Heute Nachmittag: Als wir noch an was glaubten

Anna McCarthy

31 Mar 14

Marienplatz, urban space and the Zenith area in Freimann

Photo of a float decorated with red fabric, white and green garlands and paper flowers. Several women stand on the float and sing into microphones attached to the float. They are dressed in colourful traditional costumes, wearing headdresses and expressive make-up.

Heute Nachmittag: Als wir noch an was glaubten, 2014 © Foto: Konrad Fersterer

Artist Anna McCarthy takes the Munich workers’ demonstration of 31 January 1918 as the starting point for an abstract re-enactment with reference to the present day.

The Bayerische Geschützwerke Freimann/Krupp (today’s Zenith site) was the largest armaments factory in Munich during the First World War. Its workers were the first in Munich to call a political strike and march into the city centre on 31 January 1918. The march, joined by workers from other factories, ended in a huge demonstration of 8,000 people on Theresienwiese. These events, in which poets and artists also played a decisive role, eventually led to the establishment of the shortlived Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich.

The performance “Heute Nachmittag: Als wir noch an was glaubten” (“This afternoon: When we still believed in something”) by Anna McCarthy takes this historic day as its theme and stages an interpretation of the events of that time with reference to today’s German arms manufacturers and precarious working conditions. The Munich DAMENKAPELLE, Das Weiße Pferd, Peter Friedrich, Tagar, Manuela Rzytki, Federico Sanchez, Sebastian Kellig, Anton Kaun and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand perform and read labour and anti-war songs on a decorated float, including texts by writers Erich Mühsam and Hugo Ball. The rolling spectacle follows (in the opposite direction) the route of the striking workers through the streets of the city, as both a provocation and a demonstration. A peaceful demonstration against war – then and now.

Anna McCarthy, born in 1981 in Munich, lives and works in Munich.


Marienplatz, urban space and the Zenith area in Freimann