German writer Calle Fuhr on co-writing A BRIEF HISTORY OF STRUGGLE

What connects us in a time where we are more disconnected than ever?

That is the question that Dipo Baruwa-Etti and myself, Calle Fuhr, asked ourselves in the writing process for the collaborative digital theater project ‘A brief history of struggle’ that we’ve worked on over last six months.

I think it was in April when I got a call from ‘Theater Dortmund’ where they asked me if I was interested in participating in a project from England where I had to write something. I just said yes since I had – like most freelancer artists in Germany – no job at that time. But I actually had no idea what I just agreed to do.

In a first Zoom call with Paines Plough I realized that this was a huge project with authors from all over Europe and I was so thrilled to be the author from Germany. Then suddenly someone said something like: And now you will meet your co-author.

Co-author? What?!

Before, I only wrote two non-published pieces with a friend. Just for fun. That already was a huge challenge because you basically have to discuss everything and that did not always go too well. But since we were friends, we got along and finished the pieces after quite a long time.

And now the plan was to write a 30-minute piece with a person I’d never met before over some video calls in this short period of time?! And the best part: I can’t even write in my own language? How should this possibly work?

I was so nervous when I met Dipo because what if we had completely different approaches, different styles and different writing processes?
We have very different approaches, very different styles and also our writing process was not quite the same. But that didn’t cause conflict. We saw everything as an addition to our own personal work and the writing process of ‘A brief history of struggle’ was one of the most inspiring processes I ever went through.

I’m asking myself if this would have been different, if we hadn’t been in this situation that is called: pandemic. Or did this crisis let the curtains of our pupils rise and let us see something in ourselves that we let slip into the darkness of our everyday-life? Maybe, I don’t know. I like to think that this is true. But one way or the other, this project helped me cope with the last months and to me already had some sort of resonance. So maybe, if you, dear reader, watch the six episodes of our little play on your phone, it also triggers something in your life. I would love that.

You can book tickets for A BRIEF HISTORY OF STRUGGLE here – book before 5pm Monday!

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