A Lesson in the Banality of Evil – by Jeppe Damberg

In Denmark little thought is given to African history, both contemporary and old. As a Danish student I was never expected to, tested in, or confronted with any history south of Italy. The atrocities that found their ways into our syllabus all took place on European soil. We learned about the mass hunt for witches through medieval times, the persecution of Protestants by Catholics, and the systematic execution of Jews during the Holocaust. And when we were presented with African history, they were snapshots and glimpses of colonialism through a European perspective. Aware of this blind spot in my education, I signed up to see – or rather listen to – Hate Radio, a

powerful reconstruction of the programs broadcast by Radio Mille Collines which played a central role in the atrocity that was the Rwandan genocide in 1994, at Le Comédie during the Faraway festival.

Walking into the amphitheater, I quickly realized that Hate Radio would be a different kind of theatre experience; on the seats were a radio and a headset. On stage was a large, square box fitted with screens on the sides. As soon as we’d tuned in to the radio, these screens started broadcasting. From them four individuals each told their heartbreaking story from the Rwandan genocide. It was captivating in a bewildering way. What they were describing seemed so inhumane, so brutal that the immediate impulse was to reject their stories as unbelievable. But then the screens went up and a recording studio appeared. We had been transported to the center of the unbelievable. Our headphones were now tuned into a recording studio in Kigali in 1994. It was no regular broadcast, however. Three hosts called for murder, persecution, and torture of Tutsis, and they did so in the most lighthearted manner. Intoxicated by the most appalling form of bloodrush, the broadcasters switched from calling for the decapitation of a listener’s neighbor to dancing to their favorite pop tune within mere seconds. I couldn’t believe what was unravelling before me. We were witnesses to a genocide through the mouthpiece of hate that was the Radio Mille Collines in 1994.

“How could this happen?” “How are humans capable of such evil acts?” “Can you even forgive such cruelty?” “Why did no one stop it?” The scenes that were unfolding before me provoked many questions. “Could any of this could happen back home?” I thought to myself. Of course, it could. It had happened during the Holocaust. It was the all too familiar story of a minority persecuted because of minority hate and authoritarianism. But this time it was not in a history book: it was in my ears, in front of my eyes, and happening in real-time. Hate Radio had given me a front-row ticket to the banality of evil.

When the broadcast stopped, I remained in my chair. I had travelled thirty years into the past for two hours and needed a few minutes to gather my thoughts. Then, when leaving the amphitheater, I felt grateful for living in a country where democratic institutions remain strong, hate crimes are punished, and multiculturalism cherished. But I left a little more wary too, a little more aware that. if not cared for, these pillars of society can come rumbling down over a summer.

SAVE THE DATE : YPAL meeting in Reims the 1, 2, 3 february 2019 !

The Reims Scènes d’Europe Festival is welcoming us from the Friday night to the Sunday for an incredible week-end full of shows, debates, workshops, great people and most important smiles!

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE HERE!


Keep updated about the festival here.
Download the draft program.

TEMPORARY PROGRAM OF THE YPAL MEETING

Friday 1st of February 
17:00, Bar de la Comédie: Welcome drink
19:00, Atelier de la Comédie: Voyage d’hiver, inspired by Franz Schubert, text by Wilhelm Müller and Elfriede Jelinek – France, Austria – musical theater
21:00, Petite salle de la Comédie: Rebota rebota y en tu cara explota, Agnès Mateus, theater performance, in Spanish, subtitled in English
Evening, do what you want: free or workshop

Saturday 2nd of February
Workshop
14:30-18:30, Comédie de Reims : FRAC Performance
14:30, Jardin Parallèle : Puppets
Workshop
18:00, Comédie de Reims: Concert in the framework of the FRAC performances week-end
20:30, Opéra de Reims: La Belle au Bois Dormant Ballet / Yacobson Ballet
21:00, Grande salle, Comédie de Reims: Esto no es La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Ceci n’est pas La Maison de Bernarda Alba), text by José Manuel Mora de Federico García Lorca, directed by Carlota Ferrer, in Spanish with English subtitles
Party

Sunday 3rd of February
Morning, Workshop
12:00, Bar de la Comédie: Debate about digitalization, 2h
14:30 : Opéra de Reims: La Belle au Bois Dormant Ballet / Yacobson Ballet
14:30-17:30, Comédie: FRAC Performance
18:00, Atelier de la Comédie, European project Digital Natives Concord Floral, text by Jordan Tannahill, directed by Ferdinand Barbet with young spectators.

