No Woman's Land - full performance 1 hr 15mins
In 1945, Rippel’s Grandmother; Lucia was violently expelled from her place of birth, Brzeznica, Silesia.She walked 220 miles to Pulspforde, Germany with her two small children. In 2015, Garton and Rippel retraced her footsteps, undergoing a physical endurance in order to gain a level of embodied understanding of a migratory experience. The embodied experience became a dramaturgical devise for the creation a large-scale performance work. During their walk, developments of the European refugee crisis dramatically brought the ‘then’to a ‘now’, a historical story in a current place, where survival, identity and migration became an urgent currency of discussion.
The NWL performance was staged publicly in 10 UK venues between 2015-2018. During the performance, performers (and spectators), walked on treadmills through projections of archival and recent footage of migration. Through viscerally representing migration, the performance and documentary aimed to produce a kinesthetic empathy with the physical demands of escape and provide an ontological ground for disseminating historical and political knowledge of forced maternal migration.
Created in collaboration with Digital Artist, Barret Hodgson, and Musician, Matt Marks, the work takes its audience on a rhythmical trek through digitally projected past and present landscapes of the post-apocalypse. Emulating the border crossings that Lucia walked and the duo retraced; the digital media and performance text crisscrosses between then and now, between Poland and Germany. A Weimar Kabarett framework is employed; showcasing a series of actst hat allow the performers to embrace ‘gallows humour’ as a mechanism to discuss challenging truths. The performers are dressed as men for entrainment but also to avoid rape, keep jobs and keep children alive.
The performance sold out across UK theatre venues and received 4 star reviews.