29.1 | Susanne C. Knittel

The Ruins of Europe: Milo Rau’s Europe Trilogy and the (Re)Mediation of the Real


This paper takes Milo Rau’s Europe Trilogy as a prism through which to examine the potential of theater as a medium not only for political and social critique, but also for presenting an alternative European imaginary and community of memory. The Civil Wars (2014), The Dark Ages (2015), and Empire (2016) explore the foundations of European memory and identity against the backdrop of war and genocide, religious fundamentalism, exile and displacement. Structured around the points of intersection between the actors’ own lives and key events in recent European history, the trilogy troubles the distinction between reality and artifice, representation and reportage, and deconstructs the single narrative of European memory by multiplying voices and stories, emphasizing the transcultural interconnectedness of present-day Europeans.