Other home – Facts about alienation and acceptance, wolrld premiere at the Finnish National Theatre November 16
The Touring Stage presents: Other Home – Facts about alienation and acceptance, world première in the Omapohja Studio at The Finnish National Theatre November 16. 2017. In celebration of Finland’s centenary as an independent state, the oldest theatre in the country is staging Other Home, a production which brings together artists who have entered Finland as asylum seekers with artists who were born here.
A documentary-based theatre performance, Other Home addresses questions of home and integration. The show is about different people moving from one home to another. One has a Finnish passport, another a temporary residence permit, a third has documents that have lost their meaning. What does home mean to a newly arrived refugee, and what does it mean to a native who has always felt at home? Can art represent a common home for people who have come from all over the world? How do you make it back home if all the doors are shut and there is no place of refuge? Reality is a constant variable influencing this documentary-based performance.
The performance explores what it means to be a persecuted artist. This is a story told by Iraqi actors Bakr Hasan and Harith Raad, Iraqi singer Ali Saed as well as Iranian rap-artist Soroush Seyedi, all of whom have fled their homeland for the privilege of practicing their art without pain of death. Other members of the cast include long-standing Finnish theatre professionals Terhi Panula and Sanna Salmenkallio, as well as a number of participants in the Other Home workshops designed for artists with refugee backgrounds.
Iraqi actor and director Bakr Hasan explains: “I was born into a religious family. When I was fifteen, I discovered theatre. That’s when my true life began, but many obstacles stood in my way. My family forbade me to create art on the premise that art is the devil’s invention. My father started beating me to make me stop. My problems did not remain within the family, society’s attitude was even more severe. All Iraqi theatres turned their back on me because I spoke the truth. There is not one single religion in the world that is capable of loving another religion. So we must try today to look inside ourselves, to embrace our own soul, to embrace in our minds all our differences of opinion. We must blend together all conventions, genres, ideas, colours and religions so that all that remains visible is the human being.” (translated from Sampsa Peltonen’s Finnish translation)
premiere November 16.