Amsterdam has a large group of refugees whose asylum applications have been rejected. They are referred to as ‘illegals’, but themselves prefer the term ‘refugees’. Wars, international conflicts and systematic violence have devastated their countries. They are not permitted to stay here, and cannot return to their countries of origin. An inhumane impasse the Amsterdam authorities seem unable to resolve. For two and a half years now, they have been united within the campaigning group We Are Here. Instead of being illegal and invisible, they have chosen to make themselves visible and demand attention for their plight. And so the international refugee situation becomes embedded in our immediate environment. For Out of State, members of the campaign group We Are Here have created the production Labyrinth, together with professional theatre-makers.
Labyrinth is based on the experiences of refugees during their asylum procedures. The production allows visitors to experience what it is like to become entangled in a bureaucratic web of endless waiting, interrupted only by interviews and petitions. A production that seeks to present the debatable search for the truth. Whose truth are we seeking here? And how do prejudiced truths translate into language and procedure? In the waiting room, people prepare for an uncertain search for the recognition of existence.
Concept, text, performance We Are Here Cooperative