With HATE RADIO, the most recent production of the International Institute of Political Murder
, for the first time a theatre project has been invited to the KUB Arena for an extensive presentation. Even before its official premiere at the Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), in Bregenz preview performances of the play will take place in the original stage design. In addition, by means of the research material displayed and in the context of discussions, lectures, and film-screenings, the institutes work in general will be introduced.
The IIPM was founded in 2007 by Milo Rau with the aim of intensifying and theoretically reflecting on the interchange among theater, fine arts, film, and research in the area of re-enacting (disquieting) historical events. The basis for these attempts at staging incomprehensible moments in history that, properly speaking, cannot be staged, is provided by extensive research in archives as well as interviews with contemporary witnesses. The theatrical, cinematic, literary, and artistic installations of the IIPM confront the audience with historically relevant events while situating the latter within broader current-day discussions. The re-enactment, The Last Days of the Ceausescus (2009/10) was, among others, nominated for the Berlin Theatre Festival and invited to the Festival dAvignon.
The IIPMs most recent project, HATE RADIO, engages with the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. It was nurtured and accompanied by the most popular radio station in the country, Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), with perfidious psychological finesse and ingenious techniques of manipulation. In the months of April, May, and June of 1994, approximately eight hundred thousand to one million members of the Tutsi minority and thousands of moderate Hutus in the central African country were murdered. If one had looked for a simple and effective target to prevent one of the most atrocious genocides since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. journalist Philip Gourevitch wrote, the radio station RTLM would have been a good start.
With indescribable cynicism, the staff at the popular station had prepared the genocide for months like an advertising campaign. The stations program consisted of pop music, exciting sport reports, political pamphlets, and basely contemptible incitement to murder. The riffs and grooves of the latest Congo bands and the most aggressive racism united in the studio measuring just a few square meters into one of the darkest laboratories of racist ideology. HATE RADIO allows the inflammatory radio station to go on air once again within a realistic installation of authentically reproduced backdrops; survivors of the genocide play on stage.
At the projects center stand the re-enactment of an RTLM program and its presenters three extreme Hutus and the white Italo-Belgian, Georges Ruggiu. How racism works, how people are denied their humanity in the most literal sense this will be made experienceable by means of a stage installation reconstructed on the basis of documents and eye-witnesses accounts. The walls of the rebuilt radio studio serve during the preview performances as projection surfaces for a video installation showing selected stories of former perpetrators and victims. The audience here will not only be confronted with what flows from racist ways of thinking but, at the same time, they will become sympathetic witnesses of its destructive and indelible consequences.
A comprehensive volume of materials as well as a series of evening events with guests supplement HATE RADIO to make it into a broad, interdisciplinary intervention that raises questions concerning the presentday relevance and forms of appearance of racist violence in Europe and Africa, and its representability in art. With this project, the KUB Arena continues its intensive engagement with political and social questions whereby, in the case of HATE RADIO, the processual form of presentation and communication corresponds to its resolute commitment to try out new and unconventional formats.