Staging Home

created with Sophie Besse, Mohand Hasb Alrsol Badr and Peter Pearson of PSYCHEdelight Theatre company

Real life friends and performers Mohand and Peter met working together with theatre company, PSYCHEdelight.

PSYCHEdelight is a participatory Theatre Company of Sanctuary founded in 2011 by Sophie Besse, a playwright and theatre director trained in both drama and therapy. We met with them to discuss their work on a developing piece called Mohand and Peter.  We also were invited to observe their rehearsal process and attend their first showing at Theatre Deli in November, 2019.  The following short film summarizes some of our discussions about home, art, traveling, prejudice and language. 

Through the legal system and legal regulation, the state creates a politicized human being (a citizen of a nation-state) but also a by-product, a politically unidentifiable ‘leftover’, a ‘no-longer-human being’, a non-citizen.

(Schütz 2000, 121)

Sent back and forth between sovereign states, humiliated, and represented as human dirt, stateless asylum seekers and irregular migrants are excluded and become the detritus of humanity, leading wasted lives (Rajaram and Grundy-Warr 2004). 

This narrative produces an image of migrants as outsiders,  reinforcing the story of migration as a story of people without agency.  Such dehumanisation is presently at the forefront of mainstream politics. 

In this section, we actively resist this generalized representation. Instead, we aim to understand how migrant artists tell stories about their precarious experience of border crossing and their life after this act. We looked at diverse strategies migrant artists use to claim agency and to act as proactive citizens in their host countries.