Tandem Arab [2012/13] - Kitev - Kultur Im Turm e.V.
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Tandem Arab [2012/13]

"NOW T_HERE"

Recherche- und Performanceprojekt im Tandem mit Ettijahat (Damaskus, Syrien)


Die Arbeiten zu "Now T_here" sind Resultate einer langfristigen Kooperation mit der Syrischen Organisation "Ettijahat. Independet Culture". Die ersten Begegnungen zwischen kitev (vertreten durch Stella Cristofolini) und Ettijahat (vertreten durch Mudar Alhaggi & Rana Yazaji) fanden bereits Ende 2012 / Anfang 2013 in Tunis, Istanbul, Beirut und Kairo statt (siehe Bericht zur Kooperation unten).

Im April 2013 begann die Arbeit an "Now T_here, Part I" zunächst räumlich getrennt und virtuell vernetzt. Der Aufstand in Syrien hatte sich hier bereits in eine bewaffnete Auseinandersetzung gewandelt, noch mit der Freien Syrischen Armee als wesentlichem Akteur auf Seiten der Revolutionäre, mit der Al Nusra Brigade beteiligte sich aber bereits eine militärische Gruppe am Kampf gegen das Assad-Regime, welche andere Ziele verfolgte als die bürgerlich-liberalen Aufständischen. Spätestens in diesem Moment stellte sich den RegimekritikerInnen, die mit ihren Demonstrationen die revolutionäre Bewegung gestartet hatten, die existentielle Frage nach ihrem Platz im gegenwärtigen Kampf und angesichts des immer brutaleren Kriegsgeschehens in Syrien sehr konkret die Frage: "Bleiben oder gehen?"

Dies war auch die leitende Frage in der Recherchephase zu "Now T_here". Betroffene aus dem Umfeld von Ettijahat gaben uns auf diese Frage Antworten, und in von Mudar Alhaggi geleiteten Schreib-Workshops in Beirut entstanden Erzählungen und Dramolette auf Basis realer Gegebenheiten und Erlebnisse.

"So what about art? I thought that there was no place for art in times of war, that it was obvious. But now in Syria, nothing is axiomatic, and the war will also be very long. In Syria, another kind of life has started these days. Now we can see Soldiers dancing to the rhythm and harmony of shooting.

I am thinking about the next months. Will I still be alive? Will I be in Lebanon, Jordan, or Turkey? How can I see my mother and brothers who live in Idleb?

I don´t know."

In gemeinsamer Arbeit in Oberhausen und in Berlin entstand aus diesem Material die erste Fassung von "Now T_here". Erzählt wurde die von Mudar Alhaggi selbst verfaßte Erzählung "N`s Story", in sie hineingewoben wurden Elemente aus anderen Erzählungen und auf die Frage "bleiben oder gehen?" direkt erhaltene Antworten von noch in ihrer Heimat oder bereits im Exil lebenden Syrerinnen und Syrern.

Drei Exil-SyrerInnen beteiligten sich an der Arbeit in Berlin und an der Aufführung der Performance am 15. Juni 2013 im ZK/U:

 

 

Die Probenarbeit im Herbst 2013 im kitev-Turm in Oberhausen war ursprünglich als Wiederaufnahme und partielle Weiterentwicklung der bereits veröffentlichten Performance geplant. Die weiteren Entwicklungen in Syrien machten dies unmöglich. Sowohl die Realität vor Ort als auch – und noch mehr – die internationale Rezeption und Kommentierung der Ereignisse hatte sich vollends von ihrem Ursprung gelöst.

Es galt, an diesen Ursprung – ein friedlicher Aufstand gegen ein diktatorisches Regime – zu erinnern. Ein anderer wesentlicher Teil der Arbeit bestand in Reflexion der nahezu unendlich vielen Erklärungsmodelle für den Krieg in Syrien, in denen allesamt die aufbegehrenden SyrerInnen nicht mehr als handelnde Subjekte vorkamen. Keine Antworten mehr, nur mehr Trauerarbeit.

"Ich arbeite an den Symptomen, nicht an den Ursachen. Das ist nicht gut. Aber so ist es, und ich kann nicht mehr machen als das.

Was ich tun kann, ist den Schmerz der Menschen zu respektieren ... und meine eigene Unwissenheit.

Vielleicht hätte ich dir vor einem Jahr eine bessere Antwort geben können."

"Now T_here, Part II" hatte am 16. Nov. 2013 Premiere im kitev-Turm, weitere Aufführungen fanden am gleichen Ort sowie in Bochum (Rottr5 Kunsthallen) und Duisburg (Ruhrorter Gemeindehaus) statt.
 
 

 

Bevor sie den Strom abstellen für die Seele,
Bevor sie das Wasser abdrehen für das Herz
Bevor sie Facebook und Küsse verbieten
Vergiß nicht
Deiner Mutter zu sagen, wie sehr du ihren Kaffee magst
Deinem Bruder einen dreckigen Witz zu erzählen
Deiner Liebsten zu sagen, sie ist ein Schmetterling
Und auf dem Grab deines Vaters zu schlafen
Ohne den Wecker zu stellen.

(Mudar Alhaggi)


TANDEM BETWEEN ETTIJAHAT (DAMASCUS, SYRIA) AND KITEV

In 2011/2012 kitev took part in the international partnership programme TANDEM MOLDOVA/UKRAINE and started a collaboration with ukrainian organisations "Totem" and "Theatre Centre Meyerhold" and the Hungarian "Centre for contemporary Architecture KEK". The results of our first collaboration were shown at a final festival in Chisinau (Moldova) [cf. TANDEM MOLDOVA/UKRAINE].

