Local | Asylum seekers reality through VR goggles in Det levda baklänges

By on September 7, 2016

Marwan Arkawi fled Syria and are now living in Sweden. In Invisible Theatre’s Det levda baklänges gets the audience a unique insight into his journey and meeting with the Swedish Migration Board by VR goggles and headphones. Marwan Arkawi participates himself. Premiere at the Royal Dramatic Theatre on 1 October.

I always wanted to be heard, I want everyone to know who I am and what I can do. I’m not just a refugee in the crowd. Each of us has the opportunity to change the world. I’ve been interviewed by several television channels, but nobody wanted to listen to me – to them I have been just another refugee. After my first meeting with Invisible Theatre we started recording and I began to tell my story, and I started remembering things that I thought I had forgotten. I talked for hours that day, I took no pause. After that, we continued with the recordings. I’m very excited before to face the audience and tell my story. I’m tired of just viewed as a refugee. I want people to know me and realize that we are all individuals with different stories. That we not so different from you, says Marwan Arkawi.

2015 searched 162 877 people asylum in Sweden, people who today do not know if they will be allowed to stay or not. In Det levda baklänges, a collaboration between the Royal Dramatic Theatre & and Invisible Theatre uses the Invisible Theatre uses the of virtual reality glasses, 3D sound and a personal meeting to try to make the abstruse truly understood at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. It will be a modern drama in two acts: in the first, the audience will see the world through the eyes of Marwan, in the second meets the audience Marwan.

We hope to give the audience a glimpse beyond the news coverage, what a human face when forced to leave home and what it means on a personal level to escape to Sweden. It is time to stop talking about refugees but instead start talking to them. Let the people who were forced to flee to tell their story. When a border police watching a passport who sees then? The image says nothing about life, about love, about loss and about courage. In the theater we are able to provide space for the person behind the picture, says Invisible Theatre’s Tomas Rajnai and Jens Nielsen.

Det levda baklänges is about asylums different rooms and the personal story that the audience will experience through seeking asylum. The show is based on interviews and testimonies from men and women who applied for a residence permit in Sweden, lawyers working on the cases, interpreters translate and officers at the immigration office. It is a documentary theatrical collage where the audience with the help of VR goggles and physical meetings experiencing the show with the one whose life is depicted.

With Det levda baklänges wants Invisible Theatre highlight the Swedish migration policy and what it means on a personal level. The story is portrayed not chronologically but as it is demanded by the interviewer at the Migration Board, in different directions, in a way that is not lived, or been thought.

Invisible Theatre consists of Tomas Rajnai and Jens Nielsen. They have previously set up I shall not be entirely forgotten at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. With Det levda baklänges combines Invisible Theatre interactive documentary theater with cinematic elements.

The show will be touring in 2017 to Sort / Hvid in Copenhagen and to The Reykjavík City Theatre in Reykjavik.

Premiere on October 1 at 19, Hansa Salen

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