My Name is Language / Mein Name ist Sprache

live performances on location


Names can cross cultural boundaries in ways that most other words cannot, but they can also suffer lots of damage along the way. Mispronounced, garbled, even replaced completely with something more acceptable to the dominant culture, they can start  to lead a life of their own.

In a bureaucratic setting suggesting a place where names are collected, filed, inflicted, withdrawn, and adapted, a storytelling session takes place between several people ‘waiting’ among the audience members in the room. Anecdotes are an agglomeration of real and fictional narratives gathered through extended research and conversation with migrants about the fate of their names, in Graz (Austria), in Dublin (Ireland) and in other parts of the world. Put back together and fictionalized in an evocative literary text, they provide the basis for an immersive performance, in the course of which it becomes clear that proper names are not always bound to their owners. Rather, they live on independently as pieces of data to be stored, markers of identity, brands, and tools of surveillance whose location is all important.

In this performance, nobody speaks the same language, or variety of a language. Names appear in spoken, written and translated forms.

steirischer herbst 2018
Dublin Theater Festival 2018
Project Arts Centre Dublin