Young Europe IV: Introducing European Playwrights & Mentors
A three-sequence cross-interview with five of the
authors participating in the Young Europe IV project
Jaka Smerkolj Simoneti (Slovenia) & Tereza Trusinová (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
Alex Weenink & Kurt Gabriel Meli (Malta)
Matin Soofipour Omam (Iran/Germany)
With Dino Pesut (Croatia) and Dounia Mahammed (Belgium)
Exp: Doloribus nihil id in impedit.
Exp: Temporibus provident facere.
Young Europe IV: Non Dominant Voices in European Youth Theatre. Interview with Zoe Apostolidou and Emel Aydogdu
Young Europe IV is a project to produce new plays about inclusive topics in different parts of Europe. What topic have you chosen to focus on – and why is this particularly relevant in your local context?
Zoe Apostolidou: In my work, I have chosen to talk about fatphobia. More specifically, I focus on the stigma, discrimination, and bullying that individuals experience on the basis of their body size. In this play, three individuals unfold their stories and talk about how fatphobia has impacted their lives and shaped their sense of self and the way they relate to others. Stigmatizing bodies because of their size is a phenomenon that is not only relevant in Cyprus but concerns the way Western culture generates and perpetuates size prejudice and discrimination. It is therefore a topic that needs to be addressed and its harmful repercussions on people’s lives should be discussed.
Emel Aydoğdu: I am currently interested in topics such as classicism, racism, our environment, and nature. I am concerned with questions such as: How can a person who belongs to a minority in a society survive/live? How can the environment and nature be valued and respected more?
I’m trying to find a perspective and narrative style during the writing process to formulate these concerns in a bundle. I’m now researching a character who would like to be a fish in the sea, for example. What else does a fish, which may be threatened with extinction, have to say? Is this approach perhaps a refuge for the character, away from reality, or just reality itself?
This concept of switching perspectives, and listening to something that cannot express itself and may be close to disappearing, offers an important reflection on the times we find ourselves in. I see a great need to focus on sensitivity and an awareness of our environment, society, and interpersonal relationships. For me, the text as a medium is one of many ways to do this. I’m not imagining big solutions to the many challenges we face — a short piece can’t do that — but stories can tell different perspectives with a sense of urgency. That will be the focus for me during the writing journey.