Performing Exiles

An international festival in Berlin

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Project description

Fraught political conditions in many Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as in Russia and Belarus, have forced numerous artists and intellectuals to leave home and move abroad. Many of them have arrived in Berlin, a metropolitan hub which enjoys a reputation for being (relatively) affordable. Berlin has become the capital of exiles, many of whom can no longer live or work in their home countries – not only because of surveillance and political persecution, but also the horrendous economic situation back home. The majority of Lebanese artists, for example, who travelled back and forth between Beirut and other places for many years, have meanwhile settled in Berlin. But what Germany lacks – especially for theatre artists in tenuous employment situations – is visibility and participation. The two-week festival “Performing Exiles” wishes to give the unheard voices and transcultural perspectives of exiled artists and artist collectives in Berlin a chance to be heard and represented and provide them a place to network. In cooperation with the Heimathafen Neukölln, the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) Berlin and the Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, the Haus der Berliner Festspiele is organising a festival in June 2023 showcasing performances, films, literature and music of these communities. The main event will consist of three co-productions by artists living in Berlin, and an international production. The central themes will include aesthetic dissidence, artistic resistance, exile as a way of life, the search for identity and belongingness, and ways these often-involuntary immigrants deal with their own memories and traces of the past. During the festival, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts Ashkal Alwan will stage various postgrad seminars in Berlin. As part of the summer school, public workshops and discussion series will be open to students from Beirut and Berlin and provide both local and exiled artists the opportunity to network and engage in dialogue.

Curated by: Matthias Lilienthal, advised by Rabih Mroué
With works by: Lina Majdalanie, Rabih Mroué, Rana Issa, Souhaib Ayoub, Bilal Khbeiz, Ada Mukhína, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Christiane Jatahy and many more

Festival for performance, literature, music and discourse: Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Saalbau Neukölln Kultur & Veranstaltungs GmbH, public urban venues, Berlin: 15–25 Jun. 2023



Berliner Festspiele

Schaperstraße 24
10719 Berlin
Tel +49 30 254 89-0 (Empfang)
Fax +49 30 254 89-111 (external link, opens in a new window)