Vacation Research

Can we reinvent vacation and holiday-making through the means of performance?

A transgenerational research project by Esther Pilkington and FUNDUS Theater/Theatre of Research

Going on vacation has become difficult, if not impossible, during the pandemic. Even before, issues such as overtourism, the airbnbfication of cities, and tourism’s impact on climate change made going on vacation problematic.

However – we still want a holiday. And this desire is shared by adults and children once they get time off from school or work. Vacation Research sets out to rethink the practice of holiday-making in a transgenerational research setting.

In a research phase of interviews and experimental excursions, the concept of the ‘vacation’ is approached: What meanings does it have? What practices, performances and rituals does it entail?  How can we intervene into it?

This collective research will continue through the set-up of a try-out institution, a travel agency, which will offer new versions and visions of vacations in the form of excursions through Hamburg. Documentation will make these approaches available to other places, other destinations.

Esther Pilkington (PhD) is a performance maker and researcher based in Hamburg. She studied in Frankfurt and Aberystwyth (Wales) and worked at HCU (Hamburg), European University Viadrina (Frankfurt (Oder)) and HBK (Braunschweig). As an artist, she works with several collectives and in a diverse range of formats and media. More info on her practice can be found here:

The relationship between different forms of mobility and performance has always been at the core of her artistic research practice.