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ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS

The play is set in a place in an unknown world that is reserved for queer people alone. In a language that is only understood there. But the supposed paradise of the queer nation is cracked and drives the protagonist* to flee back to his* old home.  In a devastated Berlin, which is only slowly finding its way back to itself after the great upheaval, »The Crossing« tells the story of a utopia that has begun to falter, from the perspective of a* dissident* who* once burned for this distant country – but is now no longer able to subordinate himself to the prevailing constraints and customs there.  

KEY VISUAL The Crossing (Die Überquerung)
KEY VISUAL The Crossing (Die Überquerung) © Oscar Gonzales

The monologue is written throughout in the queer art language Damiá, which Aslan himself has been developing since his youth – a language as the longed-for revolutionary place where a queer community can come together. For the audience, both German and English subtitles are the only way to follow the science fiction.  

Language: Damiá with german and english subtitles
Additional information
Direction, text, performance, Set design Aslan, Chris Gylee

Light design Elliott Cennetoglu

Sound design Mars Dietz

German translation Lea Martini

Outside Eye MmaKgosi Kgabi

Production management ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro

Surtitling consulting Panthea

A production by ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS in cooperation with Ballhaus Ost. Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, with the kind support of Hiljaisuus / Silence Residency.
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Ballhaus Ost
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Ballhaus Ost
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Ballhaus Ost
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Ballhaus Ost