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New: The OSTEN Archive!

In the past few months we have intensively renovated the Speicher here on the festival website and at the same time built up a new artistic OSTEN archive. While the Speicher gives a new home to the past events, the OSTEN archive enables a more thematic access to the content that was negotiated during the festival. Because in the process of artistic work, many documents, artefacts and references have been created or secured that have not yet found a digital place. From today you will find a variety of artistic perspectives on the "East", its history, present and landscape also at (but for the beginning only in german)! We will constantly expand and grow the archive. Have fun discovering!

Become part of the artistic long-term projects for 2024 now!

Would you like to get involved creatively at the next festival? Then you are warmly invited to register for our long-term artistic projects! If you have old photos from and about Bitterfeld-Wolfen and something to tell, you can submit photos and stories to Anke Heelemann, for example (to info[at]vergessene-fotos[.]de). The media artist wants to create a photo archive about Bitterfeld-Wolfen that will be shown at the festival next year. Gardeners and those who would like to become gardeners can, together with the theater director Ron Rosenberg, help design a biotope in an allotment plot in the Rodelberg complex (with registration to kontakt[at]kultur-park[.]de). And if you like to dance, you can come to the workshop of the two dancers Isabelle Schad and Josephine Findeisen at the Women's Center in Wolfen on November 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (no previous knowledge or registration required). Especially women over 40 are invited! More information on request! We would be happy if you join us!

Thank you for this beautiful kick-off event & save the date: June 1st to 16th, 2024

Thank you for filling the empty cinema in Wolfen with life again this weekend! Thank you for all the wonderful encounters and inspiring conversations! More than a thousand visitors took the opportunity to experience the usually empty film theater in Wolfen in action this weekend. We couldn't have imagined it being nicer. Now we are all the more looking forward to working on the festival for next year!

With all the impulses from the weekend in their luggage, Aljoscha Begrich and Susanne Beyer, who will direct the festival in 2024, together with Anne Diestelkamp, Martin Naun and Christian Tschirner, who was already part of lesdramaturx at the first festival OSTEN, will be there in the next few months curating the program. More soon!

It starts tomorrow at 7 p.m.!

Tomorrow we're off! After our internal working meeting on June 29 and 30, in which we exchange ideas with artists, cultural institutions and local partners about the planning of the festival in 2024, we will then open the former film theater to the public tomorrow, 7 pm. Anne Diestelkamp and Martin Naundorf, who are leading the project in 2023, and Aljoscha Begrich, Christine Leyerle and Ludwig Haugk from our Kulturpark board will then welcome you. Dr. Sebastian Putz, State Secretary for Culture, will represent the state of Saxony-Anhalt, which sponsors the event alongside the Federal Agency for Political Education, with a welcoming speech here.

Starting at 7:30 p.m., the sounds of artist Maryna Makarenko will take us on a journey through the history of the largest film factory in the Soviet Union, to Shostka in Ukraine. Afterwards, she will be in conversation with photographer and filmmaker Tobias Zielony, who took an in-depth look at the turbulent history of the Wolfen film factory for the first Festival OSTEN. The project resulted in his recently published book WOLFEN, which he will present for the first time on site, starting at 8:30 p.m., together with Anne König and Jan Wenzel, the publishers:inside of the Leipzig publishing house Spector Books. Two former workers of the film factory will also take part in the discussion.

Our first evening together at the cinema will end with a night walk from 10 p.m., which leads to the site of the former film factory. The focus here is on the perceptions of the women who worked in near total darkness to coat the footage. The former worker Christine Plohmann will accompany us as a contemporary witness. We are already very excited!

This way to the calendar.

Set-up work for the opening event at the cinema in Wolfen started

Starting today, June 26, a big part of the team working on the kick-off event for the next festival OSTEN is in Wolfen and transforming the old film theater in Freiherr-vom-Stein-Strasse into a very special place. Because in just a few days, it's all going to start! In addition to the historic cinema building itself, we are also declaring the adjacent cinema garden an oasis that invites you to linger and get in the mood for our festival next year. We can hardly wait to welcome you here!

Do you have any questions about arrival, stay and so on? Then take a look at our FAQ. Here you will find all important information about your visit to the cinema in Wolfen. If your question is not answered, please contact us via kontakt[at]kultur-park[.]de!

