Winners of Ibsen Scholarships 2017

The Ibsen Scholarships 2017 are awarded projects in India, Greece, Norway/Sweden, Colombia and Brazil.

 

An enemy in the doll’s house – The invisible voice and the voice of the invisible, Brazil
The project An enemy in the doll’s house – The invisible voice and the voice of the invisible intends to talk about the current social and political situation in Brazil during and after the impeachment of the President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. The Doll’s House and An Enemy of the People will be used as the dramatic sources for the performance, while elements of documentary theatre will be added to them. Ibsen plays put important emphasis on subjects such as corruption and the dichotomy between collective and private interests, putting ethics under question and highlighting the position accepted for a woman to have in society. The Doll’s House will be the springboard for the contemporary questions, in an attempt to talk about, and give voice to, populations that have being marginalized and eliminated day by day in the actual politics being nowadays developed in Brazil, such as black people, women and the LGBT community.

The jury’s conclusions
The project “An enemy in the doll’s house – The invisible voice and the voice of the invisible” intends to talk about the current social and political situation in Brazil during and after the impeachment of the President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Mixing researched, documentary material with two of Henrik Ibsen´s most socio-political dramas, “An Enemy of the People” and “A Doll´s House”, Camila Bauer and the GOMPA Project will investigate the impact of corruption and the dichotomy between collective and private interests in Brazil today.

Camila Bauer is a theatre director and professor in the Drama Department of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. She’s the artistic director of GOMPA Project, a group of multi-artists engaged in the creation of performances with an emphasis on combining different artistic languages, looking for political, existential and conceptual aspects of art.

In “An Enemy in the Doll´s House” the company will look at the patriarchal structures and illiberal prejudices they find embedded in the Brazilian culture. Brazil has one of the highest levels in the world of hate crime acts: femicide and killings of homosexual and transgender people. Ibsen´s “A Doll’s House” will be the company´s springboard for the contemporary questions they are posing. Their production will be an attempt to give voice to the marginalized demography of the Brazilian population, women, black people and the LGBT community, giving a new take on this bourgeois, hetero-normative Ibsen drama.

Camila Bauer and the GOMPA Project
Camila Bauer is a theatre director and professor in the Drama Department of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. She received her PhD in Arts of Spectacle at Université Libre de Bruxelles and University of Seville. She’s the artistic director of GOMPA Project, a group of multi-artists engaged in the creation of performances with an emphasis on combining different artistic languages, looking for political, existential and conceptual aspects of art. Camila Bauer has directed several theatre, dance and opera performances; she has also created contemporary dramaturgy, receiving different awards for her performances and academic research.

EUROPEANA, Greece
Since the beginning of the refugee issue escalation, it is said that Greece stands at the forefront of a critical battle in defense of the principles of freedom, open society, and humanity on which the united Europe itself has been founded. However after one year of research and interviewing 150 unaccompanied minors in the island of Lesvos inside the first reception in the wing where they are held, this performance is actually questioning what are the principles of freedom and of the human responsibility and are they honestly defended or not?
Little Eyolf is a play where human responsibility is questioned, where the parents refuse to accept the identity of their own child who is crippled. How is identity defined today? Who am I and am I accepted? Are my rights defended and exercised? Similarly, children in today's global society are metaphorically speaking paralyzed falling into the trap of a self-absorbed system that finds pleasure mostly in the validation of its self.  Are we all children of war?

