Production Details / Press Releases
Adham Hafez’s new work is a displaced and revisited reenactment of the Berlin Conference, taking place in the future year of 2065. By then the world is coming to an end, decades after a third world war. There is only one solution: to redistribute political powers in the world to save what remains. A conference of African scientists, politicians and diplomats gather in Berlin to announce the new world order, giving birth to a series of new colonies.
Adham Hafez lives in Cairo (Egypt), where he develops dance performances, concerts, lectures, installations and site-specific projects. He studied contemporary dance and Opera at the Modern Dance School of the Cairo Opera House, and did his masters in choreography at the Amsterdam Theatre School in the Netherlands. The majority of his productions have been developed with the Adham Hafez Company in Egypt, in the Arabic Speaking Region and in Europe. In addition he taught performance theory and contemporary dance at the American University in Cairo, and is currently finishing his masters in Political Science under Bruno Latour, at SciencePo (Paris). Hafez is the founder and director of HaRaKa, Egypt’s first research, development and archival project in the field of dance. The choreographer and composer is also artistic director of the TransDance Festivals, and has initiated the publication “Cairography”, which publishes reviews about choreography and performances studies in Egypt. Adham Hafez was awarded numerous prizes and grants for his work, and his latest lecture-performance series was presented at the MoMA (NYC) earlier this year.
Libretto by Adham Hafez, in collaboration with Otto Von Bismarck, the Queen of the United Kingdom, King of Portugal and others
In the Name of God Almighty.
Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India; His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia; His Majesty the Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, etc, and Apostolic King of Hungary; His Majesty the King of the Belgians; His Majesty the King of Denmark; His Majesty the King of Spain; the President of the United States of America; the President of the French Republic; His Majesty the King of Italy; His Majesty the King of the Netherlands, Grand Duke of Luxemburg, etc; His Majesty the King of Portugal and the Algarves, etc; His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias; His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway, etc; and His Majesty the Emperor of the Ottomans,
WISHING, in a spirit of good and mutual accord, to regulate the conditions most favourable to the development of trade and civilization in certain regions of Africa, and to assure to all nations the advantages of free navigation on the two chief rivers of Africa flowing into the Atlantic Ocean
Article 2 All flags, without distinction of nationality, shall have free access to the whole of the coastline of the territories above enumerated, to the rivers there running into the sea, to all the waters of the Congo and its affluents, including the lakes, and to all the ports situate on the banks of these waters, as well as to all canals which may in future be constructed with intent to unite the watercourses or lakes within the entire area of the territories described in Article 1. Those trading under such flags may engage in all sorts of transport, and carry on the coasting trade by sea and river, as well as boat traffic, on the same footing as if they were subjects.
Article 5 Foreigners, without distinction, shall enjoy protection of their persons and property, as well as the right of acquiring and transferring movable and immovable possessions; and national rights and treatment in the exercise of their professions.
Article 6 All the Powers exercising sovereign rights or influence in the aforesaid territories bind themselves to watch over the preservation of the native tribes, and to care for the improvement of the conditions of their moral and material well-being, and to help in suppressing slavery, and especially the slave trade. They shall, without distinction of creed or nation, protect and favour all religious, scientific or charitable institutions and undertakings created and organized for the above ends, or which aim at instructing the natives and bringing home to them the blessings of civilization.
Christian missionaries, scientists and explorers, with their followers, property and collections, shall likewise be the objects of especial protection. Freedom of conscience and religious toleration are expressly guaranteed to the natives, no less than to subjects and to foreigners. The free and public exercise of all forms of divine worship, and the right to build edifices for religious purposes, and to organize religious missions belonging to all creeds, shall not be limited or fettered in any way whatsoever.
Article 34 Any Power which henceforth takes possession of a tract of land on the coasts of the African continent outside of its present possessions, or which, being hitherto without such possessions, shall acquire them, as well as the Power which assumes a Protectorate there, shall accompany the respective act with a notification thereof, addressed to the other Signatory Powers of the present Act, in order to enable them, if need be, to make good any claims of their own.
Article 35 The Signatory Powers of the present Act recognize the obligation to insure the establishment of authority in the regions occupied by them on the coasts of the African continent sufficient to protect existing rights, and, as the case may be, freedom of trade and of transit under the conditions agreed upon.
“Excerpts from the General Act, signed at the Berlin Conference, 1884–1885”
Cast & Credits
Concept, choreography, composition: Adham Hafez
Performance: Mona Gamil, Alaa Abdellateef, Fatma Kamal, Lamia Gouda
Costume research: Redaa Gharib, Lamia Gouda
Costume: Nermine Said
Make-up research and design: Zeinab Khashab / Zozouba Studios
Training: Mona Gamil, Marie Al Fajr
Production management: Seif Abdel Salam, Redaa Ghareeb
Research: Lamia Gouda, Marilena Roussoglou
Sound composition: Zuli, Adham Hafez
Music notation: Nader Hafez
Stage and equipment: Samir Kordy
Visualization and lighting design: Nurah Farahat
Graphic design: Ahmad Aiyad
Costume making: Mohamed El Sabakhawy, Wafaa Latif, Sobhy El Mohamadi, Nefisa Sayed
Accessories: Redaa Ghareeb, Hala Ghareeb
Choreography notation: Fatma Kamal
Business consulting: Mohamed Hafez
Production: Adham Hafez Company 2014-2015
Coproduction: HAU Hebbel am Ufer.
Supported by DorkyPark | Constanza Macras, Dr. Yehia Gouda, and Wessam Abou El Seoud, Zozouba Studios.
“Return to Sender” is funded by the TURN Foundation of the Federal Cultural Foundation.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU3)
Tempelhofer Ufer 10
Tickets: +49 (0)30 259 004 27
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):
University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)