"Mum calls me Baqorban. It means "I will sacrifice myself for you". So the children in Kurdistan are sort of called "Mommy will sacrifice herself for me". All the stories she tells are from her childhood. As if she wants to hold up an image to me of her saying that purity is the same as immaturity.”
Baqorban was born at Aker hospital in the autumn of 1999, just two weeks after her mother arrived in Norway as a refugee from northern Iraq. She grew up in Haugerud in Oslo. It's always been just the two of them. Baqorban knows that as a young woman her mother was deeply involved in the Kurdish liberation struggle and that she was imprisoned in Turkey for her involvement in the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK. She knows that her mother accompanied the liberation leader Abdullah Öcalan on his flight through Europe the year before Baqorban was born. She knows that her mother was involved in the early processes that would lead to feminism becoming so central to the Kurdish movement. But that's all. The details of the story lie in the dark.
The performance follows Baqorban in her process of approaching the dramatic story of feminism in the Middle-East and Abdullah Öcalan flight. The parallels between 1999 and 2022 are striking and also play into the narrative of the performance. The current situation, where Turkey is once again using the Kurds as a pawn in international power games, is creating renewed panic and chaos in the relationship between mother and child.
Pia Maria Roll is an award winning director and performance artist. Important performances such as Over Ævne III, Ship O'Hoi! and Ses i min nästa pjäs have all premiered at Black Box teater. Sara Baban is a Norwegian performing artist educated at the Oslo Academy of the Arts and Nordic Black Theatre. Baban and Roll were two of the artists behind the show Ways of Seeing. The performance, which was produced together with visual artist Hanan Benammar, had its premiere on 21 November 2018 at Black Box teater and quickly became one of the most talked about plays in Norwegian post-war history. Rozerin Algunerhan is a Kurdish activist who has been central in the "UngKurd Norge Riksforbundet".