The 37th Duisburger Akzente Festival - NEAR AND FAR – 300 Years of the Port of Duisburg
Duisburg, 20.01.2016 | 300 years ago, in September 1716, the first port basin was built in Ruhrort. No one could have foreseen at the time that it would become the world's largest inland port and Europe's leading logistics hub. The 37th Duisburger Akzente Festival will acknowledge this unique success story from February 26 to March 13, 2016 under the motto "NEAR AND FAR – 300 Years of the Port of Duisburg. The festival, held by the city of Duisburg, will be supported by the partner "NRW State Government" and main sponsors Duisburger Hafen AG, Sparkasse Duisburg, GEBAG, and Haniel.
"We are proud and happy to support the tradition-steeped cultural festival Duisburger Akzente in 2016 on the occasion of the 300-year anniversary of the Port. The partnership has given us different points of view of the Port than we are accustomed to: our workplace as an arena of cultural involvement, the Port as a meeting place for diverse cultures and as a site that initiates future social developments. The 37th Duisburger Akzente Festival and its varied program provide impressive proof of how the Port, now with over 45,000 workplaces, is involved in the region, culturally as well," says Erich Staake, CEO of Duisburger Hafen AG.
As a cultural festival spanning many areas, The Akzente Festival clearly strives to go beyond a mere regional or economical retrospective in its program. Ports are not only transshipment points for goods. They are also places where people, ideas, and cultures meet. The 37th Duisburger Akzente Festival seeks to explore the results of these encounters and to trace the many images and associations people have of the Port. In about 100 events from the areas of theater, literature, the plastic arts, music, and more, the festival also tells stories about homesickness and wanderlust, landlubbers and old salts, parting and homecoming.
The poster for the 37th Duisburger Akzente Festival shows a wall of containers. Like no other object, the container has established itself as a symbol for ports, logistics, and the flow of goods. It transcends the boundaries of countries and continents and creates relationships between companies and people. Standardized in size and shape, it can only be distinguished by its colors and logos. Its various contents can only be seen when opened. "Containers are a lot like surprise eggs or grab bags," notes the Oberhausen communications agency Benning, Gluth & Partner, who developed the motif.
The "Akzente" will be opened on February 26 in the Duisburg-Nord park with the "Hafenzeit" concert given by the Klangkraft Orchestra. The symphony orchestra takes inspiration from daily life at a port with a program incorporating classical, jazz, and pop. The music will be supplemented by videos and texts recited by the actor Thomas Krause. Tenor Rainer Maria Röhr from the Aalto Theater in Essen will perform as soloist.
With 30 different shows, the festival will focus, numerically speaking, on the theater / dance / cabaret / performance category. At the heart of this category is top-class German-language theater in the "Akzente-Theatertreffen". Highlights include guest performances by the Vienna Burgtheater of Shakespeare's late work "The Tempest" the by the Hanover State Theater. Director Lars-Ole Walburg has dramatized the anti-war novel "All Quiet on the Western Front".
In terms of space, the heart of this year's "Akzente" will be beating in Ruhrort. Former shops and bars and public squares as well as cultural facilities will house over 50 projects from the areas of the plastic arts, theater, music, literature, and science. The "Heimathafen" festival center on Landwehrstraße 55 will offer a daily program and the opportunity to chat over a beer or coffee.
Ten spoken theater productions, an opera ("Ariadne on Naxos"), and a concert ("Symphony of Jazz" with the Chris Barber Band and the Duisburg Philharmonic) are on the program of the 2016 Akzente Theatertreffen. The highlight may very well be right at the end. On March 12, the Vienna Burgtheater will be bringing Shakespeare's "The Tempest" to Duisburg. Barbara Frey's spare production with only three actors has garnered high praise, particularly thanks to the skill of those very actors: Maria Happel, Joachim Meyerhof, and Johann Adam Oest.
Oliver Reese's adaptation of "The Tin Drum" for the Schauspiel Frankfurt (3/11) is also a triumph of acting prowess. Nico Holonics commands the stage in this solo performance. He both narrates and re-enacts the life of Oskar Matzerath. In addition to other guest performances, including those by the Schauspiel Hannover ("All Quiet on the Western Front", directed by Lars-Ole Walburg, March 6 and 7) or by the puppet and mask theater company "Familie Flöz" of "Haydi" on February 28, the Duisburg Theater will also be performing its own production. Director Michael Steindl is staging Ingrid Lausund's play "Bin nebenan" (premiere on 3/5), in which eight offbeat, isolated contemporary people fight it out with themselves and their environment.
The festival will also include dramatic performances outside the framework of the Theatertreffen. In his text version, director Olaf Reifegerste has created a pointed adaptation of Tankred Dorst's play "Herr Paul" in light of current developments in Ruhrort. His production will celebrate its premiere on March 3 in the "Lokal Harmonie" theater in Ruhrort. Further performances will follow on March 3, 11, and 12.
Actors Nils and Till Beckmann, together with musician Peter Eisold, approach the subject of "travel" in the works of writer and adventurer Blaise Cendrars in the project "Der Übersee Container oder Cargo Cendrars" (March 5 and 6 in the "Heimathafen" festival center). Max Bilitza chose a navigational term as the title for his choreographic installation "Dead Reckoning", which revolves around the tension between life plans, self-chosen coordinates, and lack of orientation (2/29 and 3/1 in the "Heimathafen").
