Lecture & Discussion | Leon Kahane: "The Shaman in the New Esoteric Right"

HMKV at the U Cinema, ground floor

Livestream of the event



Leon Kahane (Forum demokratische Kultur und zeitgenössische Kunst der Amadeu Antonio Stiftung/Forum democratic Culture and contemporary Art by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation) visits the HMKV. On the occasion of the exhibition Technoshamanism, which is on display as part of the anniversary year of Joseph Beuys, Kahane will give a lecture at 19:00. It is followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Inke Arns, curator of the exhibition and director of the HMKV, on the topic of The Shaman in the New Esoteric Right.
The event will take place on site at the cinema of the Dortmunder U (ground level). Registration is not required. Language: German

If you can't make it that evening, you have the possibility to follow the event here on our website live via the video stream above.


In the new right, shamanism and esotericism are an antithesis to modernity, by which it sees its own supposedly unbroken identity threatened. In the social phenomena of the modern world, adherents of the new right see the destruction of one's own originality, which is usually transmitted orally through myths and legends. The idea that one is part of an indigenous group stems from a master-race idea in which the so-called white race stands at the top of an ethnopluralistically organized world. One's identity is thus elevated to an all-defining and unquestionable argument. On this basis of supposed lack of conflict, these new-right movements stage themselves as oriented toward peace and harmony.

In modernity, which is open to conflict and contradiction, the new right thus sees a direct contradiction to its own ideal world. It is also seen as the origin of war and conflict. Shamanism and esotericism, as a direct antithesis to the modern world and one's own life realities, thus promise a particularly unbroken identity with a strong reference to originality and authenticity. The new right thus recalls the culturally pessimistic worldview of the late 19th century, which is a mixture of romanticism, German idealism and apocalyptic doomsday scenarios.

The shaman is a transcendent figure who bridges the gap between the afterlife and this world. For the milieus of the new right, it is clear that modern societies are bringing the world ever closer to its destruction. In this deeply culturally pessimistic fantasy world, however, there is also an "optimistic" moment: the rebirth or reincarnation of an ideal society that will be ethnopluralistically (or neo-racistically) organized and freed from all the conflicts of the modern world.

The path to this supposed ideal world is characterized by the desire to leave, to resist, and to finally come into one's own. The cultural image of the enemy, against which one is in resistance, are the Jews, who in their own culture do not even accept something like the beyond. They are the origin and profiteers of evil in the dichotomous worldview of the new right. From the supposed betrayal of Jesus Christ to the Rothschilds and Zionism, Judaism provides the perfect cultural counterpart and thus enemy image to a world distorted into unambiguity, in which all peoples are organized ethnopluralistically and live side by side in supposed peace.

Jews are not allowed to exist on the world map of ethnopluralism. They are the only people who, according to the understanding of the new right, carry modernity within themselves. They are the originators of the mixing of peoples - the so-called great exchange - and the conflicts that arise from it. (Leon Kahane)

Leon Kahane, born 1985 in Berlin, creates conceptual video works, photographs and installations that focus on themes such as migration, identity and the confrontation with majorities and minorities in a globalized society. Above all, the socio-cultural location of current political discourses and dynamics is central to his artistic approach, which represents a form of cultural criticism.


Current hygiene concept at the Dortmunder U and the HMKV
From Wednesday, 17 November 2021, admission to the Dortmunder U is only granted with proof of either "vaccinated" or "recovered". The rule applies to adults 18 years and older. For children and teenagers the admission is granted with proof of either "vaccinated/ recovered/ tested". Students are regarded as tested (presentation of a student ID card required).

The booking of a time slot is NOT necessary. In the entire Dortmunder U, the obligation to wear a medical mouth-nose covering applies.

Image credit: Joseph Beuys, "I like America and America likes me", 1974. © Archiv Block, Berlin. Courtesy of Edition Block GmbH/ Helmut Wietz. © VG Bild-Kunst. In the exhibition "Technoshamanism", HMKV at the Dortmunder U, 09 October 2021 – 06 March 2022. Photo: Anne Orthen

The event programme is funded by:

Beisheim Stiftung

Go back