The Year 2017
A Collective Chronicle of Thoughts and Observations
Welcome to what is going to be a collective chronicle of the year 2017! This journal will follow the general change that we experience in our daily lives, in our cities, countries and beyond, in the political discourses and in our reflections on the role of artists and intellectuals. Originating from several talks and discussions with fellow artists and thinkers FFT feels the strong need to share thoughts and feelings about how we witness what is going on in the world. Week after week different writers, artists, thinkers and scientists will take the role of an observer as they contribute to this collective diary.
#27 July, 3rd – 9th
+ The sun shining on my face at 7 o’clock in the morning, the hotel sheets clingy, the phone charging, later at breakfast, I bolt my food, ‘cause I’m so looking forward to home, finally going home again after four weeks in guest houses and hotels!
+ The train is full of 20-year-old female bloggers on their way to Fashion Week.
+ Papa sends a selfie from the hospital in the family chat.
+ Johnny Cash sees a darkness, I see a tennis court.
+ Sometimes when an entire, unexpectedly ugly worldview reveals itself in a single sentence.
+ Repeal 'mariage for all‘? Why not repeal marriage in general?
+ The Deutsche Bahn employee waives 1 €, because I don’t have enough cash on me.
+ Good to have a home, writes Mama in the family chat and sends a kiss.
+ The man with the broken arm, asking for a donation, a few cents: but only if ya gotte’m! I’ve got a little, says P and he: That’s sweet of you. And then: If I ever see or hear anyone bothering you and you’re crying, I’ll be right there and beat them up, I hear everything, I am the boss on the square here, yesterday I hit hard again, although this here is broken, doesn’t bother me Then he wishes us a very nice evening. As he was leaving, he turned around again, points to P and says: she’s a diamond, she’s a real diamond.
+ I love Berlin.
+ Feelings being felt in virtual spaces or: trouble brewing even in Google Handouts.
+ J, who is 18, and explains to me that whatever may be, it will be all right. That gives him stability: the knowledge that there is no wrong version of the course of events. I agree with him and admire the absoluteness with which one knows things at 18. I remember that. It was nice.
+ Also: having no doubts and never being tired.
+ J and I discuss the concept of “for ever” in the face of the apocalypse
+ Later, in the sun with M and we speak about casting off one’s skin, the reinterpretation of attributions and about how it is being delayed by love, which is always also a lingering in love, and at the end of the day that simply seems to us to usually be the most interesting occupation.
+ I like the way that M talks about her own work (theater), when she euphorically describes something that she created herself. That too: love.
+ On Facebook, I see the Volksbühne being taken apart. And a very fat man jumping into a pool through a swim tube.
+ S says: without the protest of sensuality, reason judges wrongly. I think to myself: kiss me.
+ Waking up, my half-awake self explains to my dreaming self that surely I didn’t make two appointments for 3 pm, that I just have to wait a moment until I am awake to realize that there is only one appointment, that that one appointment is a real one and the other only a dream appointment, that there is no reason to panic, that everything will be ok, no problem, stay calm.
+ I catch myself seeing nothing but efficiency, performance and pressure to perform well everywhere, in every activity. Pressure to write an email well. Pressure when speaking simple sentences to friends and acquaintances, pressure to brush my teeth well, pressure to sort my trash correctly. Pressure to decide what to make theater about three years from now, slick, smart, now! I sit there staring at my cheese sandwich and say to it: And you are all that I get as a reward? Let’s get out of here! No more achievements, to just be and then maybe we won’t have a purpose any more and nobody will know that we exist, but okay, then that’s just the way it is. We’ll see then whether we’re still alive. The cheese sandwich rolls its eyes at me and says: get on with it and eat me, will ya, then get back to your desk.
+ I won’t let a cheese sandwich tell me what to do. Out of protest, I spend the entire morning online and fall in love with the new Feist album.
+ You know I’d leave any party for you:
+ Walking from room to room and laying myself down in different places, opening a window, moving a jewelry box, cooking something, making an unnecessary call, drinking another cup of coffee, skimming through my notes, piling books on top of each other, shaking out a piece of clothing, standing on my head, writing a message, yawning, staring, grazing.
+ My neighbor explains to me why chances are pretty good that our house will not be sold and converted into private property.
