After a short Corona-related break, we have resumed our work and are planning several productions and a new edition of the NORDWIND-Festival with the title Soft Utopia from December 1-13, 2021 at Kampnagel Hamburg. The conceptual work on the NORDWIND-Festival began in the middle of the post-pandemic period. A demand for accessibility, as well as the importance of solidarity, caution and consideration and the need for softness have accompanied and shaped the working process. For the first time, festival curator Ricarda Ciontos worked with an international team of artists, curators, activists and thinkers: Duduzile Mathonsi, Vanasay Khamphommala, Carolin Jüngst, Lars Werner Thomsen and Sindri Runudde who have shaped the programme both with their own artistic stage productions, and with their respective expertise and perspectives and have turned it into a carefully composed overall concept that makes identity politics, awareness of the importance of alliances, and international solidarity a lived practice. The festival focuses on perspectives of Black and BIPoC, disabled and non-disabled people and those of representatives of the LGBTQIA+ scene that challenge and transform the hegemonic view of performance. The title Soft Utopia stands on the one hand for demands for change in terms of interpretative sovereignties, power structures and structural intersectional discrimination, and on the other hand for the strategy of softness with which these changes are approached persistently and sustainably in the way that may be necessary. And since softness sometimes means hard work, there is a special focus on creating soft, accessible and safe spaces this year.
Another NORDWIND project for 2021/22 is the reinterpretation of Orpheus and Eurydice, in collaboration with Erna Ómarsdóttir, Gabriela Fridriksdóttir, Valdimar Jóhansson, Skúli Sverrisson, Bjarni Jónsson and the Iceland Dance Company, with excerpts from mucic by Jóhann Jóhannsson. Performances will take place from December 17-19, 2021 at the Theater Freiburg, and as an extension of the NORDWIND-Festival from January 27-29, 2022 at Kampnagel Hamburg.
With the support of the Ministry of Finance and for Europe (Brandenburg) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, NORDWIND initiated a cooperation project in Lusatia with the artist Lars Ø Ramberg at the beginning of the year. In dialogue with locals and experts in and from Lusatia, Studio Ramberg has done intensive research over the past few months, created a so-called mapping and developed core ideas for an initial sketch. The presentation of this preliminary project and the subsequent dialogue took place on October 1, 2021 in Studio Ramberg. Parallel to Ramberg’s process, NORDWIND, in cooperation with the filmmaker Sylvie Kürsten, started to shoot a documentary film project entitled LausitZukunft, which portrays the structural change in the region and the people who help shape it.
In 2019, NORDWIND dedicated itself to the fourth wave of feminism and the critical re-reading of the feminist movement of the last decades under the titel Exploring Blankness. After the successful cooperation with the Literaturhaus Berlin for A Nielsen Evening in October / November 2019, a first project on this will be the multi-part project Women in Battle, which will present authors and performers from Germany and Norway whose works are of great relevance in the current gender-critical discourse. The series of events will kick off on October 25, 2019 in the Literaturhaus Berlin with fxtrouble, Sofia N. Srour and Nancy Herz, Ingvild Lothe and Marta Breen. On November 7, 2019, the series will be continued with the event Flügel in Flammen, an evening dedicated to the Norwegian writer Dagny Juel with Anne Tismer and Lars Brandt. From December 5-15, 2019, the new edition of the NORDWIND-Festival will take place at Kampnagel Hamburg at the end of the year. From October 11-18 the virtual presentation and the third part of the Women in Battle series will take place in cooperation with the Norwegian and Canadian embassies and supported by Norla Norwegian Literature Abroad.
On February 8, 2019, NORDWIND, in cooperation with TIFF (Tromso International Film Festival) and Babylon Berlin, presented Nils Gaup’s intense, Oscar-nominated adventure drama OFELAS / DER FÄHRTENFINDER – the first Sami feature film – accompanied by an ensemble of top-class young musicians, Aigin follows one young Sami hunter whose family was massacred by the Chuden. Aigin swears revenge. The project was already shown as part of Songs of a melting iceberg – Displaced without moving in December 2017 at Kampnagel.
A Madame Nielsen Evening was all about the exceptional artist, performer, writer and musician Madame Nielsen. Nielsen imported democracy into Iran, was buried and lived without papers on the streets of Copenhagen, was part of the famous Wooster Group around actor William Dafoe, has her own band The Nielsen Sisters and in 2013 wrote the novel den endløse sommer (Endless Summer), which was enthusiastically received by the press and audience endless summer. On November 16 / 17, 2018, the Literaturhaus Berlin turned into a Nielsen universe with performances, readings, discussion, exhibition, installations and a late night concert of Nielsen Sisters. A project by NORDWIND in cooperation with the Literaturhaus Berlin, which heralded next year’s focus in 2019 on female voices in art, gender definitions and questions of transgression.
The 2017 edition of NORDWIND dealt with questions about the unity, fragility and multiplicity of identity constructions. Under the title Songs of a melting iceberg – Displaced without moving, artists developed critical positions on concepts such as nationalities, cultures and identities in the context of performances, concerts, exhibitions and a discussion program in Berlin and Hamburg in autumn 2017. For the first time, as part of Songs of a melting iceberg – Displaced without moving, artists and scientists from the Arctic, the North, the African region, Berlin and Hamburg were invited to work together artistically and thus create a place of hybridity , in which they could distance themselves from stereotypes and attributions and formulate and exchange their own perspectives and artistic ways of working. Together with them, NORDWIND tried to ask about a changing identity and cultural structure and to create an open place of community and interaction for artists and viewers.
NORDWIND was founded in 2006 by Ricarda Ciontos and has since grown continuously as a platform and festival. Initially it was only dedicated to the presentation of the Nordic countries, but now the festival functions more as a platform for meeting Nordic and international artists.