The jury’s conclusions
The rising international impact of migration is a core challenge of world politics of today, facing especially the European countries with great moral dilemmas. Since the escalation of migrating refugees from North African and Arab countries started years ago, it is been said that Greece stands at the forefront of a critical battle in defense of the principles of freedom, open society, and humanity. Noticeably, these are the values on which the united Europe itself is founded.
Henrik Ibsen´s drama “Little Eyolf” is a play where human responsibility is questioned, where the parents, Alfred and Rita, refuse to accept the identity of their own child who is crippled. How is identity defined today? Who am I, and am I accepted? Are my rights defended and exercised? These are questions who will be posed by the Greek theatre company Zlap in their production, “Europeana”. This production will partly be based on “Little Eyolf” by Ibsen, partly on interviews with unaccompanied minors in the island of Lesvos in the Aegean Sea. Whose human responsibility are these children?
Zlap is a collective of artists under the direction of Rafika Chawishe, an actress, director and a devoted children rights' activist who has worked extensively with unaccompanied refugee minors at the first reception center in Lesvos.  During one year she has collected interviews with 150 of these children. By merging Ibsen´s drama on guilt and the responsibility of parenthood with the current Greek situation trying to deal with international migration, she will investigate the questions we all are forced to deal with: What are the principles of freedom and human responsibility worth in the face of immense catastrophe? Are we honestly standing up for these children, or are we not?
The project present itself as a surprising combination of a long lasting engagement in political issues, an original interpretation of Ibsens text and an clear ambition to experiment with staging and casting.  Zlap emphasizes the uncanny potentiality of Ibsens text; the morbid combination of guilt and anger in Eyolf parents and the unsettling character of the Rat Wife. By combining this with a thorough material on the present global refugee situation, the jury of the Ibsen Scholarships sees a project with great social and artistic potentiality.

Rafika Chawishe
Rafika Chawishe is an awarded actress and director. Her mother is Greek and her Father is English-Syrian. She is currently developing her first feature film produced by Enaguas Cine in Mexico, based on the army invasion of UNAM in 1968.  Rafika Chawishe was also recently selected to participate and exhibit her work in Teatro Venice Biennale 2017 at the Biennale College. In 2017 she was also selected by the NEON foundation to commission her new media installation performance as a ground breaking idea. Rafika has collaborated with stage companies such as the National Theater of Greece, The Athens Festival, the Athens Bienniale, the Gielgud Theater (West End)n and more. She has also debuted behind the camera, directing three short films. The films have screened in various film festivals around the world (Seoul International FF, Palm Springs Short Fest, Cannes International FF/Short film Corner, Locarno FF). In 2014, Chawishe was selected as one of the 25 most promising European young Filmmakers at the Locarno Film Festival in the Young Filmmakers Academy. In front of the camera she has participated in films such as “Miss Violence” by A. AVRANAS, Dance Fight, Love, Die by Asteris Koutoulas and other. She has been working as a theater-maker in the political and documentary theater in Greece. In 2014, she created with other artists the collective company Zlap. Zlap's performances Notebooks of Crisis, Volume I and Notebook of Crisis, Volume II were presented nationally and internationally. Rafika recently directed a performance at the National Theater of Oslo/Ibsen Festival/Monsters of Reality the Mimesis Machine. She is a dynamic children rights' activist and has worked extensively with unaccompanied refugee minors at the first reception center in Lesvos, Moria, Greece.

Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation, Colombia.
Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation will take place in La Guajira, a multi-ethnic region in the north of Colombia where the Wayuu people represent the largest indigenous culture in the area.

Based on Ibsen’s Enemy of the People, this adaptation reflects on the casual connections of the large number of infant mortality within the Wayuu community due to water shortage. The situation faced by the Wayuu is the building of a dam. The government has claimed the dam will benefit the public when in reality ranchers and agricultural businesses producing rice are monopolizing it. In addition to this, one of the world’s largest coalmining companies are planning to change the course of a river in the area in order to exploit the subsurface mineral resources. This has affected all parts of Wayuu life and are causing the ongoing deaths of Wayuu children.

Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation emphasizes on respect of water as the symbol of life, in facing the barbaric acts of those in positions of power, and in this way promotes the value of solidarity and human rights, as they have been articulated and promulgated by indigenous peoples for whom nature is an integral part of the human being.

Privilege and actions by the political and economic elite have resulted in the destruction of waterways within indigenous territories in favor of industrial mining. Water has been a commodity rather than an essential human right.

Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation wants to influence critical thinking and action within all sectors of the population in order to challenge the status quo and the indifference of the political leadership towards the deaths and deprivation within Wayuu communities.

