comedy, an award ceremony and DJs will keep you entertained in the attic, and for your -well-being you can dive into our thermal baths of the special kind.

We’re looking forward to 14 intense days with you!

Your aua-team