Learning Feminism From Rwanda (2020)

Learning Feminism From Rwanda (2020)

Rwanda has already accomplished what women in Europe are still fighting for: 61 % of parliamentarians are female. In Germany only 31 % of parliamentarians are women. This performance looks at the extraordinary rise of female representation in all parts of Rwandan society over the past 25 years due to gender quotas at the base of politics. This is juxtaposed with a critical view of Germany which has had gender equality written into its constitution since 1949. This raises a global question: if this rapid change was possible in Rwanda, why not in Germany and the rest of the world? A Rwandan and a German performer compare numbers and realities from both countries, using a drum as the central symbol of power. They also look behind the curtain: If women get empowered, how do men deal with losing power and what are the battles at home? Who washes the dishes and takes the children to school? How slowly or quickly does culture and mindset change due to quotas? What are the instruments of change?
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, three performers from Kigali will be present on video and one German and one Rwandan performer live on stage. With passionate speeches, protest choreographies, and stories of change and stagnation, all driven by an electronic soundtrack, the five performers follow this Rwandan fast-track empowerment via shining statistics through the glass ceiling and beyond. What can Europe learn from Rwanda?


A Flinn Works project.
Including a research phase in Rwanda in January 2020 where I recorded the Inanga Player Sophie Nzayisenga.

Artistic Direction: Lisa Stepf & Sophia Stepf
Devised and Performed by: Yvette Niyomufasha, Natacha Muziramakenga, Wesley Ruzibiza, Nirere Shanel, Lisa Stepf/ Cornelia Dörr
Direction: Sophia Stepf
Video Design & Scenography: Marc Jungreithmeier
Choreography: Wesley Ruzibiza
Composition: Andi Otto, Recordings Inanga: Sophia Nzayisenga
Costume Design: Tatjana Kautsch in collaboration with Cédric Mizero, Maximilian Muhawenimana, Afriek, Ibaba Rwanda and Louise Mutabazi
Video Kigali: Kivu Ruhorahoza
Light Design & Technical Direction: Susana Alonso
Assistant Director: Annekatrin Utke
Production Management Rwanda & Dramaturgy: Louise Mutabazi
Production Management & Company Management Flinn Works: Gustavo Fijalkow

A Flinn Works Production in Cooperation with EANT Festival/ Amizero Kompagnie
Co-produced by Theater Freiburg, Sophiensæle Berlin, Goethe-Institut Kigali, Kaserne Basel, HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg – scène européenne
In co-operation with Staatstheater Kassel, Theater Tuchlaube Aarau, FFT Düsseldorf
Supported by Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Kulturamt der Stadt Kassel, Gerhard-Fieseler-Stiftung, Between Bridges

Sophiensaele Berlin (29.10.2020 (Opening) / 30.10. / 31.10. / 1.11.)
Theater Freiburg (6.11. / 7.11. / 21.11. / 22.11.) Theater Tuchlaube Aarau (11.11. / 12.11.) Kaserne Basel (13.11. / 14.11.) Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg (17.11. / 18.11. / 19.11.) Staatstheater Kassel (24.11. / 25.11.) FFT Düsseldorf (27.11. / 28.11.) HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste  (3.12. / 5.12. / 6.12.)

Teaser 'Learning Feminism from Rwanda' (German)