Take the chauvinism test and see where you stand between patriotism and chauvinism. It’s simple and painless, devised and performed by God’s Entertainment. This anarchist theatre collective from Vienna have toured international festivals with their confrontational brand of political performance. In Amsterdam they will pitch their tent at Leidseplein, next to the Stadsschouwburg, when Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wußten is playing. Before the performance, you can visit the tent and test your chauvinism. Who knows, you might be a patriot or a xenophobe without even realising it! The Chauvinism Scanner will reveal all.
Festivalfocus: Edges of Europe
During the first six months of this year the Netherlands holds the Presidency of the European Union. But what is left of the dream of European unity? At the Holland Festival international artists present a series of performances focusing on current European issues and exploring this changing continent.
The festival’s opening performance by Estonian directors Ene-Liis Semper and Tiit Ojasoo Die Stunde da wir nichts voneinander wußten shows the diversity and tensions of modern Europe. And in their film Ash and Money they focus on the phenomenon of political populism. Directors Milo Rau (The Dark Ages), Joël Pommerat (Ça ira (1) Fin de Louis), Wael Shawky (Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala) and Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha delve into Europe’s past, exploring the effect of some of its history’s darkest chapters. From the heart of Europe, the collective God’s Entertainment stages a test about chauvinism, which is causing the European dream of unity to falter. The Dutch theatre company Wunderbaum responds to European issues in its project The New Forest. A large Syrian orchestra for Arabic music will reunite for a special concert in Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with Damon Albarn and Guests. Artists may not be able to change the world, but they can change the way we look at it.
Have you always wanted to know how much of a chauvinist you really are? Do you think you might suffer from a touch of xenophobia? Viennese performance collective God's Entertainment have just the ticket for you! On the festival's opening night they will pitch their Chauvinism Scanner tent right in the middle of Leidseplein.
Inside, they examine passers-by and test how great their prejudice against foreigners really is. Although the proponents of extreme patriotism and the 'own people first' ideology tend to advocate the sanctity of 'Blood and Soil', there will be no blood drawn. Rather, the people from God's Entertainment use a number of electronic devices such as the Foreigner Scanner and the Personal Indicator which allow them to detect even the slightest trace of nationalism. Various clichés will be presented and examined for their accuracy, resulting in a personal chauvinism score. Chauvinism Scanner serves as a trick mirror, providing the audience with an insight into their own deep-seated, irrational fears and prejudices against foreigners.
Chauvinism Scanner premiered in 2015 at Munich’s Spielart Festival. It was also performed in Rijeka in Croatia, where the collective adapted their performance to the former Yugoslavian history of extreme nationalism and bloody civil war. At the Holland Festival, the performance will be set in a Dutch context. The performance will be God's Entertainment's first ever appearance at the festival.
God's Entertainment is one of the few experimental theatre ensembles in Austria who make a conscious effort to break with the prevailing stage conventions. Their productions are somewhere between stage play, happening, visual art, performance and concert. They draw extensively on popular culture and mass media, giving equal weight to all theatrical elements (set, performers, public, music, text and body) in their performances.
The collective are driven by social, cultural and political injustice, with an aim to activate the audience and trigger debate. At the same time, they're equally devoted to entertaining their audience. As Nadine Jessen, dramaturg from Kampnagel Hamburg, wrote about them: 'Adopting a radical approach, they search for new strong fields of tension in different social and cultural spaces, topics, structures and forms beyond theatrical convention. Out of this artistic-social patchwork they create sharp-edged social sculptures, often including the audience.'
- God’s Entertainment