The Animal Empire – you are not invited

From Linh Le´s performance For a Moment: Singularity. On the photo Linh Le and Peter Vadim

Some prominent politicians compare us to vermin when we threaten their worldview. But then those politicians are also vermin when they threaten our worldview, presumably. Thus, when we are all vermin, we might as well get the best out of it. We explore how in our performance-research The Animal Empire – you are not invited at Bådteatret June 22nd-25th 2019 as part of Ubåden.

Flyer for the program of Ubåden 2019

When one group of human beings is dehumanized, all human beings are dehumanized.

Examples of prominent politicians presumably comparing various groups of people with vermin are Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, President of the United States Donald Trump, former Danish Minister of Integration Birthe Rønn Hornbech and former chairperson of the Danish People’s Party Pia Kjærsgaard.

At the same time, there is a significant increase in hate crimes in public spaces. We believe there is a connection.

Linh Le and I experience the image of us as vermin as a repression of our identities. We have developed anger towards this repression. This puts us in a dilemma: If we on one hand resist the image, the polarisation will increase and probably cause more hate crimes. If we in the other hand accept the image it seems that we let the politicians treat us like vermin. So we try to do both.

In The Animal Empire – you are not invited we try to use the energy of the anger constructively: We accept the image of us as vermin, only we examine whether we as vermin can communicate in other ways than by threatening each other. By embodying various animals we investigate choreographically whether we can influence the discourse.

Like this Linh Le and I are developing methods to discover and express paradoxes and dilemmas that lie in the dehumanisation of groups of people. One paradox is the relation between dehumanisation and freedom. We experience that on one hand the dehumanisation makes us less free and on the other hand it sets us free from various social norms. As such we are free to reinvent ourselves. This puts us in a position where we can experiment artistically with identity, culture and politics. We experience that our experimentation has the potential to put norms and social relations in to new perspectives.

Laver lidt koreografi sammen med performer/danser/koreograf Linh Le @linhtuyetle @vejret_nu #vejretnu #choreography

Slået op af Peter Vadim i Mandag den 19. marts 2018

The film above is from a rehearsal for Vejret nu. We are developing our animal characters and material. The video below is me developing my character as a hen/rooster.

Er jeg en høne der tror den er et menneske? #vejretnu #høne #menneske #laotzu

Slået op af Peter Vadim i Mandag den 26. marts 2018

Linh and I have developed our methods in various projects since 2016: Landscape Scenographies, For a Moment: Singularity and Vejret nu. In june 2019 we are performing at Ubåden.

Supported by Danish Artist Union