Program for kick-off event from 30th June to 2nd July at cinema wolfen online!

The program for our kick-off event at the Wolfen cinema is online! With lots of art we want to bring the empty cinema in Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße to new life from June 30 to July 2. Together with you we would like to start a conversation about the upheavals that shape and have shaped the former film city Wolfen, the industrial region Bitterfeld-Wolfen and the "East" beyond, to set the starting signal for our next festival in 2024.

You can look forward to performances, creative workshops, concerts, readings, excursions and much more! And even independent of the events, there are a variety of artworks and films to discover in the cinema. Last but not least, the landmarked cinema itself is of course an eye-catcher worth exploring! You don't get in here every day, and it's due for refurbishment soon. So don't miss the chance!

Her you finde the whole programm.

OPEN CALL for short films and video art on the topic of structural change in the East

Based on the history of structural change in Wolfen, we are looking for a new generation of filmmakers who engage cinematically with the topic of structural change in the East and/or societies undergoing transformation. An international perspective is welcome. We are particularly interested in films that trace transformations of cities, societies, landscapes and work.

WHO CAN APPLY?: Students of film and art schools and alumni who graduated no longer than three years ago.

FILM DURATION: max. 60 min

LANGUAGE: We welcome submissions in any language. At the same time, we would like to make the films and video works accessible to all. German subtitling of foreign language films is therefore a condition for films to be screened (subtitling can also be added to the film after submission). If your film/video has a German audio track and you have the possibility to subtitle the film in English, we are of course very happy.

FORMAT OF SUBMISSION: Please submit your video as a vimeo link with download function. 

JURY AND SELECTION PROCESS: The winners will be selected by the curators of the OSTEN Festival and notified about the selection by June 12th 2023.

SCREENINGS: The selected films will be screened during 29th June to 2nd July 2023 in the cinema hall of the former cinema at Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 1 in Wolfen. The former cinema is equally da festival center. All events are free of charge.

DEADLINE: 14 May 2023, 11:59 pm

You can find the LINK to the form here.

Download english version as PDF.

SAVE THE DATE: 29th June to 2nd July

Together with a network of cultural institutions and artists already involved in the first festival, but also new ones, the festival team is already working on ideas for the next edition - and invites you to exchange ideas from June 29 to July 2 at the former Wolfen cinema. Which art projects will bring the eventful history of the film factory in Wolfen to life? In which formats can artists and Wolfen residents engage in conversation about the upheavals in the biographies and the city?

For the next festival, as in the first edition, numerous projects are to be created in which people and institutions from Bitterfeld and Wolfen can participate directly.

The program for the opening weekend will be published on May 10 at

REUNION IN WOLFEN: Festival continuation planned for 2024

After the successful first edition of the OSTEN festival at the Kulturpalast Bitterfeld, the team around the Kulturpark e.V. is again looking for encounters and exchanges with the people of Bitterfeld-Wolfen and is deepening the existing networking and cooperation with cultural institutions in the region. The next edition, which is planned for summer 2024, will focus on Wolfen, the eventful history of the former film factory, and the upheavals that have accompanied it in biographies, urban society, and nature.

Thank you for this amazing Festival OSTEN!

Three great weekends of Festival OSTEN with you are behind us! We are overwhelmed by this beautiful, intensive time and the great popularity that the project has experienced. We welcomed 5.000 visitors from near and far at the Kulturpalast Bitterfeld-Wolfen and at our excursions - wow! We are particularly pleased that so many people from different groups and generations, people from Bitterfeld and Wolfen and visitors from outside, have used art to talk about the region, its history and present. And many a guest who only wanted to stop by the Kulturpalast spontaneously stayed longer because there was so much to discover!

We would like to thank all creative people and artists, partners and sponsors, all technical and other service providers and all the voluntary helping heads and hands! Without you all this would not have been possible. OSTEN is living from the fact that we cooperate with other actors here in the region, in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. We very much hope that these many, valuable contacts will remain with us and that we will be able to expand them in the future!

Film tip: A year in the palace
We were happy to see that many media reported about our festival in the past weeks! We would especially like to recommend the reportage of the MDR culture magazine "artour", which was published a few days ago. For several months a film team accompanied us during our festival preparations, now "A year in the palace - Bitterfeld and the art festival OSTEN" can be seen in the ARD-Mediathek! Have fun watching!

