Fri 26 April 2024 19:30

Studio Julian Hetzel und Ntando Cele


Past event

Studio Julian Hetzel and Ntando Cele – SPAfrica © Alexandra Masmanidi


The performance is based on a new model of resource exchange between Europe and Africa. On one hand, as stated on stage, precious drinking water is imported to Europe from sub-Saharan regions: SPAfrica. This is the name of the world’s first “empathy drink,” we are told. On the other, tears of
compassion are harvested in the heart of Europe and brought to the water source in Africa.

Against the backdrop of extractivism, the accelerating privatisation of common goods such as water, and the capitalisation of emotions, Julian Hetzel and Ntando Cele explore the possibilities of empathy in SPAfrica. What if empathising with others does not lead to a sustained solidarity with those in pain but an alienating imbalance of power asserted in the act of “romantic gawking” (Bertolt Brecht) and reinforces existing privileges? The performance investigates the added value of empathy. Is the trauma brought into the world by racism the new gold of the arts?

This performance contains stroboscopic light and excplicit language. Enter at your own discretion.


Concept: Julian Hetzel and Ntando Cele
Direction: Julian Hetzel
Performance: Ntando Cele
Dramaturgy: Miguel Angel Melgares
Artistic advisor: Sodja Lotker, Khanyisile Mbongwa
Music & composition: Frank Wienk
Light design: Nico de Rooij
Technical coordination: Vincent Beune, Aengus Havinga
Technicians: Tom Doeven, Simon Kelaita, Bea Verbeek, Wout Jansen
Technical solutions: Merijn Versnel, Guido Bevers
Production manager: Marieke van den Bosch
Production Cape Town: Lungile Mbongwa
Galerist Cape Town: Mpilo Ngcukana
Assistant costume designer: Merel van Erpers Roijaards
Mask artist: Carly Heathcote
Make-up artist: Julia Markow
Prop maker: Saskia Hartog
Video documentation: Reynold Reynolds, Bongeka Ngcobo
Photography: Alexandra Masmanidi, Anouk Maupu 

Special thanks to the voluntears and the local hosts of the artist talk.

Produced by Studio Julian Hetzel, co-produced by Schauspiel Leipzig (DE), CAMPO Gent (BE), Theatre Vidy-Lausanne (CH), SPRING Performing Arts Festival Utrecht (NL), Auawirleben Festival, Bern (CH). With the support of: Performing Arts Fund (NL), City of Utrecht (NL), Fonds21 (NL), Vriendenloterij Fund (NL), Prins Bernhard Culture Fund (NL), Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds (NL), Onassis AiR Athens (GR), 16 on Lerotholi Gallery (ZA).

Further dates on this day


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