Moving Identities and the Fixed Gaze: Notes from Personal Experience

Introduction or a Continuous Beginning? 

‘In the 1990s, we were the rich tourists; in the 2000s, we became the evil terrorists; and now in the 2010s, we are the poor refugees.’

This line is from the opening scene of Please, Repeat after me, a play produced by TANWEEN Company for Dance and Theatre.[1] Premiered on 7 June 2018 at HochX Theatre in Munich, the play directly addresses, as the quoted line states, the issue of representations specifically in its postcolonial context. The line announces that there is the personal pronoun “we”, and therefore suggests that there should also be a “you”. The play, written and directed by Syrian theatre maker Ziad Adwan, and performed by seven actors from different nationalities and artistic backgrounds, tackles the topic of the representation of refugees in Germany. Therefore, this “we” may refer to Arabs, or to Syrians, or the refugees in general. It can also merely refer to the actors and the audience.

This “we” is a distorted image that had to construct (or stereotype) itself for decades before the so-called “refugee crisis” in 2015, as contemplated by Edward Said, Rustum Bharucha, Timothy Mitchell and many other scholars and practitioners who examined the processes of “Western” interest in the so-called Orient, and the processes of constructing an identity that situated itself in contrast to the “Other”. In Orientalism (1978), Edward Said traced several cultural, literary, academic and military Occidental interests in the Orient. He argued that the Occident instructed and constructed several representations of the Orient that assisted in the process of “othering” “the East” from “the West”. This Occidental identity sets itself in contrast with what is Oriental, and consequently colonises it (Said, 1978, p. 210).

When we, as TANWEEN, felt the urge to stage our experiences as Syrians, we knew that our audience was not ignorant of Syria and of the current war taking place in our homeland. We are, therefore, not informative; we avoid and criticise verbatim representations of the Syrian uprising, war and diaspora. We know that wars happen all the time all over the world; however, we feel something special about Syria. After all, we are Syrians. Additionally, the Syria crisis is arguably the first political crisis to take place in the age YouTube, citizen journalism and live streaming. People now have the chance to be informed of what is happening at the exact moment anything happens. Obviously, this has had an impact on people all over the globe, including the Syrians. Furthermore, unlike the wars and tragedies in neighbouring countries, the tragedy in Syria happened in a very short period, and the decline was too sharp to grasp. Iraq went to war against Iran in 1980, and has been in many different wars since then. The Lebanese civil war started in 1976 and the country still experiences the consequences and threats of that war. The struggle between Palestine and Israel has remained, to a certain extent, the same since 1948. The Kurdish-Turkish armed conflict has been running for more than forty years.

Syria was the safe country in a warzone, and in just one year, it became worse than its neighbouring countries, with Syrian refugees scattering all over the world including Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. The life in Syria before 2011 encouraged us to move back to Syria after spending more than nine years in Germany and London. Mey Seifan studied ballet at the Ballet Conservatory and at the Dance Department of the Syrian Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, then moved to Frankfurt to study at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Art. She then continued her career as a dancer and a choreographer in Nuremberg. In 1999, Ziad Adwan moved to London after receiving a BA degree in theatre studies at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus, and studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and King’s College. He then got his PhD from the theatre studies department of Royal Holloway, University of London working on the topic of mistakes and making mistakes in theatre, specifically related to cultural representations. He also returned to Syria in 2009 after spending more than nine years studying and working as an actor and taking part in other international theatre and film projects.

We met in Damascus in 2009, and founded TANWEEN as a theatre company that produces plays, organises festivals and engages in regional cultural strategies. Between 2009 and 2011, we were examining the uncertainty in Syria and the huge gap between the country’s manufactured image as a country that seeks development and its daily political and social oppressions. Bashar Al-Assad was portrayed, not only in Syrian state media but also in international media, as the westernised president, who was leading Syria from lagging conditions to a brighter future. In fact, Syrians, and perhaps also the international media, had no choice but to affirm this image of Bashar Al-Assad being “the hope”. Bashar Al-Assad came into power in 2000 when his father Hafez Al-Assad died after ruling Syria for thirty years. Although Bashar wanted to expose an image that was different from his father’s, the apparatus and the oppression remained the same. In Ambiguities of Domination, Lisa Wedeen discusses how Hafez Al-Assad managed to control the metaphors, symbols and rhetoric in Syria, and argues that one of the regime’s abilities to ambiguously control the Syrians was the regime’s capability to ‘compel people to say the ridiculous and to avow the absurd’ (Wedeen, 1999, p. 12).

