Theater Malpertuis interviewed Toneelhuis maker Mokhallad Rasem about his new production Zielzoekers (Soul Seekers).
There’s no such thing as chance. Long before the ‘flood of refugees’ was presented as a crisis in the media in the summer of 2015, the asylum centre in Menen invited Theater Malpertuis and Mokhallad Rasem to work on an artistic project together.
The centre also wanted to involve its asylum seekers in that project and to make outsiders aware of the refugee problem. In the meantime, the need for an initiative of this sort has only grown.
Right from the outset Mokhallad Rasem chose an unusual approach: he wanted to compare life in an asylum centre to a waiting room. One’s previous life has been interrupted, yet one’s next life cannot really begin. In a state of limbo, the displaced oscillate between homesickness for the past, for what they have ‘lost’, and a desire for a new and invisible future that still has to be 'won'. For many that enclave feels like a paralysing prison, but Mokhallad Rasem argues that that fossilized attitude can be overturned. He speaks from personal experience, because between 2005 and 2006 he himself was in Zemst asylum centre. He believes that in that uncertain and suspenseful interim phase it is possible to open all the doors to a new world, a new life. A new soul... Mokhallad Rasem will live in the asylum centre for six weeks at the beginning of 2017. During that time he and the occupants will create and film material, which he will rework into a new site-specific project: Zielzoekers.
Follow his stay at the centre and creative process on Facebook Zielzoekers / Soul Seekers.
Zielzoekers (Soul Seekers) is part of Beyond Borders, a project of different Toneelhuis makers on the subject of migration.
concept & play
- Mokhallad Rasem
- Mokhallad Rasem
- Paul Van Caudenberg
- Piet Arfeuille
- Theater Malpertuis
- Rode Kruisopvangcentrum voor asielzoekers Menen
- cc De Steiger Menen
- Dienst Noord/Zuid, Menen
- Dienst Integratie, Menen