Schlachtfeld Wald

The forest is the protagonist of this project. It is not only the poetic setting of Grimm's fairy tales, romance and the German soul, it is also a battleground of the climate crisis. The forest is stylized as a savior and traded as the only true green technology - but it is also being decimated on a daily basis: From soy cultivation in Brazil to forest fires in the Mediterranean and bark beetles in the Harz Mountains. Do wind turbines, for example, have to be built in one of Germany's last primeval forests, the Reinhardswald in Hesse, for the necessary energy transition? Are we sawing at the branch we are breathing on or are we pursuing future-oriented energy and forestry management? The forest is suffering silently and very slowly. It has no human rights. It has no rights at all. It needs allies. Using the performing and visual arts, music, voice, video, body, technology and wood, we set out in search of a contemporary representation with the aim of filling gaps in knowledge and empathy. We invite people from politics, science and activism on this artistic journey.

In 2022, Flinn Works will work with musicians, performers, a scenographer, video artists and a consulting curator in two 10-day phases on approaches to artistic realization. In May 2022 in Potsdam-Groß Glienicke in the Sacrower See and Königswald nature reserve, and in November at Theaterhaus Mitte Berlin.

A project by: Kathrina Hülsmann (Violal), Marc Jungreithmeier (Video), Andi Otto (Music), Anna Peschke (Art), Katharina Pfänder (Violin), Dominik Steinmann (Scenography), Lisa Stepf, (Cello and Artistic Direction) Sophia Stepf (Artistic Direction) / Kathrin Meyer (Consultation), Sonia Dipi (Video Documentation), Alice Harrison (Production Assistant), Marit Buchmeier, Lisanne Grotz / xplusdrei Produktionsbüro (Management)

Funded by Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen von NEUSTART KULTUR


With process funding from the NEUSTART KULTUR program #TakeHeart of the Fonds Darstellende Künste, they had the opportunity to devote themselves artistically to the forest. “The topic has been in my drawer for almost a decade,” says Sophia Stepf. However, in the production contexts for independent groups, which are focused on premieres and touring, working outside the black box theater is hardly possible. “Process funding is a blessing in disguise.”

Finally, it was time to head outdoors for musical, theatrical and artistic research among the spruce, pine and beech trees. A team of seven artists - director Sophia Stepf, string players from Lisa Stepf's Quartet PLUS 1, a documentary filmmaker, a theater maker and Dominik Steinmann, a trained cabinetmaker who is familiar with working with wood. During ten days of research in Brandenburg, Flinn Works were able to observe a queer collective of forest workers felling eight pine trees on a private property. “It was incredibly performative,” says Lisa Stepf enthusiastically. “We interacted musically with chainsaws and chippers and improvised with Dominik on the milling machine,” says the cellist. The machine is amazingly musical and can produce a variety of pitches. “Mastering a cello and a milling machine is both a craft. We have that in common,” says Lisa Stepf, describing the connection at eye level between those involved in the research process. 

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