The art scene in Syria in 2009 was believed to be flourishing, especially when a year before, Damascus was named the Arab Capital of Culture of 2008. Under the supervision of theatre academic Hanan Qassab Hassan, several remarkable international artists were invited to Syria, and many Syrian artistic and literary activities were subsidised, making us believe that Syria after 2008 would be a different country. Through TANWEEN, Mey Seifan founded the Damascus Contemporary Dance Platform in Damascus in 2009. However, working in Syria came to an end when the demonstrations began in the country. Mey Seifan left Syria in 2011, and Ziad Adwan left in 2013.

We met back again in 2013, and TANWEEN was re-launched in Germany, producing plays, running workshops and getting involved in academic circles. Based in Munich and Berlin, we felt that we were back to familiar places; but this time, we were different. We were students and artists in the 2000s Europe, but in the 2010s, we became the refugees.

In the beginning, we were not sure if Syria should be the subject of our theatrical projects. This might have been influenced by the sensitivity we had already established with the European theatre audience about presenting Syria on stage, a trend that stereotyped the country and the artists who spoke for their counties. In the 2000s, when we were sceptical about European artistic projects that wanted to use Syrian and Arab performers to ‘rationally speak about terrorism’ and to ‘humanise the terrorist’, we were completely open to putting our experiences on stage as refugees and to collaborate in other European artistic and literary projects about the topic of refugees. We felt that what we have been through, as human beings in meaningless situations, is what we wanted to tackle whether we were based in Europe or in our homeland.

Dreams or Syria?

During the demonstrations that took place in Syria in March 2011, Mey Seifan launched a Facebook page that was titled “Tell me what you dreamt of last night?” The Facebook page came into being as a result of Mey’s realisation that her dreams were changing, and her curiosity drove her to know if this was happening to her friends, too. Friends and acquaintances posted dreams which got surprisingly similar as the years passed by. A lot of dreams in 2011, for instance, contained the theme of water and people floating on water. In 2016, the concept of twins was frequent in various forms. The task, according to Seifan, was not to remain passive and watch her life and dreams change, but to try to make a change in return. Thus, through lucid dreaming, she began to learn, and then teach, how to deal with matters that scare us in our nightmares.

“Tell me what you dreamt of last night?” had some funny provocations, as well. When the regime arrested and tortured many Syrians for expressing their opinions, to the extent that a like on a Facebook status would cost a life, the page wondered what would happen if the regime knew that someone had an anti-regime dream; would the dreamer be arrested for her/his unconsciousness? More importantly, could people speak about their dreams? Were late-night dreams a threat that might lead the dreamer to solitary confinement? Would dreams not be left to their interpretations rather than being verbatim description of a series of images? There were many people who enjoyed sharing their dreams on the page, and the more Syrians escaped the country, the more dreams the page received. In 2013, the archive transcended the Facebook fun, and through the help of many activists and journalists, the archive began to include late-night dreams by many layers of the Syrian population including fighters, army soldiers, detainees, refugees, ISIS fighters, aid workers and many others.

We wondered what we should do with this archive, with this instinctive source of dreams showing the various ways that many Syrians manifest fear, survival, victory and solidarity.

When TANWEEN resumed its theatrical activities in Germany in 2013, the name of the page became Syrian Dreams Project. We decided to use these dreams as inspirations for artistic and theatrical projects. TANWEEN produced Destruction for Beginner, a physical theatre trilogy designed by Mey Seifan, and used the dreams archive as its main material. The three plays premiered at i-camp theatre (now HochX Theatre) in Munich in 2013, 2014, 2015, respectively. In 2013, we dealt with the concept of challenge; in 2014, we focused on the topic of choice in hopeless situations; and in 2015, we focused on the concept of suffering that is experienced when trying to get a meaning out of nothing. The rehearsal process also included the performers’ late-night dreams.

In 2017, TANWEEN presented Siesta, an installation/performance designed by Mey Seifan and premiered at HochX Theatre in Munich. In this project, we installed several tents inside the theatre. Spectators were invited to enter all tents and receive the dreams through different media. One tent had a chair and three big shells. The shells had MP3 players installed inside them; by putting them against their ears, the spectators could hear dreams from the archive as well as the SOS calls of refugees on death boats. Another tent had a small projector that showed animated movements reflecting the way people normally see movements when dreaming. Five performers appeared on the stage and presented scenes that were based on the dream archive. The sequence of the scenes followed the dream order, which is scientifically argued to be divided into shallow sleep (the stage between being awake and sleeping, deep sleep (when we have dreams that influence us emotionally but we cannot tell their details), and the REM (when we have dreams that we can tell in the form of a “story”).

