For over a quarter of a century, "UNITED for Intercultural Action", a network of hundreds of anti-racist organizations from all around Europe, has been compiling a list registering 40,555 deaths of refugees and migrants who have attempted to reach Europe since 1993. Such disasters are usually handled with a standardized almost automatic institutional response: pathologists and forensic experts are deployed to collect medical and biological data from bodies and from living relatives in order to enable identification. However, this procedure has not been followed for most of the victims of the current migration crisis at the gates of Europe. At the bottom of the sea, on the shores, and inland, a mass of decomposed bodies and body parts tells the story of a collective whose ghost hovers over European territory. For their research, Arkadi Zaides and his team delve into the practice of forensics to conceive a new virtual database documenting the remains of those whose death is to this day mostly unacknowledged. This growing archive, this map, this site named NECROPOLIS is stretching in all directions across space and time, interrelating the mythologies, histories, geographies, movements, and anatomies of those who have been granted entrance to the city of the dead.

Credits & Collaborators

Concept & direction Arkadi Zaides Dramaturgy, text and voice Igor Dobricic Research and choreography assistant Emma Gioia Sculpture Moran Senderovich 3D modeling Mark Florquin Avatar animation Jean Hubert Animation assistant Thibaut Rostagnat Sound design Aslı Kobaner Grave location search Ans Van Gasse, Amber Maes, Arkadi Zaides, Benjamin Pohlig, Bianca Frasso, Carolina-Maria Van Thillo, Doreen Kutzke, Elisa Franceschini, Elvura Quesada, Emma Gioia, Frédéric Pouillaude, Gabriel Smeets, Giorgia Mirto, Gosia Juszczak, Igor Dobricic, Joris Van Imschoot, Julia Asperska, Juliane Beck, Katia Gandolfi, Luca Lotano, Maite Zabalza, Maria Sierra Carretero, Mercedes Roldan, Myriam Van Imschoot, Myrto Katsiki, Pepa Torres Perez, Sarah Leo, Simge Gücük, Sunniva Vikør Egenes, Yannick Bosc, Yari Stilo Administration & production Simge Gücük / Institut des Croisements Co-produced by Theatre de la Ville (FR), Montpellier Danse 40 Bis (FR), Charleroi Danse (BE), CCN2 Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble (FR), les ballets C de la B(BE), Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer (DE), La Filature – Scène nationale de Mulhouse (FR) Residency support STUK (BE), CCN – Ballet de Lorraine (FR), Workspacebrussels (BE), PACT Zollverein (DE), WP Zimmer (BE), Cie Thor (BE) Support for experimentation RAMDAM, un centre d'art (FR) International distribution Koen Vanhove & Anna Skonecka / Key Performance

Articles & Reviews

Bodies as Evidence

by Sandra Noeth, for the Tanz Im August magazine, 1/08/20

With this research-based performance, Zaides once again looks at the role played by bodies in current crises – from the movements of migrants and borders to debates around state violence. Between artistic, activist and deeply personal perspectives, Zaides deals with the blind spots and gaps in our own and collective narratives, and with how choreography can be effective outside the theatre as a documentary and symbolic practice.