We live in a society driven by the idea of progress; democratic progress, scientific progress or technological progress. A progress meant to bring us all social justice, wealth and wellbeing, a new world or even a new planet. Nicoleta Esinencu’s new work delves into this idyllic idea of progress, exposing its layers of violence. The progress of the capitalist system that relentlessly develops new forms of exploitation and colonization. The progress of technology that controls and punishes but never protects nor supports. The progress of violence in the relations between the West and the East, violence that has definitely only flourished during the pandemic when in western societies migrant workers were exploited. Supported by the hammering sound of work tools and machine parts, Nicoleta Esinencu and the collective spălătorie tell the story of the people of Eastern Europe who are forced to work under ignoble conditions in the west in order to survive. The performance draws upon the traditions of agit prop and “Lehrstücke” (didactic plays) and, using the motto “Enjoy Killjoy”, makes content-based references to theorists such as Sara Ahmed.
Since 2012 HAU Hebbel am Ufer is in continual collaboration with Nicoleta Esinencu and teatru-spălătorie, most recently in 2019 for the commissioned work and HAU production “Abolirea familiei / The Abolition of the Family”. After numerous guest performances, the HAU commissioned work from 2022 returns to Berlin.