TANWEEN also made two short movies that are based on the dream archive: Cocoon in 2013 and News Dreamers in 2016. The short movies discuss how everyday reality has surpassed bizarre late-night dreams, and how it has gone beyond the metaphors and the slogans. The dream world has come to be a solution for personal predicaments, and we wanted to express the various human conditions that Syrians have experienced without being direct, instructive or merely informative. We wanted to share the experiences that these dreams represented without being constrained by being labelled as the dreams of “Others”. We were not sure about the format that we were going to use for the archived dreams. After all, do these dreams not lose a lot of their surrealism and unconsciousness when they are consciously narrated in letters and words, be it in written or verbal arrangement? Yet, theatre offered us a euphoric, symbolic and uncertain space, similar to the dream world.

Our theatre productions came in a context of massive representation of the topic of refugees on European stages, particularly on German stages. Many prominent theatres in Germany founded departments for the refugees, such as the Exil Ensemble at Berlin Gorki Theater, and the Open Border Ensemble at Munich Kammerspiele. The departments consisted mainly of refugee actors, who, in the first years, presented plays about their own experiences as refugees, depending mainly on real events and the actors’ real testimonies. It would be noteworthy to mention that most of the refugee actors were Syrians, with only one play directed by a Syrian director. Other theatres collaborated with Syrian writers and directors to present plays about Syria, which focused on the topic of refugees and were also strongly based on real testimonies from the actors. The plays portrayed many human aspects of the Syrian tragedy in addition to addressing the issues of dictatorship, fundamentalism and hypocrisy with a highly critical tone, and were positively received by German audiences.

Our plays were created within this context of “refugees presenting plays about refugees”. This phenomenon was welcomed in the first three years, as was demonstrated by the audience applauses and newspapers critiques as well as in the application forms that encouraged theatre makers and theatre venues to engage the topic of refugees. Not denying the good intentions and the high sensibility in deploying emotional and critical sensitivities, we at TANWEEN were concerned about how a theatre event ‘shifted from being a space that stimulates fantasy to a narrow place for sympathy and solidarity’, to use Emma Cox’s words in her book Staging Asylum (2013). In the book, which introduces six plays about the topic of refugees in Australia, Cox affirms this reception when she states that any attempt to approach Nothing, but Nothing by Tawfiq Al-Qadi without sympathy is a sort of luxury. We at TANWEEN, as well as many other Syrian theatre makers, sensed that Cox’s words were also true for Germany and other European countries. Cox’s words were in fact a double-edged sword against Syrian plays. Having refugees’ stage real experiences left a small margin for the interpretation of the plays and the characters, as well as a small margin to evaluate stage craft and acting.

Did we also leave our spectators with nothing but these limited options of sympathy and solidarity in TANWEEN plays? Were we deploying a human experience of destruction and naïve choices in deadly conditions, or were we just Syrians talking about Syria? Did we construct another image of the “other”, which has a history of being perceived as exotic, now mixed with stories that involve swimming across great seas, walking through continents, repeating the daily activities of life under chemical weapons, and feeling like dead before actually dying?


Colonising the Refugees
These questions lead us to another question: how are the plays that deal with the topic of refugees received? The question and its answer are closely related to the audience with their expectations, interests and the stereotypes they have in their minds. After a few years of sympathy and solidarity, and slogans of integration and multiculturalism across theatres and in public life in Europe, the tide has changed, and the European right-wing movements and parties have grown in popularity. They reject the presence of refugees in theatres as well as in public life. The decline in institutional plays about refugees, which can clearly be observed in the past couple of years, is a result of being bored of the topic of refugees;[2] as if it was some sort of entertainment between 2014 and 2017. Consequently, refugees have started to avoid being seen or considered as refugees in a time when the European public describes any foreigner as a refugee.

Our fluctuation in TANWEEN was about the actual margins of representation, and how to navigate on that hyphen between West-East. Having been in Europe in the 2000s, we experienced the professional and institutional European prejudice and processes about otherness. Therefore, when we returned to Europe as refugees, we wanted to avoid the tendency of orientalising ourselves; yet, paradoxically, we also wanted to speak about Syria, which is almost exactly what an orientalist would expect from the orient.

