World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 20 June

Being a refugee means to be part of a broader discourse of systemic racism.
The condition of a refugee is not to have a status, hence no rights. And even receiving a status only means to be a second rank citizen without equal opportunities.
These conditions are dictated by policies of racist discrimination and therefore they are pointless and inhuman.

This short film documents the making of Our Footsteps. A Theatre Performance. Migrants’ narratives as an artistic affirmation of our human dignity and a call for political awareness.
We feel World Refugee Day is the right moment for this documentary film release.
As refugee lives matter, this is our contribution. It’s the evidence that it’s time to stop seeing the migrant as problematic or troublesome. It’s time to go beyond the politics of social segregation as mass distraction.

A documentary by Masood Banozadeh
Subtitles by Maral Jefroudi
Subtitles editing by Ohannes Karakas
A project by Stichting Vrolijkheid, IIRE and AstaroTheatro
http://www.ourfootsteps.nl

Please come to the Refugee Lives Matter demonstration. We will be there too

The window of AstaroTheatro is blossoming

AstaroTheatro
The window of AstaroTheatro is blossoming.

This plant ‘starred’ two years ago in Monsieur Teste by Paul Valéry.
Impressive how this life managed to survive so long in its little vase. Apparently it feels at home in the window of Amsterdam’s smallest theatre, amidst the energy of so many other theatre practitioners around it.

As the blossoming of these bright colourful flowers provides a sense of inspiration and continuity, it’s also a reminder of what theatre is all about: tenacity, obstinacy, dedication, resurrection and eternal activism.

In these pandemic times where every aspect of social life, every human contact must be carefully and painfully reconsidered, theatre stands naked in front of huge challenges.

Theatre as we know it in AstaroTheatro is a community ritual.
It is assembly, it is presence, it is an unceasing flow of energy.
In AstaroTheatro, even in its spatial limits, theatre has always been the most collective, shared act imaginable with a high human density.

Moreover: what is the ethics of ‘producing theatre’ in covid-19 times?
How can we make theatre while the world is sick, people die, toxic capitalism grasps its chances to profit from the crisis and health workers fight daily between life and death after decades of being neglected by austerity policies? Shouldn’t we, the theatre practitioners, take a step back and stop in silent respect in the face of the ‘real’ tragedy of the disease?

At the same time, how to forget that theatre is also urgency, necessity? And given that theatre is presence, then it needs to be present not only ‘before’ but also right now. Theatre can be more real than reality… More necessary than reality itself.

The Hamletic dilemma of  ‘to make or not to make theatre’ is somehow odious. And AstaroTheatro has decided to go beyond this dualism in the name of necessity and urgency. Also now we need artistic expression as ‘an affirmation of our human dignity and a call for political awareness’. The work that AstaroTheatro has done for years in creating a community, promoting awareness and participating to Our Footsteps Collective for making theatre with refugees and migrants will not stop because of the virus. Theatre is and will remain an act of protest against isolation and individualism. Right here right now.

Eternally grateful to this blossoming for this moment of reflexion

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Picture by Tatjana Todorovic

 

 

 

Our Footsteps at Pakhuis de Zwijger

Our Footsteps at Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam
Our Footsteps at ‘Week tegen racisme-festival sta op tegen racisme 2020″

Thursday 19 March

Pakhuis de Zwijger
Piet Heinkade 179 Amsterdam 
21:00 Our Footsteps Theatre Performance
Info& Reservations
Info & Reservations


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Migrants’ narratives as an artistic affirmation of our human dignity and a call for political awareness

Twenty migrants/refugees artists or performers in ten languages. The result of five months of playful improvisational rehearsals, where through self-representation, migrants share stories of their journey and living in the Netherlands facing a long-lasting uncertainty after having crossed many, colonial, borders.

