To open the 2020 Wiener Festwochen, indigenous activist and female actor Kay Sara and theatre director Milo Rau have created a speech of tremendous urgency and immediacy. Last year the festival presented Orestes in Mosul, the first part of Rau’s trilogy of classical ancient tragedies; this year, Against Integration is based on the final part of that trilogy: Antigone in the Amazon. In Rau’s adaptation, Sophocles’s tragedy exploring fundamental questions of justice, law and order becomes a foil that reflects the bloodstained collision between ancestral wisdom and global turbo-capitalism in the burning forests of the Amazon. Indeed, the assault by Brazil’s agro-industry on the world’s largest rainforest not only poses a threat to the planet’s ‘green lung’, it also exposes the indigenous people – and their traditions that go back thousands of years – to a deadly risk. In the collaboration with indigenous activists, integration into capitalist structures is rejected as a quashing of alternative lifestyles. Against Integration is addressed as much to Vienna as it is to a global audience. 20 years after Christoph Schlingensief brought the integration discourse of the day to its tipping point with his legendary work Please love Austria! - First Austrian Coalition Week at the Wiener Festwochen, Kay Sara and Milo Rau return with contemporary debates. Not to be missed!
Kay Sara, Milo Rau
© Heloisa Bortz