WELCOME TO BITTERFELD: Our festival program is online!

WELCOME TO BITTERFELD: Our festival program is online! You can expect an exciting, diverse program of theater and music pieces, films, installations, workshops, talks, excursions to interesting places of Bitterfeld's industrial history and its present, as well as meetings with artists on the beach of Lake Goitzsche. From July 1 to 17, our festival in Bitterfeld explores and celebrates the "East" as a landscape of change for people, nature and coexistence. A special focus lies on the history of labor and the traces that this history has drawn into the landscape. Don't miss it!

Tickets for stage plays, films and workshops can be purchased now directly via the festival calendar and, starting May 12, also at the City and Tourism Information Office of the City of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Many events are free of charge.

We hope you enjoy discovering the program!!!

New Festival-Website:

OSTEN has a new digital home! From now on you can find all information concerning the festival and the cultural network behind it, as well as the participating artists and your visit to the festival online at Our festival programme, including all theatre and music pieces, films, talks, workshops and excursions, will be announced on 5 May. From this day on, tickets for plays, films and workshops will be available for purchase online and at the Bitterfeld-Wolfen city and tourist information office. Many events are free of charge.

Scholarship from the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and Kulturpark e.V. for artists in cooperation with scientists and contemporary witnesses

Bitterfeld-Wolfen represents the exploitation of nature as well as the rapid change after '89/90 and a successful ecological redevelopment. Industrialisation, a change of political system, economic upheaval and ecological consciousness raising have left their mark - on the people as well as on the landscape. How can this change be mediated? And what future can emerge from it? In cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, we are offering a tandem scholarship to find out.

Three artists will be given the opportunity to develop a project in Bitterfeld for two months together with scientists and contemporary witnesses. The project will be shown at our OSTEN festival from 1 to 17 July. Two experts from the Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA), who work in the Federal Environmental Specimen Bank, and a former employee of the UBA, who herself comes from Wolfen, will be taking part. In addition to the monthly work scholarship and a travel allowance, the scholarship also includes accommodation at the Bauhaus Foundation from May 15 to July 17, 2022.

Do you know artists who might be eligible for the project or would you like to apply yourself? It would be great, if you could share our public tender or send your application documents to by 21 February 2022. More information is available here.


In July 2022, the festival OSTEN is to take place in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Together with the music school "Gottfried Kirchhoff" the composer and director Ari Benjamin Meyers has a special plan: He wants to found a factory orchestra. If the slogan of the Bitterfeld Way 60 years ago was "Reach for the pen, buddy!", now it's "Reach for the instrument!" In keeping with the tradition of the former Workers' Symphony Orchestra. What's special here is that in this orchestra, the children are the teachers. They teach adults basic skills on their instrument. Together, they create an orchestra that is all about one thing: learning to listen to each other. And not taking themselves too seriously. Ari Benjamin Meyers writes a composition for the new orchestra. In the end, there will be a world premiere at the international arts festival.


  • People 20 years and older who have a desire to learn a (new) instrument. No previous knowledge is necessary!
  • People who can tell something about the Arbeiter-Sinfonie-Orchester
  • Sheet music, program booklets or similar of the former Arbeiter-Sinfonie-Orchester
  • Instruments: Do you still have an instrument in your attic that you would like to donate or lend? We are happy about everything!


  • Once a month, on Saturdays and Sundays, free lessons on an instrument for one year, project start date: September 11, 2021.
  • Exchanges with people you wouldn't otherwise meet.
  • Fun
  • An experience you won't soon forget: You are part of an artistic experiment!


  • If you want to play along, simply register via the contact form of the music school. Here you can also indicate your instrument preference.
  • If you would like to contribute a story, an instrument, or are simply interested and would like more information, please contact us with a short mail at



A platform for culture in the east

Founded in 2020, Kulturpark e. V. is committed to creating and forming networks between cultural structures in eastern Germany. Kulturpark was set up to provide new platforms on which to explore the social and political history of the East, and above all to give it a new image through the medium of art.

