Verständigung // Understanding - 60 Years ITI Germany

Anniversary Event

26th November // from 6 pm // Akademie der Künste, Pariser Platz 4, 10117 Berlin

According to its founding idea, the German ITI has supported the exchange of the performing arts worldwide for more than 60 years.

„The purpose […] is to promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts […] in order to consolidate peace and friendship between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding, increase creative co-operation between all people in the theatre arts.“

In view of the pervasive internationalisation in the field of theatre this mission almost seemed to be obsolete in recent years. In the face of current political crises and global tensions we discussed our mission, anew, with artists and members of associations and networks.

Schedule of Events

6 pmThe Audience Meet The Artists
7 pm

Welcome by Nele Hertling, Akademie der Künste

Welcome by Joachim Lux, President of ITI Germany,

Director Thalia Theater Hamburg
Keynote Speech by Joanna Warsza, Curator
Keynote Speech by Mohammad al-Attar, Playwright
8 pm  Discussion Rounds // 3 Rounds à 30 Minutes
with Nora Amin, Claudia Bosse, Chang Nai Wen, Christel Gbaguidi, Milo Rau, Kristina Stang (berlin mondiale), Regula Venske (PEN) and Arkadi Zaides
9:30 pmReception

Moderators: Dr. Thomas Irmer and Bárbara Santos



Artists' Biographies

Joanna Warsza
lives in Berlin and Warsaw and is a curator for visual and performing arts and architecture. She headed the so-called “Public Programme” of the Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg and curated the Georgian pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennial. She was also a co-curator of the seventh Berlin Biennial. She is currently preparing a reader on the subject of “Boycotts in Art” with the Sommer-Akademie in Salzburg. Warsza is a teacher at the CuratorLab of the Konstfack in Stockholm. She studied dramaturgy at the Warsaw theatre academy and at the theatre academy of the university of Paris 8.
More about Joanna Warsza at

Mohammad al-Attar
was born and raised in Syria and moved recently to Berlin. He is a playwright and dramaturge and also writes for numerous Arab news media. His recent work documents the Syrian Uprising. Al-Attar’s pieces are performed throughout the world. He also works with marginalized groups in the Arab region and helps others express traumatic experiences with methods of theatre pedagogy and storytelling. Al-Attar studied English literature and Theatrical Studies at the university in Damascus and Applied Theatre at the Goldsmith University in London.
More about Mohammad al-Attar at und

Nora Amin
is an author, performer, director and choreographer and has been the general secretary of the ITI in Egypt since 2015. She founded the independent theatre group “Lamusica” in Egypt. To date, she has created 35 pieces with this group. As an author, she wrote the first book on theatre and human rights in the Arab-speaking countries. A book about theatre, narration and trauma healing followed. Amin set up „The National Egypt Project For Theatre Of The Oppressed“ and its Arab network; she is co-founder of the Modern Dance Company at the Cairo opera. At present, she is a fellow in the „Interweaving Performance Cultures“ project at the International Research Center of the FU Berlin and also has a guest professorship at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Amin studied French and comparative literature at the university in Cairo.
More about Nora Amin at und

Claudia Bosse
is an internationally active director and co-founder as well as artistic director of the „theatercombinat“ performance collective. Her works resemble experiments. They are hybrids of installations, performances and spatial and choral choreographies. With a broad spectrum of theatrical means, Bosse investigates protagonists’ possibilities to intervene in public space, the relationship between scenic work and reality, and the performative power of language. Bosse also teaches at various universities, academies and acting schools. She studied directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst „Ernst Busch“ in Berlin.
More about Claudia Bosse at

Chang Nai Wen
was born in Taiwan and has been living in Germany since 2002, now in Berlin. She is a director, actress and intercultural mediator in the fields of theatre, film and live art. Her artistic works deal with the points of contact between different worlds of communication, whereby Chang’s special interest is in direct communication that transcends borders. She founded the independent theatre group „SISYPHOS, DER FLUGELEFANT“ in Berlin; its members change in accordance with the respective projects’ needs. Chang Nai Wen took part in the international forum of the Berlin Theatertreffen and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York and the international directors’ collective „WorldWideLab“. Chang studied directing at the Theaterakademie Hamburg.
More about Chang Nai Wen at

Christel Gbaguidi
was born in Benin and lives in Berlin. He is an actor, theatre teacher, director and international art and cultural manager. Gbaguidi supports adolescents, refugees and migrants in expressing their needs with the means of performing arts; with his work, he also promotes communication and exchange between Africa and Europe and draw attention to important issues in Benin’s culture that are ignored by the government and European organizations, such as the situation of fishing villages along the Route de Pêche. Gbaguidi is actively involved in various cultural and social organizations. He founded and directs „Arts Vagabonds Rezo Afrik Benin“. Gbaguidi studied at the Ecole Internationale du Théâtre du Bénin and the University of the Arts Berlin.
More about Christel Gbaguidi at

Milo Rau
is a theatre director, journalist and researcher. In his artistic work, he implements the re-enactment format. Historic events such as the Ceausescu trial, the “Pussy Riot” show trials or the terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s speech in court and its media reception are made tangible for the audience; in their abstract distance they can once again be critically examined. Rau’s pieces were often the subject of controversy. He writes for various newspapers and magazines, mostly for the NZZ. He is a teacher for directing, cultural theory and social sculpture at universities and art schools. Rau studied German literature, Romance studies and sociology; he wrote his dissertation on the aesthetics of re-enactments.
More about Milo Rau at

Kristina Stang
is a curator of Berlin Mondiale. Berlin Mondiale unites children, young people and young adults with a refugee background and arts and culture institutions in Berlin, thus bringing together the arts and cultures of the world. The creative encounters take place all over the city and across all genres, both in the refugee accommodation centres as well as in the cultural institutions. The principle of the collaboration is the forming of tandem partnerships between one cultural institution and one refugee centre.
More about Berlin Mondiale at

Regula Venske
is a freelance author, the general secretary of the German PEN centre and a board member of PEN International, which unites more than 140 organizations of writers from 101 nations. With its „Writers-in-Prison“programme the German PEN raises the plight of persecuted writers, journalists and publishers worldwide. It attempts to hold contact with them, informs the public about their fates and conducts, together with other human rights organisations, public campaigns or launches initiatives through diplomatic channels. When it comes to arrange safe shelter for persecuted writers the German PEN’s „Writers-in-Exile“ programme has a leading role among PEN centres worldwide. Regula Venske wrote her dissertation about the construction and critique of the masculine in contemporary German literature written by women. Her work, for which she received multiple awards, contains novels, stories, short stories, essays, experimental texts and uncounted contributions for radio and print.
More about Regula Venske at

Arkadi Zaides
was born in Belarus and emigrated to Israel. He has been working as a choreographer in Tel Aviv since 2004. He has been invited to show his works throughout the world. His focus is on the political and social situation in Israel and Palestine. He is one of the Israeli choreographers who integrates local politics in his artistic work and thus consistently initiates critical debate. He was a dancer in the Batsheva Dance Company and the Yasmeen Godder Dance Group, among others. He studied choreography at De Theaterschool in Amsterdam.
More about Arkadi Zaides at

In cooperation with the Akademie der Künste, supported by Die Beauftragte für Kultur und Medien and the Kulturstiftung der Länder.