Erika Fischer-Lichte, August 11, 2010
In this article Erika Fischer-Lichte argues that, since the beginning of the twentieth century, in different parts of the world, modern theatre was invented by way of interweaving cultures in performance. Different examples from the early twentieth century and the 1990s show how theatre acted as a laboratory for testing and experiencing the potential of cultural diversity. An innovative performance aesthetics enabled the exploration of the emergence, stabilization, and destabilization of cultural identity, merging aesthetics with politics.
Sandrine Micossé-Aikins, December 4, 2013
A lot has been said and written in the recent months about the use of blackface in German theatre (and other cultural) productions. It has become very clear that there is, on the one hand, an almost obsessive tendency to hold on to cultural practices that are rooted in the violent historical construction and submission of a Black “other”. On the other hand, there is a strong resistance to engage with that very history and the ways in which those practices, images or words have been and still are part of what is constituting German contemporary society. Mainstream positions that keep surfacing in these debates are based almost without exception on a deep lack of critical knowledge about Germany’s colonial past as well as the history of blackface, but also the complete underestimation of the power inherent to images and words. At the same time, the intensity of the reactions to anti-racist criticism in the cultural domain suggests, that there is indeed a, if subconscious, awareness of a historical “right” to psychological and corporeal violence against (former) colonial subjects that is now being endangered. This essay challenges four of the most popular misconceptions about this subject by taking a deeper look at the intrinsically linked mechanisms of identity, race and representation in Germany.
Rustom Bharucha, September 18, 2013
On the occasion of the conference DANCE/BODY AT THE CROSSROADS OF CULTURES, which took place in Nicosia, Cyprus in June 2011, Rustom Bharucha presented the opening keynote lecture on the notion of the dance body, movement, transformation, and the politics of touch.
Listen to the lecture here.
Listen to the lecture here.
Matthias Lilienthal, August 2, 2013
Matthias Lilienthal, July 18, 2013
It’s so easy to get it wrong. Soon after arriving in Beirut, I end up at a kefta stand; a small, garage-like shack that no tourist would voluntarily set foot in. Yet the kefta and the chicken skewers taste fantastic. While eating, I look around. Straight across, there is a bus terminal. Especially in the darkness, it is at first difficult …
Matthias Lilienthal, June 12, 2013
My flat is located in the Armenian neighbourhood of Geitawi. It is beautiful and spacious. Directly across, a man shouts every ten minutes. He used to teach Arabic, then he got fired. Now he teaches the street swearwords and curses, of which the Arabic language knows many. The light goes on and his voice thunders …
David Savran, March 28, 2013
For the first time during my travels abroad, I decided to keep a journal, expecting that I would want to record and process the extraordinary experiences I knew I was going to have. Since I am a careful observer of foreign cultures and always try to get to know local artists, this journal, quite unintentionally, became schizophrenic: half a Western tourist’s Orientalist musings and half the attempts of a student of culture to understand Egypt’s political and cultural economies. Reading it again in light of the uprising in Tahrir Square, I realized that my schizophrenic prose had unwittingly captured a “state of emergency,” a moment of coming-into-being, which, Walter Benjamin notes, “is not the exception but the rule,” and of which we become sensible only by hearkening to the “tradition of the oppressed.” These entries thus document a state of emergency which, like all such states, becomes recognizable only in retrospect. To my own journal, I append the first two emails I received from Egyptian friends after the revolution began.
Khalid Amine, March 27, 2013
International theatre research has long studied the world before undergoing its revolution from the inside. Should the world study back or, rather, perform back while striving for recognition? The intercultural debate of the 1980s and 1990s implied the possibility of a democratic interweaving of performance cultures across the globe. Still, the task of postcolonial scholarship is further complicated by the existing body of world theatre histories. Our performance cultures are hardly visible in the “universal narrative of capital – History 1”, typically edited out, and otherwise often only mentioned on the borderlines between absence and presence. Europe has always been the silent referent in world theatre history. With rising demands for further democratizing the discipline, new modes of writing theatre history from below have emerged with an earnest desire for inclusion ….
Lydia Haustein, December 20, 2012