Lotte van den Berg [NL]

Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey
Cold Turkey


A workshop in Kinshasa

We often think we have to understand life to be able to live. That’s not the way it works. We are already living, but we don’t understand anything. We often think we can only be together with others when we know, understand and appreciate them. That’s not the way it works. We are already together. Pretending to understand the other leads to simplification. There may be great potential in the acceptance of incomprehension, in genuine estrangement.

– Lotte van den Berg

In the spring and summer of 2010, the Dutch theatre-maker Lotte van den Berg spent four months in Kinshasa, the Congolese capital, together with several fellow artists. Cold Turkey is their first report on the time spent there: still moving between two worlds, full of the hectic life of the Kinshasa metropolis, they share the stories, impressions and pressing questions they brought back. It’s a performance in motion that is different every night.

OMSK, in association with the Congolese K-MU theatre, organised an open workshop in the heart of Kinshasa. At twilight every Friday the group presented work in progress and open rehearsals. In continuous dialogue with each other and those watching, OMSK explored how people watched, and how they look at the world while in its midst. In their collective looking and questioning, they encountered a way of thinking, doing and being that elicits confusion and wonder. Now, immediately after their return, OMSK is attempting to tell the story. Lotte van den Berg focuses on the question of whether it is possible to see things through someone else’s eyes. Can we imagine how someone else experiences the world? Can we share a perspective? Cold Turkey is the first step, and more performing arts and visual arts projects will be developed from it. Part of the material is being incorporated into a production that will be on at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in May 2011.

Lotte van den Berg (ex-Toneelhuis) has presented a series of extremely visual performances that have been staged both in theatres and the public space. In 2008 we presented her Braakland on the site of Thurn and Taxis. Since 2009 she has been operating from her own location, which she calls ‘OMSK’, in the dockland area of Dordrecht. She re-examines man’s rapidly changing relationship with the world, and in doing so often makes use of the unlimited possibilities of ‘le deuxième monde’.

Cold Turkey is part of the OMSK Dordrecht Kinshasa 2010/2011 project | Omsk Dordrecht Kinshasa Brussel Cold Turkey is
Lotte van den Berg, Floor van Leeuwen, Jellichje  Reijnders, Willem
Weemhoff, Anoek Nuyens, Rachid Laachir, Freija Wouters, Rianne van
Hassel, Bart Kusters | coproduced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussel), Compagnie
Dakar, Theaterfestival Boulevard (‘s-Hertogenbosch), Internationale
Keuze van de Rotterdamse Schouwburg, K-Mu Thêàtre (Kinshasa),
Steirischer Herbst (Graz), Theatre Embassy, Zürcher Theater Spektakel