In Orientalism (1978), Edward Said describes at length how the Occidental enterprises in the Orient were used for the benefit of the coloniser; and therefore, the reception of “the Other” is ‘not as they are but as, for the benefit of the receiver’ (Said, 1978, p. 67). Said adds that even the European academics did not dispense with the image and expectations they held of the Orient.

When a learned Orientalist traveled in the country of his specialization, it was always with unshakable abstract maxims about the “civilisation” he had studied; rarely were Orientalists interested in anything except proving the validity of these musty “truths” by applying them, without great success, to uncomprehending, hence degenerate, natives (Said, 1978, p. 52).

Having watched and been involved in many plays and artistic projects about refugees in Europe, we found out that most of the plays followed the same patterns. Technically, the dependence on testimonies drive these plays to be in the form of monologues, with slight use of live music or songs, some dance performances and the use of a screen on the stage. There is a peculiar similarity in plays that tackle the topic of refugees; they all look like the image that is already embedded in the minds of the audience through television reportages.

In Colonising Egypt (1988), Timothy Mitchell describes how modern Europeans developed the convention of gazing at an image. This modern observational process, he argues, has shaped a specific relationship between the object and the observer, which formulates the position of the observer before the object, the frame of the object, and the distance between the observer and the observed. This can be seen in the way monuments are placed in public spaces and objects are displayed in indoor spaces. Mitchell describes how other cultures used to be represented in museums, international fairs, exhibitions and staged performances, with admirable care in portraying the detailed images of the intimate Orient life as it happened in the Orient (Mitchell, 1988, p. 1).

He argues that the European gaze fostered a sense of certainty about the world, based on an assumed relationship between the image and (imagined) reality.

Exhibitions, museums and other spectacles were not just reflections of this certainty, however, but the means of its production, by their technique of rendering history, progress, culture and empire in ‘objective’ form. They were occasions for making sure of such objective truths, in a world where truth had become a question of what Heidegger calls “the certainty of representation” (Mitchell, 1988, p. 7).

In his discussion, Mitchel focuses on the Europeans’ fixation on the systematic image they previously had of Egypt. He describes how the Europeans suffered when they travelled to the Orient looking for the same image they had in their minds, and how they were disappointed when they could not find, for instance, the Cairo of the framed exhibitions.

European visitors would arrive in the Orient looking for the same kind of structure ‘raised in the imagination’. They would come expecting to find a world where a structure or meaning exists somehow apart, as in an exhibition, from the ‘reality’ of things-in-themselves (Mitchell, 1988, p. 21).

Mitchell details how Egypt was “enframed”, “captured” and then “colonised” to impose order on any possible chaos. He suggests that Europe exported the expected image of Egypt into Egypt in the nineteenth century, and says that the Egyptians adopted this image. Egypt, therefore, had to exhibit itself in such a way that the European visitor could observe it in accordance with the standards s/he was accustomed to.

The desire to establish order in the Egyptian life included agriculture, military, architecture and even the registration of births in every Egyptian village. “To colonise Egypt, to construct a modern kind of power, it would be necessary ‘to determine the plan’” (Mitchell, 1988, p. 33). Mitchell relates this control to Michel Foucault’s account of control in modern Europe; a process that controls bodies through both physical and mental means. The physical contact and the “capture”, to use Mitchell’s words, was not the initial step to “colonisation”; first came the Egyptian’s perception of the self. A need for order and discipline was created among the Egyptians. In this way, the colonial forces constructed a need in the country-object that could then be adjusted according to the observer’s requirements: objectifying, minimising and representing.  Controlling refugees while they reside in Europe is not much different than what Mitchell presents in his book. The only difference is that controlling “the other” while they reside in Europe is easier than controlling distant colonies or mastering accuracy in museums. Obviously, the choiceless refugees can do nothing but follow order. Perhaps, many have actually moved to Europe to find an order. Yet, the excessive control imposed on refugees has placed them in low ranking classes in class-based societies. Even the word “refugee” has become a humiliating label. From the perspective of institutions, it seems that the decision makers sense the shyness this word has been evoking; and instead have been opting for labels like people of colour, new comers, immigrants and expats, which are believed to lessen the shyness and embarrassment associated with the word “refugee”, and transform the description of “the others” in a more correct manner. However, putting all people who are not white under one label just constructs another European identity against the Oriental, which is actually residing in the Occident nowadays. This reflects a European fear of being threatened by the disorder refugees might cause, and the populist sensibility for preventing any change brought by this unlikable chaos.[3]

