The Odyssey (3 hours)
The Odyssey – a theatrical investigation freely based on Homerian motifs
One of the most pressing problems facing our society at present is that of refugees, people who leave their home country for a variety of reasons in search of help, security, and a new start. And most of them come to us because of an idea: the idea of Europe. Europe is more than a common economic area and common external borders. Europe has a common system of values which starts with human rights and cultural similarities. It is absolutely true that this will change the very core of our society. But there are achievements that we can agree on, that make us who we are and are therefore part of our identity. To this end, the Platform of European theatre academies starts a theatrical investigation with the purpose of exploring this question of cultural unity. We do not want to leave this research to sociologists; we are interested in the attitudes of young people who are currently about to join the cultural sphere.
The structure of the theatrical presentation is oriented around Homer’s Odyssey.This is because it is about a journey. It is about not arriving. It is about the longing to get somewhere that promises seclusion and about the constant obstacles and defeats along the way. The Odyssey describes the dangers that lie outside our cultural landscape. To come home to Europe is to feel safe and to return to your cultural identity. Each of the eight theatre academies tackles one of the islands of the Odyssey. They describe archetypal conditions that are present in many human contexts. Europe no longer has a unified culture, but rather an amalgamation of different, strongly distinctive cultures. Part of the work is to bring out the special and unique traits of these cultures.
Many people hope that Europe can be different, especially young people who long for stronger roots. This can only be achieved with a vibrant culture. And when people are conscious of their own culture, they are no longer fearful of foreign cultures, but understand them as enriching.