Homo Novus


This year’s international festival of contemporary theatre “Homo Novus” will speak clearly about the uncertainty in various fields of ideas.

Bek Berger | Programme curator

Nice To Meet You Again

This last year has changed us. The new circumstances have made us all realize the value of the simplest things often taken for granted, things like human contact, presence, touch or awareness that even on our own we are always connected in a variety of ways. But we have also witnessed that interruption doesn’t mean the end. Although the time spent in separation and isolation has emptied our reserves, we have endured a long time, each individually and all together. Nothing strengthened us better on these days than the thought of coming back to life and meeting again. But how is it going to be?

From September 8 to 18, the International New Theater Festival “Homo Novus” will take place again in Riga and several regions of Latvia. In our 26th year of existence, we want to speak clearly about the uncertainty in the various fields of ideas – artistic and social, personal and shared, ecological and biological. We want to build the festival’s program even more closely with the viewer, allowing us to imagine a future and a society where we notice, value each other and where collective joy is always present and alive.

Also in the new composition of our team, we will continue researching the cognitive process at international level and implementing bold and risky ideas, while producing works by local artists and developing new forms and ideas in Latvian theater. We want to start this year’s festival with a frank conversation about love and juvenile mischief and wrongdoings in the performance “Sex, Drugs and Criminality” by by the Canadian artists’ association “Mammalian Diving Reflex”. Italian artist Chiara Bersani will explore the fragility and the political notion of the body in a solo of subtle beauty and intelligence aka “Seeking Unicorns”. While reflecting on the slow, but inevitable changes of the surrounding landscape, Norwegian artist Ingri Fiksdal will revive the spatial theater of diorama, using choreography as a special lens to change the way we perceive the world.

The festival will take place not only in Riga this year, we will also try to cover other regions of Latvia. Scottish artists Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon will spend two month in Cīrava, Aizpute region of Latvia, working on a new work of art jointly with the local community, finding fresh ways to engage with a place, which might mean working with people who already have a very specific relationship to that environment.
As usual, the festival will continue to collaborate with space and the city in all its diversity, taking place not only in theaters and cultural venues, but also in public outdoor space, urban landscape, nature, bringing the audience to places we do not usually gather and reflecting on the collective experience as such.

These are values and practices that contemporary theater and the Homo Novus Festival have always sought to bring to the fore, but this year in particular we want to state that individual experience is not enough – we must to look ahead, embracing a wider and more diverse society, we must continue to cause unrest, to address, to open, to hurt, to heal each other, to take steps in unknown territories together.

We want the festival to become a meeting of these different ideas and expectations in the city and beyond as a confirmation of our common growth. There are things that cannot be experienced individually, such as the joy of reunion. Let’s meet again!

The full program of the festival will be announced and the ticket sales will start in the beginning of August.