Tolerance? It’s more than just a word! Welcome to the exhibition, which opens up new spaces for you and makes tolerance come alive for everyone.
Tolerance, respect and appreciation are not always easy for our coexistence in a diverse society and cannot be taken for granted. They have to be practised and renegotiated time and time again. This affects us as individuals and as a society as a whole.
For some, tolerance alone can never be satisfactory, as it proceeds from an imbalance: a stronger position always has the power to decide whether to tolerate or not. For others, tolerance is a valuable asset and stands for virtues such as respect, acceptance and civil courage.
Today, we are witnessing polarisation, heated tempers and black-and-white thinking. Hate comments and hate speech promise attention, and explosive Internet controversies ensure high click rates. In such times, practising tolerance can become a challenge. This makes it all the more important that we approach one another with respect and understanding.
Tolerance also has limits. Human rights and our Grundgesetz (Basic Law) provide a framework. All forms of misanthropy, injustice, hatred and violence are intolerable. They are on the rise and threatening our society.
But what exactly is tolerance? Is it the lowest common denominator for living together more equally, respectfully and peacefully in a diverse society? An important foundation for our democracy that teaches us to respect other worldviews? Or is tolerance simply enduring attitudes and actions that go completely against the grain for us, but are still within the bounds of what is permissible?
Where are the boundaries of tolerance, the boundaries between what still needs to be tolerated and what is fundamentally intolerable? And who draws these boundaries? Does everyone in our society really have the same space to choose tolerance and respect?
While creating the exhibition, we discussed – and argued – a great deal about the concept of tolerance. It is not so easy to determine what tolerance can mean in concrete terms today. Is the term still up-to-date? Do you mean the same thing as I do?
For us, the ToleranzRäume („ToleranceSpaces“) team, it is particularly important to make contradictions and tensions visible and to surprise with new perspectives. For the exhibition lets you experience diverse dimensions of tolerance in a playful way and invites you to think. We would like to encourage you to actively oppose discrimination and stand up for openness and solidarity. You can choose tolerance and respect.