|Third Generation – a theater piece of young Israeli writer and director Yael Ronen, which had been developed in 2008 with the support of the Berlin Schaubühne, Tel Aviv’s Habima National Theater and some funding of german institutions, sounds like an interesting experiment. It brings together a younger generation of three people, who all may trace involvement and/or intertwining of their people’s history with the current Middle East conflict. The peice “Third Generation” deals with the period of World War II and the clashes between the Israeli, Palestinian and German narratives as reflected by the third generation. Thus it is a real touchy issue worth to be courageously looked upon.||
Third Generation by Yael Ronen
|In this »work in progress« Ronen, together with her team and a company of Israeli, German and Palestinian actors analyses the Gordian Knot that characterizes these three nations. The participants come from very different family backgrounds. Some come from families where relatives were born on opposite sides of the divided Germany, or are either Muslim or Christian Palestinians who have Israeli passports and live in Haifa or Tel Aviv, or come from Jewish families with different origins – from Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.
The first and second generations have their own discourse about the Holocaust and the events in the Palestinian territory. They have quite a specific terminology; they think in terms of the categories of ‘victim’ and ‘perpetrator’. The third generation is experiencing a great discrepancy at the moment: on the one hand these events happened a long time ago historically; on the other hand they determine the lives and the identities of the third generation to such an extent that they cannot be ignored.
They didn’t experience the Holocaust or the expulsion from the Palestinian villages. They are no longer ‘victims’ or ‘perpetrators’; they have other positions, for which they need a new language and a new terminology. Every group has its own type of narrative and it isn’t always easy to say whether one is right and the other wrong, as each type of narrative is legitimate. The third generation simply needs its own language.(excerpt from cafebabel review)
Though the piece first had been shown at the Theaterfestival in Halle in 2008 and has been touring since then, it now is back to be shown in several places in Germany – for example this upcoming week in Berlin at the Schaubühne. Where after the unique Jenin’s The Freedom Theater‘s performance this weekend it will be the second event within a short period of time to give a voice – or as some newspaper put it – ‘give option to actions, which go beyond politics’ regarding the Middle East problematic.
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UPDATE: german podcast on “Dritte Generation”