Were the Syrian plays also enframed within one model of representation which had to be verbatim and only sought solidarity and sympathy? Did the verbatim style made the Syrian plays a propaganda that one can easily be bored of? In Doc and dram, British playwright David Edgar relates the phenomenon of post 9-11 reportage theatre to the Theatre of the Fact movement, which emerged in the 1950s and the early 1960s, and was based on documents, particularly trial transcripts. Trying to explain verbatim drama and the use of monologues, Edgar explains:

The theory behind these works was not, however, to explain the phenomena they described. The strategy of using documents as opposed to dramatic invention was a conscious evasion: playwrights were saying that, after the enormities of Auschwitz and Hiroshima, the old concepts of cause and effect no longer apply. All the playwright can do is present the documents for the audience to make of them what it will.[4]

Mistake vs. Order, Mistake vs. Truth 

The discussions of Arabs nowadays in theatre practices show a tendency towards the topic of refugees. This shift delivers an amplified and violent enframing process of “othering”. In comparison to the theatre of the 2000s, for instance, which adopted a discourse that stated not all Arabs are terrorists,[5] the 2010s plays announce that all Arabs are refugees. This has reached an extent that even Arabs with European passports who have been residing in Europe for decades and have become a part of its mosaic became refugees in 2014, and have been exposed to questions like what adventures have brought them to Europe, and why and for how long they are staying.  

Challenging the certainty of verbatim theatre and the certainty of the West’s excessive desire for order, TANWEEN produced Please, Repeat after me, a play written and directed by Ziad Adwan. The text-based play opens with a welcoming monologue by the manager of a supposed authentic theatre group of refugees. The actors then testify stories of war and diaspora, fused with Middle Eastern traditional music and dances and the use of a screen. Shortly after, technical mistakes begin to occur during the verbatim play and the screen stops playing. The actors begin improvising to avoid making mistakes and to save the show. The mistakes continue until they give up and admit that the show has gone wrong. The actors explicitly declare the occurrence of the mistake. One actor/character addresses the audience to convince them to stay in the theatre despite the mistakes by saying:

Listen my dears! This play is not a normal play! In a normal play, actors return back to who they are when such a mistake happens. If a mistake takes place when I am playing Hamlet, I will stop being Hamlet, and I become myself. But, we as refugees, we are still refugees despite everything. Whatever happens, we remain the same; we remain our authentic self. And this is the unique thing about us. We are refugees in theatre and in real life. We either survive or we are forgotten.

The actors, each with a different motivation, invite the audience to interact with them and to help them continue the show. The manager of the company enters again. The tidy presentation scatters in fragments, and in one part of the play, five actions happen at once in the theatre. Actors walk among the audience carrying elements of their original representation, but amplify the stereotypical image. The interaction with the audience happens through different levels: the manager's prologue, asides in dialogues, monologues, addressing the audience directly, admitting the mistakes, asking the audience for help, emphasizing the power imbalance and amplifying the cultural stereotypes to intimidating levels, begging, sharing food, and in the end, a clumsy curtain call.

The chaotic representation left many audience members confused about what was real, what was scripted, what was a verbatim representation, what was an intimate and honest soliloquy, and what was a confession under a threat. The aim in having the audience as part of the play was not to engage them physically. We wanted to play with the matters of distance, frame and gaze. We also attempted to shake and shift the power balance that was already established between the strong position of the European audience and the weak representative foreign actors on stage. In this way, the actors, regardless of being refugees or not, would regain the power that actors have always possessed in theatre events.

Political Emptiness
Unlike the Syrian Dreams Project, which sprang out of the “Arab Spring” in 2011, Please, Repeat after me reflects our personal experiences in Europe since we first moved in 1999. Whether it is about terrorism or the refugee crisis, Arabs and Muslims have become political creatures that are used to manifest political art and literature in Europe, and perhaps everywhere. We sensed that whenever an Arabic character was introduced in any medium, the subject would likely be political; connecting Arabs to blood, weapons, terrorism, freedom fighting, martyrdom, fundamentalism, and so on.

In an often-cited 1984 article, Indian theatre practitioner Rustum Bharucha criticises Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and Richard Schechner’s assumptions of analogies between different cultural contexts (Bharucha, 1984). He criticises Richard Schechner’s defence of the transportation of rituals from one culture to another, as well as Antonin Artaud’s utilization of Asian rituals and models to satisfy the “spiritual needs” that European and North American societies lack.  Cuban performance artist Coco Fusco also highlights this idea about the white society’s “emptiness”. She claims that Europe approaches black bodies as sources of power and magic.

