(In Norwegian: «Kokila – mellom barken og veden»)
Who am I? Where is my loyalty and where do I find guidance? What do I build my identity upon?
How is it to be a girl in Norway in the year 2002, being Norwegian and also being part of a completely different culture? Much has been written lately about being a woman and multicultural, what is behind the stories in the newspapers? How do the girls and women experience their everyday lives in Norway, how is it living between two cultures and two living sets that are so different? «I was born and raised in Norway, but a large part of me is at the same time Pakistani».
Kokila – the performance where 6 female actors / dancers, all with a multicultural background, tell their own stories with humor and warmth on topics like how it is to be a single adult female immigrant, having children in Norwegian schools, coming as bride to an arranged marriage, about not belonging.
Susan Badrkhan: «As an immigrant I feel we are a people of a separate nation; We neither belong in our parents’ home country nor in Norway.»
Lavleen Kaur: «Throughout my life, I have been denied much that was reasoned: «Indian girls do not act like that». But when I go to India and experience that they actually do this and that, and even much more – I feel cheated!»
«Kokila» tells stories from our everyday lives: dreams and longings, relationships with men, boyfriends, fathers and brothers. Always seen from two perspectives, with two sets of realities. Female actors with origins from countries like Iran, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh tell their stories in this unique performance. The audience is given an insight into how it is to live like this, between two cultures and two ways of life.
All photos by ….
Idea/translation/producer: Marianne Roland
Actors: Lavleen Kaur, Neeru Agarwal, Urmila Berg Domas, Bibi Razia, Sandra Sjasmin Lindstrøm, Susan Badrkhan.
Direction: Juni Dahr and Tonje Gotschalksen
Dramaturg: Gunnhild Nymoen
Lightdesign: Ingrid Tønder
Kokila was produced for Mela 2002 in collaboration with Det Åpne Teater, with the support of the Norwegian Arts Council.
Opening night at Det Åpne Teater 8 September 2002. We also had a close collaboration with Du Store Verden.
30 performances 2002 – 2004 at Teaterbåten Innvik, Trøndelag teater, Asker kulturhus, Internasjonalt senter Stavanger. St. Croix-huset Fredrikstad, Drammen teater, Kulturhuset 37, Hamar kulturhus.
Kokila got a lot of publicity in the press. TV2 made a separate documentary about the process until the final performance, broadcast on TV2 January 2003. Other TV broadcasts: NRK1 Editors, NRK1 Safari, TV2 with Dorte Skappel, Radio: P2 Kulturbeitet. The newspapers (Dagbladet, Aftenposten, Dagsavisen, Budstikka) followed this performance from the audition, through the making of it and we also got great reviews.