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Rimini Protokoll: Soil Sample Kazakhstan (Bodenprobe Kasachstan)

Zeitgeist DC

Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 6:30 pm
Goethe-Institut Washington, GoetheForum
Russian and German with English subtitles
+ 1 (202) 289-1200
(c) Chris Kondek
(c) Chris Kondek

Germany, 2010, 94 min., DVD, Director: Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)

Introduced by director Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll) via Skype, in conversation with Gillian Drake (independent theater curator) and Cynthia P. Schneider, Georgetown University.

Throughout the 20th century, people either willingly moved or were shipped from one continent to another like so many barrels of oil. This migration included, after 1990, thousands of Russian Germans who left the former Soviet republics and went to Germany, the country of their ancestors. Has Germany become their new Heimat? Have they assimilated into German mainstream society or do they keep their cultural heritage alive?

In the documentary-theatre piece Soil Sample Kazakhstan, five performers working with a Berlin-based theater company set out to trace the route of the oil pipeline from Kazakhstan, and at the same time, the paths of their own personal histories. As they reminisce with relatives and friends and relive their migration from Kazakhstan to Germany, their performance generates its own energy. The theatrical result is a simulated Kazakhstan on a Berlin stage, a multi-layered celebration of the trails of the steppe, the paths of people’s lives, cultural heritage in language and songs and the role of oil and of power.

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