At a town meeting:
MAPONYANE : Poverty is the father of crime and revolution. …People steal because they are hungry, they have no money to buy food, no clothes to wear...
MPHO : But that is no justification for stealing from your fellow brother. Why steal from someone who has nothing?
(Dialogue from HUNGRY by Aubrey Sekhabi. / Photograph by Sanmari Marais.)
GREVE DE LA FAIM (hunger strike) written by Ildevert Meda & directed by him and Luca Fusi - the 5th of 9 "Hunger for Trade" productions. Opening tonight in Ouagadougou!
In advance of THOOK opening in Bangalore next week the Deccan Herald published an article on the Indian production process of "Hunger for Trade".
Iriwati, co-writer of THOOK, states his idea of the plays main goal as
"So after watching THOOK, if one starts wondering about the politics of food every time he or she eats, it will have done its job."
HUNGRY opened at the State Theatre in Pretoria last week: A fierce statement on urban hunger!
Read an interview with Aubrey Sekhabi on his approach to "Hunger for Trade" and the developement of HUNGRY.
Two weeks to go until the uniquely international & final event of "Hunger for Trade".
On May 30th we will meet the challege of showing the world what global theatre can be...
Join us around the globe for a day of showing, discussing and celebrating the "Hunger for Trade" theatre network!
The fourth "Hunger for Trade"-premiere is coming up:
Aubrey Sekhabi's HUNGRY
dealing with the question of urban food security, will open at The South African State Theatre in Pretoria on May 16th!
For more information & tickets see the State Theatre's website.
This picture shows a scene from Brad Birch's TENDER BOLUS, the second of four plays directed by Alexander Summers & Polly Thomas as part of "Hunger for Trade". After last weeks premiere of Alistair McDowalls's THIS LAND and Miriam Battye's BALANCE at the Royal Exchange Theatre an interesting review emerged that was commented on by both director Summers and playwright McDowall! Follow the link for a practical introduction to what documentary theatre means...
Photographer: Jonathan Keenan.
A great and productive day for the "Hunger for Trade"- network! In all partner theatres around the world people are working towards the final! Our office door opens towards a constant international encounter.
So today we've spoken to...
1. the Swiss team about the video editing for their show "Switzerland's Next Top Problem", which will feature more than 10 food-related issues that will be presented in individual video portraits...
2. the Royal Exchange Theatre about the presentation of their "Hunger for Trade" audio installation...
3. HFT-Production Manager Maria M. Ludewig with the German Schauspielhaus, who was waiting for passport control at Brussels Airport on her way to visit Theatr'Evasion in Burkina Faso...
... we've emailed with ...
4. the production manager at State Theatre in Pretoria about budgets and train rides...
5. the Indian Ensemble's graphic designer about print materials and its production manager about rehearsal spaces an cash payments...
6. the translator with the Brazilian Cia do Tijolo about the teams ideas for their Final Festival Day...
7. The Romanian production manager about selecting an item of food to give to the Schauspielhaus at the end of the month...
8. Guy Dermul with the KVS regarding subtitles for the video footage of MEST and possible re-enactment of a scene from it...
9. director & production manager Luca Fusi in Ouagadougou about Maria's arrival...
And eventually to sum up these hours of global networking: The Schauspielhaus' posters for the final day of "Hunger for Trade" have been send to the printers, featuring all 9 productions (as you can see above)... so now in terms of food one might add:
Have a look at the trailer for German production CARGO FLEISCH by artistic director Clemens Bechtel! Next performances will be on May 16th&17th - For more information and tickets visit the SchauSpielHaus website!
Tonight at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester: The third & fourth of four brand-new plays! THIS LAND written by young British playwright Alistair McDowall and BALANCE by Mirriam Battye. The plays are based on the research that has been done by the team as part of "Hunger for Trade"
Alexander Summers who has directed all four of the plays alongside Polly Thomas said:
Rather than try to become authorities on the global food trade, the artists involved have tried to present issues in ways that audiences can empathise with.
Alistair McDowall's drama This Land explores how big business is claiming ownership of every aspect of nature.
Amazing first "Hunger for Trade"-premiere with mesmerizing MEST at the Belgian KVS last night!
Read more about the 'real hunger games' in the FLANDERS TODAY!
At the premiere's party of MEST An Van der Donckt and Karel Dombrecht with the KVS pass on Wallonian cheese, Flamish sweets and chocolate from Brussels to be brought to Manchester...
Opening tonight at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester/ UK: "Hunger for Trade" with the two plays BLACK GOLD by Kellie Smith and TENDER BOLUS by Brad Birch directed by Alex Summers and Polly Thomas!
While waiting for the show to start learn more about the upcoming premiere from actress Shobna Gulati - or get a ticket quickly!
