Studio Julian Hetzel en Ntando Cele | NL
For SPAfrica, theatre maker and artist Julian Hetzel and the South-African performer Ntando Cele bundle their powers to explore the borders of empathy – the ability to replace yourself in the feelings of the other. What if empathy does not break or change power mechanisms but strengthens existing privileges? SPAfrica reveals the problematic operation and hidden racism of empathy. A performance to talk about for a while.
SPAfrica is bottled water from Sub Sahara. The world's first ‘empathy drink’ magnifies the relationship between the exchange of resources between Europe and Africa. This ‘fluid empathy’ is for sales in exchange for European tears which are dropped down as rain. Absurd? Think about the market of natural resources by companies such as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, and Unilever. What about our art sector? Is the same mechanism in place? Is the trauma of performers the new gold? Did the staging of non-Western identities and cultural backgrounds become a valuable asset for the market? For the benefit of whom actually?
With SPAfrica, Hetzel and Cele show how identity and cultural background play a role within our profit-driven society.
For the performance, Julian Hetzel collaborates with Ntando Cele and musician Frank Wienk and together they create a combination of theatre, music (spoken word) and video.
The performance is spoken in English and has Dutch subtitles.
Stroboscopes and loud sounds are used in the performance.
“After 90 brain-cracking minutes you will leave the hall with a knotted stomach and a brain filled with moral and artistic dilemmas. Julian Hetzel smartly wraps these dilemmas in the performance SPAfrica– any summary will fall short and would reveal too much of the performance.”★★★★ - De Volkskrant
“It is justifiable call for critical dialogue instead of a hollow alliance.”NRC
Concept Julian Hetzel and Ntando Cele
Direction Julian Hetzel
Performance Ntando Cele
Dramaturgy Miguel Angel Melgares
Artistic advisor Sodja Lotker, Khanyisile Mbongwa
Music & composition Frank Wienk
Light design Nico de Rooij
Technical coordination Cesco van der Zwaag, Martijn van Nunen
Technicians Bea Verbeek, Simon Kelaita
Technical solutions Merijn Versnel, Guido Bevers
Production coordinator Marieke van den Bosch
Production Cape Town Lungilem (Lolita) Mbongwa
Galerist Cape Town Mpilo Ngcukana
Production assistant Jana Riese
Assistant costume designer Merel van Erpers Roijaards
Mask artist Carly Heathcote
Make-up artist Julia Markow
Prop maker Saskia Hertog
Video documentation Reynold Reynolds, Bongeka Ngcobo
Photography Alexandra Masmanidi, Anouk Maupu
Special thanks to the volunTEARS and the local hosts of the artist talk.
Produced by Studio Julian Hetzel
Coproduced by Schauspiel Leipzig (DE), CAMPO Gent (BE), Theatre Vidy-Lausanne (CH), SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht (NL), Auawirleben Festival, Bern (CH).
With the support of Performing Arts Fund (NL), City of Utrecht (NL), Vriendenloterij Fund (NL), Prins Bernhard Culture Fund (NL), Onassis AiR Athens (GR), 16 on Lerotholi Gallery (ZA).