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Practice as research


Ever smelled the fall of the Berlin wall? Can you taste capitalism? Wash your way into history. Embody change. Inhabit the crisis.

feeling b"Ich such die DDR und keiner weiss, wo sie ist. Es ist so schade, dass sie mich so schnell vergisst. Ich such die DDR und kommt sie zurück zu mir, verzeih ich ihr!" (Famous cover song by GDR punk band Feeling B about the disappeared GDR state in 1990 - you'll have to buy a tape or record to listen to it, I fear.)

I am currently writing up the thesis, wrapped up in a dance of documents, evidencing the involvement with others' everyday experiences of social and personal change and its performance translation. Are you interested in preliminary results? Don't hesitate to contact me at m.hetzer(a)warwick.ac.uk!

apple_macstyle_copy-1.jpgBodies in and of crisis: The German ‘Wende‘ remembered
/ Exhibition of material archive, live performance, and audience discussion on the everyday in crisis

September 19, 3 – 5pm at Millburn House / University of Warwick, meet at the Foyer

This event was based on extensive fieldwork and oral research about life after the fall of the Berlin wall in the German Democratic Republic. We have asked: How do fear and insecurity, hope and longing imprint on people – acting out change from day to day, embodying the crisis? What ghosts of history haunt East Germans since unification?

Introducing the major research objectives, an exhibition offered pictures and objects from the GDR / East Germany. In a conventional format, the exhibit offered an unconventional perspective on the transition from socialism to capitalism during the ‘Wende‘ by focussing the everyday in social crisis. It also provided an opportunity to explore material from the performance project archive.

The following live performance presented research in motion on how memory may reside in the body. Using physical theatre, filmic re-enactment, live art, and dance, the performance questioned the relationship between historical events, evidence, and the everyday. The one-hour movement piece gave a chance to ponder sensually different ways in which we all contribute to history.

In a final wrap-up, the participants shared impressions on the usability of this crisis knowledge for us today.

Directed by Maria Hetzer / Performers: Maiada Salfiti (Aboud), David Bennett, Maria Hetzer / Music composed by Linos Tzelos /

Lights, Video, and Production assistance: Michael Grass / Videos: Jessica Argyridou, Michael Grass, Maria Hetzer

Interim perform pic

Bodies of crisis: Interim performance

April 16, 2012 / 14:00 / Millburn Studio, University of Warwick

This non-verbal movement piece has been developed as part of a performance practice as research project on embodied memory and identity. Interrogating everyday practices in times of severe collective crisis, we use the accounts of GDR women about life after the fall of the Berlin wall. We experiment on the possibility of translating crisis experience across time and space by joining together our diverse backgrounds as dancers, performance and endurance artists. (duration: 45 min / invitation to join feedback session)

Performers: Maria Hetzer, Maiada Aboud, Jessica Argyridou, David Bennett, Linos Tzelos / Lights and production assistance: Michael Grass, Rob Batterbee

Bodies of crisis: take one (Prototype video)

The performance centred on the delineation of memoryscapes. Within the performance work, we explored embodied female crisis experience between a universal humanist approach and culturally specific practices. This is a first prototype of performance research conducted within the project, accomplished in november 2010 with a producer grant from the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), University of Warwick.

Collaborators /mit: Maiada Salfiti, endurance artist and PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University (www.maiada-aboud.com); Osama Suleiman (media artist from Coventry University)

// erste praktische performance-arbeit des projekts, november 2010. wir konzentrierten uns auf die erforschung weiblicher krisenwahrnehmung zwischen universeller und kulturspezifischer erfahrung, wie sie in körperpraktiken zum ausdruck kommt. ermöglicht durch ein arbeitsstipendium des Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL), University of Warwick

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