SPAfrica (Julian Hetzel & Ntando Cele)
11 May 2023 until 16 February 2024
Julian Hetzel and Ntando Cele join forces to explore the limits of empathy – the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. What if empathy doesn’t change or overcome power structures but reinforces existing privileges? SPAfrica reveals the problematic mechanisms and hidden racism of its working.
About SPAfricaSPAfrica introduces a two-fold gesture about extracting ‘liquid empathy’ and builds upon the transaction of resources between Europe and Africa – water for tears and tears for water.
On the one hand, drinking water from the sub-Saharan regions is imported into Europe: SPAfrica – the world’s first ’empathy drink’. On the other hand, tears are farmed at the heart of Europe and transferred to the source of the water in Africa. The project juxtaposes the exploitation of natural and emotional resources, exposing neoliberal strategies in the search for alternative raw materials.
In their new creation, Hetzel and Cele question how intangible assets such as identity and cultural background are capitalised on. In the international art market, the cultural background and the identity of the protagonists have become valuable resources for value creation. Is trauma the new gold of the arts?
More informationMore information about SPAfrica is available here.
This production is supported by Performing Arts Fund NL.