You can also download the program just here!

All the team is hoping that you will be there !

Meeting with Marion Betriu and Natalia Alvarez Simó, directors of Teatros del Canal

Anne Goalard and Alice Faure-Dumont met Marion Betriu and Natalia Alvarez Simó at the Teatros del Canal to talk about the creation of a Spanish YPAL group. After the presentation of the YPAL network and its ambitions, we communicated to them our desire to create a group of Madrid spectators from various horizons, to rethink the relationship between audience, live shows and Europe.

A call for applications will be launched by the theatre in the coming weeks to start this group, which Alice will be able to follow at its beginnings and part of which will come to live the Reims YPAL experience in February !

To be continued!

L’Europe de Julien Allouf – Par Teresa Artjoki

 

Exposition Europia #2 – Damien Rault

In the midst of heated political debate, photographer and actor Julien Allouf presents a fresh perspective on European identity with his exhibition “Europia #2”, with the scenography of James Brandily. Having spent 4 years exploring the European capitals, Allouf captures something that journalistic and touristic photography could never offer; a Europe of the people. The exhibition provides a perambulation of the institutional elements and the intricately different atmospheres found across the continent.

 

Damien Rault

 

Europe of Urgency

Alluding to the fall of the Berlin wall and end of the Cold-War period, Allouf states how what began as a promise of peace and communion between people, now is seeing a vast degeneration. He began conceptualising his work during the Greek financial crisis, which was only the start of the beginning; the Hungarian border barrier of 500 km, Brexit, rise of nationalist tendencies in France… A political climate, which overtly puts in question the European common identity. Allouf wanted to portray the materialisation of this mythical concept, in how it actually shows on the streets of European capitals.

His exhibition includes a collection of small pictures, which he invites visitors to take with them. “I like the idea of them ending up where ever, like on a fridge or something.” Finally, he is highly invested in engaging with the reflections of his visitors, and hearing what resonated with them about the exhibition. This acknowledges the individual sentiments Europe evokes in us, and thus bounces back the focus of his exhibition to the original object of his study; the European people.

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Report : meeting about YPAL after Reims 2016

Reunion on Sunday

Reunion on Sunday

42 YPALs have gathered in Reims, France in January 2016. At the end of the week-end, they have had a discussion about the project in the future. Hannah (Germany), Oriane (France), Anne (General Delegate of the Festival), Quentin (France), Oskar (Germany), Pia (Germany), Lucie (Germany), Milan (Bosnia), Jelena (Bosnia), Alexandra (France), Claire (France), Hélène (France), Pierre-Yves (France), Maria (Spain), Jennifer (France), Janne (Germany), Florian (France), Lena (Germany), Johanna (Germany), Sophie (Belgique), Pauline (France), Julia (France) were there.

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YPAL 2016 in Reims – What happened?

Like every year, the international weekend with the YPAL group in Reims unfortunately came to an end. This year we were about 40 people, including 2 Spanish, 2 Bosnia, lots of French and lots of Germans, who participated in the festival Reims Scènes d’Europe for one weekend.

You’re going to read my personal description in this article. There will be another article of the Future-YPAL stuff we gathered on our reunion sunday! Continue reading

Le Bocal – Meeting place

DSCN3523.2The small saloon in La Comédie’s basement “Bocal” with its comfortable couches and armchairs is well-prepared for your arriving on Friday. Also the “chronic” workshop of Christophe Candoni will be held there.

A relaxing atmosphere invites to drink a cup of tea or coffee and of course to chat with other members of the YPAL group.

Agnès and Oriane who are taking care for your well-being already made themselves comfortable on the sofas.

 

 

See you on Friday!

– Hannah