Paradise Garden Productions (PG) was founded in 2002 in Utrecht/NL and has its base today in Berlin. For specific Projects PG brings together actors, dancers, musicians, scientists, authors, journalists and Filmmakers. PG makes theatre, film, workshops and exhibitions, often in interlocking or complementary formats. Multimedia, complexity, humour and drama characterise the works of PG. We see the experiences and skills of those involved as the starting point for the joint artistic processes. PG sets itself the task of analysing historical or socio-political conflicts and catalysing them through artistic processes. For this reason, PG focuses its work on disadvantaged communities, issues, locations and their actors. So far, projects have taken place in the Netherlands, Germany, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa and Cameroon.
PG is concerned with the global social issues of our time, with suppressed cultures, subcultures, opinions and with bringing about processes of change in society. We believe that engaging with the arts activates people, integrates them into society, brings the hidden to light and ensures personal and socially positive development. The vision of Paradise Garden is a world where art gives people the joy of exploring social and political issues. Through the interactivity and complexity of art, we create awareness of and dialogues on political and social issues and inspire action.
Jens Vilela Neumann studied acting after Jaques Lecoq, two years of theatre directing and intercultural studies at the Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, Netherlands. For 18 years he has been the director of PG, but has also devoted himself to productions in the municipal theatre and in the independent theatre scene, as well as teaching activities. He directed more than 22 plays, 18 short films, wrote various theatre plays and realised 11 film & theatre projects in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe and Cameroon.
The content of his work is mostly political and social in nature. Themes such as transcendence and resistance are central.
Nicole Timm / set & costume designer / set designer
Nicole Timm works in the fields of theatre, video/film and interventions in public space. Theatre and opera works with directors such as Milan Peschel, Vegard Vinge, Tom Kühnel, Katja Czellnik or the performance collective Schauplatz International have been shown at Theater Hebbel am Ufer, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Schaubühne Berlin, Kaserne Basel, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Komische Oper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Theater Aarhus / Denmark and at the festival Rencontres Internationales in Paris. Together with the architects' collective raumlaborberlin, Nicole Timm has worked on various projects in public space, including in Berlin, Rostock, Austria, England and the USA. Since 2005 Nicole Timm has been designing concert stages and sets for music videos for bands such as Seeed, die Toten Hosen and Miss Platnum.
Thandi Sebe - actress, author and director
Since completing her studies, South African/German artist Thandi Sebe has been working in Berlin theatres as an actress, author and director. Her stage productions “Jung, giftig und Schwarz” as well as "Call me Queen" have had successful runs at the renowned Berlin theatre Ballhaus Naunystrasse for many years.
Moving between her two home bases Cape Town and Berlin, Thandi has been working as an actress in front of the camera since 2016. She recently had the honour of performing works by renowned author Tsitsi Dangarembga for the Goethe Institut in Kenya. Currently she is writing screenplays for German production companies Equality Films and Rat Pack. She was invited to accompany German president Steinmeier on his trip through Southern Africa in 2018, as part of his cultural delegation. In her free time she writes her blog "Cape Town Stories" or works on her visual podcast Mzansi Madness.
Florian Ritter - fine art photography, graphic design, acting
Florian Ritter studied media design at the University of Cooperative Education in Ravensburg and worked during this time at the advertising agency McCann-Erickson as Junior Art Director. During this time, his interest in photography grew steadily until, after graduating, he finally decided to escape from advertising and graphic design and concentrate exclusively on photography. Cooperation with PG since 2017.
Rafka Timotey – Filmedit Camera, South America
Rafka Timotey is an international audio-visual producer, filmmaker and photographer. For Paradise Garden Productions he edited various short-films. He finished his studies as Director of Photography in 2013 at the film-university UCINE in Buenos Aires. He speaks Spanisch, English, German, Russian, Persian , Hebrew and Portuguese. He has camera experience with: Alexa, Red1, Epic, DSLRs, 35mm, 16mm, 8mm.
Chris van de Blonk - Web design
Chris van der Blonk is part of PG since the first project. He studied cognitive artificial intelligence in Utrecht and has been working as a web developer for a few years. His other passions are painting and DJ'ing.
Prof. Dr. Julius Heinicke – Theaterscience & Dramaturgie
Prof. Dr. Julius Heinicke currently holds the UNESCO chair "Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development" at the University of Hildesheim. He studied Cultural and Theatre Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2012, Julius defended his Ph.D. thesis about theatre and politics in Zimbabwe in the Department of African Studies (supervisors: Prof. Dr. Flora Veit-Wild, Department of African Studies, HU Berlin and Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme, Department of Theatre Studies, LMU Munich). His doctoral research was supported by a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation. In the last years, Julius spent time researching and teaching as well as working as a dramaturg in performance projects and in theatre in education, mainly in Africa and Europe. Furthermore he maintained an Artistic Coordinator position at the “Zimbabwe Arts Festival in Berlin”, in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office. Since 2009, he has been a member of the scholarship selection board for the Böll Foundation; and in 2011, he joined the Coordinating Body for Friends of the Foundation.
Frank Kegler - Assitence of the management
Frank Kegler worked for almost 33 years at the Landessportbund and headed the sports school for 22 years, where, among other things, trainers, managers and educators with a sports pedagogical profile were trained and offers for refugees were developed. He is at the side of PG, no matter if it is about concepts, financial plans or project settlements. email@example.com
Inhalambi Amumba – consultation, translation & cooperation Afrika and Portuguese speaking countries
Inhalambi Amumba was born in Mozambique and grew up in Portugal. She is a passionate expert of the political and historical circumstances as well as the cultural scene in Africa and the Portuguese speaking countries. She is a traveller between worlds and cultures. As founding member she had a major influence on all previous PGP projects- mainly in the field of consultation, coordination and translation. She speaks Portuguese, English, French and German. firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Wagner – Project management
Charlotte Wagner studied "Language, Literature and Culture" in Giessen and completed her Master's degree in "Transnational Literature Studies: Literature, Theatre and Film" in Bremen. In 2016, she was researching the topic of identity construction through Hip Hop in Brazil. In 2018 she worked in the cultural department of the Mozambican Goethe-Zentrum, followed by work for an international dance and theatre festival in Freiburg. Topics that interest her in particular and which have occupied her through her studies, but also through her exchanges, internships, research and private trips to Latin America, Africa and Europe, are transculturalism, identity, diaspora, migration and integration. Since 2019 she has been working as a cultural manager for Paradise Garden. email@example.com
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