Ibsen's Transformations: The performance Europeana by Rafika Chawishe
AbstractThe article focuses on the music theatre performance Europeana by Rafika Chawishe which was staged at the Alternative Stage of the Greek National Opera in 2019. The performance is inspired by Ibsen’s play Little Eyolf (1894) about a disabled child that is neglected by its parents and loses his life in the sea. In the case of Europeana, which was constructed based on multiple interviews from teenage refugees, the main theme is the uncertain life and dreams of young refugees who leave their home and arrive in Greece and other Mediterranean countries. The performance, socially engaged and politically informed, does not use the approach of documentary theatre but chooses a postdramatic aesthetic in order to portray its message. At the article at hand I look into the creative adaptation of Ibsen’s play into a modern theatrical saga on teenage migration and nightmarish statelessness. At the same time, I examine the sociopolitical connotations of the performance which touches upon harsh contemporary reality in order to promote the need for inclusion, cultural plurality and social integration in Europe.
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