The German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans is turning into a passionate political activist, with Instagram his digital soapbox of choice. In a lengthy post (21 January), the artist opined about the tense political situation in Germany. “Hoping German social democratic party convention [SPD] today/tomorrow votes for a continuation of a coalition government with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats [CDU],” he writes. “It’s been so painful the last few weeks to read commentary in German press talking down the legacy of German politics of the last ten years. People are mindlessly spiteful of a politics that tried to reconcile the challenges of globalisation and the European crisis with national interests.” What follows is a very detailed analysis focusing on the joint percentage of the vote gained by the SPD and CDU. “The far right AFD, the other alternative, with whom the CDU could form a government, is fortunately considered too toxic by everyone,” Tillmans adds. He can breathe a sigh of relief (for now) as the SPD agreed today to start formal coalition talks with Merkel’s conservatives. This is not the artist’s first foray into politics. A passionate advocate of the UK remaining in the European Union, the London- and Berlin-based photographer created a series of anti-Brexit posters extolling the benefits of the EU before the UK referendum in June 2016.
Hoping German social democratic party convention today / tomorrow votes for a continuation of a coalition government with Angela Merkel’s christian democrats. It’s been so painful the last weeks to read commentary in german press talking down the legacy of german politics of the last ten years. People are mindlessly spiteful of a politics that tried to reconcile the challenges of globalisation and the european crisis with national interests. Anyone talking down the successes of the grand coalition, in the light of Brexit, Trump, Wilders etc is blind to the dire alternatives on offer: the neoliberal FDP wants to turn the CDU towards a deregulated market economy — the last thing we need now. The far right AfD, the other alternative with whom the CDU could form a government, is fortunately considered too toxic by everyone. SPD and CDU together got 53.4% of the vote. They have 399 of the 709 seats in the Bundestag. They have a stable majority and the two alternatives mentioned above would be disasterous for Europe, as they would stop any future plans of reform and progress. I so hope the SPD convention today will vote for a grand coalition. I know it’s a lesser evil, but the SPD has achieved many goals during the last term that make a compromise worthwile. A new election would only strengthen extreme forces. Now is the time to pull together and defend a liberal society whilst shaping capitalism as well as one can in a centrist government, until a real alternative becomes viable. #germanpolitics #germanshepherd #cdu #spd #sozialdemokraten