TODAY: The very first "Hunger for Trade"-premiere will happen tonight at the KVS, the royal Flamish theatre in Brussels/Belgium. Director Guy Dermul, who will also be performing on stage, and his team will elaborate on the essence of MEST (engl.:manure, dung) and its complex relation to the issue of food... - ...and what to make of that?!
For more information just follow the lin to the KVS-website or take a look at the trailer below and - if you happen to be in Brussels: Go and see for yourself!
...where the first of nine "Hunger for Trade" productions, Guy Dermul's "MEST", is about to start at the KVS...
Belgian director Guy Dermul receives his duty-free food from the Schauspielhaus' trade delegation. Tomorrow at the Royal Exchange Theatre we will see which delicious currency he chose to pay for it!
A little extra to accompany the production visits to all theatres in their final stages of rehearsal: A game of getting and giving, where everyone receives some food and needs to supply some for the next theatre on the itinerary!
This is what we bring to Belgium to trade it for something to take to the UK...
British dramatists Simon Stephens and Brad Birch reflect on "Hunger for Trade" and how research about the global food market finds its way into artistic expression:
“Think about where that nectarine sits in the political infrastructures of the West’s relationship with the rest of the world… and within two minutes you’ve gone from just having a fucking nectarine to thinking about global capitalism.”
You will also find some news on the "Hunger for Trade"-productions at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester...
Read the whole article here:
Most partners have finished their research and have now started rehearsals and preparations for the Final Festival Day (30.05.2014). Pictures & videos of the 9 productions are coming in and campaigns are evolving! - The Royal Exchange Theatre came up with this intriguing picture (see above) to present their four "Hunger for Trade" plays to the public!
Royal Exchange Theatre / Hunger for Trade:
BLACK GOLD by Kellie Smith &
TENDER BOLUS by Brad Birch
BALANCE by Miriam Battye &
THIS LAND by Alistair McDowall
Check out the other "Hunger for Trade"- productions and mark the dates in your calendars!
KVS / Guy Dermul:
MEST >> Premiere: 23.04.2014
Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg / Clemens Bechtel:
CARGO FLEISCH >> Premiere: 25.04.2014
The South African State Theatre / Aubrey Sekhabi & Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom:
HUNGRY >> Premiere: 16.05.2014
Teatrul Odeon / Gianna Carbunariu:
DE VANZARE / FOR SALE >> Premiere: 25.05.2014
Cia do Tijolo / Rodrigo Mercadante:
OPÉRA DA SOJA >> Premiere: 25.05.2014
Konzert Theater Bern / Martin Schick & Mirko Winkel:
SWITZERLAND’S NEXT TOP PROBLEM 2014 – A global vision food contest >> Premiere 27.05.2014
Indian Ensemble / Abhishek Majumdar:
THE AMERICANS >> Premiere: 27.05.2014
Théâtr'Evasion / Ildevert Méda & Luca Fusi:
GREVE DE LA FAIM ( HUNGER STRIKE) >> Premiere: last week of May
"Hunger for Trade" is about to enter the next stage... by now rehearsals have started around the world and premieres are coming up in Belgium, Great Britain and Germany - and there is more to come! Our media centre will soon be filled with documentation of the rehearsal process by all 9 partner theatres.
See the Clemens Bechtel & his team at Schauspielhaus Hamburg prepare for
Premiere 25.04.2014, Schauspielhaus/Malersaal
Clemens Bechtel and his research team at the Schauspielhaus gathered background information and two very different pespectives on the fire that was set to a newly build industrial chicken farm in 2010 by animal rights activists.
"They had written 'Fuck you!' with yellow sand right in front of the building..." -
"...while at the same time just a few kilometers away, Europe's biggest slaughterhouse was built"
Guy Dermul has just started his rehearsals for his "Hunger for Trade"-production MEST at the KVS in Brussels. On the theatre's website he shares his thoughts on the problems of globalisation, food trade and poverty in his article:
As part of their research the KVS asked some of the other HFT-partner theatres to go out in the streets and ask people what hunger means to them.
Here are the answers from Ougadougou (Burkina Faso):
Guy Dermul with the KVS in Brussels took a look at EU food trade from two very different perspectives: In an interview with a member of the European Parliament regarding the production and trading of Genetically Modified Organisms and another interview with the Belgian FAIRTRADE association on their cooperation with major companies.
The more research is done, the more complex it becomes to reflect on it, to find the specific detail that will work as a point of refernce in the thought process and in the creation of a theatrical scene.
Gianina Carbunariu from Teatrul Odeon lets us in on her impressions doing research on land grabbing and agriculture in Romania:
"The interviews we’ve done so far were realized with activist, anthropologists, and peasants from villages where the land grabbing is very aggressive, but also with farmers who started for some years already to do their own farms. We spoke with young people, but also with people in their 40’s or with older people. We spoke with men and also with women. The feeling we had going through villages is sometimes reminding me of Chekhov’s play Cherry Orchard. [...]
