Schaubühne Lindenfels: Collaboration between Ukrainian & German art scene
10 May 2022
Artistic Resilience in Times Of…
Leipzig’s Schaubühne Lindenfels is a production and performance space with an all-encompassing multidisciplinary concept. The programmatic focus is on theatre, dance, performance and film, complemented by music, literature and visual arts.
A distinctive feature is an emphasis on current topics through thematic series, programme weeks, retrospectives, theme evenings, and festivals where various methods are tested and provoked. Schaubühne Lindenfels values bringing art, culture, and social discourse into the public eye.
Past projects guided by this impetus include ‘Zucker.Rausch.Germania’ on Leipzig’s market square, ‘May Town in Zetkin Park’ in Leipzig’s Clara Zetkin Park and the interactive public performances of the Cockpit Collective.
A collaboration with the Ukrainian art scene
Just last year, the German city Leipzig celebrated its 60th anniversary of town-twinning with Kyiv. To strengthen international collaborations and send a strong message against any division within Europe, Leipzig-based interdisciplinary art-space Schaubühne Lindenfels proposes a two-step programme in conjunction with the Ukrainian art scene.
First, Schaubühne Lindenfels will establish an online residency and a digital ‘Art Lab’ using its extensive network. This will be a platform for Ukrainian artists to collaborate with German artists and exchange ideas with artists from other war zones and oppressive regimes.
Michael Schramm, the Administration & Education Director of Schaubühne Lindenfels, explains that an online residency ‘opens up possibilities of working with international artists and cultural workers on a joint project over a longer time. This way of working overcomes spatial distances through regular digital meetings and brings people who have difficulties pursuing their artistic work due to current circumstances into a common protected space. Here, research, discussions and artistic positions can be developed and exchanged together in order to let something emerge.’
The organisation will run a three-month spring programme in 2023 as the second stage. Two curators from Ukraine will facilitate this on the grounds of the Leipzig Schaubühne Lindenfels. The two curators will be free to design a programme that includes guest performances, co-productions, events in public spaces, digital forms, movie screenings, readings, and other activities. These will mostly be presented by Ukrainian artists, potentially in collaboration with regional institutions or artists.
About the online residency
Michael described the workings of an online residency as such: ‘In regular Zoom meetings with artists and the production team, artistic approaches are developed and discussed. For each online session an agenda is set in advance by a curatorial team, which is accompanied by a moderator during the online residencies. From these virtual meetings, individual work assignments can emerge for the individual participants until the next meeting. There seem to be no limits to the results of an online residency. Digital, as well as analogue interventions, exhibitions, theatre pieces and performative presentations, can emerge from it which can either be made accessible to an audience digitally or result in an analogue performance.’
‘Supporting each other is a state of mind.’
For Schaubühne Lindenfels, international friendships are always important. Solidarity is important at all times, not just during times of extreme distress. ‘Supporting each other and sharing and exchanging resources is for us a state of mind,’ notes Michael, ‘because culture lives with and from people who create it. And so it is a matter of course for Schaubühne as a cultural institution that cultural workers cooperate, support each other and share opportunities with cultural workers who currently have no substantial possibilities to carry out their work on their own. Thus, it is about cohesion, support, giving artists a stage and voice and cultural exchange to keep and tie the cultural sphere internationally together on the pulse of time.’