By Elisabeth Nehring
06.05.2015 / Deutschlandradio Kultur
What is Europe made of? This is the question Rimini Protokoll seeks to answer with their latest interactive performance.
What is Europe? A geographic delineation, a cultural identity, a confederation of nations? Or an abstract notion in constant transformation? In "Home Visit Europe ("Hausbesuch Europa"), Rimini Protokoll investigates how much of Europe lies in the individual.
The fifteen guests that Rimini Protokoll invites to each house call are strictly speaking strangers, but by the end of the afternoon (or evening) they will have become very well acquainted. Home Visit is a five-level parlour game – this time at an ample table in a charming one bedroom in Berlin's Neukölln neighbourhood. Level 1 and 2 are devoted to personal questions, printed on cash register paper emitted from a small machine: Who makes a living with the work they do? (Please stand up!) Who has the feeling that they've already hit it big? (You stand up too!) Who is afraid of the future? (Raise your hand!) Who has already denied their true identity? (Why?) Or: Who feels more like a European than a citizen of their home country?
Level 3 is about cooperative decision-making: The group is asked to be silent for a while, and the decision to break the silence can only be made together. (Who will be the first to raise a hand to break the silence, and who refuses to reach consensus, even if the majority already has? Interesting psychology!)
Factual Knowledge about the EU and Questions of Solidarity
In level 4 teams are formed; they play with – or against – each other to score as many points as possible (in level 5, those with the most points will get the biggest pieces of the cake, which already smells delicious). But knowledge of hard facts about the EU (or lack thereof) isn't the only way to collect points; knowledge about the other players can also be useful (should the players who believe that they've already hit it big in life really get another point? YES or NO?)
There are questions about solidarity, willingness to compromise and responsibility, interspersed with the history of the European Union. These two levels are not always related, but in spite of loose ends in the dramatic composition, "Home Visit Europe" is a psychologically fascinating and highly entertaining parlour game.
Translation by Justina Bartoli