There is, especially for people living in the villages and who are over 45 years old, a big nostalgia for the times before ’89, before the revolution. This is understandable because at that time the cooperatives used to employ them in agriculture or they would also work in the industries from the neighboring cities – which are destroyed now, they don’t function anymore. [...] The general feeling is of capitulation in front of the new times where there is not so much place for small scale agriculture. It is not profitable, no matter how much you invest, now matter how much you work. [...]
In a way, I have the feeling that the story in this case starts from the ending scene of the Russian play: we already hear the cherry’s trees being cut, there are mainly old people left there in the villages (like Firs forgot in the house) and we don’t know how the future will look like."
In Brazil the Cia do Tijolo develops their play inspired by songs about food, tradition and social critisism:
'It seems that something has gone out of order -
Out of the new world order'
"Caetano Veloso, in that song, was asking the same question we are: Where´s the real human being in these optimistic descriptions of the Globalization? Aren´t we, Brazilian people, out of order as well?
The place from where we talk, from where we sing, is that point out of the center. Our songs intend to reflect the voice of the old Latin America´s mothers, African children, Middle East People. We are that marginal view over the many descriptions of Globalization. The new ways of slavery arising around the world hidden behind the international outsourcing , “Chicanos” dying while trying to cross the borders between Mexico and USA in the world without borders , ships full of garbage coming imported from England to Recife, teenagers being sexually exploited by old rich European men in the beaches of Fortaleza… [...]
We suspect that the other side of our hunger for trade is the Trade of hunger… This is our point of beginning."
Picking up on this the team of Schauspielhaus / Germany contributed an interview with the NGO Survival international about the situation of Brazil's indigenous peoples and the role of the soy trade...
From the KVS we received an interesting interview about organic food production and a the growing alienation between consumers and food:
"Again I could experience the gap between the reality of production, the land and the distributers who gives us food..."(Antoine Giccione)
Artistic director Aubrey Sekhabi at the South African State Theatre in reporting a personal impression sums up the feeling of all artists involved in "Hunger for Trade":
"Ever since I got involved with this project it seems and feels like everything one touches somehow speaks to the issues and themes set out by the project."
So here are some news from the different productions that are shared and discussed in the "Hunger for Trade"-network:
The Indian Ensemble is conducting workshops with children as part of their research on India's aspiration to Western values. They have just finished the 3rd and last of them, while completing a first draft of the text for THE AMERICANS: "A story in verse" that takes a unique look at modern India through the eyes of six characters!
At the KVS in Brussels, director Guy Dermul is facing the challege of incorporating the results of his ongoing research into a play for his upcoming rehearsals. He draws attentions on a key aspect of documentary theatre when he addresses the question of theatricality that originates from documentary materials and yet lies beyond "all these facts and figures".
In South Africa Aubrey Sekhabi and Mpumelelo Paul Grootboom are focussing on the question of urban security that - as their research tells them - remains insufficiently adressed in those African countries enjoying peace time and more developed economies than the rest, like South Africa. They started meeting possible artist for their production of HUNGRY with rehearsals starting very soon: "This will almost be a laboratory where we will unearth and discover the most relevant, powerful and accessible way to tell our story. I am ready for this process. [...] The State Theatre is in full swing and they are all waiting for "Hungry" to be born." - Aubrey Sekhabi
Konzert Theater Bern has progressed in the process of nominating candidates for their performative contest SWITZERLAND'S NEXT TOP PROBLEM. In terms of research they were instructed by Burkina Faso's Théâtr’Evasion to ask Swiss citizens about their personal understandings of happiness, dignity and poverty: "Beside of the unusual chance to speak with people around us about rather serious topics, we also got surprising insides into our self-perception: What is our culture and what do we know about it? Which impact has the culture we are sharing on our common ideas and our way of thinking?" - The edited video will be available in the media centre very soon!
In January the Royal Exchange Theatre presented a public stage reading in their studio theatre: "The opportunity to get audience feedback on these works in progress was very interesting for the plays’ development, but also to gauge the local audience’s engagement with the project as a whole [...] it was exciting to find passionate interest for the project’s aims and themes." Kellie Smith, Miriam Battye, Brad Birch and Alistair McDowall will continue to work on their texts dealing with genetic patenting, trade with the developing world, food as ritual and profit and its relation to family constructs.
In Germany Clemens Bechtel has been intensely working on his research, an interview with a nutrition consultant last week and this weeks visit to a large scale chicken farm that had been fundamentally damaged by animal rights activists a while ago and subsequently supplied with a "glass stall" for a more transparent approach to industrial livestock farming. He has also formed a multinational ensemble for the production of CARGO FLEISCH, with which he will start rehearsing at the Schauspielhaus in the beginning of march. While he is in the process of writing his play, food as a key problem in a globalised world becomes the mean to explore how different cultures respond to conflict.
