Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects /


Life-worlds /

Utopia of Modernity: Zlín /

Kafka /

1968|1989 /

An initiative of the
Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Vùng biên giới. Foto © Matthias Horn, 2009.

Vùng biên giới. A theatre project with the experts from Dresden and Prague

by Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel (Rimini Protokoll)

At Zipp’s invitation, Rimini Protocol (Helgrad Haug, Daniel Wetzel) set forth in the spring of 2008 to explore neighbourly relations between Germany and the Czech Republic – and found Vietnam between Dresden and Prague. It is the borderland of a generational experience: their Vietnamese parents had arrived as contract workers in the communist brother states of the GDR and CSSR. The children grew up in snack bars, convenience stores and stands set up close to the border. “Vùng biên gió’i” (borderland) features the first and second migrant generations and furnishes not only a glimpse into their life-world, but also allows them to share their look at ours.

Helgard Haug on the research: “We visited the giant Vietnamese market in Prague and got talking to Vietnamese in Dresden about how they landed in the GDR or the CSSR as so-called ‘foreign workers’ and their search for a niche after 1990. In this way we were able to win over four Vietnamese from Dresden and Berlin for the project, who in very different ways managed to find their way from the GDR to self-employment in capitalism – and moreover, all four were war children or young soldiers.” At the Vietnamese central market in Prague children help to replenish the stock of imitation US uniforms, unpacking them from the boxes and stacking them on the counter. But while their parents cry out “cheap, cheap!” in broken Czech, they have conquered very different territories: they study, travel, speak several languages and feed search engines with status requests on their homeland and where they belong. While some arrange for their families to join them from Vietnam and others attempt to enter the country illegally overland, despite the financial crisis the Czech state provides willing repatriates a flight back ‘home’ and pays 500 euros as an incentive. On the German side, hundreds are flown from Berlin’s Schönefeld airport into absolute uncertainty per collective deportations.

Rimini Protocol places individuals at the centre of their theatre work. Focusing on their biographies and jobs the theatre-makers characterize them as experts of everyday life. In this way theatre is turned into a research instrument that is first deployed when the stage goes public. As in the case of “Vùng biên gió’i”, rehearsals are preceded by extensive research, casting and creative processes.

A production by: Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects, State Theatre Dresden, Pražský divadelní festival německého jazyka (Prague German-Language Theatre Festival), and Národní divadlo (National Theater Prague)

Cast and Photos | Programme | Project Partners

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