Sophienstrasse 18
10178 Berlin-Mitte
Saison 24/25

Ajaib Mahluqat (ACAYİP MAHLUKAT)

Göksu Kunak_c_Spyros Rennt 04 2
Ajaib Mahluqat (ACAYİP MAHLUKAT)
in English


MAY 11 | Göksu Kunak with FRZNTE
MAY 12 | Göksu Kunak
MAY 13 | Göksu Kunak with Andrés Sanjuan
MAY 14 | Göksu Kunak with Tischa "THE TIGRESS"

Acâibü’l-mahlûkāt is a Persian cosmology book from the 13th century, later translated into Ottoman and later in Turkish with a foreword of the current President. It includes mythological and made-up characters to explain the world. The book mentions humans, djinnis, creatures in the sky; precious stones, mountains, oceans; plants, and trees. Its images depict elephant-humans with wings, cow-reptiles and many other idiosyncratic beings. Inspired by this world, Göksu Kunak tackles the notions of camouflage and self–censorship in relation to the politics and dictator(s) of an imaginary (!) region.

For this piece, the concept of Taqiyya in Islam is at the center of a deeper understanding of camouflage: a hypercamouflage in the sense of merging with a character; of gender as camouflage; hiding in niches and camouflage as protection. In this text-based performance, the images and movement patterns of the creatures from the book Acayip Mahlukat emerge in a sci-fi imaginary realm and are complemented by motifs from the speculative non-fiction "Cyclonopedia" by Reza Negarestani. From a speculative perspective on the Middle East, Göksu Kunak thereby makes references to Southwest Asian politics, (in)visibility and (un)veiling, pornography, time and decay.

After the performance, the format transforms into an installation and the audience can move freely through the space. In this part of the work explicit/pornographic content is shown in a video and is addressed in a text in the background.

If any questions remain from the following information, please feel free to contact Hannah Aldinger at or 030 27 89 00 35. Please note that details may change by the day of the event. Therefore, if you find out after you have purchased your ticket that the performance is no longer accessible to you, you can contact us for a ticket return at or 030 27 89 00 45 until 5 business days after the event (Monday through Friday between 10am and 6pm).


  • Approx. 90 minutes
  • Approx. 60 minutes performance and 30 minutes installation.
  • At the end of the performance the format transforms from a performance to an installation.


  • English spoken language
  • In the first half of the performance, an English text runs from the tape. The text is also available from printout (in English and German) from the beginning of the installation. You will also find a QR code to the text (in English and German) on the evening sheet.


  • Reflective material is used on stage.
  • Tallow powder is used on stage. The tallow is distributed in the room. Therefore, there may be contact with the tallow in some places.


  • The lighting situation in the audience is bright at the beginning. Then it slowly gets darker in the audience until the audience area is completely in the dark.
  • Dimmed light is rather used on stage.
  • Flickering light is used at one point.
  • There is the use of blinding light.
  • In places there are moments of complete darkness.


  • The performance plays with intense sound. Loud and poppy music is used.
  • From the second half of the performance onwards, bass-heavy sounds are used in places.

Other effects

  • Fog is used.
  • There are 2 small and one bigger screen on stage showing two different projections. The projections show repetitive movements.
  • Göksu's co-performers change at each performance. So from the second half of the performance onwards, there may be varying effects in each show. 
  • At the premiere on 11 May, Haze will be used (during the co-performer's performance).

Audience area

  • Seated grandstand on the left and right side of the room in three rows.
  • 2 beanbag seats bookable according to availability
  • 2 wheelchair places bookable according to availability
  • At the beginning, the audience is addressed directly (response voluntary).
  • After the performance Göksu serves drinks to the audience. Then the format transforms into an installation. During the installation, the audience can move freely through the space.

Early boarding
If, for artistic reasons, the door to the auditorium does not open until very shortly before the performance begins, there is the option of early boarding.


  • Reservations can be made via the ticket telephone at 030 283 52 66, Monday to Friday from 4pm-6pm
  • Via the online ticket shop
  • At the box office

You can also find more information about accessibility here.

Concept, Text, Installation Göksu Kunak PERFORMANCE Göksu Kunak with FRZNTE (on May 11), Andrés Sanjuan (on May 13) and Tischa “THE TIGRESS” (on May 14) Dramaturgy Isabel Gatzke Sound LABOUR Costume Nagi Gianni Light Design Annegret Schalke Producer Florian Greß

A production by Göksu Kunak in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds. The research phase was supported by FREISCHWIMMEN as part of the program "Verbindungen fördern", funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media through the program of the Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste e.V. Media partner: King Kong Magazine, taz. die tageszeitung. 

GÖKSU KUNAK (Ankara, 1985) is an artist and writer based in Berlin. Göksu’s interest lies in chronopolitics and hybrid texts that deal with the performative lingo(s) of contemporary lifestyles. As a non-native English writer, their texts play with multilingualism and syntax. Influenced by Arabesk culture and late modernities, Göksu imagines new situations out of real encounters that point out the problematics of hetero-patriarchal structures. Orientalism, self-Orientalization (the perception of the 'Eastern', and how the Eastern sees themselves through this construction); camouflage and self-censorship are the topics Göksu researches on. Göksu was nominated for The Dieter-Ruckhaberle-Förderpreis and was one of the winners of Live Works Prize Vol. 8 at Centrale Fies with their piece Cabaret Portrait: Döner Blackout III. With the support of the Berlin Senate and Sophiensaele, they made the piece AN(A)KARA in 2021.

