Over the past months many theatres have made the effort to address the situations of those who live in exile in Germany. How can the theatre become a space where their representation can be self-determined? How can one successfully emerge from the arrogant gesture of a privileged institution? The central issue on both sides is one of duration: is the theatre, as an institution notoriously obsessed with remaining current, interested in sustainability in its work with artists in exile? And on the other side, are people forced to performatively perpetuate their situation on a project basis, as long as they are interesting as protagonists in their own biographies?
The Gorki has decided to take a new path. The theatre's Exile Ensemble aims to provide a platform for professional artists who are forced to live in exile. It makes jobs available – because we believe that is the best way to encounter each other on equal footing. With the help of the Lotto Foundation and the German Federal Cultural Foundation, we managed to formulate a programme that should enable seven performers to pursue their professions with us for two years.
Now we have completed the selection process and, after extensive rounds of interviews and auditions filtering through over 120 applications, we have engaged the following seven performers from Afghanistan, Palestine and Syria:
Supported by continuous dramaturgical guidance, the Exile Ensemble has now begun its work. The protagonists provided first impressions in their Wonderland workshop presentation on December 22nd 2016 in Studio Я. Using Alice in Wonderland as a starting point, they developed scenes – together with Gorki ensemble member Thomas Wodianka – about the rules of the house within which they now have to orient themselves. From January to April 2017 the Exile Ensemble will work with Yael Ronen and others to devise a new production for the main stage.
The Exile Ensemble Team
Artistic Director: Ayham Majid Agha
Head of Dramaturgy: Irina Szodruch
Assistant Dramaturge: Philine Janus
Head of Production: Kathi Bonjour
The Exile Ensemble receives financial support from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the LOTTO-Stiftung Berlin and the Stiftung Mercator.
ERSTE WORKSHOP-PRÄSENTATION DES EXIL ENSBEMBLES, BEGLEITET VON THOMAS WODIANKA AM 22. Dezember
Our new colleagues used Alice in Wonderland as a starting point to develop scenes – together with Gorki ensemble member Thomas Wodianka – about the rules of the house within which they now have to orient themselves.