THEATRE OF PEACE / Friedensschauplätze

Peace and Visibility in an Asymmetrical World

1 May–13 June 2010
Opening: 30 April 2010

Event Series

NGBK, Oranienstraße 25


Grete Aagaard, Akim, Artists Without Walls, Jan Caspers, Clownsarmee, Decolonizing Architecture, Mona Fawaz, Floating Lab Collective, G8 TV , Victor Gama, Ahmad Gharbieh, Graine Théâtre/Espace Masolo, Mona Harb, Rosa Heide, Robby Herbst, Sabine Horlitz/Oliver Clemens, Institut Design2Context, Mazen Kerbaj, Anne König, Lize Mogel/Dario Azzellini, Netzwerk Friedenssteuer , OFOG , Projekt Grenzgeografien, David Reeb, Rimini Protokoll, Steven Rowell, Larissa Sansour/Oreet Ashery, Sandra Schäfer/ Elfe Brandenburger , Solo7, The Center for Land Use Interpretation/ Matthew Coolidge, Vera Tollmann , Christiane Wehr/Ulf Treger, Jan Wenzel, Women Videoletters, Zentrum für politische Schönheit

Project group

bankleer, Anke Hagemann, Dietrich Heißenbüttel, Gunda Isik, Karin Kasböck, Christoph Leitner

Every day, theaters of war around the world are at the center of media attention. Working for peace on the other hand is unspectacular, slow, and not very appealing. How can a place, an initiative, an artistic work become a theater of peace? What alternative perspectives can be used to counter asymmetrical conditions of visibility? Is it even possible to make peace visible, to represent it?
The exhibition brings together artistic and activist strategies that make visible the hidden stories behind the different scenes of crisis around the world, intervene into public discourse, and resist the logic of war.

Showing the perspective of the defeated without forcing them into the passive role of the victim
The armed conflicts currently being carried out around the world are mostly asymmetrical. This asymmetry is reflected in superior military strength, economic disparity, and in the power of definition: where one side alone controls the circulation of images and information in the media, the other tries to draw (media) attention to itself with acts of violence. Other strategies are needed to create a kind of visibility and the conditions for peaceful solutions. Thus Elias Sanbar speaks of a “return to visibility” in relation to the film culture that has developed in Palestine since the Oslo Accords. Then again, visibility is not only the basic requirement for lasting solutions but also the natural domain of art.

Making asymmetrical constellations visible in space
The THEATER OF PEACE project introduces strategies that make visible the hidden problems and stories behind the different scenes of crisis around the world. This includes an analysis and description of the spatial constellations that constitute the stage and context of conflicts, which are made visible in the maps produced by a number of different critical projects. We are interested in the moment of reversal that turns a theater of war into a peaceful scenario.

Introducing the activities of intervening artists and initiatives for peace
The focus of the project is on the activities of activists and artists who intervene into concrete situations with specific demands while at the same time jump-starting processes beyond their own immediate spatial and temporal environments. A small stage in the exhibition space will function as a THEATER OF PEACE, where initiatives can introduce themselves and discussions, plays, and film screenings will take place.

We understand the THEATER OF PEACE / FRIEDENSSCHAUPLÄTZE project as an intersection in space and time allowing the participating initiatives, activists, and artists to remain connected beyond the exhibition itself. We have created a website to function as a platform of exchange, mapping theaters of peace around the world. Following the example of the Women Videoletters initiative, activists from around the world who are not able to come to the exhibition themselves are invited to submit video interviews reporting about their experiences working for peace. The interviews will be presented on the web platform, where artists and activists can also introduce themselves and make their own material available.

Press commentary

Tagesspiegel, 23.05.2001 (Anna Pataczek)
“Kann Kunst etwas bewirken? Eine alte Frage. Die Ausstellungsmacher von ‘Theatre of Peace/Friedensschauplätze’ in der Neuen Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst (NGBK) gehen davon aus. Sie zeigen Arbeiten von Künstlern, die auf die Straße gehen, Bombeneinschläge kartografieren, Blogs betreiben. Die Mehrzahl widmet sich dem israelisch-arabischen Konflikt.”


