Season 2008 From afar

The moment in which Man became a stranger to himself and the Other has pre-occupied writers and philosophers since the beginning of time. Cain murdering his brother Abel signalled the dramatic end of the paradisiacal state of innocence; and according to the first book of Moses, chapter 11, building the Tower of Babel pre-determined the estrangement of Man: the divine answer to human hubris – a tower built to rise up to the heavens – fails catastrophically.

And the Lord said / Behold / the people is one,
and they have all one language / and this they
begin to do / and now nothing will be restrained from them,
which they have imagined to do.  Go to / let us go down /
and there confound their language / that they may not understand
one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad
from thence up on the face of all the earth / and they left off
to build the city / Therefore is the name of it called Babel /
because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth /
and from thence did the Lord scatter them
abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Lutherbibel 1545

Language brings together, language separates, language creates reality. In this season of the RuhrTriennale, authors, musicians and directors tackle questions that oscillate between individual and communal alienation. Whether linguistic distance is a curse or an opportunistic, whether divine judgement leads to chaos or creativity – whatever the answer, it is the Arts that afford the greatest contribution to understanding between peoples and cultures; with a delicate, unerring and knowledgeable look FROM AFAR.