+ The beggars’ frustration when they come to the table and they are already the fifth, sixth, seventh to pass by and when we shake our heads and say, sorry, and make a face and they tilt their heads and say, yeah yeah, never mind, cause they know they are already the fifth, sixth, seventh to pass by and then they move on, with shoulders sagging, to the next table and there they are again the fifth, sixth, seventh and it sucks big time.
+ And off I go again, once again packing a small bag, taking along not too much and not too little, easy to carry, but not to miss anything essential, boarding a train again and covering kilometers in a seat.
+ For the last time in Bielefeld indefinitely, we’re performing our final show of #Heldinnen: https://theater-bielefeld.de/veranstaltung/heldinnen.html
+ At the station, my personal hero suddenly standing next to me. She looks tired. I’m too chicken to tell her that she’s my hero. Okay, so the chicken pulls up her shirt to draw attention to herself, still saying nothing. Talk is cheap, honey, my hero says and pulls her phone out of her butt pocket and takes a photo of me, for Insta. We follow each other on all channels and then hang out a bit longer in front of Gosch Sylt’s fish sandwich display. Have you ever been to Westerland? she asks me and I say: no, but I’ve been to Bielefeld and now I really have to go. On parting, I spell the word H-e-n-r-i-k-e for her, without a single mistake and she crushes our empty beer cans with one hand, like a boss, and chucks them down onto the tracks.
+ Baby be simple:
(Sorry, but: Feist!)
+ The G20 begins in Hamburg, the Bachmann Prize in Klagenfurt.
+ Debate! Finally! About sexism at writing schools, at my school too.
+ I’m sitting at Asia Nhu Ngoc, the best Vietnamese place in Bielefeld, eating Phở, when O rides by on a bicycle and says: Thought I’d find you here. I think to myself: It’s nice to be found.
+ Today is a day on which I mainly think of yesterday.
+ And in connection with yesterday, of the last four months that linked us, Henrike Iglesias, to the Theater Bielefeld – first, we produced #Heldinnen there feat. two actresses from the ensemble, then we performed repertoire, ten times, for a Bielefeld audience: for school groups, for younger and older people, for the women of the German Women’s Academic Society, for couples, for groups, for individuals, for colleagues, we had a festival, we had conversations with many different women and men about this piece, we let things float and broke hearts and in the end called for a conference of female heroes every time with the goal of compiling an intersectional, feminist agenda and we were applauded for it. And yesterday was our last show. And our colleagues have already moved on to the second new production and we Henrikes are already in the middle of new proposals, preparing new projects, having just finished a flashy tour with two other pieces and summer is right around the corner and then who knows, you never know, and somehow, over the last three months, in which we more or less returned to Bielefeld every two, three weeks, that was always the moment for me to remember and to ask myself, what’s important. And now to let that go: ouch. I mean sure I’m generally all and still for Alanis Morissette: you live, you learn.
But I have especially, let’s say, learned an awful lot over the last months, working there with and on the heroes. Be it to reevaluate the basics of collective forms of working and to explore them in a different formation, from scratch, with all the letting others finish speaking and practicing how to say things and balancing competences, lock, stock and barrel, be it to generally get to know two people (or let’s say five, cause I’ve even got to know my colleagues, who’ve I’ve known for years now, better, again in a different way) this intensely via work, be it to work, be it to be, to be at all, it all. Now I got a little carried away.
+ Today is a day on which I get ein bisschen carried away.
+ Well, but I’m generally all and still for Ronan Keating, who said: life is rollercoaster just gotta ride it.
+ Before going to sleep, I chat with H, who’s in Hamburg and sends me photos from the streets, which look a bit like the piece we’re making together, but the situation is a different one; it’s creepy.
+ The first Facebook post that I read half-asleep: Hamburg is broken.
+ And then the photo of the man with the sign, which says: I am a resident and just quickly going to Edeka. Thank you.
+ And then the montage of Melania Trump, also holding this same sign.
+ It looks like a trailer for a new apocalypse blockbuster: black suits, falling asleep to the sounds of violins, while hooded activists throw stones and stack barrels, while uniformed police form chains and kettle demonstrators, while cars burn, while formations roll through the streets, while water canons divide the crowds, while helicopters, while individuals with soap bubbles, while limousines, while arm in arm, while fire, while applause.
+ Who is our Plutarch Heavensbee?
