Moments of intensification of what keeps coming up in the smaller, ongoing formats in terms of ideas, talking points, questions and desires have been taking place since 2014 in the form of the Cheers for Fears Festival.
Always accompanied by the vision that it is more than a festival, namely a beginning, an invitation to self-empowerment to move from the given curricula to collaboration. Where nothing has to be and much can be.
Thus, the first Cheers for Fears Festival started in March 2014 with workshops, presentation and talks at the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr; thereafter, festivals at production houses such as the Theater Oberhausen, the FFT Düsseldorf or the Cologne TanzFaktur followed until 2019. At the festivals, we discuss what it means to make political theater, how we escape the classic dichotomy between representative and performative forms of presentation, and what hybrid practices of artistic work can look like in concrete terms.
The auftakt festival for staged texts was launched in 2016 by the Cologne-based literary initiative Land in Sicht and the mobile academy Cheers for Fears. The festival’s mission is to make contemporary texts a catalyst for artistic encounters and to bring artists from various disciplines into dialogue with authors. Over the past four years, young authors and artists have come together at various locations in Cologne for an intensive phase of work. In a short festival period – usually four days – four teams of artists each worked on the realization of a text by an author. The result is audio pieces, audio walks, scenic works, video installations, websites and much more. In addition to the presentation of the artistic works, the opening festival included readings by the authors and formats for artistic exchange and getting to know each other. In 2018, the format won the award of the Cologne Cultural Council in the category “Young Initiatives.”