The idea of the project came to life in December 2014, when I discovered the presence of refugees seemingly hidden on the peripheries of Berlin. During the development of this project, the continuous arrival of a huge number of refugees to Berlin has had a big impact on the city and on individuals, now more than ever.
The effect that the arrival of refugees had on me provoked the necessity to understand who they are, which stories they have, how did they lived before.
I had the opportunity to see some shows about refugees in theatres: the actors were standing and playing monologues of refugees. I thought that something was missing in this kind of show, and that there was too much separation between the actors/ characters and the audience.
The missing step for me was to involve the physical body to create a reaction, tension, a different involvement with the audience. Of course all the people I interviewed have a different background and a particular reason for moving from their countries, and it would be superficial to think that listening the stories of a small group of them could give a clear portrait of the people who are now asking for asylum.
Primarily, my aim is to change the belief that being a refugee is a permanent condition and to try to imagine him/her in a normal life like he/she had before. I thought there was a possibility to represent their individual stories through dance, and more than this, I wanted to see how my dancers could get closer to those stories and use their personal experiences to give them a voice through their bodies. The interviews explored their emotions, their simple anecdotes, and their memories, that maybe don’t have a universal impact but can become important once the dancers start to feel them as their own stories.
The decision to work with dancers was made because body language is universal and can build a bridge between different cultures. The body has very communicative powers:it talks about human beings, it deletes social and ethnic distinctions,and connects people from different groups. More than this, it has a special gift: memory. The challenge of this documentary is to connect the audience with the subject through this kind of memory.
Bodies have their own way to portray stories: they create dialogues without words, silence without the absence of sounds.