Black Virgins, Close Encounters : re-examining the ‘semi-documentary’ in postmigrant theatre
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In 2006 the premiere of Feridun Zaimoglu and Günter Senkel’s play Black Virgins (Schwarze Jungfrauen) became the first play by a Turkish-German writer to feature on the front cover of Germany’s influential theatre magazine, Theater heute (Theatre Today). Black Virgins consists of interview-based monologues of Muslim women reworked into Zaimoglu’s “artistic language” and has generally been received as “semi-documentary theatre.” However, the director of the premiere, Neco Çelik, claims that Black Virgins “should not be read in a documentary [...] manner.” This is reflected in the use of references to science fiction films, particularly Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of A Third Kind, in Çelik’s use of sound, costume and mise-en-scène. Drawing on personal interviews with Çelik and Zaimoglu, as well as reviews, scripts and a video-recording of the premiere production, this article will explore the ways in which the intertextual, intermedial and transnational references to science fiction present in the premiere of Black Virgins provide a new mode of understanding this landmark production. It will argue that close attention to Çelik’s non-documentary articulation of Black Virgins can be used not only to shed new light on the play’s reception, but also to frame audiences’ “close encounter” with the Muslim woman in unexpected ways.
Stewart , L 2015 , Black Virgins, Close Encounters : re-examining the ‘semi-documentary’ in postmigrant theatre . in S Ozil , M Hofmann & Y Dayioglu-Yücel (eds) , In der Welt der Proteste und Umwälzungen Deutschland und die Türkei . vol. 5 , Türkisch-deutsche Studien Jahrbuch , vol. 5 , V&R unipress , pp. 81-102 .
In der Welt der Proteste und Umwälzungen Deutschland und die Türkei
Copyright V&R unipress 2015. The publisher has granted permission to archive the published version.
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