Staged reading in German translation

Alte Feuerwache

26.06.2019  18:30 h  TICKETS

Tickets Presale and Box office 10 € / 7 € (reduced)

Duration: approx. 1 h


by Sèdjro Giovanni Houansou

Farewell to family, failure of ferry crossing, failure at border controls, failure in the country of arrival. The return also blocked. The pressure on the migrants to be successful abroad at any price makes an unsuccessful return to the society of origin a personal disgrace and a financial disaster.

In 2018, Beninese author Sèdjro Giovanni Houansou was awarded the RFI Prize for the best play submitted of the year. Les Inamovibles (Elected for live) deals with the question of migration from the perspective of return. In the first half, the play deals with the lives of two young men, Malick and Lamine; in the second half, two elderly parents, Amadou, Malick's father, and Mariame, Lamines' mother, wait for their sons to return. While the first part takes place here, the second part takes place in a non-Christian world. It corresponds more to a secularized form of animistic access to the ancestors after death, a transition that is not granted for every deceased and depends on the form of death.
By finding his own images for failure, return, and waiting, Houansou creates a theatrical cosmos that ensures that migration is not only viewed from an economic, political, or sociological perspective. The shift of the conflict into "Nothing's land" with its connotations of Beckett's endgame (a never-ending endgame, a permanent state of waiting, for life) raises the question of inevitability. If the border of migration is not a goal, but the inner emptiness; if return takes place, but not to those who wait; if waiting becomes the only activity; if death and life fall into one, the young people say, then, as with Beckett, there is no longer a dramatic arc. Opposite this emptiness as a border stands the grotesque of a cynical doorman of Europe - a new figuration of the ferryman. The "Nothing's land" not only has a border post, it also entertains those waiting by radio.
Houansou takes up dehumanizing anti-migration discourses as well as grotesque media criticism and forms of hopelessness. He allows his figures to question the world order and turns away from an escape narratives committed to realism by giving space to unspectacular psychological motivations and stories that lead to migration. In this way, he stimulates discussion about political and economic conditions that need to be changed together. The distinction between flight reasons such as war and persecution on the one hand and economic reasons as criteria for asylum on the other is thus called into question.

Les Inamovibles was created within the framework of three writing residencies at the Univers de Mots, Conakry, and Practicables festivals in Bamako, as well as the "Visa pour la Création" programme of the Institut Français.

Staging Rüdiger Pape With Azizè Flittner, Eva Horstmann, Dagmar Operskalski and Aurélie Thépaut