Meritxell Aumedes 25.05.2018 17.34 Uhr


Between the 24th and 28th April in Hamburg: "Hauptsache Frei"!!!

The opening of the festival under the new direction of Julian Kamphausen and Susanne Schuster: "Kurz und Knackig". Amelie Deuflhard and Kerstin Evert welcome the crowd to Kampnagel and K3 with humour and a political statement of support to the free scene. The last word is placed by the "Dachverband freie darstellende Künste Hamburg" with the distribution of bright orange stickers with the moto "JETZT Förderung für die Freie Darstellende Künste Hamburg" to the sound of the iconic Beatles song "We can work it out".

I am attending the festival as an invited member of the "Städtelabor", a networking platform for a group of artists from mixed disciplines and based in different German cities acting as observers and expert audience. Besides connecting to other professionals in the field, the festival becomes a great way of getting to know Hamburg and the possibilities the free scene in the city has to offer. Monsun Theater, Sprechwerk, Lichthof Theater, Klabauter Theater, HAW, Jupi Bar… everyone opens their doors for performances, workshops and panel talks.

A curated selection of 12 performances from the local free scene compete for the 1.500€ price. Worth seeing, and also the choice of the audience and the jury price, is the performance "PMS Lounge" by Charlotte Pfeifer and her collaborators. The tiled walls at the Kachelraum/Frappant e.v. in the Viktoria Kaserne become the coulisse for the 2,5 hours event. An intelligent feminist discourse, full of humour, questions the existence of the premenstrual syndrome and its effects and consequences in society. Medical definitions, human struggles and common obstacles of the freelance artists find an echo placed within the universe created by Fehmi Baumbach’s installation. In a relaxed club atmosphere, the audience is also invited to participate in the ritualistic and symbolic "Eierwurf" by throwing eggs loaded with colourful paint, which splashes create a collective artwork.

In this 4th edition of the festival I have been specially looking forward to the "Digital Track", the new satellite program that deals with the synergy of performing arts and new technologies. To quench my thirst to further understand the possibilities and risks in the implementation of digital technologies in performance, I take workshops with the invited software developers and media artists. The 2 hours introduction to coding, virtual reality and video mapping leaves me hungry for more. Last but not least, in the more practical workshops series, I could profit from useful tips for writing funding applications.

Hauptsache Frei and the Städtelabor… all and all a very enriching experience. After digesting the many impressions, looking forward to the next time!

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