Workshop theatre and diversity “Racism and critical whiteness”

Even a successful format like Theaterwelten can be and has to be improved and further developed. Upon evaluation, one important point will be the question how to adapt difficult themes for a broader audience. Questions like “Theatre and Diversity?” or “”How much racism can be traced in European Cultural Work?” are essential, when you take yourself serious working as an international theatre maker. A gathering like Theaterwelten has to provide a podium to look for answers to these questions if the festival targets sincerity. However, the first experiences show that these topics have to be discussed in rather small-format works and run on long-term perspectives. This also was a key point expressed during the feedback session that was carried out by work shop leader Jessica Laignel from Berlin. In her essay, titled “Critical Whiteness. Being White as a Privilege” Millary Hyatt asks: “To what extend does being white serve as an invisible criterion that outlines not-white as divergence and degrading?” Many people working in cultural field seem to find it hard to particularly relate this question to cultural fields. Furthermore, among amateur theatre people there is a widespread critical attitude towards theatre theories. The solution for the future, therefore, should be to lay out formats, for example incentive lectures or applied theatre workshops, which help to overcome these barriers using specific theatre methods. The vital necessity to do so can be witnessed at the daily news, or, as Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, recently stated, “In my opinion, it is all about the social power of culture”.

Stephan Schnell

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