Tag Archives: Akira Takayama

Die Evakuierung des Theaters: a book about Akira Takayama’s “The Complete Manual of Evacuation — Frankfurt”

Akira Takayama (Port B) and his collaborators have produced a follow-up book to EVAKUIEREN, the adaptation for the Rhine-Main region of The Complete Manual of Evacuation, which was originally created in Tokyo for Festival/Tokyo 2009 Autumn.

Die Evakuierung des Theaters (The Evacuation of Theatre) is written in German and English, and published by Alexander Verlag Berlin. Subtitled “Akira Takayama’s rescue plan for the Rhine-Main region”, it is co-edited by long-time Port B collaborator (and Jelinek translator) Tatsuki Hayashi, along with Matthias Pees and Hans-Thies Lehmann. All three also contribute texts to the book.

alexander verlag die evakurierung des theaters akira takayama

Unlike The Complete Manual of Evacuation — Tokyo, which guided participants to train stations along the JR Yamanote Line in central Tokyo, the Frankfurt version was much broader, both in terms of geography and also the creative team, since the various sites were handled individually by different artists and artist groups. Nonetheless, the fundamental themes of identity, mobility, refuge and community remained the same, and the participation process once again started online via a special project website, before taking the audience on to the offline, “real” urban landscape. The project was held over autumn 2014 in an array of spaces, buildings, outdoor sites, and more.

The new 288-page book, set for release very soon, includes explanations of each “evacuation point”, as well as commentary on how they were organised into four “tours”. There is also an interview with Takayama and an essay by former F/T programme director Chiaki Soma about the background to the original Tokyo work.

Full disclosure: I was involved in some of the English translation for the book.