ISSN: 20523971
First published in 2015
2 issues per volume
Volume 3 Issue 2
Cover Date: October 2017
Hosting the lament(s) of Others? Tensions and antinomies in Dries Verhoeven’s No Man’s Land
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Authors:  Marios Chatziprokopiou 
DOI: 10.1386/jgmc.3.2.161_1

lament,suffering,displacement,hospitality,hostility,mother tongue,racism,performance

No Man’s Land was a peripatetic performance produced in Athens by the Onassis Cultural Center (2014) and previously presented in several European cities. According to its director Dries Verhoeven, the piece sought to explore ‘what is a multicultural environment today’ by staging one-to-one encounters, where (ostensibly local) spectators were guided by performers (migrants, refugees or asylum seekers) through the city while listening to a story of forced displacement and exile. Drawing on a corpus of semi-structured interviews with the Athens-based performers, this article examines the performers’ own conceptions and experiences of this institutional attempt to ‘host’ the laments of Others, as ‘both a performance and a political act’ (Anon. 2014b). Participants’ narratives are studied in connection to the representational strategies of the performance, in an attempt to unpack interrelations between these theatrical walks and everyday experiences of discrimination in the Athenian urban fabric. In doing so, the article reveals a larger field of tensions and antinomies between representations and presences, vocalizations and silences, languages of the Other and mother tongues, art and ‘life’.
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