Philipp Ruch is a philosopher and action artist. Born in Dresden in 1981, founder of the Centre for Political Beauty, moral hardliner, belongs to the generation of directors who, after Schlingensief, regard theatre as an artistic form and not as an institution. All actions push radical and illegal humanism. Ruch studied the history of political ideas and did his doctorate in ancient history of violence (»Ehre und Rache. Eine Gefühlsgeschichte des antiken Rechts« (Honour and revenge. An emotional history of ancient law)).

In 2015, his book »Wenn nicht wir, wer dann?« (If we didn't show up, who would?) was published, which challenges the dominance of scientific interpretations of the human being and identifies a series of »toxic ideas« that make the humane self-examination of the human being impossible. In autumn 2019, his book »Schluss mit der Geduld« (Ending Patience) was published on the relationship between imagination and humanity in the tension between journalism and politics. It calls for the end of domestic appeasement politics (»Talking to the Right«).

In 2019, the Federal Ministry of the Interior issued an appearance ban against Ruch because, according to a spokeswoman for the FMI, he was dividing society - with humanistic radicalism, mind you. The far-right »Hannibal« network, which has remained unpunished to this day, lists him for »Day X« on its death list (»Franco A.«). The state investigated him for 16 months for »forming a criminal organisation« (by »criminal organisation« was meant the CPB).
His works explore the power of fiction and the power of history. The processing of the shock experience of the West's inability to act in the face of renewed population murders runs through his early work. For an artist, what he makes is what he wants to say. Numerous productions: GORKI Theater, Münchner Kammerspiele, Theater Neumarkt, Wienwoche, Berlin Biennale, Schauspiel Dortmund, Steirischer Herbst, NGBK.

»He is the new star of political art.«

Badische Zeitung

»Ruch is the best-known contemporary German political artist.«


»His pathos is remindful of Schiller, his provocation potential of Beuys.«

Peter Laudenbach, zitty

»With radical actions Philipp Ruch has become the most famous German political artist.«

Wolfgang Ullrich, DIE ZEIT

»In his person, the dashing man has returned to the character repertoire of our moral debate.«

Patrick Bahners, FAZ

»The Pied Piper of Good.«


»Man is a being governed by ideas. Personally, I am governed by the detonation of morality. That began with the discovery that morality can detonate at all. And if you ask how that came about, the honest answer is: with a look at the history books.«

Philipp Ruch in conversation with Ulf Poschardt

English contributions

Illegal Actions II. On the Correct Medication of Political Action Art ZKM Karlsruhe

Open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations pillarofshame.eu

Political Beauty in: Truth is concrete. A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics, Florian Malzacher (ed.), Sternberg Press, 2014.

Aggressive Humanism: Of democracy’s inability to generate great human rights activists. German version in: Bierdel, Elias/Lakitsch, Maximilian (Hrsg.): Wege aus der Krise. Ideen und Konzepte für Morgen (Dialog. Beiträge zur Friedensforschung 63), Wien/Münster 2013, S. 105-119.

Beauty in the Political Sciences. The insufficiency of contemporary accounts and the premature death of a category. In: Cuffe, James / Horvath, Agnes (Hrsg.): Reclaiming Beauty: Collected Essays in Political Anthropology. Band I, Florenz 2012 (= Journal of International Political Anthropology).

The Crisis in Sudan: The Fourth Genocide The European

'Pillar of Shame': Civilc Society, UN Accountability and Genocide in Srebrenica. In: Transitional Justice and Civil Society in the Balkans, Olivera Simić, Zala Volčič (ed.), Springer, New York 2013 (order here).

Mind your own Business. Der Sudan und die Afrikanische Union. In: The European, 02.07.2011.