The Ringlokschuppen Ruhr is a co-production venue for contemporary theatre, performance and dance in Mülheim. Regional and international artists, current social discourses and a variety of art forms come together here. The programme alternates between advanced independent work, up-and-coming talents and popular culture. Artists open up a variety of approaches and perspectives for diversity in the Ruhr area.
Since 2006, the Ringlokschuppen team has been continuously building an extensive national and international network of artists. Their working relationships with many groups and collectives have stood the test of time. In addition, the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr partners with theatres and festivals as well as social institutions, schools and universities, and plays a key role in promoting young talent. The Ringlokschuppen offers artists the freedom to produce their own first and subsequent projects, as well as extensive networking and exchange opportunities. In the Do-It-Yourself series, the Ringlokschuppen invites people of all ages to try out workshop or production formats in the areas of performance, dance and theatre, regardless of previous experience. In addition to the large number of productions in the theatre, the Ringlokschuppen regularly initiates participatory projects in urban space such as, currently, the Silent University Ruhr – a platform for refugee academics in central Mülheim.
Since its early days, the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr has repeatedly pursued new approaches and engaged in initiatives toward becoming a place for the many. The programme's ambition has long been to work on opening up and connecting. While a contemporary performance breaks new aesthetic ground on stage 3, you can dance in a variety of party formats on stage 2, and on stage 1, a comic famous from YouTube is thrilling the audience. This creates a space that makes encounters between different visitors and artists possible. Furthermore, as a long-term project in the urban area of Mülheim an der Ruhr, the Silent University has not only become an important network hub since 2015: it also provides significant impetus for the further development of multilingualism, mediation and translation practices, as well as for diversification of the entire cooperative.
The Ringlokschuppen Ruhr calls for cultural locations to proactively participate in the creation of a constantly changing concept of culture. Diverse, multi-ethnic, and post-migratory: our society is undergoing constant change. We want to (re)present this reality on all levels. This is essential, because institutions can create social norms through their work. Culture does not grow naturally, but is a constant process of negotiation. Multilingualism and cultural diversity are generally to be welcomed. Only in this way can we become a place for the many in the future.
We have formulated the following goals in order to come much closer to this:
- We are committed to diversity-sensitive openness in the area of personnel. The proportion of people with a history of migration and people of colour in the Ringlokschuppen team is to be actively increased, and in the future it will correspond to the social structure.. People with a history of migration and people of colour are expressly invited to apply for newly advertised positions. In addition, we are committed to structural openness within the team, which rejects the repetition of traditional hierarchies and promotes collaborative working and low-threshold acquisition processes. This also includes the acquisition of sensitivity and the development of clear measures of dealing with various forms of exclusion and discrimination, especially racism.
- We advocate diversity-sensitive openness in our audience. We are committed to further opening up to urban society and to not reducing this to internationality. Instead, we want to address and represent the glocality of Mülheim and the Ruhr region, i.e., the existing, internationally connected diversity of potential audiences. Visitors' needs (translation/children's programmes/communication formats) can be the starting point for a relationship between Ringlokschuppen Ruhr and its audience. We see ambivalence as an opportunity and an important impulse for multiple perspectives, which serve as the basis for our further development into a transcultural location.
- We are committed to diversity-sensitive openness of our programme and aim for hybridisation in the long term. In this way, it is possible to move from an interculture of coexistence to a transcultural form of togetherness without the need for further cultural demarcation. Transculturality as such means that the encounter of different or even opposing cultures can lead to a blurring or abolition of borders. For us, this also includes a blending of branches, aesthetics and forms of expression. For this purpose, multilingualism and translation practice are increasingly becoming an integral part of artistic processes. The starting point for such a practice is the willingness to exchange different ways of life, values and worldviews as well as questioning supposedly unchangeable traditions in favour of a living culture of the present.
The profile of the Ringlokschuppen Ruhr calls for proactive, continuous change, constant self-questioning in an open mode of trying things out without claiming they will ever reach completion.