ISABEL GATZKE works as a dramaturg in Berlin and Zurich at the intersections of contemporary dance and performance. Her practice is characterized by a close connection of dramaturgy as research and as a method in artistic processes and is informed by her background in cultural studies and her exploration of language and movement. In this way Isabel has worked with artists including Ana Lessing Menjibar, Judith Förster and Olivia Hyunsin, as well as in the team of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel festival. Acayip Mahlukat is the third collaboration with Göksu Kunak after AN(A)KARA and PETROL.

Combining artistic disciplines, NAGI GIANNI likes to imagine and then create immersive spaces where choreography, set design, costumes and masks are one with the performers who inhabit them. Since his first creations, he has approached the mask as an extension to alter the body and its identity in relation to a given environment, to confront interiority and exteriorisation, the intimate and the public. He questions the relationship to the identification of the self in the digital age, and develops in parallel a oneiric imaginary where the animal, the cyborg, the mythological and the ghostly converge. These figures of the uncanny are for him a means of opening up other relationships to the perception of reality through an approach that questions and displaces what is already known and clearly identifiable.

FLORIAN GREß studied theatre studies, history as well as cultural and media management at the Freie Universität Berlin. As a production manager in the field of dance and performance, he currently works with Göksu Kunak, Enad Marouf, Layton Lachman and Jubal Battisti. He has also worked as a freelancer for Tanzplattform Deutschland 2022, Forecast / Skills e.V. and for several editions of Tanz im August - Internationales Festival Berlin (2018-2021).

Annegret Schalke lives and works as a dancer/choreographer and lighting designer in Berlin. She holds a degree in mathematics and completed her studies in dance, context, choreography at the HZT Berlin in 2013. As a dancer she has worked with Eva Meyer-Keller, Sheena McGrandles, Heiner Goebbels, Rose Beermann, Julian Weber, among others. She also creates lighting designs for dance/performance, for example in collaborations with Enrico Ticconi & Ginevra Panzetti, with Michelle Moura and others. Since 2014 is part of the light/sound/video artist residencies Gangplank with Bruno Pocheron and others. She is co-founder of the choreographers' collective B A G.

LABOUR is the Berlin-based sonic entity led by Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander. Their practice explores perception and social situations through digital sound synthesis, algorithmic composition, percussion, psychoacoustics, and sound for architectural spaces while fostering a heightened sensory awareness for the listener by promoting active listening, and recognizing that acoustic space approaches one externally, yet remains primarily an internal space. The name LABOUR is inspired in part by an early definition of Marx that gives ontological significance to the realm of work, as articulated by the philosopher Christopher J. Arthurs, defining labour as “the ontologically fundamental productive activity in and through which one becomes what one is.” LABOUR’s efforts are focused in two distinct realms: fine arts and concerts, with an interest in expanded formats. Their long-term collaborators include the artists Evelyn Bencicova, Enes Güç, Zeynep Schilling and Isabel Lewis.

FRZNTE is a DJ, pole performer and cultural producer. In her pole performances, she combines performative, choreographic, and sculptural elements, often referring to the architectural context. Her body wrapping and moving around the pole becomes a kinetic sculpture and gesture of empowerment. Most recently, FRZNTE collaborated with Transmoderna, a digital art and electronic music collective co-founded by DJ Dixon and performed with Peaches at Deutsche Oper Berlin. The director Tilman Hecker invited her to take part in Bethy Trio (Spreehalle Berlin) und Rochambeau Study#1 & #2 (Volksbühne), both productions. FRZNTE also tours with the Icelandic musician Apex Anima. They created a highly energetic audio-visual live show in which they fuse ethereal with physical and static with acrobatic moments.

Tischa Thomas, AKA The Tigress, is originally an U.S. expat from New York City currently living in Berlin Germany since 2019. Formally competing as a world class professional athlete, ranking 3rd in the sport of women bodybuilding, Tischa decided to retire as an athlete and pursue her interest as an artist in the art of bodybuilding. Now, as a creative dance performing artist, Tischa, a 53-year-old mother of three adult children and nine grandchildren, has switched one stage for another and uses her body as an artistic medium to express her message. Her bold performances have continued to challenge, tear down, and destroy all social norms of beauty standards and negative stereotypes of how women should be expected to look, act, and carry themselves in today’s society.
Tischa’s performances, Muscles In Motion and P.O.P. Culture, have inspired both women and men to dare to embrace their true authentic selves, and to be unapologetically proud about it!

Andrés Sanjuan is a visual artist based in Amsterdam. He is part of the Photography Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, NL. His work orbits around portraiture, movement and the intimate. His practice includes personal projects and a growing portfolio of editorial and commercial assignments. The latter enables the former, allowing him to spend more time on the field. At the core of his work lies a fascination for the ephemeral, the intense, the limit pushing, the pleasures and the heartbreaks. Andrés combines his passion for the visual medium with his love for climbing and the outdoors.

  • Göksu Kunak_c_Spyros Rennt 04 2
    © Spyros Rennt
  • Göksu Kunak_Ajaib Mahluqat image proposal
    © Göksu Kunak