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3 March 2024

A wedding dress reveals the hidden sides of the fashion industry in the theatrical play 'Lacrima,' which will have its world premiere at the Wiener Festwochen in May received the program book of the Wiener Festwochen 2024 this week and had a browse through the pages. On the cover, the heads of a kissing couple wearing balaclavas, photographed by Rafaela Pröll, known in the Austrian fashion scene for her work with designers, magazines and retailers, represent this year's politically charged Wiener Festwochen under the motto 'Onwards To The Beginnings - Back To The Future'. It's been announced that the cultural festival will proclaim the 'Free Republic of Vienna' in the spring of 2024 with a declaration that focuses on artistic freedom and social commitment. One of the goals is to transcend traditional boundaries and hierarchies. During the festival, from May 17 to June 23, artists and citizens alike are invited to come together to explore, challenge and celebrate ideas and values for the development of the declaration. Through this concept, Wiener Festwochen seeks to redefine the role of cultural institutions in contemporary society and to inspire dialogue, reflection and action. Names already mentioned on the Wiener Festwochen website as participants in the 'Council of the Republic' include Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis, and ship captain and ecologist Carola Rackete, who became internationally known for her work with the German sea rescue organization See-Watch. continued browsing through the book and stopped at the entry for the world premiere of the theatrical production 'Lacrima', a play about a dress and the globalization across continents for the production of individual luxury haute couture items. 'Lacrima' is written and directed by Caroline Guiela Nguyen. The French director is known for her poignant storytelling. The play revolves around the covert creation of a wedding gown commissioned by a princess from a prestigious haute couture house. Over the course of eight months, individuals from different parts of the world work on different aspects of the dress, unaware of the final product. The narrative delves into the structural and personal violence involved in the creation of this royal garment. The title 'Lacrima,' which means 'tears' in Italian, suggests the hidden emotional turmoil behind the facade of secrecy.

Lacrima is one of 46 productions and artistic projects spanning theater, opera, music, dance, performance art, visual arts, and activism that will be shown at various venues in Vienna from May 17 to June 23. The festival is programmed to appeal to both local residents and visitors from around the world. Details on the dates of 'Lacrima' are published on

Image: Preview from the rehearsals of 'Lacrima' written and directed by Caroline Guiela Nguyen, world premiere at the Wiener Festwochen 2024 in Vienna. Photo: © Jean Louis Fernandez.

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