By Gergana Dimitrova, Zdrava Kamenova, Ferdi Çetin, Yeşim Özsoy, Yorgos Valais, Prodromos Tsinikoris
Direction Gergana Dimitrova, Yeşim Özsoy, Yorgos Valais
The history of violence during and after the First World War is marked by expulsions and ethnic cleansing in order to assert that these newly formed nation states were pure and homogeneous, which, centuries ago, were simply multi-ethnic. Various border conflicts and wars between Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey between 1913 and 1923 led to treaties that regulated the »exchange of population« between the warring countries: as a means of pacification, Christians and Muslims were expelled, expropriated and sent to foreign regions, where they might have had the »right« religion but were otherwise completely destitute and lacked the language required to begin a new life. How much does this illusion of an imaginary homogeneous community shape us today?
Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish theatre artists and members of the European theatrical network Undernational Affairs use documentary approaches to dig into the history of these waves of displacement between 1913 and 1923, bringing expropriated, abandoned houses as well as their inhabitants, back to life. In a process that’s taken over a year, they’ve researched, exchanged ideas and developed three evenings of theatre for War or Peace. These performances were created in three separate cities but relate to one another. Together, they show how frighteningly similar today’s demands for purity and unity sound to the ones used back then.
Excerpt from Hannah Arendt’s On revolution
The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate, Sofia
In 1921 the young girl Vanga, born in an abandoned Turkish house, loses her sight and becomes a fortune teller, later called »The Nostradamus of the Balkans«. Her first vision: a lost sheep. And the visions keep rolling in her dream. Vanga sees it all: 1912. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Vanga keeps on dreaming, the year is 2015: Syrian people on boats, trying to reach the shores of Europe, its new boundaries, its abandoned houses and its animals waiting for justice.
IN BULGARIAN WITH GERMAN & ENGLISH SURTITLES
Director Gergana Dimitrova
Text & Performance Zdrava Kamenova
Bühnenbild Natascha von Steiger
Live-Video & Costume Nikola Nalbantov
Live-Music Pavel Terziyski
Translation Alexander Sitzmann
House of Hundred is based on a real story of an old mansion and its residents. The mansion was built during the Ottoman Empire’s rule in Istanbul to host the family of İbrahim Ethem Efendi who was an officer at the Palace. The play traces the historical changes from the Empire to the Turkish Republic and follows the personal narrations of İbrahim Ethem Efendi’s great granddaughters. As the mansion changes through decades it becomes the embodiment of lost memories and fragmented narratives. The play discusses the presentation and construction of reality through stories of things, people and places. Documentary materials are intertwined with dramatic, musical and cinematographic elements.
IN TURKISH WITH GERMAN & ENGLISH SURTITLES
Director Yeşim Özsoy
Concept Yeşim Özsoy & Ferdi Çetin
Scenery Natascha von Steiger
Sounddesign Kıvanç Sarıkuş
Video Melisa Önel
Light Ayşe Ayter
with Yeşim Özsoy, Kıvanç Sarıkuş
Experimental Stage/-1, Athen
What is a nation? ... »a group of people united by a false view of the past and hatred for their neighbors« (Karl Deutsch)? ... the last functional construction of modernity or a violent unity based on emotion? ... a collective dream that serves us to attack others? ... or our collective trap, inscribed in our mother tongue and in the memories of our childhood? Two performers and one projected text tell about the traces of the nation that defi ne their lives – traces they did not choose themselves. And they talk about the way they were trapped through the lives of their ancestors, trapped in this invisible mechanism called nation, that is different from country to country, and makes us different within the same planet.
IN GREEK WITH GERMAN & ENGLISH SURTITLES
Director, Video & Sounddesign Yorgos Valais
Dramaturgy Prodromos Tsinikoris
Scenery Natascha von Steiger
Costume Vasilia Rozana
Light Tasos Paleoroutas
Video & Sounddesign Voltnoi Brege
Assistantdirector Dimitris Bampilis
with Thodoris Pentidis, Yorgos Valais
Die multilokale Koproduktion des Theaternetzwerks Undernational Affairs wird im Rahmen der Diskursreihe Berliner Korrespondenzen für das Festival War or Peace –Crossroads of History 1918/2018 vom Auswärtigen Amt gefördert
Photos: Ute Langkafel
Festival: War or Peace - Crossroads of History 1918 / 2018