Conversion / After Afghanistan


Newspapers, the internet, everything: all full of war reports. And yet Afghanistan – from a German perspective until recently our no. 1 war zone – has dropped off the radar since the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) pulled out in December 2014 after thirteen years. The fact that war and violence don’t simply stop because the cameras are pointing elsewhere is shown by the latest asylum application figures.
Shortly before the end of the German deployment, the interdisciplinary COSTA COMPAGNIE made its way to Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif to talk to people about the troop withdrawal. For three weeks they interviewed Afghans, journalists, academics, diplomats and soldiers about their experiences of the war. Had the military deployment been worthwhile? Does it even make sense to use the word “worthwhile”? And is it possible to report on war in the theater of today, a form which has such a long tradition of describing battles?
‘Conversion / After Afghanistan’ is both an attempt to get closer and to establish greater distance – an attempt to understand a war which was claimed for a long time to be necessary in order to safeguard German security. What will have changed, and what will be left behind, when the caravan moves on?
‘Conversion’ is based on documentary material, but it is not documentary theater. Instead it passes on contradictory voices, gestures, glances, movements and translates them into performance, dance, sound, video and objects. As audience members we are reminded that we are both witnesses and voyeurs. We are responsible, even if we are a long way away. As in Brecht’s legendary “street scene”, we have to decide for ourselves what actually happened. To adopt a position within a situation full of contradictions thus becomes an exercise in ethics.

The show on 23 June will be followed by an Artist Talk


THURSDAY, 23 JUNE 19:30 h Düsseldorf
Language German/English FFT Juta
FRIDAY, 24 JUNE 19:30 h Düsseldorf
Language German/English FFT Juta

Duration 120’

Tickets can be purchased here

Artistic Direction / Text / Performance Felix Meyer-Christian
Choreography / Dance Jascha Viehstädt
Tanz / Performance Hauke Heumann, Toni Jessen, Frank Koenen, Akemi Nagao, Maria Walser
Audio Katharina Kellermann
Video Miguel Murrieta Vásquez
Video-Support Jonas Plümke
Stage Space / Costumes Anika Marquardt, Lani Tran Duc

Dramaturgy Stawrula Panagiotaki
Assistance Nicole Nowak
Research in Afghanistan Stefan Haehnel (Foto / Video), Felix Meyer-Christian, Jascha Viehstädt
Interpreter in Afghanistan Ahmad Nasir Formuli

A production of COSTA COMPAGNIE, funded by Doppelpass Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation, and in cooperation with the Theater and Orchester Heidelberg.

Photo © Annemone Taake