A project by AstaroTheatro, IIRE and Stichting Vrolijkheid

 

Our Footsteps at Studio/K Amsterdam

Our Footsteps at Studio/K Amsterdam
Migrants’ narratives as an artistic affirmation of our human dignity and a call for political awareness

Twenty migrants/refugees artists or performers in ten languages. The result of five months of playful improvisational rehearsals, where through self-representation, migrants share stories of their journey and living in the Netherlands facing a long-lasting uncertainty after having crossed many, colonial, borders.

Saturday 8 February
Studio/K
Timorplein 62 Amsterdam

19:00 Oriental Dinner
20:Our Footsteps Theatre Performance
Dinner Reservations: 020 – 692 04 22 // price: €5
Info and Tickets
Info and Tickets (Facebook event)

 

On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco

On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco
A Monologue by Anton Chekhov

Friday 24 January, 20:30. AstaroTheatro 
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“It is what it is, it’s all the same to me”, Ivan’s prologue.  Is that ostensible latency the main element of Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin, the character of the monologue “On the harmful effects of tobacco”?

The plays of Chekhov have definite intensity and the fire of action, but not in an external outline rather than in their internal structure.  Under this ostensible latency and inertia of his characters, is hidden a multifarious and complex activity which is given with original virtuosity and deep knowledge of the psychical temper of every character. Possibly because these characters are mirroring his personal psychical status: the tyrant father, the solitude of his childhood, the loneliness of the boring small town where he grew up. This play is not a comedy either a drama. It is an excellent narrative of an ordinary person, a psychography given in a literary way which reflects the still and depressive life of the delusional society of Tsarist Russia.

The way Ivan is “moving” looks like he lost his orientation in life. There is a force inside him that makes him unmovable. He is giving a lecture on the harmful effects of tobacco though he is smoker himself.  Why?  So many unfulfilled dreams, Don Quixotic ambitions condemned to fail into the dull routine of daily life.

In our interpretation of the play there is something “new”, like the sense of hope that a new born baby is giving.

We welcome you to discover it!

Starring: Roberto Bacchilega
Direction: Vasiliki Koutrouli
Video Teaser: Melanja Palitta / BalansLaB
Picture by Cenk Dövyap 
(Entrance by Donation)

 

a Reflection on Democracy

a Reflection on Democracy

Friday 13 December, 20:30
AstaroTheatro. Event here

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Imperialism, colonial projects, free-market economic policies, union busting, war…all these things, and many more, have been justified and keep on being justified day after day under the name of Democracy.
Democracy, this word that is always lauded, claimed by right-wing parties and by left-wing ones just as well. They all bring it in their name as something worth fighting for, never really mentioning what they mean by it. This word, that in reality means Power to the people is more often simply interpreted as “delegate and stop caring, go vote and then in four, five years let’s see again”.
‘Cause if we are living under the people’s rule, and therefore our own rule, why is it that there is a constant feeling of loss of autonomy and self-determination over our own lives? It comes necessary to reflect on this word, on this form of government that is so rarely practiced in full. To reflect around what Democracy even means in the first place and what we mean when we say we want a democratic system.
Who gets to be included in a democratic system and who is left out? Can a real democracy co-exist with a market-ruled capitalist system? On this evening, we are going to screen a series of interviews with contemporary thinkers, activists and common people on the concept and the implications of democracy, we hope that this will serve as a basis to reflect together on Democracy.

Screening and Open discussion
Free entrance

Marx is Back at IIRE

MARX IS BACK (a play on history)
“Why have I returned? to clear my name!”

AstaroTheatro presents a monologue by Howard Zinn adapted and performed by Roberto Bacchilega
Marx is Back copy
Thursday 5 December, 21:00
IIRE International Institute for Research and Education
Lombokstraat 40 Amsterdam

Karl Marx has had enough of seeing his revolution taken over by opportunists organizing each time a new priesthood and a new hierarchy, with excommunications and indexes, with inquisitions and firing squads. He is disgusted by media declaring him dead again and again. Karl Marx is back to remind us that his ideas are more alive than ever. He revisits memories of his courageous life and revolutionary theories. We learn about his family, his struggles and the boils on his arse.