Markus Öhrn / Institutet / Nya Rampen

Markus Öhrn, Institutet, Nya Rampen / Niskanpää, Berlin – Malmö, Berlin – Helsinki, Berlin
“We love Africa and Africa loves us”
A theatre play about post-colonial fantasies of omnipotence and European family structures
World premiere

We love Africa and Africa loves us

We love Africa and Africa loves us

© Markus Öhrn

Past Dates

Artist talk
06 & 11 October 2012, following the performance

“Daddy” is caught in a crisis. The family has managed to escape the horrors of Joseph Fritzl’s cellar, now daily routine dominates life. The division of social roles has been weakened by middle-class, westernized ways of life: daddy still might be head of the family, the provider and protector of women and children, but he has been ‘castrated’ by society’s lack of recognition for his role as patriarch and feels restricted in the implementation of the family project. We love Africa and Africa loves us takes up where Conte d’Amour left off. While Conte d’Amour described the story of a vertical “stepping down” in the cellar of romantic love, in this new production by Markus Öhrn [Niskanpää/Berlin], Institutet [Malmö/Berlin] and Nya Rampen [Helsinki/Berlin], the family has managed to make it to the ground floor. From here – a kind of ground zero of modern democracy – its members try to find external justification for their internal psychology. Western images of Africa as an unknown, wild, authentic place in need of aid conveniently lend it the ‘otherness’ the white family needs to redefine and inspire its conventions. We love Africa and Africa loves us projects ideals of white nuclear families onto the dynamics involved in humanitarian aid for the so-called Third World. This drama about the relationship between helpers and the helped turns post-colonial and racist attitudes into hegemonic, patriarchal fantasies of omnipotence. A projection of inner chaos onto a distant continent called Africa – and a journey to the heart of European darkness.

Direction / stage Markus Öhrn
Script/research Anders Carlsson
Composition/music Andreas Catjar
Costumes Pia Aleborg
Camera/light Volker M. Schmidt
Technician Patrick Tucholski
Production Alexa Graefe (Institutet), Tina Pfurr (Ballhaus Ost)
Artistic coordinator Pamela Schlewinski

Elmer Bäck, Anders Carlsson, Jakob Öhrman, Rasmus Slätis

Co-produced by Institutet, Nya Rampen, Ballhaus Ost / Berlin, Baltic Circle Theatre Festival / Helsinki, Garage X / Vienna, Inkonst / Malmö, Südpol / Lucerne
Supported by the Capital City Cultural Funds, Swedish Arts Council, Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, Nordic Culture Point, Swedish Author’s Fund, City of Vienna MA 07