World Refugee Day
To arrive in a new country as a child
Translation: Maria Dyakonova
Now, when President Trump conducts his inhumane policy of separating children from their parents at Mexico-US “wall,” the world needs culture. Culture that would remind us how it feels when you don’t know where you really belong. While Bundestag is still discussing who and in what way could strengthen the cultural variety and how to allow more people to participate in the spheres of art and culture in urban and rural areas, a documentary theatre project called “Puzzle” has been presented in Berlin on World Refugee Day on June 20.
It raises the question – how it feels to come to a new country as a child and to start from scratch with its culture. The director brings together interesting and funny stories as well as tragic memories of refugees from 1945 to the present day.
German, non-German, welcomed or rejected – these are the puzzle pieces of the 70-minute long play by Berlin director Monika Dobrowlanska, the winner of Prix Tournesol award at Festival d’Avignon 2017. “Puzzle” is the essence of interviews and workshops organised by Dobrowlanska with today’s asylum seekers and those who were displaced as German, Polish, and Jewish children after the Second World War.
The documentary theatre project is based on intertwined stories – just like in the real life, some of them are tragic, and some of them are funny. Young and old, past and present, performed by professional actors, refugees, and displaced people. It vividly shows broken lives as result of expulsions after the Second World War as well as experiences of today’s refugee children. Individual stories mingle with each other like puzzle pieces and create a diverse picture of migration causes. Does the question how it feels to arrive in a new country as a child and to start from scratch have an answer? All spectators can express their opinion on this during a public discussion after the performance.
Freedom which I mean
Dobrowlanska is a theatre scholar. She took an international directing and acting class at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts GITIS Moscow and studied Cultural Management at the Warsaw School of Economics. Since 2002, she has been living and working as freelance director in Berlin where she has cooperated with such institutions like Maxim Gorki Theater, Hebbel Theater, Berlin Academy of Arts and Kunsthaus Tacheles. In September 2012, she founded the international artists’ collective multicultural city in Berlin that develops documentary theatre productions. Multicultural city focuses on creating experimental theatre forms, resulting from the encounter of different cultures, as well as providing a meeting platform for artists from Western and Eastern Europe. Dobrowlanska’s works focus on identity as well as personal and political freedom.
“Puzzle – War children tell their stories” provides an opportunity to discuss the issue of freedom, which seems to be topical due to current debates and rows inside the German government and mistrust towards foreigners in Germany and Europe.
“Puzzle – War children tell their stories” will be played on June 20, at 19:30 at Berliner Werkstatt der Kulturen. It will be dollowed by a public discussion.
Free entrance for people with the ID of refugee and displaced person of 1945/46 or asylum seeker ID. Normal price 5 Euro.
All performances in Brandenburg for free.
June 21, 18:00, Kreiskulturhaus Seelow
June 27, 11:00, Parkclub, Fürstenwalde
June 28, 14:00, Uckermärkische Bühnen Schwedt
June 18, 18:00, and September 19,12:00, Kleist Forum, Frankfurt/Oder.