The making behind Women of Aktion
Bent Architect area theatre company interested in exploring issues of the voiceless, those who society feels uncomfortable with.
Women of Aktion is a creative research and exchange project, exploring German resistance to war during WW1. Working alongside heritage, arts and education partners in Germany / Kiel, we intend to create a new performance and exchange project to mark International Resistance to War during the First World War, and the 100th Anniversary of the Kiel Mutiny in 2018.
We are not interested in dramatising the mainstream long held narrative of the war, we feel it almost always serves to obscure apparently lesser, but in our view often equally powerful truths that lie beneath, often deliberately obscured.
The Kiel Uprising and the role it, and especially the women of Kiel played in bringing the war to a conclusion is one such. Our focus is much more grassroots experiences, giving voice to those who are excluded by conventional narratives of history.
The Kiel Uprising is a piece of history that we in Britain are not told about, perhaps because it conflicts with a dominating narrative that ‘we won’ the war, when in fact the Kiel Uprising in Germany and subsequent Socialist revolution played a huge part in bringing the conflict to a close.
Our play will focus entirely on the role of the women of Kiel, performed by an all female cast of 3 actor musicians. The core of it will be drawn from first hand verbatim testimony, in this case the writing of Gertrude Volker, a prominent Socialist activist, who bore witness to and played an important part in the uprising, but who is almost lost to history. Taking Gertrude’s words as our touchstone and centre, we want to bring to life the moment in flesh and blood form, as seen and felt through Gertrude’s eyes. It will focus on the lives, roles and contributions to the Uprising made by Gertrude and the women around her.
Our project will get inside the heads of these women without whose strength and drive the revolution would not have been successful. It will challenge the accepted narrative on the end of the war, it will place the story of the women centre stage and in the proper perspective in the anti war peace movement of the post war years. The importance of this for our own conflict stricken militaristic time cannot be overstated, and the importance of highlighting the role of women seems to us not just as an interesting adjunct to accepted history but an important inspiring note to strike for our own times.
You can see Women of Aktion, Monday 22 October. Book tickets online here or call our box office on 01423 502116.