Ästhetisierung von Kriegsgewalt

This interdisciplinary research project will engage in an artistic/scholarly investigation to find out more about the aestheticisation of war violence.



Staging war is a challenge for the per-forming arts. Depicting perpetrators and victims, moments of violence and the destructions brought about by wars, can have implications for the actors, the piece and the public as well. How is violence represented, and how can one do justice to different perspectives and experiences ? What documents and statements may be used as a basis for these rep-resentations, and where are they sourced ?

Course of action

The research is based on three interwoven subprojects to investigate questions about the representation of war violence in relation to the documentary theatre and performance scene. Subproject A, an artistic research, will focus on former child soldiers in the civil war of Colombia. Different performative strategies will be tested and presented for visualising experiences of violence ; these will be reflected upon in a dialogue with a local research team. Subproject B will be a quali tative study of current plays on war violence while the documentary strate-gies of four exemplary productions will be investi-gated. Subproject C aims to gain insights into the inter- and transdisciplinary synergies that are pos sible between the artistic approach of Subproject A and the cultural studies approach of Subproject B. With its multidimensional approach, this project aims to make a contribution to discussing methodologies, especially in the field of artistic research.


Performances touring through Europe adopt-ing a documen tary perspective repeatedly turn to armed conflict. They often generate strong emotions in audiences that are situated far away from the events in question. This interdisciplinary investigation aims to make a contribution to the academic and public debate about the role of (multimedia) documents and witness statements in representing war violence in contemporary theatre. The discussion of the results will be supported by two research performances and two workshops, and the results of the study will be published in the form of a doctoral thesis, a book and articles.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 10: Reduced inequalities
  • 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions