Led by two young German directors, the company explores the issue of violence in quite raw yet dispassionate forms.
Violence fascinates us all in a deeply and disturbing way. Hitting, cutting, ripping, shooting, chopping into pieces – all seem far closer to us than we would like to admit. The deformed fragmented body attracts our attention and repels it, captivates our empathy: cruel, beautiful. In our choreography, we practice tactical ruthlessness and escalation, and develop strategies with our five-person ensemble for examining our propensity towards violence. In doing so, we explore the paradox boundaries of mediated and staged violence and challenge the protected space of the theatre: How is a life possible that is always also already permeated by violence? How can the body be thrown into the battle without sacrificing it?
Violent Event ˟ challenges our constructed impulse to judge that violence is inherently bad, and the perpetrator is therefore evil. This quick judgement leads us to abandon a careful investigation of violence and its perpetrators, and often results in superficial solutions like simply eliminating violence and the perpetrators. In itself an act of violence. So, not only do we fail to solve the problem, but we also indirectly encourage the cycle of violence to continue.
Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, PhD, is Assistant Professor in International Relations at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, and an expert on violence. Here she leads a panel discussion on Violent Event ˟, one of BIPAM’s showcase events depicting and dissecting violence, particularly focusing on what may happen when context is absent and only the act of violence remains. We delve deeper into the views of German people, finding similarities and contrasts between German and Asian ideas of violence.