The jury’s conclusions
Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation is an adaptation of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People that reflects upon correlation of high infant mortality within the Wayuu community (the largest indigenous people in the multi-ethnic region La Guajira in the north of Colombia) and acute water shortage. The water problem is caused by building of a dam that is claimed by the government to benefit the public. In reality, water has been monopolized by ranchers and rice producing companies. In addition, one of the world’s largest coalmining companies plans to change the course of a river in the area in order to exploit the subsurface mineral resources.
The adaptation will be guided and directed by Jayeechi Cultural Corporation from Riohacha, La Guajira. Jayeechi (translated as "songs" from the Wayuunaiki language) is made up of an interdisciplinary team of professionals from the Wayuu community and others from the region, with 24 years of experience in theatrical productions revolving around their indigenous identity and the cultural heritage of La Guajira facing dramatic political and social

changes. Their methodology is based on critical research involving researchers and local communities that is translated into collective creation of a theatrical production, involving elements of anthropological theatre.
The play pays tribute to water as the symbol of life, and access to water as an essential human right and act of solidarity - against the barbaric acts of destroying the waterways and transforming water into a commodity by the corrupt political and economic elite. Nauunu. Enemies of the Wayuu Nation wants to initiate critical thinking and action within all sectors of the population in order to challenge the status quo and the indifference of the political leadership towards the deprivation within Wayuu communities.
The jury of the Ibsen Scholarships is impressed by the thorough research and long lasting engagement the Jayeechi Cultural Corporation has shown in the matter of these highly relevant thus complex issues. NAUUNU. ENEMIES OF THE WAYUU NATION is a ambitious project of great political, artistic and social complexity, that shows an often forgotten faith in theatre as a way of creating alternative ways of interacting and engaging in a society. We look forward to following the theatre makers of Jayeechi in this inspiring work.

Jayeechi Cultural Corporation
Jayeechi Cultural Corporation is an organization with twenty-four years of experience in leading cultural projects with emphasis on theatrical production, based in Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia in South America.
Jayeechi is a word in the Wayuunaiki—the language of the Wayuu people—which translates “songs”. Jayeechi works to protect and share the ancestral identity of the Wayuu indigenous community and the cultural heritage of La Guajira.
The organization is made up of an interdisciplinary team of people from the Wayuu community and others from the region, who work together through collective creation—a technique that allows for exploring a dramaturgy of its own.  Jayecchi’s productions have been invited to participate in national and international competitions, where they have been well received for their aesthetic, theatrical techniques and themes.


THE VIKINGS OF HELGELAND, Sweden/Norway.  
The Vikings of Helgeland is a Viking play from 1858 set in the dramatic landscape of the Northern coast of Norway but will be performed in an urban black-box at Turteatern, Stockholm, Sweden, and will premiere in December 2018, making a monster-massacre of the Ibsen text. The piece is a part of Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen’s ongoing exploration of Ibsen’s earlier work, focusing on the mythic and fictional narratives presented by the playwright in his period of writing before the socio-critical plays, presenting it as an aesthetic proposal of discussing social and inter-human relations. The early works of Ibsen are often treated like unfinished sketches, a product of its time, and most of all not realistic for repertoires of theatres and artists today. Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen look at Ibsen’s proposal as an entrance to an aesthetic approach to dramaturgy, and want to celebrate the gothic women, the romance(era), fictional setting, heroic and suffering men and women, bulging stage directions, pathos and longing that is the starting point for this text. Using the elements of violence, revenge, gathering of the nation and destiny, they will explore an epos of our time through their gaze; a stream of references and shameless use of originality, copying and origin. Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen want to make a main-stage-production with visuals images, pathos, blood, swords, fog and battle-scenes, with the Ibsen play that no one have heard of but soon they will. With this they will haunt you and Ibsen down in 2018.

"You Vikings are incorrigible. You emerge from the womb with only one thing on the mind: how to die." Vikings, HBO Nordic.

The jury’s conclusions
The representation of Henrik Ibsen`s dramas is in Scandinavian theatre closely connected to a psychological-realistic tradition of acting and mis-en-scénes. Yet in the last decades, this way of interpreting the plays has been challenged by other forms of representation. The two young artists, Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen, have over the last few years turned to Ibsen´s plays again and again, in their personal quest for finding a theatre aesthetics of their own.

Their grand-scale productions of Ibsen re-samplings have challenged the audience`s perceptions of the art form in general and the works of Ibsen in particular. In this project, director Nikazm Bakken and set- and costume designer Floen take up an early and seldom produced drama by Ibsen, “The Vikings of Helgeland”. This play has, by some readers, been disregarded as an unfinished sketch, a period piece steeped in historical details. Moreover, Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen rather find a possibility for a different approach to dramaturgy and production design in it. Their production of “The Vikings of Helgeland” will celebrate and play with the dramatic illusion of the romantic era: the gothic pathos, the heroic sufferings of its men and women, all immersed with bulging stage directions.

