By Florian Fischer
In the south of Hamburg, near the Elbe island of Veddel, sleeps a “dragon”. It is actually a mountain, a mountain of waste, a monster which was very fittingly nicknamed “the dragon”. For the mountain used to be such a threat to the city of Hamburg that in the 1980s the press called it the “most dangerous mountain in the world”, which gave it its second nickname: »Monte Mortale«. Today it is a sealed and grass-covered hill with a museum at its foot and a circular trail that promises “unusual views of the Hamburg skyline”. Underneath the trail the toxic waste remains, for example TCDD or “Seveso dioxin”, an unwanted product of chlorine chemistry which is lethal even in tiny doses, and which was stored there entirely legally in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The shock came in the early 1980s: the highly toxic dioxins had been seeping into the groundwater for years. It was a perfect scandal and politicians reacted by moving the waste out of sight. At the time this meant East Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to be precise. Little has changed when dealing with the waste products of Western lifestyle. But nowadays “out of sight” means Africa or Southeast Asia, or if they refuse or the price is too high, the oceans.
Florian Fischer is a multidisciplinary theatre director, curator of exhibitions, and playwright, and received the Kurt Hübner Prize in 2019, one of the most important prizes for new directing talent. Starting from the Hamburg toxic waste scandal around the »Monte Mortale«, he will trace one of the most scandalous practices of globalisation in this research project together with actors and inhabitants of the Veddel. This is the first time Florian Fischer is working at the SchauSpielHaus.