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Travel Blog

Fremde Freunde / Walk between Dresden and Prague

Jessica Litwak

Tonight I saw a really innovative project that involved film, storytelling, political lecture, a full band and lots of food. It was a joint project by the Archa Theatre and the Staatsschauspiel Dresden. Two artists, one from Prague and the other from Dresden, took a walk together last August . Jiří Zeman and Tanja Krone met at the end of August and set off by foot from Dresden to Prague. They encountered people and places with powerful history on both sides of the Czech-German border.  They also encountered (in people they met along the way) many National fears about refugees. They shared commentary from locals in towns in both countries on the danger of loosening borders. On the basis of the conversations of both artists with local inhabitants, documentation of the landscape and chance meetings a multimedia documentary was created. The sharing was both intimate and huge- we discussed the content of a rolling news report on conditions of refugees and the prejudice against them, and also shared food from both sides of the border as well as food from Syria. we entered an elegant dinner table and the artists shared the conversation with several political, sociological, and psychological experts on the question of refugees, Czech–German relations and fear itself. While we listened and watched, we ate four courses of delicious food, and the commentary was aided by a talented band who played traditional music with a bluesy twist.