Using the elements of violence, revenge and destiny and the motive of a building of a nation, they will explore an epos of our time. Through references of today, they will eventually reach a discussion on social and inter-human relations of the world in the way this young generation of theatre artists sees it.

Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen
Marie Nikazm Bakken and Fredrik Floen are a Norwegian performing arts duo consisting of stage director Marie Nikazm Bakken and costume-designer/scenographer Fredrik Floen (both born 1988). After raiding several educational institutions in Norway and abroad, they are back in the motherland with the aim to make really good theatre. The last couple of years they have staged the Ibsen play The Pretenders (own production, Otta Kulturhus), The Ghost to come (Grenland Friteater/Scene:Bluss) and The Pretenders - A staged reading (Nationaltheatret/Ibsenfestivalen 2016). In the fall of 2018 they will premiere both Lady Inger at Oesteraat in Otta Kulturhus, in addition to Vikings of Helgeland at Turteatern in Stockholm.

Nora questions patriarchy in Bengal, India.
Nora questions patriarchy in Bengal aims to adapt Ibsen’s A Doll’s House to a Bengali context and address questions about patriarchy especially in rural areas that shows high prevalence of child marriages and trafficking due to the patriarchal traditions. The issues will be discussed through interventions using the method of forum theatre combined with local cultural forms. The performance will travel to 10 villages and interactions between actors and audience will investigate the definition of empowerment perceived in the play, interrogate the internalized patriarchy along with the question of using binary to look at things that does not take to the complexities of the problem. Seminars will be organized in selected cities with artists, theatre activists and women rights organization to compare the perspective of rural citizen with urban on patriarchy related issues.  The dialogic dramaturgy and seeing theatre as an art of democracy will also be discussed.

The jury’s conclusions
Nora Questions Patriarchy in Bengal is an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House to a Bengali context and addresses issues about effects of patriarchy in rural areas marked by high prevalence of child marriages and trafficking due to the patriarchal traditions. This adaptation is developed by Jana Sanskriti and follows the method of forum theatre combined with local cultural forms.
Jana Sanskriti is the first exponent of Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in India, working since 1985 with actors belonging to marginalized community and co-creating and staging narratives within these marginalized communities. Actors and spectators are encouraged to discover a critical thinker in them, an aesthetic experience which inspire them to grow as an active citizens in the society. It is seen as the long lasting largest Forum Theatre operation and the main point of reference by global practitioners of Theatre of the Oppressed. With its 30 satellite teams Jana Sanskriti reaches nearly 200,000 spectators each year.
The performance will travel to 10 villages, and interactions between actors and audience will investigate the definition of empowerment as presented in the play, and interrogate the internalized patriarchy. Seminars will be organized in selected cities with artists, theatre activists and women rights organization to compare the perspectives of rural and urban citizens on patriarchy related issues.  Thus, forum theatre and dialogic dramaturgy of Nora Questions Patriarchy will truly manifest a tool and art of democracy and empowerment applied to the rural Bengali communities.
Jana Sanskrit’s shows a clear understanding of the connection between creativity and democracy which  the jury of the Ibsen scholarship finds truly inspiring. With an overall emphasis on participation and debate we consider this adaption of A Doll’s house to potentially create challenging and emancipatory theatre out of Ibsen’s classic text.

Jana Sanskriti
Jana Sanskriti is the first exponent of Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in India, works among actors belong to marginalized community. The practice of Jana Sanskriti’s theatre is based on the belief that every individual is essentially intellectual and capable of thinking and understanding everything that happens around their reality.  Jana Sanskriti’s theatre tries to make people understand this truth. Actors and spectators discover a thinker in them, an aesthetic experience which inspire them to grow as an active citizens in the society. With its 30 satellite teams Jana Sanskriti reaches nearly 200,000 spectators  each year. It is seen as the long lasting largest Forum Theatre operation and the main point of reference in the world by global practitioners of Theatre of the Oppressed.