In the Rwandan hills the massacre was carried out with machetes, but on radio broadcasts people were killed with words. This raw, visceral piece leaves no one unscathed.
WORDS THAT KILL
The banal is sometimes the impetus for something monstrous. In Rwanda in 1994 during a radio show broadcast by Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, the groundwork was laid for a savage genocidal scheme. Insidiously and with cynical casualness, slipped in between jokes, riveting sports coverage and a song by Nirvana, the discourse of hate swept over the airways and went viral, creating a massive surge of fear, racism and the ruthless negation of the other, the pariah, the “Tutsi cockroaches”. In the Rwandan hills the massacre was carried out with machetes, but on the radio shows people were killed with words.
In a glass tube that is an exact reproduction of the RTLM studio, the impassioned Swiss director Milo Rau reconstitutes the genesis of hatred, and the scorching, corrosive words of dehumanization once again spew forth into the ears of the spectator, who cannot escape them. This raw, visceral piece leaves no one unscathed.
PRODUCED BY IIPM – INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL MURDER
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MILO RAU
PERFORMED BY AFAZALI DEWAELE + SÉBASTIEN FOUCAULT + DIOGÈNE NTARINDWA + BWANGA PILIPILI +
ON VIDEO ESTELLE MARION + NANCY NKUSI
DRAMATURG AND PRODUCER JENS DIETRICH
SET AND COSTUME DESIGN ANTON LUKAS
VIDEO MARCEL BÄCHTIGER
SOUND DESIGN JENS BAUDISCH
COPRODUCTION HAUPTSTADTKULTURFONDS (BERLIN) + MIGROS-KULTURPROZENT (SWISS) + PRO HELVETIA – SCHWEIZER KULTURSTIFTUNG (SWISS) + KULTURAMT ST. GALLEN + KUNSTHAUS BREGENZ + ERNST GÖHNER STIFTUNG (ZOUG) + HAU (BERLIN) + SCHLACHTHAUS THEATER (BERNE) + BEURSSCHOUWBURG (BRUSSELS) + MIGROS MUSEUM FÜR GEGENWARTSKUNST (ZURICH) + KASERNE (BASEL) + SÜDPOL (LUCERNE) + VERBRECHER VERLAG (BERLIN) + KIGALI GENOCIDE MEMORIAL CENTRE
WITH THE SUPPORT OF KULTURELLES.BL (BASEL) + AMT FÜR KULTUR LUZERN + GOETHE-INSTITUT BRUXELLES + GOETHE-INSTITUT JOHANNESBURG + BRUSSELS AIRLINES + SPACIAL SOLUTIONS (MUNICH) + COMMISSION FOR THE FIGHT OF THE GENOCIDE (KIGALI) + DEUTSCHEN ENTWICKLUNGSDIENST (BONN) + CONTACT FM KIGALI AND IBUKA RWANDA + HOCHSCHULE DER KÜNSTE BERNE + FRIEDE SPRINGER STIFTUNG (BERLIN)
PRESENTED WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOETHE-INSTITUT MONTRÉAL + MINISTÈRE DES AFFAIRES ÉTRANGÈRES D’ALLEMAGNE
WRITTEN BY CATHERINE CYR
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
WORLD PREMIÈRE AT HEBBEL AM UFER, BERLIN, DECEMBER 1, 2011
MILO RAU | INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL MURDER (COLOGNE+ZURICH+KIGALI)
Duty to Remember
Often suffused with an aura of controversy, the stage works of the writer and director Milo Rau provoke and disturb the spectator by incorporating harsh reality, or fragments of reality, into the performance.
Born in Switzerland in 1977, this indefatigable explorer of the dark side of life initially studied sociology and German and Romance literature in Paris, Zurich and Berlin. After making a few experimental films, he turned to theatre and made a big splash with the theatrical re-enactment The Last Days of Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu. A staggering reconstitution of the trial of the Romanian dictators, it included a few of the actual protagonists involved. An unclassifiable work that blurred the lines between reality and fiction, it was the first piece produced by the company he founded, the International Institute of Political Murder. The company went on to present other incandescent plays intent on presenting an insider’s view of disturbing historical events. These include Breivik’s Statement, a staged reading by a Turkish actress of the infamous Norwegian murderer’s tortuous manifesto, and The Moscow Trials, where the members of the punk rock group Pussy Riot, performing as themselves, are subject to a new trial that they win. Many of the company’s works have been presented in prestigious national and international festivals such as the Berliner Theatertreffen, the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels and the Avignon Festival.
With Hate Radio, a vertiginous plunge into the heart of the implacable mechanics of dehumanization leading to the Rwandan genocide and human beings “talked out” of their humanity, the artist, who is making his first appearance at the FTA, pursues his relentless tracking of reality.