The Hemsbach Protocol


photo: Mammalian Diving Reflex

The Hemsbach Protocol is a project about social integration and love during times of crises, with a team of artists working in collaboration with the Town of Hemsbach to assist in the settling of refugees. We will try anything legal to help these newcomers begin a life. Results are forthcoming.

The Hemsbach Protocol is being developed as part of Matchbox, the itinerant art and culture project initiated by the Culture Office of the Metropolitan Region of Rhine Neckar, with moral support from the Mayor's Office of Hemsbach and the Rhein-Neckar Kreis. Currently, the project is operating out of Darren's apartment/the production office, and the Luisenhof and See Hotels, two refugee holding facilities in the town of Hemsbach. In July 2016, we will make our first public report of our findings to date. We are gearing up towards a presentation in October at the Theater im Pflazbau, the state theatre of Ludwigshafen, at their Open World festival.

Watch this page as the project continues to grow.

The Hemsbach Protocol so far:

Research Phase: August to October 2015

In August 2015, Darren and Tenzin Chozin (a Toronto Young Mammal) spent a month living in Luisenhof, as the research phase for The Hemsbach Protocol. Jana Eiting and Marina Stefan were also there, though they were denied the pleasure of living at Luisenfhof.

Homecooked Hemsbach [Hausgemachtes Hemsbach]
As the kick-off for The Hemsbach Protocol, we organized a cooking contest with teams comprised of refugees and local Germans, who had to deal with a confusing array of unidentified international ingredients. The project was conceived by Rene Korbel, impeccably produced by Jana Eiting, with Konstantin Bock joining us to make things look pretty and co-host the evening with Jana and Darren.

In Conversation with Doug Saunders at the Goethe Institute, Toronto
Darren and Chozin were in conversation with Globe and Mail international correspondent Doug Saunders about The Hemsbach Protocol at the Goethe Institute in October 2016. Watch the video. Thanks to Jutta Brendemuhl for making it happen.

Production Phase: March to July 2016

Every Friday the Hemsbach Protocol crew does something different. Anything. We've drank beer, ate chicken, discussed dating, walked in the Oedenwald in the rain, played games, stuck the names of famous people on our heads, gone to Mannheim to hear a lecture on the history of reggae, and painted our faces. Who knows what we'll be doing next Freitag! All are welcome: Herrenweg 2, Hemsbach, Germany.

Sending a Car to Gambia
There is a thriving trade in cars and consumer goods to Africa. We want to understand this trade and see if we can start to create a small industry for Ebrahim, one of the refugees we’re working with. He can’t work now, but when he is able to, we intend to take what we’ve learned by sending this car to Gambia. This is a pilot project, and all funds raised on the connected Kickstarter page will go back into the project, to help us figure out how to facilitate a good transition into Germany for as many people as possible.

Conferences and Performances:

Darren O'Donnell and the Hemsbach Protocol at Brüten, May 6

Hemsbach Protocol at Citizens Stage Conference at the State Theatre Karlsruhe: Baden Theatre (Karlsruhe), May 28

First Insight into the Project: Kulttour (Mannheim), July 23 and 24

Expanded Performance: zeitraumexit (Mannheim), July 29

On Sunday October 16, the results of the past year will be presented at the Theater im Pfalzbau in Ludwigshafen as part of the Open World showcase.

Check out our Facebook Page for updates.

Presented by MRN, Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar

Conceived by: Darren O'Donnell
Produced by: Eva Verity and Jenna Winter
Local coordination: Darren O'Donnell, Jana Eiting, Marie-Luise Hohenadel
Dramaturg Project Matchbox: Lea Gerschwitz
Starring 20 refugees based in Hemsbach, Germany, who have arrived from Gambia, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Macedonia, and Montenegro, amongst others.

Special thanks to the Mayor of Hemsbach, Mr. Pohl, and the Hohenadel family.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.