23rd – 25th August 2016
Noorderzon festival 2018, Groningen, the Netherlands
Nassims project – and adaptation in Groningen, with three, local celebrities – was secret festival tip. The local celebrities were locally sourced by us as organizer and not prepared at all for this participatory role, at explicit wished of Nassim. Because Nassim comes from a difficult background – as an Irianian, he was ‘trapped’in his own country for years – he is very interested in how people connect, even if they cannot – for various reasons – communicate (easily) with each other. This is for him personally, not only focussed on speaking a different language literally, but very much so, coming from his Iranian experiences, how you communicate implicitly. Or how you understand, connect or create understanding – or misunderstanding! – without clear sets of language. For both the participants and the audience, a wonderful experience, to laugh at misunderstandings, to have a deeper understanding of Iranian culture and also of ‘living’ outside ones motherland, or outside your comfort zone where language can not help you.
Celebrated Iranian theatre maker’s playful experiment with famous Groningers
In award-winning NASSIM, Iranian theatre maker Nassim Soleimanpour has embarked on an experiment as brave as it is playful. Every evening another well-known Groninger takes the stage. He or she is the lead protagonist in a boundless tale about the power and limitations of language. Basing themselves on instructions from an unknown script, the guest narrators reflect on friends and family, distance and proximity. The result is a dialogue between Soleimanpour, the narrators and the audience, in which everyone struggles to be understood. In NASSIM, the Iranian continues the explorations of his widely acclaimed White Rabbit Red Rabbit (2012), for which he easily managed to attract celebrities like Stephen Fry and Whoopi Goldberg to perform as guest actors. At the time, the government of his homeland ordered him not to leave the country, but nowadays Soleimanpour resides in Berlin. NASSIM is the touching yet amazingly universal proof that although language can divide us, it can also unite.