Face to Faith is an international cooperation project supported by the Creative Europe programme that discusses the importance of faith in European societies. Seven theatres andinternational festivals from the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Israel, Poland and Ukraine investigate faith through conferences, discussions, new plays and performances.
From the open call of the Pod Palmovkou Theatre within the Face to Faith project
Czech society has long been considered one of the most atheistic in Europe. But are we sure we don’t need some form of faith? What replaces religious faith in the modern world? Can we live without faith? Or are we creating new irrational deities? Do we make do with our faith alone or do we have a need to share it? Who are the new gods and who are the new preachers? Monetarism? Social networks? Fundamental social transformation? Will truth prevail? Faith moves mountains. Believe and your faith will heal you. Believe and it will be given to you.
We are glad that by participating in the Face to Faith project we are opening new opportunities for Czech artists and enabling them to enter the international theatre field. If Czech artists decide to submit a project for our theatre, it is a condition that at least one artist from abroad is a member of the production team. As we are a drama theatre, we prefer the following points: a project for four actors or actresses with set design and costumes appropriate to the proposed focus of the project. As the cost of transporting the scenic component on foreign tours is limited, the scenic design of the project must match this. We prefer projects with an established story and dramatic situations.
We look forward to concepts that fit into these themes:
– Conspiracy Theories and Fake News
– Faith versus common sense
– New Martyrs and Preachers
– Chaos versus order
From the winning project Alina Neguțoiu in the Face to Faith programme at Divadlo pod Palmovkou
1538 | Alin Neguțoiu | FACE to FAITH: Open Call forProposals for Pod PalmovkouTheatre
A famous couple who focus their campaign on denigrating other influencers decide to show how inhumane this generation has become. They go live, pretend killing themselves. Nobody intervenes. Does being right bring any relief? Do you still exist once you’re an outcast of the socia lmedia world? A 21 year old boy repeatedly takes of drugs during a livestream in order to prove that he is, indeed, hardcore. Followers cheer. He dies. We hear multiple reactions from the chat. Intertwined, two characters break the realistic narrative by discussing stories and behaviours that stem from.
Project description, artist statement & indigitative budget (including artist fee/s)
“There is no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” This is what David Foster Wallace tells a group of soon to be graduates about what he refers to as “the trenches of day-to-day adult life”, emphasizing the fact that the reason most people choose to have faith in deities is that worshipping concepts such as beauty, intellect or financial prosperity will eventually leave you despondent and hollow. We never have enough of what we worship, so we have to be careful what we choose to invest our faith in because, just like in Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”, our object of worship will gain power, will feed on our faith.
Gaiman chose to represent the new gods, the ones people give most to, through their faith as concepts such as Globalization or Technology. We disagree with Gaiman’s vision and see it as quite naive, even. We believe that, beyond deities that are worshipped through spirituality, Jean Baudrillard is the one that actually identified the deity that is most powerful, most invested by people’s faith: the simulacra. How is Baudrillard’s simulation represented in the 21st century? Through images fabricated in social media, we craft simulacras of ourselves. What began as simply representing our lives through images we promote online then we took the opposite route as time went on. Now the images we create and promote online define us and our lives and not the other way around. Sartre also wrote about this idea back when defining ourselves was through other people’s eyes and how they labeled us. Now, the label is self-manipulated. Real life doesnot dictate the label, but the label dictates real life and we have to subordinate to it. So if it used to be “Hell is other people”, we say that nowadays it’s “Hell is simulacras”, and simulacras are the image of ourselves. The image took the reins of the real. The image no longer serves us, but we have to serve it. The image is the new god.
These ideas led us to wishing the performance we propose to deal not just thematically or dramaturgically but also visually with our concerns. We want the space in which the actors will play, along with the scenic solutions, costumes and acting to be tied to our main theme: image and publicity as our century’s god. Our wish is to have a realistic rendition but we do not want it to be clear what part of the story is based on real life events and what part of the story is made up. Actors would play on a structure that is intertwined with screens on which images thematically related to and associated with in akin to Eisenstein’s montage of attractions would be played.
Besides the requirements a usual theatre could provide, we would need: screens, special lights (neon, UV lamps, blacklight, LED light fixtures), a smoke machine, a projector and a projection screen (optional). We would also need a technical crew to assist us in building the structure on which the actors would play.
Have you presented the proposed project elsewhere prior to making this submission?
Does your proposed project have existing financial support from other cultural organizations and/or funding bodies?
Are you eligible and willing to seek financial support for your travel costs fromlocal/national funding organisations, institutions or project partners?