Director and scenic creator Mikolaj Bielski presents this project created during a residency in Naves Matadero about the crisis of values in this contemporary Europe of refugees and terrorism.
On 24 November 2012, almost a hundred asylum seekers, the majority of them from Pakistan and Afghanistan, walked from a refugee camp in Traiskirchen, located around 20 kilometres south of Vienna, toward the centre of the city. There, they started a protest camp in the touristy Sigmund Freud Park, before going on to occupy the nearby Votivkirche for more than three months. Based on these events and their media coverage, Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek vomited a text with no beginning and no end in which, taking on the voice of the refugees openly and in a consciously ironic way, she launched a show of defiance against the dominant Eurocentric discourse.
This jumble of words obliges us to reconsider whether we can take on another’s voice from our place of privilege, and forces anyone wanting to construct an artistic artefact with this material to question the very representativeness of that which is unfathomable. Jelinke talks and talks, talking constantly, apparently without saying anything. It is her voice itself that we believe must engage in dialogue with the hegemonic voice of the text, to engage in conflict and tension. Perhaps from here, we cannot say anything about the other.
In the current situation of systemic crisis, some political representatives have opted to defend Europe by reaffirming identity and difference from the “other”, with strategies to limit a status quo that is breaking up. The arrival of asylum seekers in European territory is one of the fundamental elements of this new scenario. The so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and the sensational use of horror as an instrument on which rivalries are built has the dimensions of a classical tragedy: it is about identity and the founding myths of a civilisation. They throw into crisis and redefine the notion of who we are.
Director and scenic creator Mikolaj Bielski is the artistic coordinator of Réplika International Creation Theatre-Centre and winner of the ADE “José Luis Alonso” Prize for young directors for his show The Extasy of the Insatiable (2016). He has worked in Spain, Italy and Poland, and his creations are characterised by the staging of a “poetics of the terrible”, through the fragmentation and the use of live audio-visual devices. His latest creation is this interdisciplinary scenic project based on the crisis of values in this contemporary Europe of refugees and terrorism.
*Recommended show for people over 18. It contains scenes that may hurt the sensibilities of the viewer.
Concept, direction and stage space: MIKOLAJ BIELSKI
Dramaturgy: ÁLVARO VICENTE and MIKOLAJ BIELSKI
Original text: Los tutelados (The Wards) by Elfriede Jelinek
Translation: : MIGUEL SÁENZ
Musical composition and live sound space: JACOBO MÁRQUEZ and VÍCTOR HEITZMANN
Performers: RAÚL CHACÓN, MIGUEL DEBLAS, BEATRIZ GRIMALDOS, EEVA KAROLIINA, JORGE MAYOR, VARO MOGROVYAN and JÚLIA SOLÉ
Choreography: NIR DE VOLFF
Live visuals y new media: ELENA JUÁREZ
Lighting design: ANTOINE FORGERON and MIKOLAJ BIELSKI
Costume design: CHERRY MASSIA and MIKOLAJ BIELSKI
Video: ELENA JUÁREZ and LOS VOLUBLE
Design: MIGUEL MARTÍN and XYZ.ROTATE.STUDIO
Assistant director: ÁLVARO VICENTE and MIGUEL DEBLAS
Executive production: SOCORRO LÓPEZ ANADÓN
Production: MIKOLAJ BIELSKI
Coproduction: NAVES MATADERO – CENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE ARTES VIVAS, GOETHE INSTITUT, RÉPLIKA TEATRO | CENTRO INTERNACIONAL DE CREACIÓN, INSTITUTO POLACO DE CULTURA, FESTIVAL DE OTOÑO DE LA COMUNIDAD DE MADRID
Project carried out with the support of the creation and mobility assistance program of Ayuntamiento de Madrid.
Strobe lights are used in the show
Recommended show for people over 18. It contains scenes that may hurt the sensibilities of the viewer.