SPIELART 2021 has taken place hybrid. In this section you can still access the recordings of our discourse formats and individual formats of the large-scale digital project REST OF THE STRUGGLE.
The pandemic has become a catalyst in many areas of life within our societies, exacerbating inequalities or rendering them even more apparent. That also holds true for the performing arts: while artists from the Global North could largely rely on state support, stopping production was often not an option for artists from the Global South, with scarcely any options of funding aid from local institutions. What forms of collaboration remain – or first emerge – when the pandemic makes artistic production and presentations across borders difficult or impossible? How can spaces for encounters and exchange be established? What possibilities does the internet offer as a global space? As an additional tool for exchange, discussion and knowledge sharing, there is a Miro board that remains accessible to all interested parties.
GHOSTING is a term that refers to completely breaking off contact and communication out of the blue. When theatres in Germany were closed in November 2020 and travelling became impossible, the performance group Monster Truck, choreographer Segun Adefila and the seven performers from the Lagos-based children’s theatre group Footprints of David decided to relocate to the internet. With images shot in Berlin and Lagos, GHOSTING is a film about being together and being abandoned, about digital bad consciences, teenage conflict avoidance and transcontinental power games. Film screening will be followed by a talk with Sahar Rahimi, Segun Adefila and Oluwaseun Awobajo, moderated by Julian Warner.
IMAGINE A THEATER – A panel on local-global art spaces
Seeking an artistic practice that is integrated into life rather than isolated from it, Sankar Venkateswaran and Satoko Tsurudome built a theatre in the remote jungle of Attappadi. They work there with their neighbours from various indigenous and migrant communities. After studying in the USA, Elisabeth Efua Sutherland returned to Accra (Ghana) to found the Terra Alta theatre and a community programme aimed at children designed to convey Ghanaian heritage. A conversation about artistic positioning between the local sphere and the global context, moderated by Virginie Dupray.
WHERE IS THE INTERNET LOCATED? – A panel on performances in the digital realm
In MANILA ZOO, Eisa Jocson presents artists performing at home while the audience watches a live stream in the theatre. Bubblegum Club are developing a ZOOM performance, Mallika Taneja is curating REST OF THE STRUGGLE, a project running for a number of weeks on various digital channels. A conversation moderated by Silvia Bauer.
FESTIVALS AS GLOBAL SPACES – A conversation with three artistic directors
Where and how do theatre festivals position themselves, and why? Eva Neklyaeva, co-curator of the SPIELART Theatre Festival, interviews three artistic directors, Jeff Khan, Daniel Blanga Gubbay and Ron Berry, about their curatorial approaches.
MOVING WITHOUT BODIES – A panel on how concepts and ideas travel
Kris Nelson, art director of LIFT in London, introduces “concept touring”, which involves ideas travelling. Silvia Bottiroli addresses prototyping and the question of how a work can be developed across continents and yet for a specific local audience. In “Priority Mail”, Lindiwe Matshikiza and Mwenya Kabwe have developed a project involving various artists from the African continent that explores the historical reasons for the dearth of exchanges between Anglophone and Francophone regions. Moderated by Rucera Seethal.
CREATING ECOSYSTEMS –A panel on mentorship programs
Two mentor projects are showing works-in-progress as part of NEW FREQUENCIES during the concluding days of the festival. With Maabara Exchange Theatre, author and performer Ogutu Muraya has founded a writing workshop in Nairobi. Beirut-based Zoukak Company has initiated 4 mentoring projects in the past two years alone.Ogutu Muraya and Omar Abi Azar talk about their motivations, experiences and how their work influences local cultural scenes, moderated by Martine Dennewald.
The conditions as well as the effects of the climate crisis are unevenly distributed across the world. Issues of Climate Justice are always tied to Climate Fragility: in the regions which are already severely affected by climate change, the climatic and ecological catastrophe leads to additional political, social, and economic wounds. This is particularly true for indigenous and marginalised groups who try out old as well as new strategies to cope with the climatic changes. Following up on Taigué Ahmed’s dance piece THE DRYING PRAYER about the climate catastrophe at Lake Chad, the thematic focus at the opening weekend of SPIELART is not supposed to look to the future with resignation, but sound out in talks, workshops, and artistic positions how and under which conditions performing art can stand up for climate justice.
IDEAS TO POSTPONE THE END OF THE WORLD – An Urgent Call for Climate Justice
Ailton Krenak is one of the most important political activists of the indigenous movement in Brasil. In his keynote for the thematic focus on climate justice he describes the perspective of the indigenous Krenak people on the climatic changes in the Amazone region and analyses in which respect the fight against climate change is linked to a global responsibility.
Just as DANZA Y FRONTERA the dance piece by Amanda Piña that is part of the opening of this year’s SPIELART theatre festival, CLIMATIC DANCES is part of her long term project ENDANGERED HUMAN MOVEMENTS, dedicated to dances and cultural practices that have already vanished or are threatened with extinction.
DANCING SPIRITS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE – Indigenous dances in Mexico as cosmopolitical ecologies and living technologies
In this talk Alessandro Questa will share his research on how certain traditional dances stand as the privileged protocol to embody such otherwise invisible entities and provide humans with the possibility of negotiation towards reciprocity. In recent years different extractivist industries paired to the local effects of global climate change have had a dreadful impact in the mountainous region of Puebla, Mexico. Such drastic transformations have mobilized Indigenous Masewal farmers to reignite traditional dances as technological resources to intervene in favour of their towns and lands. Followed by a talk with Amanda Piña.
WHAT FORM CAN AN ATONEMENT TAKE?
In the land of the Skolt Sámi between the Finnish and the Russian border, state initiatives to alter the Arctic riverbeds have led to the disappearance of the water. The ecological degradation has had a drastic impact on the fish stock and climate change is worsening the impact of man made alterations to the river. Sámi artist and activist Pauliina Feodoroff has documented how indigenous-led watershed restorations are an attempt to survive in worsening climate crisis in focusing on addressing past damages. Film screening and lecture with a conversation moderated by Eva Neklyaeva.
CLIMATE COLONIALISM OR CLIMATE REPERATIONS
As climate crisis intensifies, our political responses could reentrench existing political inequalities. But the reparative approach called for by activists and thinkers across the world has the potential to change the world at scale, meeting the challenges posed by climate crisis by addressing the racial inequalities that formed our current political world and led to the climate crisis. This talk will discuss the possibilities and dangers of the coming era, and some potential opportunities for changing course. Lecture followed by a discussion with Molemo Moiloa (Johannesburg).
THE RIVER IS ME
For many years, the ownership of the Whanganui River in New Zealand was under dispute between the Kiwi government and the Maori people, who consider the river sacred. Now, however, it owns itself. Filmmaker David Freid traces the Whanganui River’s legal as well as spiritual nature and explores what can and what cannot be determined by the law.
REBELLIOUS RESISTANCE - A Poetry Reading
Naomi Ortiz (Arizona U.S./Mexico border area) read by Erwin Aljukic.
In a mix of practices and questions, RECOVER - Chapter 1 of REST OF THE STRUGGLE at SPIELART 2021 offered two weeks of daily moments of recreation, a chance to take a breath while life went on privately and publicly. Audiences were invited across borders and time zones to indulge in these two weeks of recreation, participating at their own pace and on their own time. Here you will find a selection of formats of the large-scale digital project that were documented.