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Katarzyna Pastuszak and Natalia Chylińska

For the whole world, the year 2022 is a moment of challenge. As the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained, we were suddenly faced with abrupt political conflicts that have changed the global economy and influenced our everyday life. At the same time, the climate crisis is making us more and more aware of the necessity to take action for the sake of the planet and all of its inhabitants. We believe that 2022 is a moment in which solidarity and empathy are of crucial importance - we should be gentle to ourselves and to others, we should protect the landscape and nourish our relationships with each other and with Mother Earth, we should exercise solidarity and humanity in our everydayness for a better future. Let’s make new connections, let’s weave new threads and make a change by creating networks of alliances to make a better future and giving voice in the public discourse to those who are marginalised. In our work, we focus on the relationships with people we encounter and with the land we experience - with all its inhabitants (both human and non-human). We want to continue weaving threads of individual stories and to build bridges between Poland and Japan.

​​         For this reason, we continue our long-term cooperation with Menoko Mosmos, represented by Ryoko Tahara, and CEMiPoS, represented by Prof. Hiroshi Maruyama (the honorary member of Amareya Theatre), and also with our partners in Tokyo - Marie Arishiro, Shinichi Takeshige, Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting, and other representatives of the Japanese independent art scene.

Since 2017, we have continued to build a relationship with our partners in Hokkaido. Together with Menoko Mosmos and CEMiPoS, we have developed numerous artistic projects, including Nomadic Woman, presented in Poland and Japan (2018); the performance Reverberations: Bridges Between Poland and Japan (2019, premiere in Sapporo); Requiem for Ainu and Kamui (film 2021); Mówi ONNA online exhibition (2021); and others. Please visit the new website of Amareya Theatre & Guests to learn more about our earlier projects (www.teatramareya.pl).

In 2022, our work in Sapporo has been made possible thanks to the ongoing support of Hiroshi Maruyama. This time, we will develop two projects in Hokkaido. Between 9-23 November, we will work with Menoko Mosmos on the Mówi ONNA project led by Amareya Theatre & Guests, and between 24-29 November, we will develop Polish-Ainu Forefathers’ Eve/Sinurappa_Kennenisat under the artistic leadership of Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska.

This year’s project, Mówi ONNA, is our first live encounter after three years of COVID-19 that made it impossible for us to visit Japan and work face-to-face with Ainu women. Hence, this year’s Mówi ONNA focuses on strengthening the relationships. Each day of the process leading towards the performance Mówi ONNA starts with somatic practices that bring us back to the here and now, allowing us to embed ourselves in the body to experience a real encounter with another human being. We expand our relationship with the world by creating an awareness of humans as part of a global ecosystem. We develop this awareness - paradoxically - through practices that focus on personal stories, micro-events. We continually zoom-in and zoom-out of the perspective from which we take action.

The presentation of Mówi ONNA performance will take place on 23 November in Sapporo Cultural Arts Theatre HITARU 3F Creative Studio. We will share our creative work developed with Tsugumi Matsudaira, Kimiko Naraki, Yoshiko Saito, Kyoko Kagaya, Ryoko Tahara, Masako Kawanami and the Polish artist Beata Sosnowska, who has been cooperating with Amareya Theatre for many years. This work collects herstories and its main theme will be the knowledge of the hands, the wisdom of the river and the plants. Also on 23 November, after Mówi ONNAperformance, the audience will be able to see the film Requiem for Ainu and Kamui developed by Amareya Theatre & Guests, Menoko Mosmos and Tomoaki Fujino in 2021.

Additionally, on 15 November, Amareya Theatre & Guests will make a performance/ritual in Monbetsu to honour the land of Ainu and to honour and celebrate Hatakeyama Ekasi and his contributions for the rights of Ainu people. The performance will take place, among others, on the banks of the Monbetsu River.

Between 24-28 November, Amareya Theatre & Guests will develop Polish-Ainu Forefathers’ Eve/Sinurappa_Kennenisat under the artistic leadership of Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska. This joint project initiated by Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska, is co-organised by CEMiPoS, Sapporo Freedom School, Menoko Mosmos, Hokkaido-Poland Cultural Association, Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek, and Amareya Theatre & Guests. The project is financed by Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the “Mickiewicz x 44” Programme, but also by the Polish Institute in Tokyo. The final event of Polish-Ainu Forefathers’ Eve/Sinurappa_Kennenisat project will take place on 28 November in Kaderu 2-7 and Theatre Zoo.

Additionally on 4-5 December, Natalia Chylińska and Katarzyna Pastuszak from Amareya Theatre & Guests will present their performance 2nd Floor Anatomies in the venue of Nitehi works within the YPAM - Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting Fringe programme 2022. This presentation will be part of YPAM Fringe and takes place as part of the Do We Have a Body? Butoh, Borderland, Crack series curated by Marie Arishiro. Our visit to YPAM 2022 has been made possible thanks to the support of our partners in Tokyo - Marie Arishiro, Shinichi Takeshige, and Nyx.

Additional information about funding

The presentations of 2nd Floor Anatomies, performed by Natalia Chylinska and Katarzyna Pastuszak, take place as part of the programme Do we have a body? (curated by Marie Arishiro), which is part of the Yokohama Performing Arts Meeting 2022 / Fringe Programme.

The performance activities and events Mówi ONNA, the screenings of the film Requiem for Ainu and Kamui, and the participation of Katarzyna Pastuszak and Natalia Chylińska in the international YPAM 2022 festival with the performance 2nd Floor Anatomies are part of the project Pol(s)ka in Japan 2022, which is co-financed by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polish Culture in the World programme. The project is co-produced by CEMiPoS (Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies) under the direction of Prof. Hiroshi Maruyama.

The participation of Amareya Theatre & Guests in the Polish-Ainu Forefathers’ Eve/Sinurappa_Kennenisat has been made possible also thanks to the support of Matsugu Company.

Katarzyna Pastuszak’s participation in activities in Japan takes place within the framework of the project “Theatre - Literature - Management”, project no.: 533-I015-H014-22, implemented by Between.Pomiędzy Research Group under the direction of dr hab. Tomasz Wiśniewski (prof. UG), funded from the Support Programme for the Gdańsk Humanities.