A Journey Of Hope von Himali Kothari

My journey to Berlin started in August 2023. No, I was not travelling on foot.

It was an email from Karla Mäder, Head of Dramaturgy at Deutsches Theater, Berlin. It explained that the theatre was launching a podcast program titled ATT On Air. And, it would invite 52 authors from around the world to contribute a story each that would address the climate crisis. The stories would be translated into German, recorded by a theatre actor, and released as a podcast. One story every week from a different country by a different author.

Would I like to participate?

Yes, I definitely would, I responded.

My story A Vow To Protect was released on their podcast in December 2023.

Three months later, another email followed. The theatre was hosting four of the international authors who had participated in the ATT podcast for the annual ATT festival.

Would I like to attend?  

Yes, I definitely would, I responded.

Visa hassles, might-miss-connection-inspired-dash across Munich airport and delayed baggage notwithstanding, here I was. At the grand Deutsches Theater. Later in the day, we (Simona from Slovenia, Marwa from Tunisia and Pat from Hong Kong) take some theatre practitioners and enthusiasts through a short workshop titled How To Write About A Crisis. The day ends with a panel discussion about our writing process, the climate crisis, and the interplay between the two.

As I make my way to the hotel in the 10 pm summer twilight, my mind sifts through the conversations that had flowed through the day. About eight decades ago, censorship was at its peak in this country. Arts were controlled. Theatre was banned unless it toed the established line. Races akin to mine and my fellow panellists had been chased out or worse. But here we are today. In Deutschland. Being heard and toasted. Speech about government, politics, global crises and more had flowed freely without fear. Questions had been posed without hesitation and replies offered in the same spirit. What a distance this country and its people had mapped.

The heart buoyed, and my feet floated off the cobblestones. Yes, the globe was rife with conflict.

But, all hope was not lost yet.  

© privat Himali Kothari