A collaborative village play - Part one: The Watermelon Republic
Szeged and Nagykamarás, Hungary
June 2021

A performative long-term project with villages in Hungary, Belarus, Germany and Spain


Katalin Erdödi, Orsolya Török-Illiés, Máté Körösi, János Sallai, the Györi family, Zsuzsa

Melons are thrown from hand to hand during harvest, in a long chain to the edges of the field.

We develop a cooperative village-play with people in villages in different european countries. In each place, the play will focus on locally relevant issues defined by everybody participating - be it social and economic inequality, landownership and land use, a wish for community life and the right to speak up and take part in shaping the narrative. The play is performed locally, but is also made for travelling and being adapted to urban or faraway places. It is passed on from hand to hand like melon on a field, and the decision making of what to show where forms part of the collective process.

In 2021, the main focus is Nagykamarás, a melon growing region in the Southeast of Hungary - that´s why this part of the play has the title Watermelon Republic. Melon farmers and day workers, local politicians and hairdressers, old school teachers, an angry pensioneer and a car-racing 13 year old girl shape the narrative and performance.

Working title for the 3-year-project is Ländliche Produktivkräfte / Rural Productive Forces. Antje initiated it with the curator Katalin Erdödi, and it is supported by the Allianz Stiftung and, for the Hungarian part, Goethe Koproduktionsfonds.