5 questions for Enrica Camporesi






With “Performing the self – the interview” Enrica Camporesi creates a profound and poetic dialogue. We already asked her these 5 questions.



1. Where did the idea for the performance “Performing the self – the interview” come from?


The inspiration for this performance came mainly from what I experienced in my life, but also from lectures, art and encounters. This inspiration came from my academic research on post-documentary theatre in Lebanon or from the revolution in Cairo when I lived in Egypt. The theatre workshops I did with asylum seekers in Italy or my current work as a teacher of Social Orientation in Antwerp also contribute to this..


For this performance I collaborated with Elena Mazzi, a visual artist with an eye for anthropological stories and research. Together we read a lot and had conversations with professionals (psychologists, lawyers, protection officers, social workers, …). In this way we created a meaningful, trilingual text that touches several levels: empathy, credibility, humanity, cultural misunderstandings, but also incorporates the role of the laws in asylum procedures. The text, and especially the potential that is in the words, is central to us..


2. How did you get in touch with your actors?


I organized small auditions with the help of the producer (detheatermaker) and KunstZ. This is how I came into contact with Maya Sannen and Fady Al Ghorra. Their presence, voices and attention to small gestures stood out. They must be able to work with enormous limitations: shadows, subtitles, a screen of only 2.5 meters, a table with chairs and each other. Nothing more. Although Fady is also a Palestinian recognized refugee, it was less relevant than his professionalism and attitude.


3. Because of these limitations, the characters remain anonymous in the play, is there a certain message behind it?


The scene is open to interpretation. It was important to create a universal space; an unrealistic, potential space that can arise before and between the lines. An unexpected moment when the mutual expectations of the two characters come up for discussion.


4. With what feeling do you want the audience to experience the performance?


Since the interpretation of the spectator is important, I myself am curious to discover what the spectators see and think. That is why there will be a debrief after the performance. Because we experimented with both content and concept in this piece, we have received many different reactions since the premiere in 2017.


5. In your opinion, can art help future generations to experience certain subjects, such as refugees looking for a better future, differently?


I believe that imagination, play and critical discussion are good elements to enter into dialogue with other people and their ideas. It is an essential attitude to live together with respect in a super-diverse society. We need to take an in-depth approach and dare to ask questions. This counts for ‘top topics’, such as the refugee crisis, but also for the way in which we want to improve our world..



[machine translated interview “5 VRAGEN AAN ENRICA CAMPORESI”, from the website of Red Star Line Museum