AT THE WELCOME CAFÉ, FREE ENTRY
Ángel Hernández is a young author and director from Tampico in the state of Tamaulipas, one of the most dangerous areas in Mexico. He initiates theatre projects in places marked by violence, neglect and despair. Hernández’ “The Exodus Lecture” is the presentation of a project commissioned by the Münchner Kammerspiele. It is based on research that he did in Munich over the last six months concerning the refugee route along Europe’s borders and in his home country. In this respect, Ángel Hernández also examines the common ground between migration in Central America, the situation along the southern border of the United States and its long past history, as well as the current refugee issues in the “Old World” and the Middle East.
“The Exodus Lecture” is a staged intervention, located in the setting of the Welcome Café, which the Kammerspiele has organised since spring 2016 for refugees, their relatives and their supporters. Drawing on the format of a prize draw, Ángel Hernández encourages participants to talk about their living conditions and, on the basis of concrete stories, exchange ideas about different migratory movements, constantly changing classifications, terminologies, immigration laws and legal frameworks. Accompanying video recordings that the director made at various locations during his research can also be seen.
This project sees itself as an approach to a phenomenon that dramatically changes the lives of countless people and forces them into the role of being disposable objects. “The Exodus Lecture” describes the factors that determine their fates and projects them onto a surface, “so that together we can develop other possibilities for the future”, says Ángel Hernández.
The director has become well-known in recent years, not least of all due to the annual festival “La Bestia”. It owes its name to the now sadly infamous freight trains that migrants ride from Central America across the length of Mexico to the US border. Like their fellow sufferers in Europe, passengers are illegal and often fleeing without valid documents. Their journeys are determined by weather conditions, hunger and thirst.
During the approximately three-week trip, there are raids, robberies and rapes are commonplace. The humiliated migrants run the risk of falling off the train, losing limbs or even their lives. In Tamaulipas, Ángel Hernández’s native state which lies along the route of “La Bestia”, the Zetas cartel killed 72 passengers in 2010 alone.
During the festival organised by Ángel Hernández, various Latin American collectives show their works and give workshops. The aim is to raise awareness of the conditions which migrants have to endure on their journey through Mexico. On the train, on the tracks and at stations where the trains stop and wait for the onward journey, there are staged events are aimed at the travellers themselves. They are asked to actively participate in the storyline and, for example, to read letters from their relatives.
Part of Endstation Sehnsucht – Theater in Mexico: A festival about flight, identity and the presentability of violence
Curated by Christoph Gurk and Ilona Goyeneche.
In cooperation with Goethe-Institut Mexiko. Funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes. Supported by Secretaría de Cultura de México and Instituto Cervantes.
Next to the individual ticket a FESTIVAL PASS is available at the box office.
FESTIVAL PASS (for 6 days): 60 Euro / discounted 40 Euro
In order to see the full program click here.