Press releases | Culture 05.07.2011

PANORAMA SUR Second International Theater Academy in Buenos Aires from July 18th to August 12th 2011

Last year saw the inauguration of a temporary academy for theater and new drama initiated and organized jointly by the Siemens Stiftung and the Asociación para el Teatro Latinoamericano (THE). Now in its second edition the academy kicks off with an extended program bringing the world-renowned British theater group Forced Entertainment to Argentina for the first time.

 Planned as an annual event the international working platform PANORAMA SUR aims at fostering collaboration between artists from Latin American countries with their structurally very different cultural scenes and developing it on a par with international theater events. On the one hand Buenos Aires boasts a very self-confident, albeit largely privately funded theater scene with over 400 theaters that stands out among other Andean countries; this contrasts on the other hand with highly differentiated cultural scenes in Europe. In this force field PANORAMA SUR seeks to promote dialogue on artistic practices and their relevant anchoring in society – creating an environment for this that is unique in Latin America.

PANORAMA SUR offers up-and-coming artists and cultural protagonists the opportunity to reflect together on artistic practices over a period of four weeks and to experiment with new processes. In an authors’ workshop held by renowned Argentinean director and author Alejandro Tantanian and scholar Cynthia Edul young dramatists further develop their own projects and explore the theater scene in Argentina. The international workshops held by Tim Etchells, Lina Saneh, João Fiadeiro and Gerald Siegmund focus on topical issues in theater and dance.

The public program held in parallel to the workshop consists of a series of lectures and presents trendsetting artists in four international guest performances: 

The British theater group Forced Entertainment, whose work has significantly impacted not only innovative theater in Europe for the last 25 years, will be appearing in Buenos Aires for the first time now. Their play “Void Story” follows a pair of protagonists on a rollercoaster ride through bleak cityscapes and the decimated remains of contemporary culture. Presented in the form of graphic animations as a sort of live radio play the piece is reminiscent of a computer game from which there is no escape – yet at the same time it also taps into that primeval fear of your life spiraling off its familiar course within the space of a millisecond. 

As in “Void Story” the work of Lebanese theater maker Rabih Mroué, bringing two plays to Buenos Aires, also revolves around the voids within society. In a country like Argentina having to overcome the consequences of state terror, turbo capitalism and economic crisis these voids are impossible to ignore.

As his point of departure here Mroué takes everyday life in his own country destroyed by crisis and wars. In “Make Me Stop Smoking” he reconstructs this heterogeneous everyday life in Lebanon by means of countless videos, photos and eyewitness reports and questions the validity of the archived documents as well as the soundness of their reconstructed “reality”. 

His second play “The Inhabitants of Images” is a playful analysis of the political and ideological use and abuse of images. Mroué is one of the most important artists in the region and cultivates a theatrical form in his “Lecture Performances” that goes back to the tradition of storytellers at Arabian markets – perhaps the oldest form of idea exchange that exists.

“Quizoola!” concludes the guest performance series with Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment using an unusual format. The six-hour performance where the audience can come and go as they wish is, not a play in the conventional sense. It is a game of questions and answers caught somewhere between a live performance and an interrogation. The performers choose from 2,000 questions – from general knowledge and personal questions through to ones on banal topics. »It’s about the ability to be yourself, bare your soul, stay human and confidential while at the same time not forgetting the performance …,« explains Tim Etchells, the author.

The Here and Now, the search for live experience and questioning of the present are also the focus of the public lecture series “Master Classes” held by renowned theater makers and thinkers from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain and Portugal – whom the public can see over the four weeks at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Malba). 

For the second time now we are collaborating with a great many local and international partners and are delighted at having been able to extend the network for the second edition of the academy:

Panorama Sur is a collaboration of the Siemens Stiftung with the Asociación para el Teatro Latinoamericano (THE) with support of the British Council, the Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires (CCEBA), the Embassy of Lebanon in Argentina, the Fundación Centro de Estudios Brasileiros (FUNCEB), the Goethe-Institut Buenos Aires, the INAE de Dirección Nacional de Cultura Uruguay, the IUNA – Departamento de Artes del Movimiento, the Malba (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) – Fundación Costantini, the TEMPO Festival and the Siemens Fundación Argentina.

program overview


The Siemens Stiftung, a non-profit foundation under German civil law, was founded in 2008 by Siemens AG. The foundation works on projects designed to strengthen civil society, particularly in Africa, Latin America and Germany / Europe. Its aim is to make a long-term contribution to reducing poverty and improving education. The foundation operates in three areas: It supports expanding basic services and improving social structure; initiates educational projects; and helps reflect cultural identities and arts. Within the framework of this holistic approach, the support offered by Siemens helps lay the foundations for active cultural scenes and intense exchange between artists from experimental fields while exploring the present day. Further information can be found at Asociación para el Teatro Latinoamericano (THE) was founded as a charitable organization by artists in Buenos Aires in 2010 with the goal to build a forum for exchange, creation and reflection of contemporary theater. Based in the region of Latin America, THE has the ambition of encouraging integration, cooperation and exchange between playwrights and theatre makers, starting right from the creative process. Further information at