MON AMI

ABOUT THE LOCATION

The ‘Mon Ami’ is an urban cultural centre with a remarkable history that exemplifies more recent cultural and social developments. The building was constructed in 1858 with the support of the ‘Erholungsgesellschaft’, a bourgeois society that included Franz Liszt among its members.

In its location, form and function, the Mon Ami represents the steadily growing civic urge for emancipation from feudal hegemony.

The site (today in the inner city) was originally reclaimed from the marshlands at enormous expense, and originally transversed the old city walls. With the Kasseturm in the north, the Niketurm in the south and the pergolas, the Mon Ami forms an axis that, in terms of design, connects the German Middle Ages and Greek antiquity. The ostensible and approved role for the building was as a place of courting where the sons of the city could look for a bride, and it was also a location for festive musical pursuits.

On second glance, the Mon Ami is revealed as a place of lived social reality. The building hosted the first Citizens’ Forum in Weimar, a public place where people could meet and linger outside of their own rooms and gardens. The Mon Ami was also the meeting place of the Goethe and Shakespeare Society, at the time both sturdily national and critical of democracy, but with already a spark of the bourgeois, non-royal definition and perception of high culture.
The Mon Ami also served as the press centre when the 1919 National Assembly convened for its historic first session.

After an intermezzo as a casino for the American armed forces (a brief role that nevertheless gave the building its name), the Mon Ami was once again a cultural centre during the GDR years, and became known for a remarkable mixture of institutionalism and anarchy, swinging continuously between cooption and emancipation. In this year’s state ceremony celebrating the Weimar Republic, the traditional roles are visible once again: the German National Theatre broadcasts cheap, presidential speeches that are supportive of the state, while the Mon Ami discusses environmental protection, social reforms and participatory democracy.

This year, we would like to invite the winners of this part of the competition to remain in Weimar to take part in a two-day workshop on dramaturgical story development together with the dramaturgy department of the German National Theatre. The objective is the elaboration of viable narration, musical dramaturgy, and material and character development on the basis of the 30-second submission, which will then be realised in a final production. The workshop will take place in Weimar in time for the award ceremony in late April / early May, in consultation with the award winner.

PHOTOS

Use of the photos only with photo credits: © Henry Sowinski, Genius Loci Weimar 2019


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Don't forget to download the animation pack! You will find our guide lines, 3D-Models and photos of the location inside.

>>download Animation Pack "Mon Ami"