Jörg Lukas MATTHAEI

2010

From : Berlin, Germany
To: Jenin, Palestine

Mein Land Biladi

Theatre

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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

The trip helped me a lot to get a feeling of the situation in Palestine (& Israel in some parts). Through my partners there (The Freedom Theatre Jenin) I was able to meet a wide range of different people (families in the refugee-camp,the mufti, wealthy merchants, former prisoners). Since I will be working there next summer on a project that will be site-specific and involve the community it was very valuable for me to have this first phase of research and making contacts without having to turn them into part of a performance yet. And it was very necessary for my kind of work to have this on-the-ground experience in order to develop an idea and a performance/intervention there instead of just exporting some European idea to a field that is culturally so different even where it seems to be familiar on the surface. So I am in the process now of developing a unique approach of how to bring my interest in theatre and performing arts as a means of creating communication and going into communities. And in close exchange with the partners from Jenin and Leipzig we hope to come up with a process that will fulfill both my artistic expectations as well as that of the audience and colleagues there.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

It turns out that the artistic side is only one aspect of such an exchange or bi-lateral project it would be great to have something like a mediation or other expertise that is working on equal terms with the artists and other facilitators, like translation. The exchange and networking are not just elements but the very base of this project. Since I am not going somewhere to implement concepts or complete shows that could be done anywhere else as well – but rather try to find out what a place, a community is about and how I can contribute, make things visible, create new forms of communication for the people living there.

Can you elaborate on the learning and knowledge you have gained and shared throughout this experience?

The project gave an artistic and theatrical insight into the lifes, stories and individual situations of young Palestinians today and offers a personal impression to a German public. A continuation of that collaboration in the next years was highly appreciated in order to realise further workshops that are important not only for the cultural development in Palestine but also for the individual development of the young generation of Palestinians living in a conflict region. Further it posed and answered questions of cultural identity – in Germany as well as in the Westbank. So the contribution of this joint project lies in Germany as well as in the Westbank.

Please indicate a link to your current work (website/facebook page)

http://matthaei-und-konsorten.de




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