If you’ve been following the Festival for some time, you may have the feeling you’ve seen the cover of this year’s Festival Magazine before. You are not mistaken: we took over the title page of the Göttingen International Handel Festival 2014 for the design of our ‘Conflict’ magazine.
2014, the year of the 100th anniversary marking the beginning of the First World War, was also the jubilee year of the personal union between Great Britain and Hanover from 1714 onwards. The Festival programme therefore moved between these two themes. However, the focus on ‘Herrschaftszeiten – Händel Royal’ was clearly about international cooperation and the German-British friendship.
Four years later, on the anniversary of the end of the First World War, we consider peaceful conclusions, as well as the cause of many wars and disputes – conflicts. They are cracks in relationships, societies, between nations. Many of these cracks are visible today in fields that were still celebrated optimistically in 2014.
Thus, the 2018 cover is not just a pretty title page or a reminder of a bygone era. It is also the expression of a subjective perception of the present, and a personal statement. Because if you look closely at the cover, you can see a deep crack that has formed in the meantime. We have to decide: do we widen the crack, do we repair our old motif – or do we turn a new page?