Press releases | Culture 13.08.2015

EXPERIMENTA SUR – International academy in Latin American addresses the position of performing arts in periods of upheaval

For two weeks, the academy EXPERIMENTA SUR offers artists from 13 Latin American countries a shared space for reflection and collaboration.

September 14-27, 2015, Bogotá, Colombia

How can theater make a difference in a society that is trying to come together again after political crises and violent conflicts? Can a common voice be found in times of upheaval? These are the questions addressed by the international academy for the performing arts EXPERIMENTA SUR in Colombia. For two weeks, the academy offers artists from 13 Latin American countries a shared space for reflection and collaboration. They will join theater makers from Europe to work on experimental formats.

The academy was initiated by Siemens Stiftung, the Colombian Mapa Teatro and the Goethe-Institut Bogotá and brings around 80 artists from across Latin America together in Bogotá. In workshops, artists’ labs, presentations, and lectures, the artists exchange views on transdisciplinary working methods and seek an understanding of society following a crisis. The performance program introduces participative formats and emphasizes theater as a social experiment.

Among the participants is the Japanese director Akira Takayama, who is known for his projects in urban spaces. Whether it is the social situation of teenagers or environmental issues after the Fukushima disaster, Takayama tackles political topics with his work and takes over places where no one expects to find theater. In Bogotá, Takayama will work together with Colombian artists on developing a new project in a public space.

French artist Fanny de Chaillé is developing her project “La Bibliothèque” in the Colombian National Library with people from different age groups and social backgrounds. Under the slogan, “If you were a book, what would be your title?”, de Chaillé will develop a living archive of personal stories. Her take on the project: everyone has something interesting to say that is worth sharing.

The participatory concept will be taken to a new level when Berlin-based artists deufert&plischke turn over the entire choreography of their piece “InsTanzen” to the audience in Bogotá. The choreography becomes a collective process generated from an initial set of suggested basic movements.

Whether it is “Pindorama,” a piece from the Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues and her Companhia de Danças, or the work of the Spanish-Argentine author and director Rodrigo García, questions about the collective and the existence of the individual are common threads in the academy’s international guest performances. Social injustices and the daily struggle for political self-determination characterize García’s angry works, which are frequently performed in Colombia. Now he’s coming to Colombia himself for the first time to stage his productions, which amount to a wake-up call that is equally alarming and hopeful against the backdrop of Colombia’s violent past.

Further lectures, presentations, and labs from José Antonio Sanchez, Peter Pál Pelbart, Kathrin Wildner, Roberto Uribe and Oscar Ardila help make EXPERIMENTA SUR a place for collaborative reflection, experimentation,
changing perspectives, and debate for young Latin American artists. Stipends from the Goethe-Institut enable the participation of artists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia is providing additional stipends for artists from Colombia.

Together with PANORAMA SUR in Argentina and MOVIMENTO SUR in Chile, EXPERIMENTA SUR forms a network of annual working platforms for performing arts with the goal of fostering exchange and collaboration in Latin America while stimulating the cultural scenes.