Home and back again: texts and contexts in Turkish immigrant theatre in France
Schneider, Annedith (2013) Home and back again: texts and contexts in Turkish immigrant theatre in France. Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture, 4 (2). pp. 175-186. ISSN 2040-4344 (Print) 2040-4352 (Online)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/cjmc.4.2.175_1
This article argues that the public space of theatre in an immigrant language can contribute to making immigrants and their offspring feel at home in the host country. In France, however, there is little public support for theatre in immigrant languages, since it is perceived as segregating immigrants from French cultural spaces and encouraging communautarisme, or the fragmentation of society along ethnic or religious lines, thus violating the spirit of equality inscribed in the constitution. Through interviews with the Turkish-French theatre group Kebab Show and analysis of their plays, this article argues that what anti-communautaristes see as theatre intended to segregate immigrant communities may instead contribute to making them at home in France. For older members of the community, native-language theatre provides a bridge between the country of origin and France. For their children and grandchildren born in France, this native-language theatre publicly acknowledges a part of themselves that is usually relegated to private home spaces. Filled with word play and humorous situations that require knowledge of both Turkish and French cultures, such theatre suggests the important role that native and bilingual theatre can play in the process of helping all the generations of an immigrant community feel at home.
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