Zoom sessions: 10, 17 December 2022

In her workspace, Amsterdam/Melbourne based artist Samara Hersch extends her practice in critical trans-generational discourse, exploring conversation as performance and performance as conversation. Samara is interested in what kinds of intimacies can be cultivated through distance, remoteness and the voice. Her latest research hopes to challenge existing thresholds that lie between generations in order to confront, discover and explore new perspectives. Samara’s recent works (“Body of Knowledge” and “Sex and Death”) lay the groundwork for this research, where she has previously worked closely with teenage and senior communities, who lead audiences in conversations around the body, body politic, ageing, sex and death.

In this workspace, Samara invites teenagers and seniors from Poland to begin a dialogue together and to establish new ways of being together across distance and age.

She is a theatre maker, director and teaching artist whose practice explores the intersection of contemporary performance and community engagement. Her current research is an exploration into public acts of intimacy, particularly through imagining new performative frames for non- professional performers and audiences to inhabit.

Samara Hersch’s body of work is embedded in participatory, intergenerational discourse exploring intimacy through distance and non-hierarchical forms of knowledge sharing. Her recent work Body of Knowledge invites teenagers from around the world to phone into the theatre and facilitate conversations with the audience around issues that are most pressing to them. Similarly her work Sex and Death invited performers in their 80s to lead conversations that aimed at debunking stigmas around ageing bodies. In her new research, she is interested in bringing together and working with teenagers and seniors to consider how, through conversation as performance, critical and radical perspectives around uncertainty, hope and change might emerge.

Her recent work with teenagers called ‘We All Know What’s Happening’ received the Zurcher Theater Spektakel Jury Prize and Audience Prize in 2019. Her latest work with teenagers; ‘Body of Knowledge’ has been presented at the After Winter Festival, BUDA, Kortrijk, Spielart Festival, Munich, Liveworks Festival, Sydney and SICK! Festival, Manchester. In 2020, the ‘At Home’ version of Body of Knowledge, created due to travel restrictions connected to COVID-19, was co-commissioned by Kampnagel Sommer Festival and Zurcher Theater Spektakel and has recently been selected for presentation at Impulse Theatre Festival, Germany. Samara is currently an artist in residence at Theatre Rotterdam.



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