In 2o12/2o13 kitev is part of TANDEM SHAML, collaborating with Ettijahat. Independent Culture from Damascus/Syria.

ABOUT THE PROGRAMME INITIATIVE:

Tandam Shaml initiative supports the exchange of cultural managers from Europe and the Arab region and gives the opportunity to produce joint cultural and creative productions. The initiative is supported by European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), MitOst (Berlin), Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul), Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart), DOEN Foundation (Amsterdam), Mimeta (Norway), Al Mawred Al Thaqafi (Cairo).



ABOUT ETIIJAHAT (Damascus, Syria):

Ettijahat. Independent Culture: Ettijahat is an organization that stimulates the growth of independent culture in Syria. It does this by encouraging a positive and real relationship between culture and Syria’s diverse communities. Ettijahat works on three primary axes: 

Firstly on being part of an active and independent cultural movement in Syria by cooperating with independent artists and cultural actors on dynamic and relevant projects that respond to their political and social environments, and that reflect people’s priorities (here and now).

Secondly, Ettijahat provides the basic tools and structures (including studies and research) required to design and build cultural projects that are in-line with regional and national developments in the fields of art and culture. 

Lastly, on developing national policies and approaches to art and culture and shifting general understanding of culture from part of the service sector in Syria, to a vital element in the country’s development sector. Ettijahat is guided by a number of overarching principals and values. These are: a high appreciation and value for freedoms; a democratic and open relationship between artists and receiver; respect for all types of cultural and artistic expression; decentralization in execution and planning of cultural work by focusing on artistic collaborations, supporting creativity, and supporting cultural projects that emerge from disadvantaged areas. 


Ettijahats vision is a diverse and varied Syria that is intellectually and artistically productive, and that believes that culture is the inalienable right of every Syrian citizen.



During meetings in Tunis (September 2o12), Istanbul (October 2o12), Beirut (Lebanon) [Jan. 2013 – cf kitev blog] and Cairo (Egypt) [March/April 2013] Ettijahat and kitev developed a common artistic project: "Now T_here", a theatrical installation with documentary character.

In June 2o13 Mudar Alhaggi and Rana Yazaji (Ettijahat) will visit Oberhausen and Berlin in order to continue working on the project. A "work in progress" will be shown at the final presentation of Tandem Shaml at ZKU/Berlin in June 15th.

In Ocober/November 2013, after a second rehearsal phase, "Now T_here" will be shown in kitevs tower in Oberhausen, in other spaces in the Ruhr-Area and in Cologne.

 
ABOUT "NOW T_HERE"

 
“Now T_here”

Research and Performance Project

by Ettijahat. Independent Culture Damascus/Syria and kitev (Kultur im Turm), Oberhausen 

«Reality is stronger than fiction these days» (Mohammad Abu Laban)
«I don´t mind if a sound is bombing or thunder, but I need to know which one it is in order to be able to (re)act» (Mudar Alhaggi)

«Now T_here» is a research on what is happening within the Syrian society. A dig into genuine everyday life experiences under the conditions of war.  And a reflection on how this war is dealt with in other parts of the world, and with which motivation and interest.

In March 2011 the so called “arab spring” reached Syria. The Syrian people started a revolution that bursted 40 years of silence. The regime reacted. A tremendous amount of violence erupted, continuing for 2 years now, with no promise of an end or solution. The other way round: the fronts are getting less and less clear. Numerous groups with different interests are fighting against each others. Syria is also the site of proxy war.

War as steady-state. As a consequence, more then 1 million refugees fled to the neighbouring countries so far.

«Now T_here» is a research- and performance project dealing with the actual situation in Syria. With everyday experiences under the conditions of war. Should I stay or should I leave? What would my staying offer or what would my leaving change? What are the personal and collective effects of emigration /flight?

Everyone asks this question sometimes. In Syria people deal with it everyday, existentially.

Kitev and the syrian cultural initiative Ettijahat (Damascus) are following up this question and its potential answers. In Syria and in refugee camps in the neighbouring countries. In Germany amongst refugees and expatriates and in examination of the medial, the political, the strategic military discourse on the situation in Syria as well as in reflexion of our strangeness (as individuals and artists) towards the reality which our Syrian colleagues are daily living and artisticly working with.  In collaboration with young syrian artists, writers and activists as well as german actors and students we collect stories, images, sounds, films, objects as a base for a common theatre piece.

Our aim is to find as much diverse material as possible in order to be able to show the complexity of social issues, of political and historical situations and every day life under certain conditions. The project supports Syrian artists to reflect on their everyday experiences and perception in order to publish them. Working together as Ettijahat and kitev  (and lots of other partners) will give us the chance to look at these phenomena from the inside and from the outside. And to reflect on the intricate political situation and all the diverse interests that caused the complexity Syria faces these days.

The project aims to document, but also to raise concrete as well as universal questions, to make a political/social issue part of a public discussion. What is our role as civil society, as cultural activists, as artists in times of armed conflict, of crisis and transition?

How can we act in order to influence social development? But also: how to resist simplistic assertions, how to stay unprejudiced and without pre-censorship? What are appropriate artistic means to express what is going on?

A crucial part of “Now T_here” will be discussions with the audience and other interested people in Germany, Lebanon and, hopefully, Syria.
 
A first version of the performance "Now T_here" was presented as part of the final festival of TANDEM SHAML 15th of June 2013 in ZKU Berlin, a second version was shown in Nowember 2013 in Oberhausen, Bochum and Duisburg (see film-trailer above and cf kitev-blog).
 
The cooperation between kitev and Etijahatt and the artistic work on "Now T_here" is supportet by:
 
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