“If you look at Ron Iyamu’s application video that the Salzburger Schauspielschule shot of him, you see an insecure young man whose capacity for expressive acting is unable to flow.” Translated from the German by James Lattimer. Bernd Stegemann: “In den Schützengräben der Verletzlichkeit”.
 Translated from the Germany by James Lattimer.
 See, for example, Christine Dössel: “Schwarz-Weiß-Abgleich”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23 April 2021.
 In a conversation with the Tagesspiegel, social scientist Maureen Maisha Auma says: “Gayatri Spivak also emphasises that any action critical of power is also always an action based on contradiction. … Taken alone, empowerment, normalisation and deconstruction all have their respective limitations. Empowerment may strengthen the perspective of those excluded, but also forces them to speak as a group and thus affirm the logic of categorisation. Deconstruction “denatures” attributed qualities and thus reveals delineations that can take the form of violence, but also makes the bodies of the dehumanised groups invisible and thus hinders collective self-empowerment. Finally, normalisation forces the social participation of dehumanised groups, but simultaneously affirms the normality of those structurally unequal relationships which it wants ‘all to be involved’ in.” Translated from the German by James Lattimer.
 One representative text to this end is that by Lars Henrik Gass, in which he strongly distances himself from the term “Kulturschaffende” (cultural creator), which has recently come into increased use as it doesn’t mark gender, because it was originally established under the National Socialists. He is right in so doing and then extends his thoughts to encompass efforts to make film funding more diverse. “This reveals the ideological heart of the return of the ‘Kulturschaffende’, who was ‘schooled’ in line with Nazi jargon. It’s astounding to read and hear about how film and cultural funding bodies want to ‘help’ artists and cultural institutions to become ‘more diverse’ or ‘fairer’, as if art were supposed to learn from politics and administration and not the other way around. This gives cultural funding a new, thus far undreamt of power to teach us what we still need to learn, what sort of art is required and how this is to be produced. ‘Kulturschaffende’ subject themselves to their own change management. It’s hardly likely that better art will emerge as a result” (Translated from the German by James Lattimer). Lars Henrik Gass, Die Sprache der Untertanen
I would like to take a moment here to pick apart the dense polemical construction of what is being argued here so that it becomes clearer: Gass’ first hypothesis is that by marking diversity as a goal, film funding bodies are telling artists what to do and are thus forging links to the methods of Nazi cultural policy. The second hypothesis is that those who chose to use the concepts of “Kulturschaffende” or “Filmschaffende” as a way of promoting gender-neutral language are also placing themselves in the orbit of Nazi cultural policy. The third hypothesis is that there is a clear boundary between the different spheres being discussed here: one the one side, art with a positive connotation; on the other, politics and administration with a negative connotation. The fourth hypothesis is that artists’ creativity comes from within and doesn’t require either external inspiration or guidance. The fifth hypothesis is that efforts to establish diversity forge perfect links to neoliberal ideology.
As is probably already clear, I see many of these premises as questionable. What exactly the sort of art is that Gass invokes is never mentioned, nor is the reason why an optional set of questions is already akin to a return to Nazi cultural policy. As far as I know, we’re very far from being in a situation where artists and filmmakers are being forced into exile. Why this sort of conception of the enemy (administration vs. art) needs to be constructed is also not readily apparent. It’s true that diversity effects can be linked to neoliberalism, but they don’t have to be, and even when they are, they can still produce interesting things, such as “Dear White People”, for example. How an art form as interwoven with society as film is might be kept away from the unreasonable demands of society is also not explained. And last, but not least: anyone who gives their backing to the use of generic masculine forms in German should at least have considered that it’s the AfD who are currently perpetrating the “gender insanity” rhetoric.