Light in the Darkness

A trilateral dance theatre workshop
Wolfsburg 2017

From the 5th until the 11th of December the young people from Oświęcim participated in the second part of the Polish-German-Ukrainian dance theatre project “Light in the Darkness”. This time the group visited Wolfsburg and showed their play at the Antifa-Woche festival, organized by the IG Metall Wolfsburg.

The Polish and the Ukrainian participants were invited to Wolfsburg by the German part of the project group as well as the IG Metall Wolfsburg trade union. After a long trip the group started their intensive and interesting programme, which encompassed elements of a youth meeting, a cultural learning and an artistic seminar.

The town of Wolfsburg is famous for the Volkswagen factory, which is not only part of the town’s history, but also forms the foundation for its development. In the first days the international group visited the Autostadt and the famous museum of science Phaeno, where the participants could learn more about engineering and technology through play and interactive multimedia-based educational programmes. This was also a perfect opportunity for the young people to mix up and have fun together.

A very interesting experience for the participants was learning more about the history of the Volkswagen factory and its connection to the III Reich. Most participants from Poland and Ukraine heard it for the first time that the factory had been founded in 1931 and that during the National Socialist rule it had used the work of prisoners and forced labourers from, among others, Poland and Ukraine. Of particular interest was also the issue of dealing with the past. The participants could learn more about these and other matters on a guided tour around the exhibition dedicated to the history of the Volkswagen AG, which is situated in the historical bunkers within the factory.

Within the dance theatre workshop there was no lack of good humour, fascinating ideas and numerous exercises and rehearsals. The project group was joined by the TTW 1 group, which enriched the concept with new inspirations and made the group even more international. The crowning achievement of the group’s intensive work was the opening night (with three performances) for the Wolfsburg’s audience on November 9th. The performance about the counteraction of discrimination, humiliation and dehumanization symbolically took place on the 79th anniversary of the "Night of Broken Glass" - the anti-Jewish pogroms on November 9th and 10th, 1938, in Germany.

On the following day the group visited Berlin and discovered another for them unknown page of the city’s history, namely the life of Berlin’s Jewish community over the centuries. After the trip the participants were invited to a reception by the IG Metall Wolfsburg trade union, which supported the project financially and made its realization possible. The best news of the evening was the announcement of the third part of the project in Ukraine in summer 2018.

Nataliia Tkachenko, IYMC

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