This performance ( titled: As far as I remember) has been created together with Studenten Toneel Vereniging Amsterdam. In a process of four months the collective of 15 performers researched the events and happenings taking place in Amsterdam at the end of the sixties. The group conducted interviews with older inhabitants of the city of Amsterdam and questioned their perspective on the movements and culture of that time. Together we gathered archive material: pictures, moving images, soundclips and newspaper articles which could give us insight into this extraordinairy time in which authority was questioned, new freedom was gained, a second feminist wave arouse ( in the Netherlands represented by “Dolle Mina” ) and free sexs and drugs changed the outlook on life, self-autonomy and societal and political structures.
During the process we struggled with the question of how we, as young people today, relate to these events. On the one hand many of the outcomes of the processes that where ignited at that time are part of our contemporary reality, on the other, we also wanted to express that the “revolution” proceeded hand in hand with the rise of a more individualistic and capitalistic society. Fourty-five years after the may-events of 1968 which travelled from France to the Netherlands, we as young students in the West enjoy much freedom, while at the same time we seem less eager to protest for our values and against the inequalities that still exist not only in our society but in the world today. Is this not a statement and problem that should concern us?
While this questions remained fundamental throughout the process, the gathering of material eventually turned us towards the idea that the activity of re-staging these events is also a way of relating to them. We found out that this time ( probably like all other times) can not be expressed in a single statement and we worked on staging the heterogeniety of perspectives, motives and experiences that we collected. We aimed to state that our collective memories of these events also changes through the process of collecting and archiving that takes place and that these memories turn and twist.
During the performance, the audience was invited in a “living” archive. As director, I worked with changes in the audience set-up. In the first part, the audience was seated on the ground, which positioned them first as protesters on the war-monument at the Dam in the summer of 1969 and then as youth hanging around in the Vondelpark. Later they where invited to experience themselves as part of the student uprising and discussions in het Maagdenhuis.