As the research continues and the plays are beginning to form we find ourleves confronted with a question that connects the realm of practical investigation, of artistic representation and of ethics :
WHICH QUESTIONS HAVEN'T YET BEEN ASKED?
Some interesting thoughts from Burkina Faso. See directors Ildevert Meda and Luca Fusi in dialogue with free trade and bio-cultivation activist on the "need shift" brought about by consumerism and its effects on farming.
The first month of the year has gone by and left us with some interesting footage of different aspect of food today.
Great material has been provided by Gianina Carbunariu/Teatrul Odeon on the state of Romanian agriculture, giving insights to the agrobusiness and small scale farming with regard to the problematic field of land-grabbing.
The Theatr'Evasion in Burkina Faso lets us in on their theatrical approach to "Hunger for Trade", performing an entertaining experiment exploring the nature of possesion and power: "j'achète!" - "i will buy it!"
From Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre you can get impressions of the "Bif If"-event in Hyde Park, London in June 2013, to get a sense of how people in the West of Europe try to raise (critical?) awareness in terms of the global food market.
Also: The complete documentation of last year's HFT-conference has been uploaded for those of you who couldn't attend or who want to re-enter the 'dialogues' to keep the mind going...
New materials from India, Germany and the other partners will be uploaded shortly an accessible through the media centre!
Maize (corn) price rising result in "Green famine" in Ethiopia.
A report of the latest food crisis on NBC News by Martin Geissler (ITN).
Aubrey Sekhabi, artistic director of the South African State Theatre Pretoria, and Otsile Ntsoane as lead researcher open the doors to the "Hunger for Trade" research phase in South Africa with their research short film "Hungry", which raises to some demanding questions regarding urban food security.
"In Western societies the holidays are essentially about consumption (and how you present it to others!), gifts for one thing, gigantic shiny Christmas decorations, fireworks and most of all: food.
One dinner after the other keeps the tables covered under enourmous amounts of fine food and assorted wines & chocolates thus presenting itself as the ultimate luxury of the middle classes: more food than one could possibly eat and the increase in social capital that derives from acknowledging it (host or guest: same diffence). So this is how we do it: A merry time of joint wastefulness and over-eating in the spririt of virtues not concerned with the material world - love, peace and a happy holiday. Joy to the world.
However, morals can be intriguing. Subsequently the first week of the young and innocent year in said societies is devoted to suffering and regrets. You look around, you see people whining - about how they all ate too much and how bad they are feeling now (either due to actual sickness after feeding on pralines and pastries for several days or due to the fact that they had "really planned to go through with loosing weight this time" and are now unable to decide whether by telling their sad story to you they are just fishing for compliments or preventing themselves to burst into tears over their lack of integrity.)
Narcissistic punishment. A well designed ritual that keeps you busy obscuring the socio-political implications of collective gluttony for as long as it takes you to really leave last year's old problems behind and start buying new ones. - Happy Hunger 2014!"
Hunger for Trade is entering the research phase and Switzerland is looking for its Next Top Problem (see above!) - Stay tuned for more...
Plundered supermarkets, fields on fire, grain elevators with Greenpeace activists guarding them, slaughterhouses, in which Romanian casual labourers cut pigs for four € an hour, refugees fighting fiercely against the local people for the right to use the dried out fields, images of happy chicken and intensive livestock farming competing for supremacy… - The war over the food business might be fought quietly but to devastating effects.
The actual development in many parts of the world and especially the food riots which took place in 2008 in many different countries made it very obvious that – when politics and business fail – an exchange between different civil societies about the actual situation but also about possible ways out of the crisis has to be brought forward.
"Hunger for Trade - The Conference", that will take place at Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg (Germany) on November 29th/30th, invites the audience to join nine different theatre teams from Burkina Faso, South Africa, India, Brazil, Romania, Belgium, England, Switzerland and Germany and several experts on the production and distribution of food, international trade policy and stock market exchange in this dialogue about the problems and perspectives of the global food market.
Get your ticket >> here!
- bird flu
- burning supermarkets
- Camila Moreno
- Cargo Fleisch
- climate change
- command of the world markets
- Conference dialogues
- Conference experts
- Conference panel
- cultural barriers
- documentary theatre
- drinking water
- dumpster diving
- fast food
- food companies
- food prices
- food sovereignty
- Fuck For Forest
- Heinrich Böll Foundation
- Human Resources
- Hunger for Trade
- international food market
- Markus Henn
- Michael Heasman
- middle class
- overweight individuals
- Sagari Ramdas
- staple foods
- tribal people
- Vintila Mihailescu