The Radical Flu takes place in Oslo 1918, or Christiania as the city was called at that time. In 1918 three elements converged in Norway: the end of the war, the Spanish flu, and the convulsions brought by the Soviet revolution in Russia. Women’s rights were on the rise, as well. So was Fascism
Fascism quickly adopted the metaphor of the sick body and the healthy body; the “foreign” invader (the virus) was responsible for the contamination of a mythic original, “pure” body. The metaphor of “spread” or “infection” is very interesting: it could relate to the war, the pandemic, and/or to the spread of ideology (fascism, capitalism and communism).
Rose Hammer started working on this piece in September 2019, after an idea of adapting the 1947 novel The Plague by Camus (and the 1965 opera edition by Roberto Gerhard) to the 1918 epidemic of the Spanish Flu that swept Norway and the world. The recent, traumatic coronavirus pandemic gave a twist to the production, turning it into an urgent, real time play, involving the unpredictable and the real.
The public space work proposed by Rose Hammer to osloBIENNALEN has the title of National Episodes, and it will be developed from 2019 to 2021. For this production, Rose Hammer carefully considers relatively unknown stories at the origin of mainstream notions of identity, nationality, and history, in order to construct a counter narrative, and to present it following the rules of Brechtian agitprop: with explicit, clearly formulated political positions, non-hierarchical dynamics, and a reductio ad absurdum of notions such as professionalism, virtuosity, and entertainment. The presentations are always site- and context specific.
Rose Hammer, are at the moment, in no particular order: Kim Svensson, Emilie Birkeland, Alma Braun, Niels Munk Plum, Emil Andersson, Alessandro Marchi, Stacey de Voe, Nora Joung, Helle Lindskog, Ole-Petter Arneberg, Per-Oskar Leu and Dora García; with the collaboration of Samir Kandil and Jan Mech.
As of March 2020, Rose Hammer acknowledged that no theatre presentation in the conventional sense of the word would be possible to be carried out in the autumn, due to the Corona virus crisis and the preventive measures that need to be taken into account. Therefore, Rose Hammer decided to broadcast the performance in the ether and use the format of a radio play for this new episode.
The Radical Flu is commissioned by osloBIENNALEN FIRST EDITION as a part of Rose Hammer National Episodes. osloBIENNALEN is initiated and owned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, City of Oslo._The Radical Flu is produced in collaboration with Notam and Radiorakel
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Teknisk ansvarlig: Clair Gaigeot