Hong Kong Activist and Dramatist Pat To Yan is currently author-in-residence at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. He was born 1975 in Hong Kong, where he studied English Literature and Sociology. He consequently worked as an author and director of dystopian drama working at the “New Writing Laboratory” in Hong Kong. In 2014 he left for Europe where he earned a Master’s Degree in Playwriting at Royal Holloway, University of London.
He has since become quite well known as an activist-writer also in Europe. In 2016, he was invited to the Berlin Stückemarkt with his award-winning play “A Short Chronicle of Future China” (2015). In his plays and—most recently, in his libretto for “The Damned and the Saved” (2022) first performed at the Mannheim State Theater, the possibility of confusing reality and dream seems so obvious that it makes one shudder. His plays confront us with nightmares—not just about China (as they refer back to, as Yan puts it, “The most turbulent time(s) of Hong Kong History since World War 2”), but about the world and humanity at large—they make us live through these nightmares, of suppression, climate change and war, pitted against our own and everyone’s futures!
This dialogue in our Encounters series, will thus involve an activist working from Hong Kong—in a global conversation that calls on politics as well as civil involvement from Asia, America and Europe, pointing to how engaged art is trying to make a difference in world politics.