Festival “Water, Earth and I”

Theatre, Dance and Performance from Turtle Island (Canada) and Germany

8 – 13 November 2022

Münchner Kammerspiele, Therese-Giehse-Halle and Werkraum

Festival "Water, Earth and I"

Which alternative approaches to nature and its resources can we take to avoid exploitation and destruction? As the Western way of life based on constant growth is increasingly reaching its limits, the “Water, Earth and I” festival is presenting contemporary works that focus on Indigenous and queer practices of living together, surviving and relating to one another.

The programme comprises four performances from Canada’s vibrant art scene. Many Indigenous artists are currently reflecting on their complex situation in a country colonised by European settlers by (re)activating traditional knowledge and practices. They depict the relationship between nature, people and animals in dazzling ways and always relate their own identity to a network of relationships: kinship across the generations with people, animals, water and land. The special relationship to nature is also apparent in the continent’s Indigenous creation stories which tell of the (North American) earth being created on the back of a turtle, giving the continent its alternative name of “Turtle Island”.

In the festival’s opening, two young artists will be devoting dance solos to hybrid identities: Waawaate Fobister’s figure of “Omaagomaan” (8 Nov) is non-binary, made of mercury and comes from the earth’s crust. In their dance, they protest against the mercury poisoning of the Anishinaabe community from Grassy Narrows in Ontario, Canada caused by the paper industry. Brian Solomon’s solo “Thunderbird’s Transformation” (9 Nov) reveals a human in an urban landscape transforming into a thunderbird and answering the call of the land from where he comes.

Multidisciplinary artist and invited curator of the programme Émilie Monnet will also be presenting her own work “Okinum” (11 & 12 Nov) for which she won the Indigenous Voices Award for French Prose in 2021. Inspired by a recurring dream of a giant beaver, Okinum is a multi-layered reflection and immersive theatrical experience about dams as symbols of our internal barriers.

With “Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools” (12 & 13 Nov), the festival is presenting another award-winning and internationally touring production – a moving concert and conversation that takes us on a journey through the Arctic and tells the story of an encounter between Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Evalyn Parry, a queer theatre-maker and musician from southern Canada. The two share their perspectives on Canadian history, prejudice and traditions in an open interaction with each other and the audience. The work is produced by Toronto’s first queer theatre group, founded in 1979 with the optimistic name “Buddies in Bad Times”.

Inevitable climate change and broader discussions about decolonisation underscore the need to develop non-exploitative modes of relating to each other. For this reason, we are presenting the performances from Canada in dialogue with a work from Frankfurt and Berlin: in “Woman With Stones” (8 & 9 Nov), director Caroline Creutzburg and her group have built a theatrical experimental landscape in which they dive into and escape from various identities and entities, performatively abandoning the human being on two legs, demanding that we change our perspective through beguiling costumes and asking the question: what if nature herself wore drag?

The festival is accompanied by a film programme screening in the Habibi Kiosk and a workshop programme run by the MK Campus for artists and young people from Munich. All the artists from Canada have been invited to spend the full week in Munich thanks to the support of the Canadian Council and thus will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with Munich artists and the local audience.

Curated by Olivia Ebert (MK: Dramaturgy) in exchange with Émilie Monnet (invited Curator)

Critical Companion: Melmun Bajarchuu

Digitale Einführung

The guest performances from Canada are being funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada. “Woman with Stones” by Caroline Creutzburg is funded by the NPN – National Performance Network.

MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Dance by Waawaate Fobister (CAN) • MK: Festival "Water, Earth and...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Thunderbird’s Transformation
Dance by electric moose / B. Solomon (CAN) • MK: Festival "Water,...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Woman With Stones
Performance by Caroline Creutzburg • MK: Festival "Water, Earth and...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Multimedia monologue by Émilie Monnet • MK: Festival "Water, Earth...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools
Theater performance and concert by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I Habibi Kiosk
Eine dokumentarische Filminstallation von Verena Wagner • MK:...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I Habibi Kiosk
Filminstallation von Nina E. Schönefeld • MK: Festival "Water,...
MK Festival: Water, Earth and I
Campus #7 „Water, Earth and I“
Discourse and workshop program part of the festival 
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