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Exhibitions in Leipzig

Symbols as Weapons. By the Example of the Red Army Faction´s Insignia // Temporary Exhibition at the German Museum of Books and Writing // German National Library in Leipzig // 22 June 2018 to 6 January 2019

Terrorist groups use symbols, texts, and images as weapons. They force political action by harnessing the might of the media in the same way as explosives and automatic weapons. How do graphic symbols become acts of violence? The German National Library’s German Museum of Books and Writing in Leipzig explores this issue in its exhibition “Symbols as Weapons”. The display attempts to historicise and deconstruct the emblem of the Red Army Faction (RAF), which comprises a star, a submachine gun, and the letters “RAF”. The display is an attempt to historicise and deconstruct the group’s emblem, which comprises a star, a submachine gun, and the letters “RAF”.

The emblem first appeared in May 1971 on the cover of “Das Konzept Stadtguerilla“ [The Urban Guerilla Concept]. In autumn 1977, it was seen on the photos of Hanns Martin Schleyer taken after his abduction. The letter with which the Red Army Faction announced its dissolution in April 1998 is not authenticated by signatures, but by the group’s emblem. Today, this graphic legacy of the RAF, whose history is not infrequently perpetuated with a complete lack of discrimination, has long since become a pop icon. The exhibition is being staged in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig. It was curated by Günter Karl Bose, Felix Holler, Jaroslaw Kubiak, and Daniel Wittner.

The exhibition is accompanied by the book “Name, Waffe, Stern. Das Emblem der Roten Armee Fraktion”, published by the Institute of Book Arts, Leipzig. The authors are Felix Holler, Jaroslaw Kubiak, and Daniel Wittner.

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Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday 10:00–18:00, Thursday 10:00–20, on national holidays 10:00–18:00
Free admission

Further information

Press release "Symbols as Weapons. By the Example of the Red Army Faction´s Insignia"

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Last update: 25.6.2018

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