Swiss-German theatre and film director Milo Rau (b. 1977) is one of Europe’s most influential and controversial political artists. In 2008, he founded his production company the International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM); in 2018, became artistic director of one of Belgium’s most important cultural institutions, Nederlands Toneel Gent (NTGent); and, in 2023, was named artistic director of the Wiener Festwochen, one of Europe’s prime theatre and performance festivals.
The two-day event “Can Art (Re-)Act?” will present two striking examples of Rau work as a political theatre artist. This event showcases Rau’s work as a theatre director and as an artist-activist organiser. The event will open with the North American premiere of Milo Rau – In Search of William Tell, a documentary feature exploring Rau’s unique take on Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell staged in 2022 at Schauspielhaus Zürich – home to such memorable performances as a 1939 anti-Fascist Tell and Schlingensief’s 2001 Hamlet featuring reformed neo-Nazis.
The second day of the event will demonstrate the director’s work as an organiser of political actions with one of Rau’s most significant projects to date, The Congo Tribunal (2017). This award- winning documentary depicts the six-day tribunal staged by Rau and his team in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Berlin, Germany, to hold Western multinational corporations, such as the Canadian gold mining firm BANRO, accountable for their role in years of economic strife and civil conflict. The showing of The Congo Tribunal will be accompanied by a post-show talk featuring local and international theatre scholars and activists to explore the question of what a production such as The Congo Tribunal tells us about contemporary conflict as well as discussing their potential impact.
A collaboration between Metro Cinema and University of Alberta, Dept. of Drama.