Migrations: Harbour Europe

Dec 01 2019,

“Avoid to fall for the single story, reducing complex human beings to a single narrative” (Chimamanda Adichie)

“Migrations: harbour Europe” is a Europe wide call we launched with New Tides Platform and Migrant Dramaturgies Network to find plays addressing migration in an original manner, avoiding usual cliches and focusing on theatricality. We received 157 plays from 17 countries, selected three and presented them as readings at the Arcola Theatre, followed by debates urated by Dr Szabolcs Musca (University of Lisbon/New Tides Platforms/Migrant Dramaturgies Network).


A modern morality play with the charm of a fairytale and the depth of an old myth, Chiara Boscaro’s play focuses on language as an empowering tool, helping us delineating the borders of our personal world.

A woman arrives in a foreign city. All around her, a language she can’t speak. Unable to give a name to things, she lives on the margins of society. Who is she? A refugee escaping war? Or somebody looking for a better place to bring a new life to the world? The idiom spoken in this “new found land” is Esperanto. The language of peace.

CHIARA BOSCARO is an Italian playwright whose work has been translated into Catalan, French, English and Finnish. Plays include “07.09.2012”, co-written with Marco De Stefano (PIIGS Selection, Barcelona, 2016), “Bedda Maki” (winner of 2016 Una commedia in cerca d’autori), the international project PENTATEUCO featuring a series of monologues, and “La citta’ che sale”, also co-written with Marco Di Stefano and winner of the 2018 Mario Fratti Award in New York.

The Sea Is My Nation:

A man and his wife live in the suburbs of a city full of trash. On hearing “migrants from the war” are arriving, they decide to build a barbwire border around their makeshift property.

But the encounter with two migrant women heading to the sea, has a surprising outcome… Funny, surreal and poetic, The sea is my nation is about exile and love, visible borders and invisible fault lines.

HALA MOUGHANIE was born in Lebanon but migrated to France aged 10. In 2003 she returned to her native country, where she works as a playwright, writer and consultant in international cooperation. Her writing is focused on exploring the memories and wounds of war. Her first play, Tais-toi et creuse (“Shut up and dig”) was awarded the RFI Theatre Price 2015, selected by the Cross-Chanel Theater (UK) and is currently being translated into English. Her latest play Alma was produced in 2018 as part of Fissures during the Festival des Francophonies en Limousin. In 2018 she was awarded the Prix d’aide à la Création – ArtCena, and the Prix du Quartier des Auteurs du Tarmac.

Closed Lands:

A mix between reportage, traveller’s diary and medieval Passion play, this powerful and evocative ensemble piece traces the history of modern walls – real and metaphorical – drawing progressively closer and more intimate. Is history bound to repeat itself?

SIMON GRANGEAT is a French playwright. His writing mixes documentary, verbatim and fiction in unique theatrical forms. Work includes Du Piment dans les yeux, Une si jolie mariée, Un Cœur Moulinex, Deux pieds demain, Divines désespérances, T.I.N.A. – une brève histoire de la crise, Faut-il désespérer du monde ou mourir en riant? and the collection of plays for young people, Les Méchants. His plays has been widely performed in France at Comédie Française, Collectif À Mots Découverte, Théâtre du Rond-Point, C.D.N and translated into Catalan, English, Spanish, Hungarian and Greek.