Azadeh Sharifi is an independent researcher, writer and activist. She completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at the University of Hildesheim. A recent Fellow at the Balzan Prize Project entitled The Role of Independent Theatre in Contemporary European Theatre: Structural and Aesthetic Changes (organised by the International Theatre Institute (ITI), Germany), her publications include the monographs Theater für Alle? Partizipation von Postmigranten am Beispiel der Bühnen der Stadt Köln (Peter Lang Verlag, 2011) and Das Theater Thomas Bernhard zwischen Artaud und Brecht: Der Ignorant und der Wahnsinnige (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2007). She published essays in Wolfgang Schneider (ed.): Theater und Migration (Transkript Verlag, 2011) and Ute Pinkert (ed.): Theaterpädagogik am Theater. Kontexte und Konzepte von Theatervermittlung (Schibri Verlag, 2014). Her research interests include postmigrant theatre and aesthetics in Europe, cultural theory and minority discourse, and postcolonial discourses in theatre and performances of race and gender.
My proposal seeks to extend and deepen the parameters of my research on postmigrant theatre by artists of color in Western European countries. Postmigrant artists are still struggling with representation and a lack of access and opportunities. There seems to be an invisible boundary between postmigrant artists and the mainstream, and the difference seems to be sustained rather than confronted by exploring connections. This situation marginalizes postmigrant artists within the confines of ‘identity’. But postmigrant artists are creating new conceptions of the performing arts from a multi-perspectival outlook. Postmigrant artists write about European biographies and put them in perspective by translating stories of global migration. They create new concepts of Europe that exceed the intra-European context and the Western canon. Artists of color negotiate European societies on stage by creating lived and dreamed utopias about ‘provincializing Europe’ and recreating history. These are the small shifts that add another angle to the history of European societies. By continuing the study of postmigrant artists, my research project will contribute to contextualizing the artistic work of postmigrant artists in academic theatre discourse. I will examine their aesthetic and artistic influence on European theatre. With my study I will try to inscribe contemporary postmigrant theatre into Europe to give an overview of developments and differences in a wider context.
Watch a video interview with Azadeh Sharifi.