While looking for a way to deal with the lack of communication between the urban centers and the rural areas of eastern Germany, the idea was born to go on the offensive. Kulturpark e. V. is an initiative in which artists work together with companies and institutions to reformulate the cultural landscape of eastern Germany.

One important goal is to create confusion. An image of the East has become stuck in the public consciousness (a consciousness still very much narrated from the perspective of the West), and our aim is to widen and change that image by applying other lenses: the historical, for depth of field, the international, for a wide-angle view, and the local for precision.

“Kulturpark” assumes that the culture is already there and sees its role as that of an amplifier. It is particularly interested in identifying or forging links between industrial and labour history, landscape and culture. It regards the influences of the past as a starting point for an idea of future, and most of all as a starting point for the invention of new formats of storytelling.

For this purpose, the association has designed the festival OSTEN in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, which took place for the first time in the summer of 2022.

The founding members of the association are (in alphabetical order): Sebastian Baumgarten, Aljoscha Begrich, Matthias Goßler, Ludwig Haugk, Çağla İlk, Sven Johne, Christine Leyerle

Cooperation partners

  • Akademie der Künste Berlin
  • Anhaltinisches Theater Dessau
  • Bauhaus Dessau
  • Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle
  • Ferropolis GmbH
  • Freiraum Kunst und Kulturbahnhof Tannepöls e.V.
  • Galerie am Ratswall
  • Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig
  • Industrie- und Filmmuseum Wolfen
  • International Theatre Festival KONTAKT Torun
  • Kulturpalast GmbH
  • Musikschule "Gottfried Kirchhoff“ Bitterfeld-Wolfen
  • Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig
  • Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
    and many other institutions!

OSTEN 2022

A festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen

OSTEN is a festival for art and mutual interest. It explores and celebrates "the East" as a landscape of change for people, nature and coexistence. And where, if not in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, can stories of change be told? Because like hardly any other city in the former East of Germany, Bitterfeld, once called the "dirtiest city in Europe," today stands as a model for ecological redevelopment, for change. And yet it is a good example of the economic, social and biographical changes that many places in eastern Germany and beyond have experienced.

With the help of art, the OSTEN festival aims to stimulate exchange about the history and present of "the East" and to create encounters: Art as an occasion to discover, to act, to get in touch and to stay in touch. The festival sees itself as a text marker and amplifier of the movement energy of a region in upheaval and wants to build up something where a lot of cultural offerings have disappeared since reunification. OSTEN addresses the people of Bitterfeld-Wolfen by developing unusual approaches to the city, and people from outside, who are to be made aware of what is special about this landscape and its history.

With a diverse program of theater, performances, workshops, excursions and much more, the festival made "the East" visible for the first time in the summer of 2022. Around 5,000 visitors accepted the invitation to (re)discover the Kulturpalast in Bitterfeld, the heart of the first festival, and the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen from an artistic perspective. More than 60 artists and 150 students as well as a broad network of almost 30 cultural institutions have created the program.

After the successful first edition, the OSTEN 2024 festival is moving to Wolfen. The next edition is dedicated to the eventful history of the former film factory and the upheavals in biographies, urban society and nature that can be told about it. From 29th June to 2nd July 2023 a network meeting with public program part marks the start for the conception of the next festival in 2024.

Association board & artistic directors 2022

Project management 2023

Team 2023

To our team on


  • Cecile Belmont
  • Franziska Klose
  • Ant Hampton and Rita Pauls
  • Sven Johne
  • Armin Petras
  • Julia Schmidt
  • Tobias Zielony
    and many others!

Promoted by

Sponsored by

Supported by

Promoter digital content and living archive

The preparatory workshop OSTBEGINN in May 2021 is

Our NETWORK WORK and DAY AT THE PALACE in September 2021 were sponsored by


Kulturpark e.V.
Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4a
06792 Sandersdorf-Brehna


Registergericht: Amtsgericht Stendal 
Registernummer: VR5678

Aljoscha Begrich (Vorstand): Aljoscha.begrich[ät]
Christine Leyerle (Vorstand): Christine.leyerle[ät]
Ludwig Haugk (Vorstand): Ludwig.haugk[ät]

Kulturpark e. V.
Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4 a
06792 Sandersdorf-Brehna

Kulturpark e. V.
IBAN DE 50 430609671079746300
GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG Bochum

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