About Sound in the Silence 2015

    5-13 September 2015, Gdańsk

    Youth from three contries: Germany, Hungary and Poland will meet in Gdańsk, a Polish city with complex history, to engage in a dialogue with each other and with the past.

    This edition will concentrate on the multicultural history of the region, on the different regional diversities, and region’s history. Three crucial aspects will be taken into account: Second World War as a tragic and violent event, Gdańsk as the birthplace of 1989 transition, and post-89 unexpected transformation results.

    Why Gdańsk?

    A thousand-year history, a location at the crossroads of important commercial and communication routes, an extensive port and mercantile traditions – all of this makes Gdańsk a meeting place of many cultures and nationalities.

    The war and the particularly fierce struggle for liberation left Gdańsk completely devastated. Its reconstruction, with the help of fully dedicated citizens, took several dozen years. The tragic December 1970, then August 1980 and the martial law period are other dates symbolizing the fight of the citizens of Gdańsk against the prevailing communist regime. It was Gdańsk that became the cradle of the “Solidarność” which was to transform the then map of Europe.

    Focus on the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

    The Second World War started when the troops of the German Third Reich attacked from the sea and from the air Westerplatte – a peninsula in Gdańsk, where important defence positions of the Polish army had been set in the interwar period. Through field trips to Westerplatte and history tours with detailed explanations and learning the witnesses’ accounts, the participants will learn about the struggle that took place on Westerplatte, and they will be reminded of how the war, the tragedy and suffering that followed for the next six years started.

    A visit to Stutthof Concentration Camp will be another step in getting a connection with the history of the Second World War. They will have a chance to learn about the everyday life for former inmates, their tough living conditions, heroic acts and tragedies. A special emphasis will be placed on presenting the history of different nations that had to experience the suffering inflicted at concentration camps.

    Focus on the August Agreement from 1980 and Solidarity Movement

    With the name “Gdansk Shipyard” one has to think immediately of Solidarity Movement. This part of the project will concentrate allowing participating youths to find out and compare the different paths taken to overthrow communist dictatorships. Students will learn about the peaceful attempts at changing the system and the painful consequence that followed. Through meetings with participants of 1980 strikes and by visiting the most important places of these events they will review and find out more about the changes that took place and how these changes reflected on the rest of Europe.

    Focus on the retransformation of iconic Gdansk Shipyard

    With the political changes of 1989 came also changes in financial and commercial realities. Many of those who created history up to this point have felt excluded in the new reality, their work places slowly collapsed into the financial abyss, and their skills were no longer in need. Young participants will be invited to also look at these changes. Through history lectures and interviews with history witnesses they will be encouraged to explore the exclusion and the sacrifices made by those who have felt left out.

    Workshops

    Creative writing & hip hop

    Artist: Dan Wolf

    “What is the story of the future when no one remembers the past?” The workshop will explore this question with the rhythms and rhymes of the written word. Using writing prompts we will compose poetry, prose, and rap to expose our emotions and express the complex natures of war, resistance, defence, freedom, revolution, and emigration. Armed with our words, we will fight to uncover and invent the symbols that create our historical narratives. We will look across cultures and histories to construct a language to express our thoughts and feelings, painting pictures with texts that can either be read on the page or performed. We will use words to empower us to dream a world that does not yet exist, remixing symbols to make them meaningful and constructing our collective future from the collected shards of the past.

    Dan Wolf is an actor, rapper, playwright, director, producer and educator. His work crosses artistic and cultural borders to combine conventional theater styles with the themes, language, music, history and aesthetics of the Hip-Hop generation. Dan is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Hip Hop music and theater collective Felonious, Artistic Director of Sound in the Silence, and adjunct faculty at A.C.T. Dan is also the Managing Producer for 3200 Stories Media Team at the JCCSF, where he creates original content that instigates new ways to explore and express Jewish culture.

    His play “Angry Black White Boy”, based on the novel by Adam Mansbach, premiered at Intersection for the Arts in October 2008, ran for 12 sold-out weeks and was named Top Ten Best Theater Plays by the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner. His play “Beatbox: A Raparetta” (co-authored with Tommy Shepherd) has been produced in San Francisco, Oakland, Petaluma, Germany, and at the New York Hip Hop Theater Festival. “Beatbox” is published by TCG in the Hip Hop Theater anthology “Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy”. His play “Stateless: A Hip Hop Vaudeville”, a hip-hop and beatbox infused theatrical collaboration with Tommy Shepherd, balancing German and Jewish history with the problems of racism and the African American experience, has been produced in San Francisco, Hamburg and New York. Dan co-created and performed in “Block By Block,” a multi-disciplinary performance that brought a San Francisco block party into the de Young Museum. Dan’s play “Anansi the Spider”, created in collaboration with Tommy Shepherd, toured to Bay Area schools for Marin Theater Company in 2012. Dan is currently part of a team of artists adapting “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”, Jeff Chang’s seminal book on Hip Hop culture for the stage, premiering in January 2016 at Z Space in San Francisco.

