The title XENOS means ‘stranger’ or ‘foreigner’. Akram and his world-class team of collaborators draw in this new solo work on the archives of the 20th century, unearthing the experience of colonial soldiers in the First World War. Over 4 million non-white men were mobilised by the European and American armies during the conflict. Around 1.5 million of them were from India, mostly peasant-warriors from North and North-Western India, who fought and died in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In service to the myths of Empire, dislocated from their homelands and cultures, their stories have until recently remained in shadow. As Akram himself writes: “I will investigate specific questions that confront me more and more every day, like a shadow constantly following me, haunting me, whispering to me… Do we need to tell other people’s stories in case they vanish? Who are the ‘other’ people? Are stories of human journeys told, retold, and told again, so we can eventually learn from our mistakes? Who are ‘we’, a collective or many individuals? What makes us human? Are we still human?”
Get first impressions of XENOS
Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary
Koproduktion mit Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens, The Grange Festival Hampshire, Sadler’s Wells London, New Vision Arts Festival Hong Kong, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Arts Centre Ottawa, The 20th China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), Centro Cultural de Belém, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Grec 2018 Festival de Barcelona, HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden, Edinburgh International Festival, Adelaide Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Julidans Amsterdam, Canadian Stage Toronto, Romaeuropa Festival, Torinodanza festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino - Teatro Nazionale, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts New York, University of California Berkeley, Danse Danse Montreal, Curve Leicester.
Sponsored by COLAS . Sponsored by Arts Council England