Sankar Venkateswaran (Attappadi)

entrance € 14,00 | reduced € 7,00

Münchner Volkstheater

03.11. 19:00 – 20:00

04.11. 19:00 – 20:00

05.11. 19:00 – 20:00

Artist talk after the performance on 4.11., moderated by Katharina Fink (in English) | A discussion about the play development MY NAME IS TAMIZH (AT), which has been postponed to SPIELART 2023, will take place after the performance on 03.11., further information can be found under DISCOURSE

In English and Kannada with german subtitles


 [There is] no need to hear your voice, when I can talk about you better than you can speak about yourself. No need to hear your voice. Only tell me about your pain. I want to know your story. And then I will tell it back to you in a new way. Tell it back to you in such a way that it has become mine, my own. Re-writing you, I write myself anew. I am still author, authority. I am still [the] colonizer, the speaking subject, and you are now at the center of my talk.


   -Bell Hooks, Marginality as a Site of Resistance


CRIMINAL TRIBES ACT: EXTENDED by the Indian director Sankar Venkateswaran investigates forms of social exclusion in India and their legitimation by the colonial history. The project starts with the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, a colonial legislation which allowed labelling of several nomadic communities as criminals solely based on their heredity. At the time of India’s independence, the Act impacted the lives of approximately 13 million people. It was in force until 1949, and was instrumental in legitimising the prevalent notions of caste hierarchies. CRIMINAL TRIBES ACT: EXTENDED analyses the structures of discrimination which have continued in the caste system until today, and which are inscribed into the bodies of the individuals again and again. The play begins as an open conversation between two actors, Chandru and Rudy. They talk to each other about their backgrounds, experiences and differences. As they speak to each other, they also direct themselves to the audience. While trying to “translate” their stories, one of them becomes the speaker, and the other one becomes the subject. The play reveals the inherent conflicts between the speaker and the subject, the spoken and the unspoken, and the (in)escapability from “us”, “them” and “the others”.


As the planned play MY NAME IS TAMIZH (AT) cannot be shown at SPIELART 2021 because of COVID-19, the further development of CRIMINAL TRIBES ACT, which was already shown at SPIELART 2017, will take place. A discussion about the development of MY NAME IS TAMIZH (AT), which has now been postponed to SPIELART 2023, will take place after the performance on the 03.11., more informations here.



Read more:

Concept and direction Sankar Venkateswaran Written and performed by  Anirudh Nair | Chandra Ninasam


The Indian director Sankar Venkateswaran founded his own company Theatre Roots&Wings in 2007 with the aim to investigate new approaches to theatre practice and to collaborate with artists from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. His works include SAHYANDE MAKAN-THE ELEPHANT PROJECT (2008), THE WATER STATION (2011), WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN (2012), CRIMINAL TRIBES ACT (2017) and INDIAN ROPE TRICK (2020). His productions have been shown at various venues and festivals, for example at the Zürich Theater Spektakel, SPIELART theaterfestival Munich, Kyoto Experiment International Performing Arts Festival, Zoukak Sidewalks in Beirut, and Theater Commons Tokyo. In addition to his work with the company, Venkateswaran directed INTERIOR (2020) for the Ninasam Theatre Institute, Karnataka, URUBHANGAM (2011) for Shinshu University, Nagano, TAGE DER DUNKELHEIT (2016) and INDIKA (2017) for Münchner Volkstheater and WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN (2018) for the Intercultural Theatre Institute, Singapore. In 2015/2016 and 2016/2017, Venkateswaran was the artistic director of the International Theatre Festival of Kerala. During his term, the programme focused on the exchange within the Global South in order to resist the Euro-centric agendas of cultural practice. He received the Ibsen Scholarship, Norway, and is living and working in the Sahyande Theatre, a theatre dwelling which he built in the mountain valley of Attappadi, Kerala.

Production Satoko Tsurudome Realization in cooperation with Münchner Volkstheater and Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka and Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore