If one follows Achille Mbembe, Cameroon philosopher and author of the book »Critique of Black Reason«, differences first become a problem when one doesn’t grasp them as facts, but rather when one establishes hierarchies and classifications in their name. Then differences are no longer signs of a uniqueness seen in a positive light, but rather serve to erect boundaries and fend off alleged external threats. On the other hand, there is the goal of »allowing as many humane statements as possible«. Under the title of CROSSING OCEANS, the second SPIELART weekend will delve deeper into the numerous themes introduced in the productions that have been invited to the festival. This has to do with: the continuing influence of colonialism; the organization of diversity in (city) states such as Singapore, India, Malaysia, or South Africa; the possibilities and limits of identity politics after they were taken over by Western rightwing populist movements speaking in the name of the allegedly neglected white heterosexual man; the issue of whether democracy and human rights are universal values, or have to be modified locally in order to not appear to be imposed. Which ideas lend themselves to be derived from this for a world without compartmentalization? Mbembe himself is optimistic: »So we do have in the history of humankind a huge archive of cohabitation or coexistence, entanglement and intermingling. This is what empires were all about. This is what some religions allow. I would argue that to some extent, humanity has a very deep tradition of ecumenism, which we have not excavated as we could.«
In Collaboration with Kyoko Iwaki (Tokyo), Jay Pather (Cape Town), Tim Harrison (Manchester), Margarita Tsomou (Berlin/Athens)
All events from »CHASING RAINBOWS« are funded by the Fonds TURN of Kulturstiftung des Bundes. All events from »GIVE US BACK OUR VOICE« are funded by Allgemeine Projektförderung of Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Some events are also funded by the Goethe-Institut.