“The migration politics of Sweden and the entire western world is the greatest shame of our time. The boats that are sinking in the Mediterranean, crowded with people, is a direct consequence of political decisions, it is murder committed by the governments of the EU.”
– Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi, actress
”The Knife to write music for Swedish anti-national cabaret Avant-electro act serve as a house band for a production, entitled Europa Europa, conceived by the Swedish art collective Ful”
– The Guardian
Why do we build walls against heroes?
With cakes, exclusively produced cabaret music by The Knife, voguing, love and admiration, the cabaret Europa Europa praises all those hundreds of thousands of people who defy the cameras, the deadly waters, the barbed wire, the violence and the compact political resistance, and make it across the external and internal borders of Europe every year. Borders that are growing more monitored with every day that passes.
For many years now, the media and the public debate have concentrated on discussing migration and migrants in terms of volumes, difficulties and costs for non-migrants. Europa Europa does the exact opposite. We want to praise these people and criticize those who are truly criminal, i.e. border patrols, Frontex and the governments of the EU, who constantly pose a threat to the life and safety of these heroes.
Europa Europa premieres on the 1st of July in Almedalen, Gotland, during the political week of the election year. Performances will be given on outdoor stages in various cities throughout Sweden up until the election, free of charge for all visitors. The cabaret Europa Europa is part of a movement that exists both within activism and academia, where individuals are trying to expose the human rights violations that are committed by Sweden and the EU every day. The European migration and asylum policies enable these violations. Kabarén Europa Europa är en del av en rörelse som finns på aktivistisk och akademisk nivå, där människor försöker att belysa de brott mot mänskliga rättigheter som Sverige och EU begår varje dag genom den gemensamma asyl- och migrationspolitik.
– – We need change today. The politicians must stop looking the other way and start making the connections between their own decisions and priorities and the people that never survive the trip across the Mediterranean, says Nasim Aghili, director and writer of the cabaret.
On stage: Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi, Ellen Nyman, Karin Dreijer, Kudzai Chimbaira, Maya Hald, Olof Dreijer och Rani Nair.
House band of Europa Europa: The Knife.
Writer and director: Nasim Aghili.
För alla gränser vi överlevt.
För alla rädslor vi trotsat
Kalla mig hjälte!
Kalla oss hjältar!
Musik: The Knife. Text: Nasim Aghilim. Sång: Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi, Ellen Nyman, Karin Dreijer, Kudzai Chimbaira, Maya Hald, Rani Nair Musikvideo av: Roxy Farhat
Kungstorget, kl 20.45. More info. (External link)
Gustavscenen, kl 18.00. More info. (External link)
Outside Tensta konsthall, kl. 16:00. More info. (External link)
Hallundavägen 30 (outside Riksteatern), 19.00. In collaboration with Botkyrka kommun and Stoff.
Vitabergsparken, 20.30. More info. (External link)
Södra teatern, 19.00. Obs: ticket needed! Book here.
Today, it’s basically impossible for people without a European passport to get into the EU legally. The possibilities of getting a visa are close to non-existent for individuals suspected of having reasons to seek asylum. Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq are some examples of war-torn countries where the citizens don’t stand a chance to get a visa, not even for visiting the union. This is why they are forced to try more dangerous roads to get into Europe. Even though it’s a human right to seek asylum, the EU is refusing to grant these people the right and those who try nonetheless are considered criminal and illegal. When in truth, it’s the member countries that are criminal, the legislation that is illegal.
The consequences of the shared European asylum and migration politics that the member countries have developed during the last decades are brutal. Since the mid-nineties, human rights organizations have documented 17,306 deaths that occurred en route to Europe or were caused by migration-political actions. The EU conducts mass deportations to life-threatening places, keeps hundreds of thousands of innocent people in detention centers, splits up families, creates rightlessness and forces people to inhumane waiting on decisions that may never be made.
– Right now there’s a situation in Italy, with 95 people involved. They are migrants from North Africa. When the tragedy with the 350 people who died outside Lampedusa (...)
UNITED has documented deaths at the European borders since the middle of the nineties up until 2012 and Detective has documented deaths from 2000 to 2013. (...)
Hey you amazing people in Europa Europa – an (antinationalistic) cabaret about European migration policies! – Nasim Aghili
Nasim Aghili is the writer, director and initiator to Europa Europa. The following letter is a preface to the manuscript – a result of six months of research and artistic experimentation.
(PDF, 4 pages)
Swedish border policies in Greece
– Anneli Carnelid
Because of the EU’s common migration policies, the external borders of the union are also those of Sweden. As a part of the research done for the cabaret Europa Europa, members of the research group travelled to a part of Sweden's external border that is one of the most commonly used ways of entry into Europe for people seeking refuge – Greece.
