IN A TIME OF SOCIAL ISOLATION,
HOW CAN WE CONNECT?
WHEN YOU CAN’T TOUCH,
SHARE A PHYSICAL SPACE NOR MAKE EYE CONTACT…
WHEN WALLS ARE SEPARATING US,
BUT WE HAVE WORDS TO SAY AND SONGS TO SING.
CAN WE STILL BE HEARD?
In the fall of 2020 we started working on a new performance with DEGASTEN BOOST about 'Belonging'. BOOST is a meeting place where people with a refugee background and people from the Amsterdam neighbourhood work together on integration. Most of the projects are focussed on language, like the language-cafe. But there are also other activities such as an info-cafe, a sewing workshops and boxing classes. We created a theater workshop open for anyone to join, a space where different forms of expression (aside from the dutch language) were to be used.
After 'Rules of Freedom/Freedom Rules' in 2019 we organically moved to the topic of 'belonging'.
Some quotes from the rehearsals:
"I try to belong to understand why I am here"
"I am still figuring out where I want to belong"
"Can you belong without wanting to?"
"Belonging is the extension of our ancestors, we need to belong to know where we stand in this world"
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we were unable to continue working in a physical space together, so we went online and created this chain-letter project and video in the spring of 2020.
This website: https://www.theaterdegasten.nl/chaintobelong/ was made as a part of this performance. More than 150 people received a letter from someone who they might not know, but who lives close to them. The letters linked to this website.
"We are a group of young people with different nationalities that work together every week to make performances. We asked each other big questions, like: What is connection? Where is home? How can we feel that we belong? Then a virus locked us in our houses, and these questions became more relevant than ever. We wish we could share with you what we’ve done so far while breathing in the same air. Instead, we created a video for you and a proposal to stay connected. So pour yourself a cup of tea, sit down in your favorite chair and let us take you into a story. From the comfort of our houses into yours…"
Concept/Direction: Mara van Nes & Tomas Leijen
Performance: Basak Layic, Parsa Adibi, Salih Soner Er, Seeryz Jalbout, Ayman Nadaf, Tarek Al Muazen, Faisal Alhalabi, Hanae Mouloud, Ammar Ahmed, Anas Rabaa, Jin Liang Li, Farouk Ebaiss
Video Edit: BarBara Hanlo & Mara van Nes
Drawing on book: Parsa Adibi