An immersive audio tour to a state that should never exist.
Audience set sail on a tour along the shores of the fictional island state of Neutralia. A tour guide speaks through headphones, introducing visitors to the history of this nation state which withdrew from the global system decades ago and sealed its borders; a move towards protectionism which would save its people from the looming climate and energy crises.
Neutralia has since prospered, developing new sustainable technologies including offshore wind farms that allow it to be self-sufficient, and a revival of popular culture that knits together its society. However, these gains came at a cost to some. Those who were considered 'undeserving' were cast off the island, rehoused on off-shore sites before they eventually disappeared.
A Voyage to Neutralia is a parable which explores the dark sides of protectionism and the origins of fears around the negative cultural and socio-economic effects of immigration; a problem which tends to be particularly felt in coastal areas. It takes a sympathetic look at how communities can be sold a dream of safety and prosperity, based on glorious isolationism, at the expense of others who are deemed ‘different’ or ‘undeserving’. In ‘travelling’ to Neutralia the audience are invited to imagine a reality which could either be avoidable or inevitable, depending on how we learn to discuss and face what we really consider to be contemporary threats.
A work in development commissioned by Whitstable Biennale & Eufònic Festival
Writer & Director: Olivia Furber
Sound Designer: Nour Sokhon
Mixing & Mastering: Ziad Moukarzel
Dramaturgy: Ramzi Maqdisi
Voice Over: Caroline Faber
16th - 19th June 2022 at the Whitstable Biennale
August 2022 at the Eufònic Festival