As soon as it starts, the alarm goes off. Anke Buettner, director of the Monacensia, has just opened the press conference for the “Female Peace Palace” festival and thanked the director of the Kammerspiel, Barbara Mundel, for the great cooperation. Then the first mobile phone rings. And another and another, left, right, behind, everywhere. The federal government’s test alarm that there is no danger can be read on the displays. And what is annoying on the one hand fits quite well on the other hand: After all, the joint project “Female Peace Palace” is also intended to draw attention to important issues in an unmistakable manner.
The topic couldn’t be more topical: “Theater and Resistance in Times of War” is the subtitle. The “Female Peace Palace” is particularly about the demands and the international struggle of women – bundled in four new theater productions, a symposium, a youth camp, podcast, blogs. It is important for Buettner and Mundel not to see the festival in isolation, but as part of their long-term strategies. One wants to establish a “kind of feminist historiography,” says Buettner, under the catchphrase #femaleheritage there is already a lot to be found on the net. And Mundel adds how important it is to open up to the city and, for example, to honor women like the former actress Therese Giehse as well as a current director like Nora Abdel-Maksoud: “This is Munich now!”
The festival wants to make a difference in several respects. According to Mundel, it should range from “historical voices” to the present day, to questions such as: “What is this feminist foreign policy actually about?” The much-discussed foreign policy of Minister Annalena Baerbock does not come out of nowhere. It was first formulated more than a century ago at an international peace congress: more than 1000 women from 16 nations traveled to The Hague in the middle of the First World War in 1915 to discuss topics ranging from international law to rape and to make demands. In view of the burning topicality, as shown by wars and trouble spots from Ukraine to Iran, such a meeting or “assembly” should now be convened again, on April 21st and 22nd. It is also international and is supported, for example, by ten grants to activists from all over the world.
However, the connection to art should be important at the end of each day of debate. And the Kammerspiele offer something new in addition to revivals (e.g. of the “Bavarian Suffragettes”). In the premiere of “Anti War Woman” on March 31, director Jessica Glause will deal with female Munich role models from the past, from women’s rights activist Anita Augspurg to doctor Hope Bridges Adams Lehmann. In “Green Corridors” (April 14), the Ukrainian author Natalia Vorozbhyt will use black humor to address the vulnerability of women in war. From Istanbul comes the performance “Halide” about the controversial freedom fighter Halide Edip Adivar (April 20), in a further intervention the African-American women’s and civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell is honored (April 14).
That’s not all: Angela Aux and Su Steinmassl, for example, made a film about the writer Annette Kolb, young people can register for a “Peace Palace Camp” during the Easter holidays (April 11 to 15), and a podcast by Fabienne Imlinger is already online. The director of Monacensia particularly likes a quote from this, and it probably sums up the intention of the festival quite well: “We all make history.”
Female Peace Palace, Festival, March 31-April 23, info below muenchner-kammerspiele.de/fpp