The history of consumer tastes in this century, ranging from the interest in “things black” of the 1920s, to the craze of “jungle music” in the 1950s and onward affirms that the desire for black bodies was derived from perceptions of them as repositories of transgressive energies which would serve as antidotes for a white society suffering from excessive rationality and spiritual emptiness (Fusco, 2001, p.10).

In line with Bharucha’s and Fusco’s criticisms about how Europe and North America use the “Other” to satisfy their desires, the relatively luxurious environment in Europe and North America lacks the, or even any, central cause. In fact, living in Europe means living in countries that accept the challenge of proving ‘that it can protect all its citizens from political violence’.[6] Through the speed of mass media, Arab political problems became the alternative to existing political emptiness. In 2003, the Guardian theatre critique Michael Billington expressed his satisfaction with the rise of political dramas as such: 

A year ago I bemoaned British theatre’s detachment from politics. Where were the plays that dealt with the big issues? The heartening thing about 2003 has been theatre's reconnection with the wider world. We have had plays about Iraq, David Kelly, the railways, racial tension and Belfast. Theatregoing no longer seems a pleasantly marginal activity (Billington, 2003).

With the collapse of the Socialist Bloc in the 1990s, European ideologies started to lament aspects of having visions and hopes. In What's the Use of Intellectuals?, Polish Historian Jerzy Jedlicki describes how Polish cultural critics followed Europe and America in celebrating eulogies to the death of the author, the text, the playwright, the ideology, the intellectuals and the intelligentsia. Intellectuals, who were supposedly striving mafia-like for power, announced the end of the age of ideology, if not of history (Jedlicki, 1994).

Conclusions or to be continued

German authorities broke the Dublin Treaty in 2015 when they asked refugees to just arrive in Germany. Refugees had to deal with an immense world of corruption, smuggling and fraud; and when they arrived in Germany, they were instantly under all kinds of control, bureaucracy and rigid order, as if they were colonised on foreign lands. Of course, they had no choice but to integrate into this order which controlled all aspects of their life in Germany. Not to mention the years they spent in refugee camps, the restrictions imposed on their movements and travelling, the limited job opportunities due to language barrier and racism, the harassment they were exposed to in official places and airports, even the word “refugee” itself changed from being a mere bureaucratic description to one that is used in the media, daily life and in political debates. Along with, or rather as a result of the political emptiness, refugees, who were at the heart of the artistic political debate in European arts and literature scenes, have become the central political debate that is dividing Europe, as if it is the only problem Europe suffers from.  So, when does the refugee stop being a refugee?        


Bharucha, R. (1984). A Collision of Cultures: Some Western Interpretations of the Indian Theatre. Asian Theatre Journal, 1(1), 1-20.

Billington, M. (2003, 17 Aralık). Hello Cruel World.  The Guardian. Erişim:,,1108380,00.html (Erişim tarihi: 02.08.2008).

Edgar,. D. (2008, September 27). Doc and Dram. Theatre. The Guardian.

Fusco, C. (2001). The Bodies That Were Not Ours. Londra: Routledge.

Harari, N.Y. (2015, January 31). The Theatre of Terror. Books. The Guardian.

Jedlicki, J. (1994). What's the Use of Intellectuals? Polish Sociological Review, 106, s. 101-110.

Mitchell, T. (1988). Colonizing Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. Londra: Penguin Books.

Wedeen, L. (1999). The Ambiguities of Domination. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Zizek, S. (2015, September 9). We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism. In These Times.

[1] See

[2] Boredom of the refugees’ topic was sited intimately in many conferences. We were told in confidence by many dramaturges and theatre institutions representatives that the topic is becoming boring, and the ‘trend’ now is the LBST topic. Social media and Facebook status of our artistic circles also expressed this boredom on frequent occasions is one of the most reactions we have encountered.

[3] See

[4] See

[5] Numerous Hollywood and European film productions, specifically in the post 9-11 era, start from notions that attempt to ‘humanise and understand Arab terrorists’ and ‘condemn the American involvement in the Middle East’ as in the examples of The Hamburg Cell (2004), Syriana (2005), Munich (2005), Rendition (2007), The Kingdom (2007), and so on. There are also other cinematic examples in which the Arabs are represented with good intentions and positive characters as in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), The Thirteenth Warrior (1999), and others.

[6] See