Apropos Gegenwart #5

#5: Seven Steps To Dictatorship Sasha Marianna Salzmann in conversation with Ece Temelkuran
Sasha Marianna Salzmann

Sasha Marianna Salzmann talks to Ece Temelkuran about her new book, "How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship". In the introduction to her impassioned appeal in defence of democracy Temelkuran writes: “I identified seven steps the populist leader takes to transform himself from a ridiculous figure into a seriously terrifying autocrat, while corrupting his country’s entire society to its bones.”

The exiled journalist has been living in Zagreb since 2016 to escape repressive measures at the hand of the Turkish government. She has authored a number of novels and non-fiction books, and her columns have been published in THE GUARDIAN and LE MONDE DIPLOMATIQUE.

Sasha Marianna Salzmann talks to Ece Temelkuran about her analyses of de-democratisation and what impact the neo-liberal ideology has on individuals and society: “What is needed to combat the populist zeitgeist and defend democracy is an international debate in which everyone should participate.”

In German with consecutive interpretation

This series is brought to you by the RD Foundation Vienna – for a strong civil society deeply rooted in human rights.


Sasha Marianna Salzmann

Sasha Marianna Salzmann studied literature/drama/media at the University of Hildesheim as well as creative writing for the stage at the University of the Arts in Berlin. She is a playwright, essayist and dramatic script editor, and she also cofounded the culture and society magazine freitext. She has been a resident playwright at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin since the 2013-14 season and was also the artistic director of its Studio Я from 2013 to 2015. Her plays are performed all over the world and she has received numerous awards for her work. In 2016 she initiated Dis-Integration. A Congress of Contemporary Jewish Positions together with Max Czollek, and in 2017 she curated the Radical Jewish Culture Days in Berlin. Her first novel, Beside Myself, came out in 2017 and was shortlisted for the German Book Prize that same year. It has since been translated into 16 languages.

Salzmann won the Jürgen Ponto Prize for her novel as well as the Mara Cassens Prize in the category Best German-Language Début Novel. She is the recipient of the 2020 Berlin Art Prize for the Performing Arts awarded by the Akademie der Künste and holds a scholarship from the Deutscher Literaturfonds.

As of the 2019-20 season, each month Sasha Marianna Salzmann and the Viennese philosopher and journalist Isolde Charim take it in turns to host the Apropos Gegenwart talks at the Kasino.




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