Annekathrin Kohout

Annekathrin Kohout is a freelance writer and blogger. She works as editor for the magazine “Pop. Kultur und Kritik” and as a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Siegen. In 2012 she graduated with a BA in German Studies and Art History at the TU Dresden. In 2015 she completed her MA in Media Art/Photography and Media Studies at the University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe. She has worked for the Institute of Visual Media at ZKM | Karlsruhe for several years. Her blog was founded in 2015.

Talk: ‘High & Low’ as a Political Tool

Track: Lifecycles of a Cultural Distinction
Date: Day 1 – 12:30
Location: Neufert-Mansion, Gelmeroda
Language: German

“Why is popular culture so contrived, plastic, empty, meaningless, grotesque and incredibly retarded?” asks Paul Joseph Watson, member of the alt-right movement, in a video on his YouTube channel. Oftentimes, debates on the right about cultural identity and ‘Leitkultur‘ glorify high culture. Thereby the new right joins the tradition of the educated middle classes criticizing commercialized popular culture and its cultural-industrial technologies of production. At the same time, they voice resentment against contemporary art, dismissing it as mainstream, and produce themselves as the only countercultural movement still existing. Thus, the cultural discourse on high & low is being instrumentalized for the political one, and a renewed demarcation of the boundaries between a ‘high’ culture – more worthy –  and a ‘low’ culture – less worthy – is being called for.

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

Supported by


Organized by

Media and event partners