Kötter/Israel/Limberg (Berlin)

Gold & Coal

landscapes and bodies
Daniel Kötter ⁄ Sarah Israel ⁄ Elisa Limberg (Berlin) / Artists in Residence
Featuring: Darlane Litaay (Jayapura), Ikbal Lubys (Yogyakarta), Agustina Helena Kobogau (Timika), Hermann Heisig (Leipzig/Berlin), Anna Zett (Leipzig/Berlin)
For the second time, Schauspiel Leipzig will be able to fund a project with the support of the Doppelpass Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation. Together with our partners PACT Zollverein in Essen, the artist collective Daniel Kötter / Sarah Israel / Elisa Limberg and other coproduction partners in Indonesia, the DR Congo and Estonia, the Residenz will explore transformation processes in various present and former mining regions.
“Landscapes and Bodies” is conceived as a five-part performance series in cooperation with musicians, performers, theorists and mining workers, who will explore local and global impacts of the extraction of natural resources on the landscapes, environments and communal living of the people affected. Each piece is seen as a case study and will translated during the working process into immersive spatial experiences in the theatre – in the form of performances, films and audio theatre. The titles of the project’s components – “Gold”, “Coal”, “Water”, “Coltan” and “Oil Shale” – refer to the aggregation states and the processing mechanisms of the natural resources. They serve both as specific reference for theatrical processes of work and transformation and as metaphors for the investigation of basic issues of local and global coexistence.
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Landscapes and Bodies # 1: Gold

The project component “Gold” will investigate the forms of living and spatial organisation in the region of the largest copper and gold mine worldwide in Timika, West Papua, Indonesia.  Since the 1960s, the US-American mining corporation Freeport-McMoRan has been transforming the 5,000 metre-high Grasberg (from the Dutch “grass mountain”), originally a holy place for the indigenous Amungme-population, into a mine of several kilometre’s breadth, perforated by thousands of kilometres of shafts and tunnels. The mine is rigorously protected against all local resistance and secured by Indonesian police and military. At the same time, more than 19,000 illegal miners sift the mining waste, which is full of mercury, in the river bed for gold. And the largest connected mangrove forest in the world is threatened by Freeport-harbour, from which industrial gold and copper dust are exported. Together with the Indonesian experimental musician Ikbal Lubys and the Papuan performer Darlane Litay, “Gold” will explore these three spatial practices.

Landscapes and Bodies # 2: Coal

The brown coal deposits in the area around Leipzig were an important source of energy in the GDR. Many villages had to yield to the huge excavators, their inhabitants were resettled in specially constructed socialist blocks in Leipzig’s periphery. The adverse effects that mining and its associated industries had on health and environment were not taken into account until years later. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, several mines and industries have been abandoned. Today, the renaturated Neuseenland (new lake land) of Leipzig is a popular local recreational area and its newly built residential complexes on the banks of artificial lakes are favoured by middle-class newcomers to the area. At the same time, the concessions for the still existing mines have been renewed, protests from citizens of the region notwithstanding. Together with citizens from Leipzig, former and current miners, energy researchers and architects, “Coal” will explore the simultaneity of past and present energy spaces in the region surrounding Leipzig.
Premiere on November 22, 2019


Admission: 7 pm / 7:30 pm  / 8 pm / 8:30 pm, duration ca. 2 hours


Artistic Direction: Kötter/Israel/Limberg
By and with: Hermann Heisig, Agustina Helena Kobogau, Darlane Litaay, Ikbal Lubys, Anna Zett
Film: Daniel Kötter
Room: Elisa Limberg
Dramaturgy: Sarah Israel
Sound: Marcin Lenarczyk
Produktionsmitarbeit und Regieassistenz Leipzig: Melanie Albrecht
Location Manager Papua/Indonesien:: Yonri Revolt
Production: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro mit Leoni Grützmacher
Production Indonesia: Ethnictro
Translation Bahasa Indonesia in Leipzig:: Maria Joanita Godjali

Funded by the Doppelpass Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Co-Production Fund of the Goethe-Institut.