Preenacting Europe empowers the audience to devise and play out diverse scenarios for the future. Using live voting, the audience members can decide on political programmes and put them into practice with the performers. How do we react to rising levels of dissatisfaction, youth unemployment, state debt, fear of strangers and euroscepticism? The spectrum of possibilities ranges from plans for forced austerity to the creation of utopian collectives. The audience votes, decides and takes responsibility for what has been chosen. In this way, new types of state are created in every performance, for example, the "Euro Swarm 3.0", a swarm-intelligent fundamental democracy in which every decision is made through social networks. Or "The United Queendom of Europe", a matriarchal monarchy. Or "The Lottocratic Republic of Europe" in which all political authorities are chosen by lottery in order to avoid corruption and lobbying. Or something completely different, developed first on the evening of the performance.
In spring 2014, the Europhone begins its tour through Europe. The Europhone is a mobile research installation in the shape of a telephone booth. We place it in theatres, town halls and job centres and let it ring. Whoever picks up the receiver is asked questions by the Europhone and can record their wishes, fears and visions on it. The collected voices from the Europhone are the starting point for the performance Preenacting Europe. Based on the collected material the performers together with the audience develop different future scenarios and state models through voting procedures. The audience seating is divided into different European and non-European countries, so based on where you sit, different voting rights and forms of participation are created. Since the rules of participation and voting procedures change all the time, sometimes the 'rich', sometimes the 'poor' countries get to decide on the future of Europe. Preenacting Europe is different every evening. With its outcome undecided the responsibility is transferred to the audience and the consequences of decisions are experienced. In the wake of the Eurozone crisis, the question of the future of Europe has also become a question of the future of democracy and its institutions: What possibilities do I have to contribute to the design of the future of Europe? Where does freedom of choice end and controlled democracy begin? What new possibilities do we have for the shaping of Europe and what are their consequences?
INTERROBANG is a Berlin based performance group consisting of Till Müller-Klug, Nina Tecklenburg, Ekkehard Ehlers, Martin Schick, Lajos Talamonti and others. In partnership with the Sophiensaele Berlin and supported by the Doppelpass programme of the German Federal Cultural Foundation Interrobang are creating a series of "preenactments". After Sprachlabor Babylon (2012), Callcenter Übermorgen (2013) and ThAEtermaschine (2013), Preenacting Europe is the fourth project in this series of performative future visions.
BY Interrobang (Till Muller-Klug, Nina Tecklenburg, Ekkehard Ehlers, Lajos Talamonti) CONCEPTIONAL COLLABORATION Martin Schick DRAMATURGY Lisa Grosmann, Tom Mustroph EUROPHONES Georg Werner STAGE, COSTUMES Sandra Fox VIDEO Florian Fischer LIGHT DESIGN Dirk Lutz COMPANY MANAGEMENT Marc Pohl REFEREE Dorothea Schmans INTERPRETER Flavio Ribeiro ASSISTANT Jonas Feller
Produced by SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by Doppelpass – An initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. In cooperation with Hellerau – European Centre for the Artse Dresden and Theatron (Network of European Performing Arts Organisations). Media partners: Jungle World, zitty, taz.die tageszeitung
photo © Michael Bennett