Milo Rau / NTGent [CH/BE]

Compassion The History of the Machine Gun


09.11 – 10.11.2018

The fate of refugees disconcerts us all. Many intellectuals and politicians have declared their solidarity with the suffering of those drowning on Mediterranean beaches or with the victims of civil wars and epidemics in Central Africa. The crises and disasters of our age remain ever-present in social media feeds, on TV, and in the press.
In Compassion. The History of the Machine Gun, Milo Rau and his team travel to the political hotspots of the age: the Mediterranean refugee routes from the Middle East and the areas affected by the Congolese Civil War. This is a semi-documentary double monologue – based on interviews with NGO workers, religious, and the victims of war in Africa and Europe – that consciously navigates conflicting terrain: how can we bear the misery of others and why do we look at it? Why does one death on Europe’s doorstep affect us more than a thousand deaths in the Congolese Civil War? This production not only explores the limits of our compassion, but also the limits of European humanism.

• With his International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM), Milo Rau makes gripping films and theatre productions that blend art, history, and politics. He has previously presented Hate Radio and Five Easy Pieces at the Kaaitheater. Starting in the 2018-2019 season, Rau will become artistic director of NTGent.

direction Milo Rau | performance Els Dottermans & Olga Mouak | dramaturgy Stefan Bläske | research & assistant dramaturgy Mirjam Knapp | translation Han Kerckhoffs | set & costume design Anton Lukas | video & sound Marc Stephan | light design Erich Schneider | production NTGent | premiere Boulevard Festival 2018