On June 20, 2018, World Refugee Day, the British daily newspaper The Guardian released a list registering 34,361 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 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 & CollaboratorsConcept & direction Arkadi Zaides Dramaturgy Igor Dobricic Administration & production Simge Gücük / Institut des Croisements International distribution Julia Asperska & Koen Vanhove / Key Performance Co-produced by Charleroi Danse (BE), Ecole Urbaine de Lyon (FR), RAMDAM, un centre d'art (FR), Theatre de la Ville (FR) Residency support STUK (BE), CCN – Ballet de Lorraine (FR), Workspacebrussels (BE), PACT Zollverein (DE), WP Zimmer (BE)
For all our Flemish and Dutch speaking friends, the Belgian magazine Etcetera has released an article by theater scholar Esther Tuypens discussing the use of empathy in performing arts. The article analyzes mechanisms of emotional identification in Arkadi Zaides’ creation Archive as well as in Milo Rau’s Empire. It is available online→
How can we rethink the documentary in art in terms of content, form and method? The School of Speculative Documentary is an interdisciplinary space for an encounter that seeks to question the documentary act. Creators take the floor to discuss uncertainty and guesswork, to confront the unfixable holes in their work and the messiness of reality.
What influence do images have on migration policies? How do dictatorial regimes produce their imagery? Is there an ethical way to document war zones? USAGES GÉOPOLITIQUES DES IMAGES is a new publication that sets to examine these issues through the works of various contemporary artists. The book compiles the writing of twelve contributors, among them is Frédéric Pouillaude, whose essay examines Zaides' practice over the past years.→