The Gerty Spies Literary Prize 2020 goes to Milo Rau, as it was announced yesterday. “The jury chose Milo Rau because he combines art, literature and politics like no other,” the jury’s statement said. The prize was last awarded in 2017 to the writer Ralf Rothmann. Previous winners include Navid Kermani, Juli Zeh, Günter Wallraff, Eva Menasse and Christoph Hein.
Milo Rau is the first director and playwright to be awarded. “Art and theatre have always been political, from the theatre of Greek antiquity to Friedrich Schiller and Bertolt Brecht. Augusto Boal, Thomas Bernhard, Christoph Schlingensief or Heiner Müller also stand for this connection. Today this is the director and author Milo Rau,” is how the jury justified its choice. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on May 24, 2020 – subject to further developments regarding the corona crisis.
Meanwhile, last week Milo Rau had to interrupt work on the third part of his trilogy of antiquities – “Antigone in the Amazon” – due to the outbreak of the disease in Brazil. Rau and the IIPM are collaborating with the Brazilian Landless Movement on this project, for which the director published a detailed essay in various magazines in German, French, Italian and Dutch. “The philosophy of the coming era will emerge from the forests, from the favelas and banlieues, from occupied houses and monocultures,” the director writes in the article, which has been heavily debated in social media.