(PDF, 4 pages)
RFSL Newcomers: Going to Queer Clubs cannot be a Condition for Asylum
Swedish Migrationsverket has unreasonable requirements for LGBTQ people seeking asylum in Sweden. For a long time now, RFSL (Swedish organization for LGBTQ rights) has been critical of Migrationsverket and their insufficient handling of LBGTQ related cases, yet there have been no improvement.
(PDF, 2 pages)
The purpose of nationalism was to create obedient citizens
– Helena Lindblom
Someone once created Sweden, drew a line on a map, sewed a flag, wrote a song. It wasn't even that long ago. But someone wants us to forget. Helena Lindblom, editor and member of Ful, wants to revisit the circumstances under which the European nation states were created, and the traditions they derive from.
(PDF, 3 pages)
The myth of free movement
– Anneli Carnelid
The development of EU migration policies is both chaotic and logical, in the sense that economic interests have driven it to a point where people are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. This according to Peo Hansen, Associate Professor of Political Science at REMESO, Linköping University, who is interviewed by Europa Europa's Anneli Carnelid.
(PDF, 3 pages)
Frontex – EU's militant birthday child
– Europa Europa
This year is the tenth anniversary of Frontex, a European bureau primarily tasked to strengthen the external borders of the EU. The crucial political decision to establish Frontex was made in October 2004. Less than six months later the operational work began. Frontex is the primary tool for the un-free movement into the EU.
(PDF, 4 pages)
"I want to live my life, but the time is passing and the years are taken from me"
Flyktingarna.se is a politically, organizationally and religiously independent organization that aims to spread personal stories told by people who have been affected by the European migration policies.
(PDF, 7 pages)
Act Against Deportation: Make every Tuesday a day of Resistance
Deportation is an act of fascism and violence that sacrifices human beings in an extreme way to purify and strengthen a nation. Act Against Deportation (Aktion mot deportation) calls for individuals, networks, communities and organizations to take action in order to stop, disrupt or draw attention to deportations.
(PDF, 1 page)
We have to demonstrate our refusal and our dreams
The following text was published by Europa Europa in ETC Magazine on May 25th 2014, two days after the EU Parliamentary election, as a reaction to the election results.
(PDF, 2 pages)
Migration as Cabaret - Political Cabaret and the Politics of Cabaret
– Malin Axelsson
The Berlin cabaret died in the Nazi concentration camps, together with its producers and performers. Is it possible, in a time when fascism is once again advancing, to tell the story of migration as cabaret?
(PDF, 3 pages)
The cabaret Europa Europa is the result of a collaboration between the art group Ful and the house band The Knife.cd
On stage: Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi, actress, performance artist and singer, Ellen Nyman, actress and artist, Karin Dreijer, musician, Kudzai Chimbaira, actress, Maya Hald, performance artist, Olof Dreijer, musician, and Rani Nair, dancer and choreographer.
Writer and director: Nasim Aghili
Scenography: Roxy Farhat
Costume: Mårten Andreasson
Light design: Josefin Hinders
Sound design: Malin Holgersson and Nathaly von Salsa
Textual dramaturge: Malin Axelsson from ung scen/öst
Graphical design: Parasto Backman och Bergen
Ful is an art group consisting of artists from different fields, such as performing arts, illustration, dance, visual arts, music, sound art, literature, graphic design and web-based art and culture communication. (...)
Ful is an art group consisting of artists from different fields, such as performing arts, illustration, dance, visual arts, music, sound art, literature, graphic design and web-based art and culture communication. Ful sees queer feminism and post-colonialism as a part of the esthetics, and makes no difference between form and content or art and politics.
The experimental performing arts project Ful Stage is an investigation of the queer feminist and post-colonial potential of the expression of performing arts. With a point of departure in work placement and an investigative esthetic that is process oriented, Ful Stage wants to highlight bodies and testimonies that we lack today, that we long for. Ful Stage also produced the performance HERE/HÄR at the Stockholm Stadsteater free stage. For more information visit tidskriftenful.se
The Knife is a Swedish band that was founded in 1999. It consists of the siblings Olof and Karin Dreijer (...)
The Knife is a Swedish band that was founded in 1999. It consists of the siblings Olof and Karin Dreijer who also run their own record company Rabid Records. For more information visit theknife.net
– The migration politics of Sweden and the entire western world is the greatest shame of our time. (...)
– The migration politics of Sweden and the entire western world is the greatest shame of our time. The boats that are sinking in the Mediterranean, crowded with people, is a direct consequence of political decisions, it is murder committed by the governments of the EU. It’s very important to tear apart the apartheid laws in Sweden and the EU, the laws that distinguish and value people differently, all depending single-handedly on which nationality your passport shows.
Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi was recently seen in the monologue Personnummer XXXX, written by Shebly Niavarani. Ze is also currently playing Antigone in the trilogy Antigone i Husby, Rats Teater, written by Rebecca Forsberg. The summer of 2014 ze will perform hir own performance piece, “Staging Bahareh Razekh Ahmadi – the artist” at Moderna Museet in Malmö in collaboration with True Womance and FFMM. Ze worked at Stockholm stadsteater in among other plays Barnen från Frostmofjällen (2001/2012), Jösses flickor – återkomsten (2006), Betongsocker och förortsmys (2005), Kränkt – the musical (2013) and HERE/HÄR (2012) – a collaboration with Ful Stage and Rue de Silence. Ze also worked on Förskjutningar (theatre in form of a smartphone app by Nasim Aghili), Återkomst (Fahrang), Etnoporr (Teater Tribunalen/Riksteatern 2008), Kalla det va fan du vill (Malmö Stadsteater 2007) and Elektras bröder (Uppsala Stadsteater/Riksteatern 2004-2005). Ze is artistic director of hir own performing arts platform Rue de Silence, as well as initiator, artistic director and lead singer of the band Oomaigoosh.
– We have to hurry up, the displacement is happening right now. We have to fight, we have to make it in time before the common sense and the human rights loose their status as consensus.
Ever since Ellen Nyman graduated from Skuespillerskolen at the Århus Teater in 1997, ze has been active in theatre, movies, TV and performance. Ze has participated in more than 30 shows both in Denmark and in Sweden. Ze has also been running several art projects of hir own, often in the shape of political actions/happenings and video works of art. Through hir work with picture art ze has had many exhibitions at art museums and ze’s also been teaching at several art academies, in Denmark and abroad. Ze’s a master of ceremonies, debater and lecturer. Ze’s on the board of Moderna Dansteater, representing Konsthall C, and also has a chair in the reference group of performing arts of Kulturrådet. In May, ze will direct the opera performance ”Anti-stories from the feminist revolution”, in collaboration with the Cairo-based queer-feminist network Nazra.
– It’s every human being’s right to move freely in the world, and it’s Europe’s responsibility and duty to protect everyone who needs to be protected. But instead the Member States of the EU are conducting politics that build walls and other life-threatening obstacles along the road. I think it’s important to talk about it, illustrate it and debate it. What I hope to achieve with this show is to make people feel, make them find the will power to change, and make them want to change.
Kudzai Chimbaira got hir degree in acting in Zimbabwe before ze moved to Sweden five years ago. Ze directed Strange Conversations with Integrationsteatern, and independent group that ze founded, and had hir Swedish debut in directing and acting with the plays Bilbränder (by Johanna Emanuelsson, 2010) and Den stora efterfesten (Johanna Emanuelsson 2012). Ze was in Our Golden Girl, a performing arts show about body, gender and identity (by Marlene Jonsson, Kulturobservatoriet / Dramalabbet 2013). Lately ze’s been seen in Det Sovande Folket (2013, Teater Alma). Right now, ze is studying Culture studies at the Stockholm University.
– I think that everyone who lives in Europe should be aware of the consequences of regulated migration and common migration policies. What these policies do to individuals. These policies lead to undignified and inhumane treatment of people. When looking at the fact that the Europeans have colonialized and sucked out the life of the rest of the world for so long, it’s a disaster that Europe now literally has built walls to protect the free movement of Europeans.
Maya Hald is a performance artist and member of the art group Ful. Ze participated on stage in Ful’s first performing arts project, HERE/HÄR on the Stockholm Stadsteater free stage during October 2012. Ze’s the voice and body of Ulf, an alter ego of the magazine Ful, who partook in the magazine, in the Ful radio and on stage. During the 00s ze performed as the alter ego D Muttant, with feminist rap, both solo and with hir side kicks Y Puss and DJ Punani. D Muttant and crew performed in clubs, at music festivals and youth centers. Ze created and performed the solo show D Muttants mission that toured around the country with Riksteatern JAM during the fall of 2005.
– Migrations policies is usually made out as a conflict between the Sweden democrats and the rest of the parties, even though parties from both the right and the left wing have been involved in creating the common European legislation that has superseded the right of asylum, imprison innocent people and tear families apart. I hope Europa Europa can help put this question on the political agenda as the urgent question it actually is – the the biggest humanitarian disasters of our time.
Rani Nair works as a dancer and choreographer and is interested in ideas on post-colonial conflicts and the body in the social context. This year ze’s a scholar at SITE Stockholm, a residence of Dansens Hus in Stockholm and attends Mejan residents at Kungliga Konsthögskolan. Since 2011 ze’s a member of the art group Ful. Hir last performance Future Memory was co-produced by Cullbergbaletten and Dansstationen and was elected to Scenkonstbiennalen in Jönköping 2013.
For interviews and press questions contact Anneli Carnelid, communicator at Europa Europa, at email@example.com or +46 70 743 19 26