FFF4 | Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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FFF4 | Evros Walk Water 1 & 2

Daniel Wetzel / Rimini Protokoll

Fast Forward Festival 4


3-8 MAY 2017
18:00, 20:00 & 22:00

Ιn English and in Greek
 
Exhibition Hall
90 minutes
Age guidance: 11+
The leading exponents of the "theatre of reality" return to Athens with a new performance which follows the paths of unaccompanied minor immigrants on their travel to Europe and uses John Cage as a reference point. A "performative" regarding a new European society under construction.
Full price: 10 €
Friend & Small groups (5-9 people): 8 €
Large groups (10+ people): 7 €
Reduced, Unemployed, People with disabilities & Companions: 5 €

The performance takes place in a non-theatrical venue which is not accessible to people with mobility impairments.
"We cannot be with you. That’s why you are the musicians and we are the conductors." Over the course of an hour, the audience is both a collective of listeners and a temporary orchestra. Given a lifeboat, a plastic gun, a Ferrari toy car and a paddle to play rather than musical instruments, this orchestra is conducted remotely by six young boys, who give instructions to the players through earphones and share their stories, creating a joyful experience of collaboration and narration. Redefining the relation between composition, musician and audience while offering access to the work of John Cage from the source of its humour and concept of liberation. 
 
It started in 2015 when the six youngsters were temporarily housed by the Society for the Care of Minors in Exarchia. They had come to Greece from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Pakistan and Syria without their parents. The boys were introduced  to Water Walk (1959), the iconic work by American composer John Cage which is played on household items rather than musical instruments. The development process with the boys led to the replacement of the original instruments and sounds with different ones reflecting their stories, as they talk about their reasons for fleeing their home countries, the journey to Europe, and their daily life in Athens. The stage is designed in a way which allows the concert to happen without the boys being present (Evros Walk Water, 2015). 
 
Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 is a reworked and extended version of that first project which has toured several countries but never Greece. Some of the youngsters are now residents in other European countries; all of them are in the process of becoming adults. Life went on and now new questions arise:
 
Did you make new friends over there? Are the Swiss more racist than the Dutch? With whom do you play counterstrike now?  Do you finally drive a motorbike around Exarheia? Do you still dream to travel to Europe? Do you still use hairspray? How do you dance?"


PARALLEL EVENT
5 May | 23:30
After performance talk with the participants
Chaired by Katia Arfara, Concept and Artistic Direction of the Fast Forward Festival

credits

Evros Walk Water 2
Concept & Direction: Daniel Wetzel
Dramaturgy: Ioanna Valsamidou
Research: Konstantinos Kallivretakis
Research, Assistance: Nefeli Myrodia
Set: Magda Plevraki
Set Assistance: Maria Kakaroglou
Sound Artist: Peter Breitenbach
Sound Artist Collaboration: Lampros Pigounis
Light Design: Guy Stephanou, Michalis Kloukinas
Video Artist: Menelaos Karamaghiolis
Video Artist Collaboration: Panagiotis Papafragkos
Research (Sweden): Margarita Gerogianni
Production Management: Violetta Gyra, Juliane Männel, Heidrun Schlegel (Rimini Apparat)
World premiere at Onassis Cultural Centre / Fast Forward Festival (Athens)

Production: Rimini Apparat and Onassis Cultural Centre / Fast Forward Festival (Athens) 
Coproduced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
Funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe - Department of Culture
Based on Evros Walk Water – a coproduction by TAK Liechtenstein, Schloßmediale Werdenberg and Rimini Apparat


Evros Walk Water 2​ is based on Evros Walk Water
Concept & Direction: Daniel Wetzel
Dramaturgy: Ioanna Valsamidou
Research, Assistance: Konstantinos Kallivretakis, Ioanna Valsamidou
Set: Adrianos Zacharias
Set Assistance: Magda Plevraki 
Sound: Peter Breitenbach
Sound Assistance: Panos Tsagarakis
Light: Roger Stieger
Consulting: Fotis Parthenidis
Translation: Bakar Albakar, Abbas Golbas
Production Mangement: Heidrun Schlegel (Rimini Apparat), Charlotte Streck
Assistant Production: Kostas Valsamidis
Coproduction: Tak Liechtenstein, Schloßmediale Werdenberg, Rimini Apparat
In Collaboration With: Polyplanity Productions
 
Special thanks to Mirella Weingarten, Kurt Scheidegger, to the design store DMOD Workshop, Society for the Care of Minors, Fotis Parthenidis, Telemachos Tsolis, Dimitra Adamantidou, Eleftheria Lykou, Spyros Tzivelekis, Lukas Alexiou, Theodoros Roumpanis, Valerios Skripkarow, Alice Roorda, Maaike Verbogt, Annelies van der Goot, Roy van Berkum

read more

The title Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 takes us back to 2012 and the agreement between the Greek and Turkish governments to build a 12.5 km long barrier between Nea Vyssa and Kastania on the border to prevent foreigners entering Greece from Turkey. The wall left immigrants with no choice but to risk the more perilous and costly Aegean route to Greece, crossing the sea from Turkey in boats and on rafts.

In 2015, the Society for the Care of Minors in Exarcheia, Athens, was home to 16 unaccompanied minors who had survived such journeys, having walked from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria then crossed the Aegean from Turkey only to spend months living in miserable conditions in Greek immigrant holding centres. Six of the kids worked with Daniel Wetzel in Exarcheia over a two-month period. Three have stayed in Greece, but the other three have since moved on to other European countries: Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden. Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 features a host of languages—the refugees’ mother tongues (Kurdish, Farsi, Arabic) as well as the languages of the countries they passed through and now live in.
 
Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 is a new, extended version of the initial project. Developed over the two-month workshop in 2015, Evros Walk Water took the form of an audio-play, consisting of the musical improvisations and first-hand testimonies of the six unaccompanied minors and referencing Water Walk by John Cage. Though never performed in Greece, this work did feature at international festivals in Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and elsewhere, though without its six young creators—they were prevented from attending by international regulations. Click here to see the trailer and get a taste of Evros Walk Water.
 
Water Walk by John Cage (1912–1992) is a work for solo television presenter which the composer performed live on CBS's popular TV show “I’ve got a secret” in January 1960. In essence, it is a composition of sounds which Cage produced using a cooking pot, a blender, a mixer, ice cubes, a bath tub, a vase of flowers, a watering can, a plastic duck, a whistle and five radios. Water in all its forms was also a core constituent of the work.
 
The OCC staged a six-day retrospective to the great experimenter John Cage and his work in 2012 to mark the centenary of his birth and the 20th anniversary of his death.
 
It is the third time Rimini Protokoll have collaborated with the OCC to stage work in Athens. Their most recent collaboration was on the radical theatre-documentary Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf, volumes I & II (2016).
 
Daniel Wetzel was one of the artists invited to take part in a major Fast Forward Festival production, X Apartments Athens (2015), the peripatetic site-specific performance curated by Katia Arfara and Anna Mülter based on an original idea by Matthias Lilienthal. The project was staged outside the OCC in apartments and houses in central Athens. Viewers could choose between two different routes— Wetzel curated one of the spaces on Route 2 (Agiou Meletiou—Kypseli).

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