Political Theatre of the Future: Milo Rau Conference



The Milo Rau Trials”: This is the title under which Doc Alliance, the association of the world’s major documentary film festivals, celebrates “one of the world’s most inspired and controversial theatre directors’ work in film” in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Milo Rau is holding another, rather intellectual and selfcritical tribunal in Zurich – a tribunal against himself and his art.

Awarded honorary doctorates in Sweden and Belgium, Milo Rau is receiving 2022 what is one of his home country’s most important academic honors: He will host the “Zurich Poetics Lectures” from November 3 on. Rau, who will give his lectures under the title “Why Art?”, follows poets such as Nobel Prize winner Herta Müller, W. G. Sebald (“Austerlitz”) or German Book Prize winner Saša Stanišić.

In the three lectures, Milo Rau will descend to the biogaphical and esthetical sources of his work. The first (“Morality and Paralysis”) takes place at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, the second (“In Praise of Extremism”) at the Literaturhaus Zurich, and the third (“The Reconquest of the Future”) at the Zurich Kunsthaus, where Rau recently staged a shaman action.

“Art is questioned as a public space, as a place of responsibility where the aesthetic appears as a political act.” University of Zurich

Poetic Lectures




Last week, Milo Rau published an obituary in German, Swiss and Belgian newspapers on the philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour, who, according to Rau, “created a whole planet of knowledge, cross-references, ideas”. In five points, Rau explores Latour’s influence on the “collective idea of what man is, what the world is, and what knowledge is – and how everything is connected.”

Now, a multi-day congress in the USA is dedicated to the diverse approaches, the artistic and activist work of Milo Rau himself: “What idea of political or critical theatre is inherent in his works? What understanding of “world”, citizenship and global community is promoted in his projects?”, ask the organisers from the University of Cincinnati (USA).

Fifteen lectures by researchers from all over the world will critically examine all possible aspects of Milo Rau’s work: from his “aesthetics of attention” to “transmedial storytelling”, from Rau’s cinematic to his institutional work, from his tribunals and assemblies to the Swiss director’s books, manifestos and finally to the role of solidarity and intervention in Rau’s “Theatre of the Real”.

Conference Program