“Against global fascism”: Milo Rau stages “Antigone in the Amazon”

“When confronted with fascists, there are only two options: their future – or a future without them.” These were the words of Milo Rau last weekend in his newspaper column, which has accompanied his dramatic work as a logbook for almost eight years now. Following his productions of “Orestes in Mosul” in the former capital of the Islamic State and the activist Jesus film “The New Gospel” in the refugee camps of southern Italy, both of which generated worldwide debate, Milo Rau and his team will travel to Brazil’s Amazon basin to mount their project “Antigone in the Amazon”.
There, on an estate occupied by the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), they will collaborate with indigenous people, activists and actors from Brazil and Europe in a re-creation of Sophocles’ classic tragedy: as a bloody clash between traditional wisdom and global turbo-capitalism, as an epos of humanity’s struggle against its self-inflicted decline into greed, delusion and hubris. Because with the assault of Brazilian agribusiness against the earth’s largest contiguous primeval forest, stridently supported by President Bolsonaro, not only is the “green lung” of the planet threatened with its ultimate destruction – but so too are the peoples who live there, along with their millennia-old traditions.
“It’s time now to proclaim our truth,” as the indigenous activist and actress Kay Sara says in the press kit for “Antigone in the Amazon” – the first indigenous woman ever to play the role of probably the most famous resistance fighter in the tragedies of classical literature. “In this battle, four women will speak through me – the figure of Antigone, me as a person and an artist, as a woman and as a native,” Sara continues. The performance will reach its climax in a re-enactment of the largest massacre of landless farmers by Brazilian police, at the location of the crime itself: in November 2020, on a federal highway through the Amazon that the production will occupy for the occasion.
You will find more on the political and artistic background of the project – and its continuation in Europe and Brazil – in the press kit or in the recently published volume “The Art of Resistance” from Verbrecher Verlag. Performance dates for all touring plays by Milo Rau, who has just been distinguished with an honorary doctorate from Ghent University (Belgium), can be found on the websites of IIPM and NTGent.
“Think global, act local”: An interesting new portrait of Milo Rau’s current work, in which he also talks about the background of “Antigone in the Amazones”, can be found under the following link.