The artist is campaigning against the rise of the right-wing AfD party in advance of an election on September 24.



Wolfgang Tillmans Issues Images to Get Out the Vote in Germany

The images of Wolfgang Tillmans’s campaign-minded creation.


Citing the potential danger of Alternative für Deustchland, a right-wing political party in Germany, gaining parliament seats in an election scheduled for September 24, photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has issued a series of shareable images designed to rouse the electorate to action. In an announcement sent out by Galerie Buchholz and presented on the website for Tillmans’s own Berlin-based project space Between Bridges, the artist writes that AfD is planning a sustained online campaign over the next week to capitalize on polls that forecast the party—which is aggressively against recent German immigration policy and the euro zone as it is currently known—winning dozens of parliamentary seats. According to an Associated Press article, “If the predictions are correct, it would be the first time in 60 years that a party to the right of Merkel’s conservative Union bloc has attracted enough votes to enter the Bundestag.”

Tillmans writes with alarm (in words transmitted via the perhaps less than entirely elegant engine of Google Translate) about the prospect of AfD gaining power to, for years to come, “use and abuse the means of democracy to poison our communities.” The party “is striving to give a non-radical picture,” the artist writes, “but I can only see a precursor of the Lebensborn initiative”—a Nazi-era campaign to promote the creation of Aryan children recalled in AfD-designed anti-immigration posters that show a pregnant white woman beneath a slogan reading “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves.”

Tillmans’s own posters can be downloaded here for dissemination across Germany in the run-up to the election. “Please communicate the urgency of the situation to as many people, acquaintances, and family as possible,” Tillmans writes. “Every vote counts. Print the posters and ask in a pub, bakery, or workplace whether you can hang one. Or post it online.”

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