The International Festival of Contemporary theatre “Homo Novus” 2022 announces the first artists

Darkness may come as a friend. This year, from September 2nd to 11th, the International Festival of Contemporary Theatre Homo Novus (Latvia), invites the audience into a moment of dark adaptation. Reflecting on the aftermath of a (post)pandemic world and active warfare in Europe, Homo Novus confronts the disappearance of light and offers a safe space to pause and imagine a pathway into a more vibrant reality.

Homo Novus, on its 27th anniversary, expands its presence from public, open places to familiar theatres and dark spaces. At the core of this year’s festival is collaboration in all forms and variations.

“We take to the streets in protest, parts of the city left to our youth and unlock the importance of simply breaking bread together. We embrace collaborations, locally, internationally, and interstellar, leaning into a new kind of performance curation that allows for rich agency of those who are excluded from the present and inviting in the widely perhaps unknown,” says Bek Berger, programme curator and director of New Theatre Institute of Latvia.

Protest as a bodily state and the phenomena of protest culture is explored by Igors Shugaleev (BY) in 375 0908 2334. The body you are calling is currently not available, and Agnietė Lisičkinaitė, BE COMPANY (LT) in her project Hands up. Actual, physical darkness will devour the audience in Flashdance by WAUHAUS (FI) and Siren Dance by Lilian Steiner (AU). Whereas Chiara Bersani (IT) will invite the spectator into her inner world in L’Animale. Cote Jaña Zuñiga (CL/DE) with her partners from Latvia – Klinta Šinta, Anta Pole, Marta Rubene – will once again open up their sweat-shop The Guxxi Fabrika, where passers-by and deliberate costumers will be able to clothe their imagination with plastic market bags or lietuvenes.

Homo Novus is also honoured to share for the very first time in Latvia the work of Back to Back Theatre (AU) – the movie Shadow. The pioneering group’s work with neurodiverse performers has been recognised with the ‘Nobel Prize’ of theatre awards, the 2022 International Ibsen Award, becoming the first Australian company to be recognised. Over the last decade, they have also received 18 national and international awards including Performance Studies International’s Artist-Scholar- Activist Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, an Edinburgh International Festival Herald Angel Critics’ Award and a Green Room Award for Best Ensemble.

Anyone with a love song stuck in their heads will be welcomed to record it in Action Hero (GB) mobile studio and participate in their ongoing show Oh, Europa. Whereas, Schwankhalle Bremen travels to Riga, its sister city, presenting eight 1-on-1 works as a first in a series of exchanges. Cultural connections are also generated between Homo Novus (Riga, Latvia) and ANTI festival (Kuopio, Finland) – bonded together in two new commissions.

The program also features Who Cares!/? and Rename and Unbody – Somatic Awareness and Language for Who and What We Are by PEREL (US), RELAY LECTURE – from the Global south by Latai Taumoepeau (TO/AU), Strange People Stand Very Strangely by Association Sansusi (LV), movie THE SHADOW by BACK TO BACK (AU), Lolling and rolling by Jaha Koo (KR), The last night of the deer by Jānis Balodis (LV) and Nahuel Cano (AR/NL), The Silencing by David Weber-Krebs (BE/DE), FUMÈA by Chiara Bersani (IT), and Creating new international realities (together) by Merel Heering (NL) and others.

Lastly, this year, for the first time ever, part of Homo Novus programme will be curated by teenagers: The Shakedown. At the beginning of 2022, The New Theatre Institute of Latvia and Rosendal Theater (Trondheim) launched a mentoring program for young curators to give voice and agency to the people that are not usually granted rights although the current decisions and cultural developments regarding the future of society will have the most direct impact on their lives. The result is a three-day program curated by 5 Latvian and 5 Norwegian teenagers.

The full program will be announced, and ticket sales will begin on August 16th on

The festival school as well as workshops, seminars and informal events will also take place and will be announced on the webpage and social media as the festival approaches.

Homo Novus cares about diversity and inclusion of all art forms, bodies and audiences, thus, attention is given to accessibility. We are determined to provide contemporary performance encounters for everyone, however, there are different performances – some are more visual, some are sound-based and they take place in different venues, therefore we invite you to consult the information about facilities in the section of our website before attending the performances.

The festival will take place in compliance with all epidemiological safety requirements to ensure the safety of our audience, artists and team. Please refer to our website for the current information or email us at

Further information: Elza Lāma,, + 371 29152346