25 May 2022 | Sometimes we are happy to wait. Indeed, the Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson should by now have sent us a revised stage sketch for the project he will present this August on Saffa Island. But instead, he has been busy helping Maria Alyokhina, founder of Pussy Riot, to leave Russia. Leaving the country involved undergoing a series of adventures. Following rehearsals with Kjartansson and the Icelandic musician Björk Alyokhina is now on tour. We will hopefully receive our sketch soon.
The war in Ukraine has affected our festival preparations in different ways. Yet, when dealing with our network of international artists, we become aware time and again that this war is just one of many violent conflicts and crises raging on this planet. Certainly, the art that we have invited to this year’s festival bears witness to this. For example, Thai author and director Wichaya Artamat’s «This Song Father Used To Sing (Three Days in May)» tells the story of a brother and sister who meet in Bangkok to commemorate their father’s death. The recent past of the Southeast Asian metropolis has been characterised by mass protests, often violently suppressed by armed forces. Artamat subtly portrays the story of the siblings within the context of the events in Bangkok.
The Theater Spektakel 2022 is the first festival in three years where companies in many countries have been able to rehearse without greater obstacles and artists can travel with few or no restrictions. We are very happy about that. Two important artists from Latin America are now able to come to Zurich with large-scale productions. The Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues presents fanciful and hopeful images of a society after desperate years. In «Los Años», the Argentinian director Mariano Pensotti tells a story which takes place between Europe and Argentina and at two different times: the present and the 2050s – «after the big pandemics» as Pensotti calls it.