Based on the history and culture of the deaf community, Rita Mazza and Anne Zander dedicate themselves to new forms of art in sign language in a visual sign performance.
The Milan Congress of 1880 was a major turning point for the Deaf community: Hearing educators banned the use of sign language from European education and significantly devalued Deaf culture. It was not until 2002 that German Sign Language was recognized in Germany as a full-fledged language and thus on an equal footing with spoken and written language. Yet equal access to the arts in society is still virtually impossible for most deaf people - a gap that Space 1880 wants to draw attention to. Together, choreographer and performer Rita Mazza and actress Anne Zander are researching new forms of artistic expression that go beyond the existing - often male-dominated - forms of sign poetry and visual vernacular. In a specially created language of movement between sign language poetry, body language, dance and abstract improvisations, they thus encounter the pain of their deaf ancestors and explore forms of healing.
RITA MAZZA is a deaf queer freelance artist, actress, visual sign performer and dancer. She received several awards for her lead role of Sarah in God's Forgotten Children with Theater Artisti Associati Company in Italy. Additionally, Rita Mazza also serves as the artistic director of Festival del Silenzio, an international performing arts event focused on sign language and deaf arts. She speaks Italian Sign Language fluently as well as German, French and International Sign. Since 2010 Rita Mazza has lived in Berlin and is currently working as an artistic director and performer on visual sign performances in Berlin. She has a longstanding collaboration with Making A Difference.
ANNE ZANDER was born in Berlin and is a trained actress. As a deaf woman she still has many intersectional experiences. She has appeared in various films and television shows, as well as in plays, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Michaela Caspar at Ballhaus Ost and the German Deaf Theater. In her leading role as Conny in Du sollst hören (ZDF), she performs throughout in her native language for the first time. She is also a passionate roller derby skater and has already participated in several European competitions.
ARTISTIC DIRECTION, PERFORMANCE Rita Mazza PERFORMANCE Anne Zander LIGHT DESIGN Michele Piazzi SOUND ENGINEERING Tim Schwerdter DRAMATURGY, CHOREOGRAPHY, ARTISTIC CONSULTATION Gal Naor, Matan Zamir VIDEO, EDITING Barbara Toraldo PHOTOS Mayra Wallraff THANKS TO Anne Rieger, Noa Winter DGS ENGINEERS Stella Papantonous, Florian Koehler
A production by Rita Mazza in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. Supported by IMPACT funding from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Media partner: taz.die tageszeitung.