Dorine Mokha & Elia Rediger

Herkules von Lubumbashi

DR Congo  / Switzerland

Shortly before the lockdown, the oratorio «Hercules of Lubumbashi» was presented in the parliament house of the eponymous mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eleven Congolese and European musicians took the seats of the members of parliament on stage. This joint project of the Congolese choreographer and dancer Dorine Mokha, whose parents worked in a mining company for all their lives, and Elia Rediger, a Swiss musician and composer born in the DRC, focuses on the increasing demand for cobalt, on corruption and exploitation in the mining industry and the destruction of the environment.

The transnational dialogue on economic injustices stimulated by this project was brought to a sudden halt by the international travel restrictions due to the pandemic. Instead of travelling to Zurich to perform «Hercules» on the Lakeside Stage at the festival, the participants are now stuck at home in front of their screens. Mokha, Rediger and the dramaturge Eva-Maria Bertschy have responded to the new situation by creating a truly cross-border music and video installation with live elements showing us how everything is connected in a globalised world. Spectators will be admitted one by one to a parcours with different stations, where they will meet the protagonists virtually: a choir of miners, for example, or the two initiators of the project, Mokha and Rediger. They will witness some disturbing realities, but also experience the beauty and brutality of music.

«Hercules of Lubumbashi» is no moralising lecture, yet its creators have a clear message: something needs to be done. People need to fight against the scandalous machinations of the Swiss commodity trader Glencore in the Congo. The corporation exploits the land and people without assuming responsibility. The same allegations are made by human rights and environmental organisations, prosecutors, investigative journalists and the committee behind the Responsible Business Initiative, a popular initiative voted on this November in Switzerland. The multi-billion dollar corporation is accused of corrupt practices, tax evasion and ecocide. The consequences: The profits from the Congolese mining business are transferred abroad or land the pockets of a few politicians while the population is left empty-handed.

But who could take it up with a global economic giant such as Glencore? Who challenges the gods, who indulge themselves with their machinations up on Mount Olympus? In the production of Mokha and Rediger the answer is: Hercules of Lubumbashi – a mythological figure from the Congolese mining town, an activist and musician, onto whom we project all our hopes and dreams of a fairer world. (rb)

Artistic direction and cast

Konzept & TextElia Rediger, Dorine Mokha, Eva-Maria Bertschy
Komposition, Gesang & PerformanceElia Rediger
Choreografie & TanzDorine Mokha
DramaturgieEva-Maria Bertschy
MitDorine Mokha, Elia Rediger, Lucien Kahozi Kosha (Reporter), Ruth Kemna (Viola), Huguette Tolinga (Perkussion), Merveil Mukadi (E-Bass), Kojack Kossakamvwe (E-Gitarre)
ChorLes Troubadours de Lubumbashi
Mit Musik vonJoseph Kiwele, Benjamin Weidekamp, Daniel Freitag und Kojack Kossakamvwe
Szenografie & BühneLukas Bangerter
Video- & Audioaufnahmen KongoDouglas Kasamuna, Didier Kosmis
Video- & Audioaufnahmen SchweizSusanne Hofer
EditorBen Laser
TonmischungDaniel Freitag
GrafikKatharina Reidy


ProduktionPODIUM Esslingen
KoproduktionCentre d’art Waza und Zürcher Theater Spektakel
Premiere VideoperformanceZürcher Theater Spektakel
Bild© PODIUM Esslingen
Ein Projekt vonPODIUM Esslingen in Kooperation mit der Kaserne Basel, dem Centre d’art Waza, Art’gument Project, Auberge Manus, den studios kabako, dem düsseldorf festival und CTM Festival, gefördert durch den Fonds TURN der Kulturstiftung des Bundes und unterstützt durch Pro Helvetia.

Rote Fabrik, Aktionshalle

Site map

Music Theatre Video Installation

Co-production, premiere


Tour 60 mins.


German and French



An inclusive event

accessible with wheelchair


every 10 minutes, 3 people a time

Topical Discussion

Transcontinental Justice – A topical discussion related to «Herkules von Lubumbashi»
Tue 25 Aug, 20.30 hrs on Zoom
Language: English
Access via Digital Events




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