The "Akzente" in Ruhrort
The fact that the "Akzente" will be centered in Ruhrort for the second time after Capital of Culture Year 2010 is in line with this year's theme. Sigrid Sandmann's light/word projection "Tausendfensterhaus" will be impossible to overlook. Thoughts, memories, and catchwords from Duisburger citizens on the topic of "port" formed the basis for the projections, which the artist will be casting across the entire facade of the building. Jörg Mazur's "Ein Hoch aufs H2O" will transform the glass corridor between two "Haniel" buildings on Harmoniestraße into a giant virtual aquarium full of diverse marine animals. Other visual attractions will include the "Orangelicht" exhibit by artists from the "hafenkult" studio in the former Karstadt building at Neumarkt and the video, cloth, and rope installation "transartlantico" by Jens. J. Meyer will provide an artistic rendition of a sailing trip from Hamburg to Buenos Aires.
The "Heimathafen" festival center
The "Heimathafen" festival center on Landwehrstraße 55 is intended as an event location with a daily program and a meeting place for artists and the public. For the duration of the Akzente Festival, the tradition-steeped port tavern will be revived and re-designed with the help of a staged designer. In addition to the productions already mentioned under "Theater", "Dead Reckoning" and "Der Übersee Container oder Cargo Cendrars", actor and voice artist Rufus Beck will be performing (2/27). With musical accompaniment by Tom Liwa and Guiseppe Mautone, he and his "voice of the century" will evoke the Beluga whale that swam up the Rhine in 1966. The Hamburg-based trio "Hafennacht" will be performing "Chansons mit Seegang" with songs from Hans Albers to Rio Reiser (3/3). Strings of the Duisburg Philharmonic and a Greek/Turkish ensemble build a musical bridge from Buenos Aires to Piraeus in a program entitled "Liebe, Stolz und Sehnsucht - Tango und Rembetiko" (3/13). "Fern-Wehen" (3/2) is the title of an evening with poetry and video developed by authors Joris Hartmann from Hamburg ("Bordsteinsequenzen") and Stan Lafleur from Cologne ("Rhein-Meditationen") from their current books in conjunction with Duisburg author Lütfiye Güzel ("hadi hugs"). Cabaret artist Kai Magnus Sting and singer Jupp Goetz will be meeting for a memorable evening of spontaneity entitled "Pötte, Puff und Paukenschläge" (3/9).
The Duisburg Public Library will introduce distinguished authors such as Renan Demirkan, Feridun Zaimoglu, and Alex Capus in the conference center "Der kleine Prinz". Actor and author Renan Demirkan has collected texts from 33 years in her current book, "Migration – Das unbekannte Leben", which she will present on March 2. In "Siebentürmeviertel" (3/7), Feridun Zaimoglu tackles the subject of German emigration to Istanbul from 1933 to 1945. Following in the footsteps of "Treasure Island" author Robert Louis Stevenson, Swiss author Alex Campus, known for his unusual readings, will be reciting his "Reisen im Licht der Sterne" (3/10). Despite chronic respiratory problems, Stevenson defied the tropical climate for years, experienced a passionate love affair, and even found pirate treasure.
Christian Brückner is practically a regular at the Duisburg Public Library. This year the legendary voice actor and audio book speaker will dedicate himself to authors of the beat generation like Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs along with his son, guitarist Kai Brückner.
The Lehmbruck Museum is introducing the remarkable Czech media artist Jakub Nepraš in an exhibition entitled "State of Flux". His video sculptures "Landscape" and "Ayahuasca" harmonize the natural element of water with modern technologies. The exhibition "Neue Horizonte 16 – Dynamik im Fluss" by the German Inland Waterways Museum displays objects from artist, inventor, and scientist Paul Schatz that are related to Rhine navigation. The exhibition will be supplemented by a research conference with young scientists from the Paul Schatz Research Laboratory and artists.
Fog, Bars, and Schimanski – Films, Lectures, and Excursions
The Port of Duisburg is the perfect haunt for fictional characters. "Schimanski" investigated all around the port basin, drank, cursed and dreamed in the watering holes of Ruhrort. On "Schimanski night" (3/5), the "filmforum" will be screening four classic episodes with the "Tatort" inspector. A curry wurst is included in the entry price. The true story of the Port will be documented by a "Zeitreise (time-travel)" on March 9 with historical films from the past nine decades. The evening, hosted by filmforum's managing director Kai Gottlob, will be accompanied by the silent film pianist Joachim Bärenz. The Akzente film series "Hafen im Nebel" shows why ports are so popular as filming locations, from "Great Freedom No. 7" to "Le Havre".
The 80 or so bars that allegedly populated the small town of Ruhrort alone proves that a port is always a home to thirsty souls. Dr. Andreas Pilger from the Duisburg city archive will by delving into the gastronomical history of the district on March 8. On March 11 and 12, journalist Dagmar Dahmen, known for her "Schimanski tours", will show what is left of the scene today in her "Kneipen-Kiez-Tour".
All information available at www.duisburger-akzente.de or the info line 0203 94000.