The Power of Powerlessness

With Jérôme Bel, Ivo Dimchev, Vlatka Horvat, Emke Idema, Edit Kaldor, Jorge León, Tiago Rodrigues, musiktheater bruit! / Houseclub, Susan Neiman, Zachary Oberzan, STO Union / Nadia Ross, David Weber-Krebs and others

Power is a relational term. It exists, above all, wherever relations are asymmetrical. The powerful and those who exercise power are pitted against people who feel exploited and disadvantaged. Nowadays one can also get the impression that the way power is exercised has fundamentally changed over the last ten years. At least since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the collapse of the financial markets, ‘security’ has become an all-important maxim for political and economic decision-making. Our everyday lives are permeated with systems of control, while politics seems to be nothing more than administering the events that produce the global flows of money, which in turn are becoming less and less transparent. Is it possible to live and act autonomously in such a world? 

With the series “The Power of Powerlessness,” HAU Hebbel am Ufer is focusing on the widely-sensed phenomenon of powerlessness. Using the means of theatre, the festival will open new perspectives which do not view powerlessness solely as weakness but also use it as the starting point for strategies of empowerment.


Supported by the Capital Culture Fund Berlin.