Sophienstrasse 18
10178 Berlin-Mitte
Saison 24/25
Start: Zur letzten Instanz (Waisenstraße 14-16, 10179 Berlin)
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Leisure & Pleasure

Leisure & Pleasure

MAY 25–JULY 01

>> DOWNLOAD ProgrammE

As a joyful finale of the last season under the artistic direction of Franziska Werner, Sophiensæle invites you to a festival on the political dimensions of Leisure & Pleasure. For six weeks, the festival explores the connections of pleasure and activism, questions art’s ability to heal societal exhaustion – and dreams of life beyond work.

While dimensions of “self-care” dominate every Insta-feed, conversations about work-life balance, new work, and shorter work weeks have migrated into the dominant discourse at the management floors of big tech companies. Proclaimed by Black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde as a radical political act of resistance in 1988, the care for the self has increasingly become part of the turbo-capitalist logic of exploitation. But the roots of these concepts lie with BIPoC, queer-feminist, and crip writers, activists, and artists, while it is precisely they who are often denied access to these resources. And so, in recent years thinkers like adrienne maree brown and Tricia Hersey have shown that the political, emancipative potential of leisure and pleasure is by no means exhausted. 

Leisure & Pleasure brings together artistic positions rooted in this tradition – and look at the resistent potential of joy and recreation. They engage with the radical act of the break, celebrate time-wasting, ecstasy and disorientation, bring the rave, the dark room and the gym into the theatre, explore the erotic power of community or kink, and offer spaces for care, meditation and healing.

The program consists of international guest performances, new local productions on our stages and numerous site-specific works at Sophiensæle, online and around the city. Sophiensæle’s second Backyard will be transformed into a luscious garden for relaxation. Additionally, three artistic and activist collectives will be invited to residencies in our Kantine, opening their doors to the public on selected days. And finally, on July 1st, we celebrate the farewell of Franziska Werner & team with a lavish party brimming with gala moments.

WithTamara Alegre + Lydia Ö. Diakité + Marie Ursin + Elie Autin + Nunu Flashdem + Marga Alfeirão, Angela Alves, Juan Pablo Cámara, Criptonite, Nuray Demir, Double Much, Sophie Guisset, h0chbegabt, Neo Hülcker, Lecken, Jeremy Nedd & Impilo Mapantsula, Ania Nowak, Ceylan Öztrük, Prinzessinnengarten Kollektiv Berlin, Jen Rosenblit, Liz Rosenfeld + an*dre neely, Lea Sherin + Soraya Reichl & Ensemble, Sickness Affinity Group, Public in Private/Aimé C. Songe, Tischkau & Hampe, Hans Unstern, Siegmar Zacharias uvm.

FESTIVAL-CONCEPTION, CURATION, DRAMATURGY Dr. Joy Kristin Kalu, Alexander Kirchner, Lena Kollender, Mateusz Szymanówka, Franziska Werner PRODUCTION DRAMATURGY Wolfram Sander

And the team of Sophiensæle

The festival Leisure & Pleasure is funded by the Capital Cultural Fund. Media partners: Arts of the Working Class, Berlin Art Link, Kulturplakatierung, Missy Magazine, Rausgegangen, tip Berlin, taz.die tageszeitung, Spreedruck.

© Jan Grygoriew