+ The timeline of violence. There is nothing else left.
+ I visit Charlottenburg and buy a bed.
+ Berlin is a lot quieter than the Internet.
+ The homeless man at Savignyplatz, who asks the woman in the café with twins to explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, he never understood the difference, not even in his own children, whom he has lost, exactly like everything else..
+ A few hours later and my Facebook-feed is split into against the police and for the police.
+ This is what the Emergency Legal Services say:
+ It is so sad, all of it.
+ What people do: Google all day what is good and what is bad.
+ What people do: hope that everything will be okay.
+ There is a Facebook event tomorrow called: Hamburg cleans up.
+ What people do: attempt to be useful, helpful, supportive.
+ What people do: breath deeply, because nothing is certain, not even human rights.
+ Today was Sunday, In the evening I walk through the streets of Neukölln, it’s warm, I don’t need a jacket, people are out and about on bicycles, sitting on benches and curbsides and beer crates, drinking beer and sodas and black tea, some are very young, some are really old, some have on headscarves, some base caps, some look “Asian”, some “Arabic”, some “German”, some speak loudly, some don’t speak at all, some are laughing, some carry bags, some pull suitcases, some roll cigarettes, some park cars, some flop down on steps, some stand on balconies, some hold hands, it is so peaceful tonight, here, and there is a full moon, full moon in Capricorn, says the man at the late-night convenience store, where I’m buying ice cream, for the way home. Later at night I wake up, because the full moon, the full moon in Capricorn is shining, directly through my window, into my face, I say: Hi. He says: Hi to you, too.
Translation: Elena Polzer / ehrliche arbeit - freies Kulturbüro
Laura Naumann *1989 in Leipzig, studied Creative Writing and Cultural Journalism at the University of Hildesheim and lives in Berlin as an author and performer. Her piece Demut vor deinen Taten Baby· premiered in 2012 at Theater Bielefeld, won the Audience Award at the Radikal Jung – Festival at the Volkstheater Munich and was invited to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt. The Wiener Burgtheater’s version was shown at the Autorentheatertage at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. In September 2017, her new commissioned pieces Das hässliche Universum·and Wir müssen reden premiere at the Schauspiel Frankfurt and the Schauspielhaus Bochum respectively.
She is moreover a member of Henrike Iglesias,·a text and performance collective with a feminist agenda. Their current production GRRRRRL· came to the FFT Düsseldorf in May 2017.·
Laura Naumann's entry at Rowohlt
#1 January 1st - 8th Jacob Wren
#4 January 20th - 30th Alexander Karschnia & Noah Fischer
#5 January 30th - February 6th Ariel Efraim Ashbel
#6 February 6th - 12th Laila Soliman
#9 February 26th - March 5th Gina Moxley
#11 March 13th - 19th Agnieszka Jakimiak
#12 March 20th - 26th Yana Thönnes
#13 March 30th - April 2nd Geert Lovink
#15 April 10th - 16th Iggy Lond Malmborg
#17 April 24th - 30th Jeton Neziraj
#20 May 15th - 21st Bojan Jablanovec
#22 May 29th - June 4th Segun Adefila
#23 June 5th - 11th Agata Siniarska
#29 July 17th - 23rd Maria Sideri
#30 July 24th - 30th Joachim Brodin
We are deeply saddened by the devastating news that Mark Fisher died on January 13th. He first visited the FFT in 2014 with his lecture „The Privatisation of Stress“ about how neoliberalism deliberately cultivated collective depression. Later in the year he returned with a video-lecture about „Reoccupying the Mainstream" in the frame of the symposium „Sichtungen III“ in which he talks about how to overcome the ideology of capitalist realism and start thinking about a new positive political project: „If we want to combat capitalist realism then we need to be able to articulate, to project an alternative realism.“ We were talking about further collaboration with him last year but it did not work out because Mark wasn’t well. His books „Capitalist Realism“ and „The Ghosts of my Life. Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Future“ will continue to be a very important inspiration for our work.
Podiumsgespräch im Rahmen der Veranstaltung "Die Ästhetik des Widerstands - Zum 100. Geburtstag von Peter Weiss"
A Collective Chronicle of Thoughts and Observations ist ein Projekt im Rahmen des Bündnisses internationaler Produktionshäuser, gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.