MIGRATION: HARBOUR EUROPE
“Avoid to fall for the single story, reducing complex human beings to a single narrative”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
In collaboration with New Tides Platform and Migrant Dramaturgies Network, LegalAliens launched Migrations: Harbour Europe, a Europe-wide call, to find plays addressing migration in an original manner, avoiding the 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 curated by Dr Szabolcs Musca (University of Lisbon/New Tides Platforms/Migrant Dramaturgies Network).
LegalAliens’ powerful and evocative production features an all female international cast rotating through the roles of migrant, politician, citizen, CEO and a VIP bot, all part of a perverse and random mechanism. A live camera projects part of the action on screen, as our lives become increasingly part of a gigantic video game in which even the most dramatic situations – boats crossing the Med, border control techniques, the selling of weapons – can be sold to the public as glamorous products.
Based on factual research and testimonies, and performed by actors who are all migrants in the UK, Closed Lands chronicles the “Free world”‘s obsession with walls and our journey back to shame.
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 that helps us delineate 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 into 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 that “migrants from the war” are arriving, they decide to build a barbed wire border around their makeshift property.
But their encounter with two migrant women heading to the sea has an outcome they do not expect… Funny, surreal and poetic, The Sea Is My Nation is about exile and love, visible borders and invisible faultlines.
HALA MOUGHANIE was born in Lebanon but migrated to France at the age of 10. In 2003, she returned to Lebanon, 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 2015 RFI Theatre Price, selected by Cross-Channel 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.
Part reportage, part traveller’s diary and medieval Passion play, this powerful and evocative ensemble piece traces the history of modern border walls – real and metaphorical – drawing progressively closer to our current moment. Is history bound to repeat itself?
Closed Lands was fully produced in 2020 for VAULT.