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Performa Borealis '22: Landscapes and Bodies

ehrliche arbeit — freies Kulturbüro
Daniel Kötter, Elisa Limberg, Sarah Israel

Concept and artistic direction: Daniel Kötter, Sarah Israel, Elisa Limberg
360° film: Daniel Kötter
Stage: Elisa Limberg
Dramaturgy: Sarah Israel
Sound: Marcin Lenarczyk
Production: ehrliche arbeit — freies Kulturbüro

Landscapes and Bodies by German director Daniel Kötter is an immersive performance parcours that is dedicated to the political, social, and ecological consequences of underground and open-cast mining.

The five-part performance series Landscapes and Bodies was developed by Kötter/Israel/Limberg in collaboration with musicians, performers, theoreticians and local mining workers from Indonesia, DR Congo, Estonia, Leipzig and the Ruhr Region in Germany. The respective works explore the local and global influences of the extraction of raw material on landscapes, living environments and the living together. Each work is understood as a case study. In Tartu, 3 parts of the series Water and Coltan and Oil Shale will be presented.

Water and Coltan
Water (Landscapes and Bodies #3). After the end of hard coal mining, the Ruhr region in Germany is struggling not only with social and urban structural changes, but also with the immediate eternal consequences of the mining of raw materials. Hundreds of underground pump stations in the former tunnels have to ensure that the rising water level does not transform the Ruhr region into a lake district. On the one hand Water, together with time researchers and former miners, takes a closer look below the earth´s surface of the Ruhr where pumps have now taken over the miners' legacy. On the other hand, the camera, together with inhabitants, maps the residential area for well-off people around the artificial Phoenix Lake in Dortmund.

Coltan (Landscapes and Bodies #4) explores artisanal coltan mining in Eastern DR Congo to investigate permanent risks for the region and its inhabitants. It explores the world of work beneath the earth's surface and asks about its consequences for the cohabitation above the mines. Coltan deals with other conditions of survival: the political and social structure of small-scale mining in the east of DR Congo. More than a million creuseurs perforate the landscape in the small mines in strenuous manual labor in order to extract the raw material coltan, which is central to electronics production.

The stage design allows the audience members to walk through an architecture, which is built up of twelve individual room elements.

The audience enters the set structure in groups of five persons with a time delay of ten minutes. Each of the rooms have a performative duration of about ten minutes.

In six of the rooms (three for each case study) 360° films are shown on VR-glasses, in the others live performances or audio plays take place. The six performance rooms are individually equipped, depending on what is needed by the respective performance and the performer. The rooms are made of wood, and each has the dimensions of a standard 20-foot container. Their tunnel-like sequence implies associations of mining tunnels as well as apartment units.

Oil shale
Oil shale (Landscapes and Bodies #5) examines the oil shale mining industry in Eastern Virumaa, Estonia. The performance/ documentary/live concert by the industrial rock band KEETAI on stage, incorporates into the show interviews with the inhabitants of the Eastern Virumaa mining region representing different generations, walks of life and occupations. The audience can read the interviews while visiting the installation. With the ticket bought for the show the audience can listen to the concert by KEETAI on 10 September at 9.30 pm (Estonian National Museum).

Duration of the performance 108 minutes.