22 March 2023

Akademie der Künste presents the theatre performance Journals of Exile by the KULA Compagnie with female artists from Afghanistan

Theatre guest performance/premiere
In German, Hebrew and Dari with German and English surtitles
Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March, 8 pm
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg

The transnational KULA Compagnie performs the premiere of their new production Journals of Exile at the Akademie der Künste. The piece, directed by Robert Schuster, links the stories of flight and exile experienced by Bertolt Brecht and his fellow artists with those of artists from Afghanistan: Journals of Exile is the first joint production of the KULA Compagnie featuring the work of female artists of the Simorgh Theatre in Herat. The piece is co-produced by the Akademie der Künste, Hålogaland Teater Tromsø and the Berliner Ensemble. On stage, the group always uses the languages of all of the participants; Journals of Exile is performed in German, Hebrew and Dari, with German and English surtitles.

Conceived of as an international multi-part project, Journals of Exile focuses on 14 years of flight and exile experienced by the writing collective around Bertolt Brecht. Part 1 I have to leave! focuses on the experience of departure. Within hours of the Reichstag fire, the writers Brecht, Helene Weigel, Margarete Steffin, Elisabeth Hauptmann and others were forced to flee, embarking on an escape that took them around the world, fighting with the means of art against isolation and political impotence. Adapted from Brecht/Hauptmann's Der Jasager and Der Neinsager (1929/30, based on the Japanese Nō drama Taniko), the KULA Compagnie presents the attempt of a transnational practice on existential situations also found in contemporary life. Journals of Exile is also a reflection on the one-and-a-half year struggle surrounding the emigration of the female artists of Afghanistan’s Simorgh Theatre. As was originally intended by Brecht and Hauptmann for the young performers in the premiere, the play also incorporates elements of narration and participation from the audience.

The Berlin-based KULA Compagnie stands for transnational and multilingual theatre. The aim is to work collectively and learn from each other, unfettered by production contexts. Each project involves new artists from different countries. Further information can be found here

With Journals of Exile, the Akademie der Künste continues the event series of the Performing Arts Section featuring theatre productions by non-European artists focusing on existential societal issues. The previous production was the November 2022 staging of Transit Tripoli by the Lebanese director Caroline Hatem, based on a text by Anna Seghers. A guest performance by the Iranian director Narges Hashempour is planned for autumn of 2023, with a theatre adaptation in Farsi of motifs from the novel Ab jetzt ist Ruhe by Marion Brasch.

Journals of Exile
1 – I have to leave! Attempt at a transnational practice
Performed by Azar, Fariba Baqeri, Mahuba Barat, Zahra Barat, Hadar Dimand, Tahera Rezaie, Jonas Schlagowsky
Sound: Max Bauer
Stage: Sascha Gross
Director: Robert Schuster
Dramaturgical support: Holger Teschke
Production: KULA Compagnie in collaboration with the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Hålogaland Teater Tromsø, NO and the Berliner Ensemble
funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin
In German, Hebrew and Dari with German and English surtitles

Event information
Journals of Exile
1 – I have to leave! Attempt at a transnational practice
Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Admission €13/7, tickets: 030 200 57–20 00; ticket@adk.de 
Online tickets: www.adk.de/tickets 
Press tickets: Reservations at presse@adk.de or Tel. 030 200 57–15 14