A Theatre Performance
Migrants’ narratives as artistic affirmation of our human dignity and a call for political awareness
A project by AstaroTheatro, IIRE and Stichting Vrolijkheid
With the support of Academie voor Theater en Dans
Pictures by Unai Risueño
More than 20 migrants/refugees artists or performers in 10 languages. The result of 5 months of playful improvisational rehearsals, where through self-representation, migrants share stories of their journey and living in the Netherlands facing a long lasting uncertainty after having crossed many, colonial, borders.
Our Footsteps has been successfully performed in Theater Perdu, in Academie voor Theater en Dans and in Ru Paré in Amsterdam. All three dates were sold out as a confirmation of the urgency of this kind of theatre. At the moment Our Footsteps is an on-going project, a work in progress constantly reshaping itself to the artistic and social challenges of our times.
We believe the arts need to engage society; they need to represent today’s turmoil. Moreover, we acknowledge the cathartic function of the arts, and we are aware of arts’ potential as a means of raising awareness. Words, sounds, images need to transcend the fixity of our everyday and provoke the audience into rising above the level of the given to that of the possible. Through this process, the uselessness of borders is made evident, giving way to the human necessity found in peaceful coexistence.
To this end we come together as migrants, political refugees and locals in order to create a performance: an act of theatre, poetry, music, performance art, choreography. And an act of activism, of human and political togetherness. Although most of the participants are not professional artists, their performance attains the level of full artistic dignity. It’s time to stop seeing the migrant as ‘problematic’ or ‘troublesome.’ It’s time to go beyond the politics of social segregation as mass distraction.
Our performance seeks to transcend the political pitfalls of discrimination and hate peculiar to our present and confused world. We want our performance to be a safe haven, a place where diversity is richness and discrimination can only vanish.
Maria Mavridou (dancer, choreographer): “You were all wonderful!! Very touched to be there”
Tenedle Dimitri Niccolai (composer, musician): “What a beautiful performance, rhythm and emotions in perfect harmony, excellent choreography and acting for a very strong important message”
Herman Pieterson: “It was amazing. Great performance, beautiful scenes just using patterns of movements by the whole cast”
Arif Murat Gür, Ayhan Karaağaç, Ayşenur Akın, Elif İleriye Girgin, Erhan Çalıhan, Ersin Adıgül, Farzin Bapiri, Harun Turan, Hüseyin Aykan, Iris Maria Tsagri, İsmail Atalamış, Karin Schuitema, Levent Girgin, Maral Jefroudi, Mhmod Pozan, Roberto Bacchilega, Rüzgar Gür, Savalan Ghodsi, Sayat Tekir, Sedat Kartal, Souloke Sen, Ufuk Çalımlı, Vasiliki Koutrouli, Yusuf Adam Suali, Zeki Barlin
Directed by Roberto Bacchilega in collaboration with the performers
Theatre Training: Vasiliki Koutrouli
Dramaturgy: Arif Murat Gür
Stage Movement: Ayhan Karaağaç
Project Facilitator: Maral Jefroudi
Sound Design: Levent Girgin
Production Assistant and Videoproduction: Chihiro Geuzenbroek
Promotion and Stage Photography: Unai Risueño
Graphics: Savalan Ghodsi