    Theatre workshops

    Artist: Jakub Roszkowski

    During this workshop I would like to focus on emotions – on how we express them and later shape them into the language of theatre. I will use the tours and discussion to find the key motional factor that we will discuss in our workshop through artistic expression of happiness, sadness, anger, helplessness, melancholy, regret, hatred, love, freedom or solidarity… Any means of theatrical expression is valid, whether it be as an individual or as a group, through text based expression or non-text, through monologues or gestural language, methods are not as important as their honesty and spontaneity. It is during this workshop that I will encourage you to present these emotions and to learn how you can present them with art so that others can better understand how and why you feel.

    Jakub Roszkowski - dramaturge, playwright, director and author of adaptations, translations and reworkings of stage plays. Graduate of State Drama School in Cracow – The Theatre Directing Department. Has worked at more than thirty theatre plays. Between 2007-2014, served as dramaturge in Teatr Wybrzeże in Gdańsk. Besides Gdańsk, worked for theatres such as Teatr Narodowy in Warsaw, Narodowy Stary Teatr in Cracow, Teatr im. Jaracza w Łódź, Teatr Studio in Warsaw and Teatr Muzyczny in Gdynia. He has directed three plays: Stalker based on the novel Roadside Picnic by Arkadij and Borys Strugacki, The Great Improvisation by Giza, Roszkowski and Tremiszewski (both in Teatr Wybrzeże) and his own text – The Better World in Lubuski Teatr in Zielona Góra. Adding to the above mentioned, three other dramas of his writing were played: The Open Sea, The Green Man and The diamond in an Ashtray. He has lead numerous workshops for children and youth, including international ones for Polish-Czech and Polish-German groups.

    Music and improvisation workshop

    Artist: Dirk Achim Dhonau

    “How can we transform personal experience into sound and music? Is it possible to play music without playing an instrument or express yourself not having learned how to play it? It is!” This workshop will enable you to get to know your own personality and transform your personal impressions into sound. We will use “normal” instruments like drums, cymbals, keyboards, saxophones, and flutes, but also self-made recordings in and from our environment. Our work will respond to our surroundings and enter into conversation with the other workshops so that, in the end, our music will provide a soundtrack to the collective narrative presented to the public.

    Dirk Achim Dhonau works as a Hamburg based Musician, Composer and Teacher. He studied Jazz at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and performed with several Musicians as Dieter Glawischnig, Gary Thomas, Anthony Braxton, Kalle Kalima, Fred Frith, Criss Heenan, Massimo Fallascone and Vlatko Kucan.

    His recent work concentrates on improvised music and improvising concepts which combine Improvisation with other artistic disciplines like theatre, dance and spoken word performances. Current projects are: Dhonau Dabrock Duo, Ensemble Eisenrot, Trio Collage and a chanson project with the actor Dominique Horwitz.

    Vocal training, improvisation & songwriting

    Artist: Ines Biedermann

    In this workshop we playfully explore the body as our instrument to produce the voice in all its ranges and varieties. It includes exercises in vocal improvisation that unleash our inspiration and creativity. We also learn about basic songwriting tools – how to create a melody, how to build a chord, how to put a chord progression together using a guitar and a piano, how to come up with a topic for lyrics, and how to connect lyrical fragments with one another. I will help you transform all your impressions from the visit into an authentic piece of art. Most importantly, the excercise mirrors the impact that revealed history had on you whether it be through an abstract vocal or instrumental sound collage or a concrete song.

    Ines aka “KIJOKA JUNICA” has an ethereal quality which draws us into the inner world of beauty, magic and pain that is in every one of us. It is a rare gift this exposure of dreams and visions, images and stories. Her haunting but powerful voice fuses beautifully with her intricate rhythmic guitar playing, which often takes unexpected turns opening up a completely new vista.

    At the same time this artist is not removed from us but is totally present in her live performances, real and tangible leaving no one unstirred. 

Although she is German she normally sings in Californian English which is an expression of her formative time spent there. This cultural melting pot had a strong impact on her artistic identity which has now synthesized with her calm and thoughtful German persona.

    With her music she follows the female American singer songwriter tradition. 

Stylistically the bottom line is acoustic folk but she playfully melts jazz, rock or classical elements into her song writing, always returning to catchy hook lines that you find yourself humming on your way home. She performs solo and with different line ups. She has appeared on TV and radio and on numerous stages big and small in Germany, UK and the US.

    Dance workshop

    Artist: Judit Györgypál

    This movement workshop, inspired by Butoh dance and theater, uses history and emotions as source material to focus on the creation of site-specific choreography. You will travel through space to create movement and dance based on the painful and powerful emotions felt while in Gdansk. In this workshop you will move, adapt, connect, share, and find a new artistic freedom, through an authentic connection with your body, yourself, and each other. You will make new discoveries changing your perspective and shifting your muscle memory. You will leave this workshop with “new eyes” recognizing the tiny details and solidarity in everything around you.

    Judit Györgypál was public education specialist, role play writer, artist, camps organizer, butoh and movement coach. She teaches weaving and dance for blind women; led workshops for children in orphanages and Red Cross; handwork for fugitive women in reception camp. She is also an active theatre educator. At the moment, she teaches Buddhism to 10-14 year olds, and runs a blog about philosophy and life.

    Read about the project

    Sound in the Silence is a way to find a new way of looking at the history of Europe, of our nations, states, regions and of transferring the past into our present lives.


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