„Encounters“ is a series of conversations, where the audience follows the meeting of two anonymous people taking place through performers. On stage there are two performers, borrowed bodies. These performers are connected via earphones and microphones to two anonymous participants who remain hidden from the audience. The borrowed bodies repeat word by word everything the hidden participants say.
The participants never meet each other, or the audience, face to face – the only interaction takes place on stage, through borrowed bodies.
The performance explores encounters in a situation, where the authenticity of another person remains an open question. Encounters investigates questions of power, representation, anonymity and empathy. We believe that the performance concept transfers well to different contexts, because of its potential to find out what people are talking about in general, and what kind of things are on top of peoples’ minds. At the same time, the performance reveals conventions of the stage, performance and theater.
The „Encounters“ cooperation is supported by Theatre Info Finland – TINFO’s project which is financed by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
The Feminist Secret Society of Helsinki (FSSH) is a collective of artists that makes performances and other outputs with varying lineups – both among its members and with visiting artists: actors Lida-Maria Iida-Maria Heinonen, Saara Kotkaniemi and Kreeta Salminen, multidisciplinary artist and researcher Katri Naukkarinen, director theatre artist, playwright and author Amanda Palo, screenwriter, author and director theatre artist Olga Palo.
FSSH has produced presentations, workshops, publications, exhibition installations and discussions, and acted as a supportive platform for its members. Our intellectual work is about feminist art making practices, with a special focus on collective work.
„The Encounters“ is a well prepared laboratory, concentrating on the human body; the various cultural meanings interpreted from the appearance of it; the gender and the complex power structures related to these issues. It sheds light on the power dynamics related to encountering, performing, looking and listening. It is a very good decision to have only two encounterers, and not any kind of monitoring over the situation.
Suddenly there is naked truth being told on stage, and it’s not just easy to listen to. Is the speech private or public? Is the most important part of the performance perhaps the reactions in the audience?
„The Encounters“ is in some way also shedding light into theatre and the overall motifs of an artist. What is honesty? Behind what kind of curtains or smoke does art try to tell the truth? How often the bottom intention is to bring about a naked encounter? It’s also interesting to think how acting differs from lending your body to an encounterer.”
–Maria Säkö / Helsingin Sanomat
..the performance is utterly feminist.
In the performance the gender of the hidden encounterers is not relevant. The show is about meeting an unknown person without prejudices and trying to listen to what that person is all about. It doesn’t matter if they’re a man, a woman or something else – that is left for everyone to decide. It’s about thinking what kind of power a person can have over someone else’s body.
That is equality and meeting human beings as human beings. It’s about enabling, not ruling out. It’s feminism.
–Jose Riikonen / Nyt-liite
IDEA AND DIRECTION: THE FEMINIST SECRET SOCIETY OF HELSINKI – KATRI NAUKKARINEN, AMANDA PALO AND OLGA PALO
ARTISTIC COLLABORATION AND PERFORMERS: VILMA RAUBAITĖ, AUSTĖJA VILKAITYTĖ, LIVIJA KRIVICKAITĖ IR MILDA NAUDŽIŪNAITĖ.
PROJECT PARTNER: TINFO (THEATRE INFORMATION CENTER IN FINLAND)
THE SHOW IS SUITABLE FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE