Dramatic Theatre premiere for five Swedish hijabis who talk about their lives

By on September 22, 2016

In America VeraZavalas Swedish hijabis tells five Muslim women with scarf, hijab, about reality and everyday life in a society that sees them as unusual. Premiere at Elverket on 14 October.

Benin Al-Najjar, Ruhani Islam, Maryam Dinar, Sarah Ameziane and Shama Vafaipour. Five young Swedish women with ordinary interests: baking, visual arts, boxing, photo art, pedagogy. Five Muslim women with scarf that now stands on stage and talk about their lives.

I’ve wanted to do this since 2008 when I had already heard so many stories about what a hijabi met and since then it has only accelerated. Islamophobia is strong and growing in Sweden and Europe today. On the street notice these women this every day. For my part, I note with interest the criticism coming towards me, towards the idea of letting these women talk, says director America Vera Zavala.

In the debate, the hijab is often linked to racist prejudice, where Muslim women are portrayed as passive victims. With the set of Swedish hijabis want America Vera Zavala and the participants to challenge the stereotype.

– As hijabi we rarely take place and make our voices heard. Instead there is talk about us and for us. This also allows the representation of missing an important group of women in Sweden. I wanted to be in this play mainly because I want to tell myself about my life as hijabi, and not someone else do it for me, and to contribute to an increased representation of hijabis in Swedish publicity, says Shama Vafaipour.

Swedish hijabis belongs to the genre community theater, a theater form that is based on people’s own stories. Just like in a traditional theater show has a clear dramaturgy and directing, but here the audience will meet the real people behind the stories.

Playwright America Vera Zavala debuts with the Swedish hijabis as a director. In the artistic team also includes choreographer Paloma Madrid and lighting designer Mira Svanberg. Additionally, the show documented by the photographer Elin Berge who in 2006 published the book Veils (Atlas).

Swedish hijabis is a guest appearance of Community Theatre & Dance and produced with the support of the Postcode Lottery Cultural Foundation. After the first performance at the Royal Dramatic goes to the show on tour to different cities around Sweden.

With Benin Al-Najjar, Ruhani Islam, Maryam Dinar, Sarah Ameziane and Shama Vafaipour
Directed and screenplay America Vera Zavala
Light Mira Svanberg
Choreographer Paloma Madrid
Costume The Ensemble

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