In Strange Lines, two people write letters to each other. They have no clue about how the other looks, how old, pale or tall the other is – they have never met. But they write. They write about themselves, their lives, their cities and their nations to each other. They draw their bodies and imagine the other’s. And then, they meet. They invent stories and sketch their predicaments, and in return are re-drawn by the other’s memories. The project seeks to play with the young art of Graphic Novel, the theatricality in drawing and the ways in which drawing and theatre can come together to represent notions of Home & Away, Nativity and Foreignness. Some stories from the book are adapted to form the narrative for the show, while others are improvised from the performers’ own lives. Devising a show with and through an international team of artists is exciting and challenging. To negotiate the intercultural with the multicultural and to place the local alongside the national and the global becomes as important as improvising the everyday - how best to serve lunch amongst all of us, how to remember the way we gaze and forget the way our sweat smells. This is a space where wrinkles become routes, fingertips become sign-posts, skin is social simulacra and bodies are landscapes. Language is a capital relentlessly abandoned and rehabilitated by its citizens and migrants. As most of the team experiences surprise, loneliness, delight, utter shock, isolation and friendship through the process of encountering each other in this project, we hope the show reflects its discoveries, its truths and its myths.
Based on the graphic novel anthology - When Kulbhushan Met Stockli published by HarperCollins Publishers, India. The book is a collection of comic strips created by 19 Graphic novelists from India and Switzerland. The stories and graphics express the shock, strangeness, confusion, humour and in one peculiar case absolute comfort in re-settling in the ‘other’ culture. Dealing of such compelling issues though the medium of cartoon lends it an ironic dimension. It becomes private, intimate and amusing all at once.
Concept & Direction by Amitesh Grover | Performers Amit Saxena (India) & Julia Perazzini (Switzerland) | Set Design by Kumaradas T N | Dramaturgy by Keshav Kumar | Video Design by Michel Weber | Sound Design by Ish S | Live Drawing by Dheerendra Dwivedi | Production Manager Mukesh Kumar | Photography by Thyagarajan S
Produced by Prohelvetia, Swiss Arts Council, India | Language Multilingual (English, Hindi, French & Swiss-German) | Duration 1hr. 15mins.