Paulina Tovo is based in Berlin and most recently working in the refugee camp Nea Kavala on the Greek/Macedonia border. She draws on her recent project working with refugee youth called ‘Staging Humanity’.
She also reflects on the power of participatory theatre for community building and place-making, and how she continuously weaves in her own biography of refuge and loss from Argentina over 30 years ago.
This project’s proposal is to stimulate and coordinate the artistic creation by using tools of physical theatre, work with the voice, and photo and documentary video. The obtained material is combined in a collective creation in the form of performance, audiovisual exhibition or performative installation, according to the wishes of the participants.
The objective is that the participants take ownership of their creative processes in order to stimulate the development of their individual motivations and the resources available; to recall their right to be and exist and to try to reach their full potential, despite the circumstances. This is vital for the emotional and mental survival of the people who have been condemned to live in basic makeshift camps.
I is You is a participative documentary theatre play that invites us to transcend personal identifications in order to rekindle empathy and cooperation. The audience literally delves into the most confidential narrative of the performer, who came from Argentina as a refugee to Denmark in 1980. The staging and first-person accounts are accompanied by fragments of documentaries from Danish television in the 1980s -81 about her and her family. Those testimonies are interwoven with those of European asylum seekers stranded in Greek refugee camps between 2016-17.