The overpowering and genre-defying Climate Trilogy by Thomas Köck is an ominous flood of things which carries with it scraps of meanings, pieces of images, degraded biographies, fates of victims, worn out notions and definitions, that washed up on the shore.
Paradise Flooded based on the first instalment of the Trilogy is a parable about exploitation of people and the planet. In this intimate play, we are moving along two narrative threads; we follow the financial collapse of a family during the period of political transformation, centered around the life of a dancer working under junk contracts, as well as her father, a garage owner nearing bankruptcy. Then we are transported to the 19th century Brazil, to Manaus in the middle of a very dark period of the Rubber Boom. We get to know rubber barons who stake nature’s right to exist against natural laws of the market. Felix Nachtigal, who is supposed to build and opera house in the jungle, is the one who fights them. However, it is not easy to distinguish fact from fake in Köck’s writing. Colonizers may wear sophisticated tweeds, but they are also taking late-capitalist selfies.
In Paradise Flooded, we are witnessing the bitter end of the nuclear family, and the failure of Nachtigal the idealist. Everyone is a victim here, and only a pawn in a play about the economic and climate catastrophe whose true protagonist is the invisible hand of the marketplace.