Friday, April 30, 7 pm:
Opening with a performance by Akim and peace songs, selected by Dietrich Heißenbüttel and Stefan Frank

Sunday, May 2, 5 pm:
Performances, videos and presentation of the Comic-Novel The Novel of Nonel and Vovel with Larissa Sansour und Oreet Ashery (en)
7 pm: Round table with all present artists and the curators (en)

Tuesday, May 4, 7.30 pm:
Film/discussion: Videomappings, presented by the film maker, Till Roeskens

Saturday, May 8, 9.30 pm: Canncelled because of the bad weather
Re-invention Publicity (1970) by Allan Kaprow organized by Mona Jas with 7th class students of the Menzel Oberschule and bankleer, place:
empty lot at Altonaer Straße and Lessingstraße (Moabit)
with bankleer and Mona Jas

focus: theater
initiatives from Medellín / Colombia, through Chiapas / Mexico toKinshasa / Kongo, including a mask performance, two puppet theater programs, and a panel…
More information here […]

Monday, May 10, 7.30 pm:
Theater: Rainbow at Dawn by Harón Sánchez Hincapié and Ghimire Yubaraj

Tuesday, May 11, 7 pm:
Topic: Using Theater to Promote Peace with Heike Kammer, Harón Sánchez Hincapié and Hubert Mahela, moderated by Till Baumann / sabisa(en)

Wednesday, May 12, 7.30 pm:
Puppet theater: The extraordinary adventures of Oulala by Graine Théâtre (french, with german subtitles)

Thursday, May 13, 7.30 pm:
Film/discussion: D’Arusha à Arusha, presented by the film maker, Christophe Gargot (en)

Thursday, May 20, 7.30 pm:
Film/discussion: Silent Elections, presented by the film maker, Sarah Vanagt (en)

Friday, May 21, 7.30 pm:
Topic: Mediation as a Strategy in Promoting Peace? Self-Conception, Impacts, Institutionalization, panel discussion with Brigitta von Messling/CSSP, Karim Fathi/Berghof
Conflict Research, Cornelia Brinkmann/Steps for Peace and Martin
Glasenapp/Medico, moderated by Anna Ohrt and Rafael Strauss

Saturday, May 22, 7.30 pm:
Topic: Women Videoletters with Osnat Bar Or, Ana Laura Hernandez and Stasha Zajovic/Women in Black (en)

Wednesday, May 26, 7.30 pm:
Topic: Conflict Scenarios. Art Initiatives in War and Crisis,
with: Eyal Danon, Andreas Rost and Joanna Barelkowska/OWEN, moderated
by Marina Gřzinić, place: ifa-Galerie Berlin, Linienstr. 139/140 (en)

Friday, May 28, 7.30 pm:
Topic: Places, Maps and Projections with Mona Fawaz (Beirut), Steve Rowell (Los Angeles/Berlin), Sabine Horlitz and Oliver Clemens (Berlin) (en)

Monday, May 31, 7.30 pm:
Topic: A Visual Encyclopedia of „Peace“ with Stefanie-Vera Kockot and Megan Hall / Institut Design2Context (Zurich)

Thursday, June 3, 7.30 pm:
Film/discussion: Der Tag des Spatzen, presented by the film maker, Philip Scheffner

Friday, June 4, 7.30 pm:
Topic: Antimilitarismus sozial verankern with representatives from Netzwerk Friedenssteuer, RAK, Rosa Heide and others

Tuesday, June 8, 7.30 pm:
Artists’ Talk: Jan Caspers, Anne König, Vera Tollmann und Jan Wenzel zu Was Du wissen solltest (Die Zukunft)

Thursday, June 10, 7.30 pm:
Film/discussion: Was bleibt, presented by the film maker, Clarissa Thieme

In cooperation with

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