quotAntigone in the Amazonquot After the premiere in Ghent soon

"Antigone in the Amazon": After the premiere in Ghent soon in Vienna Salzburger

It’s a terrifying, violent scene that’s at the heart of “Antigone in the Amazon,” and while it doesn’t require theatrical gore, it gets to the kidneys. Because the massacre perpetrated by the Brazilian military police against demonstrators in the Amazon in 1996, which has now been reenacted, really happened. The survivors of the era play together. in video. You stayed in Brazil. On the other hand, the show that premiered yesterday in Ghent is coming to Vienna.

“Antígona na Amazônia” is a perfect link between the current and the future Wiener Festwochen. Belgian director Christophe Slagmuylder had invited the Swiss Milo Rau, now designated as his successor, to continue his old trilogy (whose first part “Orest in Mosul” was screened at the 2019 Festival) in Vienna. Corona stopped working on production in Brazil. Brazilian actress and indigenous activist Kay Sara delivered her Wiener Festwochen 2020 opening speech online. Cooperation with the landless movement Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) was not continued until the spring of 2023, and on April 17 the massacre with 21 dead was re-enacted on a street in the state of Pará – which caused great commotion in Brazil.

Kay Sara has decided to just continue her work and struggle in her home country – which is why she and other MST activists are not shown live on stage, but in numerous video sequences. There they act alongside actors and survivors of the massacre that took place at the time, which in the staging resembles an execution. It is unmistakably clear that the almost two-hour performance, which is a mixture of documentary theater and tragedy rewriting, can only be understood as part of a larger whole in which art and theater play important, but not unique, roles.

Shortly before the premiere, a “Declaration of May 13” was published, which criticized the palm oil manufacturer Agropalma, companies that work with it, such as Ferrero and the green washing of products, and showed solidarity with the MST. “These activists are fighting for all of us, because the future of our planet will be decided in the Amazon: For or against the definitive deforestation of the largest jungle in the world. For or against ecological and humane agriculture. For or against the displacement of people for the production of soybeans, palm oil and beef,” he says. The top 50 prominent signatories include Giorgio Agamben, Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Zizek, Carola Rackete, Yanis Varoufakis, Annie Ernaux, Angela Davis and Austria’s Elfriede Jelinek, Olga Neuwirth and Robert Menasse. In Vienna, before the series of presentations, this dimension and the activities of the MST will be pointed out separately, emphasized Milo Rau in an interview with APA.

Such backgrounds are hardly present on the earth-covered stage. There actors Frederico Araujo, Sara De Bosschere and Arne De Tremerie and musician Pablo Casella, repeatedly getting up from white camp chairs, jumping into scenes and interacting with video recordings, talk about their work in Brazil and their encounters with the militant and awesome people there. And with a red thread they try to intertwine and reinterpret Sophocles’ tragedy with today’s events.

“Much is monstrous, but nothing / More monstrous than man”, says Antigone. The fight against scandalous injustice unites Antigone’s rebellion against Creon’s tyranny and the activists in the Amazon – whether the double cultural transfer always works is questionable, but it is not decisive for the game. Aware of this, Rau has included some nice self-ironic moments in which a little clash of cultures flickers. And that’s good. Because the night never leaves any doubt that different means are used to fight for common goals. Standing ovations at the world premiere – and this time the term really fits. After Ghent, Amsterdam and Vienna, the production will be shown in Frankfurt, Avignon, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Porto and Lisbon, among other places.

(SERVICE – “Antigone im Amazonas”, concept and direction: Milo Rau, Milo Rau & Ensemble. With Frederico Araujo, Sara De Bosschere, Pablo Casella and Arne De Tremerie. In video: Kay Sara, Gracinha Donato, Célia Maracajà, Martinez Corrêa , Ailton Krenak and the choir of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), At NTGent on May 16/17 and June 9/10, at the Wiener Festwochen from May 25 to 27, 8 pm, at the Burgtheater, Auditorium discussion on the 26th after the presentation www.festtwochen.at: “Declaration of May 13th”: http://www.declaration13may.com/ )