Our aim is to introduce a completely new field of research – interweavings of theatre cultures in terms of globalization today and in the past. Such processes of interweaving can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century. But today they have become conspicuous particularly in the international composition of theatre, opera, and dance ensembles as well as in the collaboration of artists from different cultures in productions. Most notably, interweaving can be recognized in the international theatre festivals: spread all over the world, they bring together productions from different parts of the world and present them to culturally diverse audiences.
Processes of interweaving already possess an explicitly political and social dimension – irrespective of their particular contents. They apply and test a certain politics of the future in culturally diversified societies, allowing for the aesthetic experience of successful integration and, at the same time, posing and tackling the question of how cultural identities are brought forth, stabilized, and destabilized. The aesthetic, ultimately, is the political. In this regard, theatre is to be investigated as a cultural model.
We are proceeding from the assumption that such processes of interweaving do not contribute to the homogenization of cultures but rather enhance diversification.
They are to be found in European, Asian, African, North and Latin American theatres. Therefore they will be investigated in cooperation with scholars of theatre and culture from the respective cultures as well as with internationally renowned experts in the field. Each year, up to ten fellows will be hosted.
The Freie Universität offers an ideal environment for such a research institution. Its wealth in area studies and the various art disciplines as well as its long standing cooperation with the House of World Cultures, Berlin's numerous theatres and operas as well as with the Goethe Institute and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange) will greatly contribute to the success of the research institution. Moreover, it will strengthen and sharpen the university's profile as an International Network University.
The research center has started its work in August 2008.
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