Undernational Affairs is a new theatre network that was founded in the summer of 2016 in the garden of Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater. The network views itself as an international alliance of smaller and medium-sized political theatre institutions which have allied in the fight against right-wing, conservative, neo-nationalist and racist currents in Europe.
The members of Undernational Affairs in Athens, Berlin, Chişinău, Istanbul, Kiev, Sofia and Zurich are united by the will to resist ideological thought. For them, the freedom of art includes the defense of the right to express artistic criticism, and the freedom from censorship. Together they demand that democratic mechanisms be established and respected throughout Europe. The members are committed to contemporary political art, as well as a common search for new aesthetic styles, voices, and working methods. "Undernational" means: an attitude which critically scrutinizes the nation as a model of social order. Opposing the advent of nationalism, we seek to establish a trans-local awareness towards the conflict zones in the world.
The network members are: Studio Я (Berlin), a platform and arts asylum for discussion, music and creative processes associated with the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin‘s historic centre, the Experimental stage / -1 (Athens), newly formed under the artistic direction of Anestis Azas and Prodromos Tsinikoris in October 2015, GalataPerform (Istanbul), an institution of the alternative art scene in Istanbul, the Theatre of Displaced People (Kiev) which has worked for years with forms of documentary theatre – mainly in the Eastern regions of Ukraine –, the independent socio-cultural Red House Centre for Culture and Debate (Sofia), focussing on the connection of art and discourse formats, Theater Neumarkt (Zurich), under the artistic direction of Peter Kastenmüller since the 2013/14 season, and the political art space Teatru Spălătorie (Chisinau), led by author Nicoleta Esinencu.
The establishing event of Undernational Affairs is a joint project at the beginning of the year 2017: an international edition of the format Theater ist endlich ist Theater ("Theatre is Limited is Theatre") at Studio Я. Each member of Undernational Affairs sends one author and one director to Berlin, in order to create six plays within 24 hours.
Ideas will be collected together with the audience. New pieces are written overnight, to be presented the following evening in form of six short premieres, with actors and actresses from Berlin.
Theater ist endlich ist Theater (Theatre is Limited is Theatre)