Content of Breivik’s text read out on theater stage

Content of Breivik’s text read out on theater stage

Content of Breivik’s text read out on theater stage

Actress Sacha Soydan says that she does not portray Breivik but is only speaking his text. ‘You can find dozens of similar texts,’ she says.

German-Turkish actress Sascha Soydan read out Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik’s courtroom speech in a theater as part of the scandalous project “Breivik`s Explanation,” which was previewed in Weimar and premiered at Berlin’s Theaterdiscounter on Oct. 27.

Speaking about the theater project and racism in Europe, Soydan said there was still much more subtle racism and subtle exclusion active in Europe, and as a German-Turkish woman, she had experiences with both.

When asked if she thought a similar thread of racism existed in Turkey, Soydan said she only visited her friends and relatives when in Turkey and could therefore not evaluate the country in that way. “I only know this: Turkey is a multi-ethnic state, not a society of immigration,” she said.

In the theater project, “Breivik`s Explanation,” Soydan does not portray Breivik. “I am only speaking his text. And it is merely a coincidence that Breivik was the one saying it. You can find dozens of similar texts on the Internet, written by other authors. Naturally I have to make the viewers understand the text, to feel the text. Therefore I have to think like Breivik, I have to comprehend his frustrations, I have to turn the viewers into accomplices so that they understand that this text is a part of mainstream Europe. Breivik himself is not important. What’s important is the question ‘Who speaks?’” Soydan said.

‘Text is so banal’

Soydan and the project’s director Milo Rau wanted to distance themselves and the project as far as possible from Breivik`s person in order to clarify the content of his speech.

When Soydan first read the text she said she was shocked by the fact that the text did not shock her. “Because the text is so normal, so banal. He is using a kind of language that we suffer day-to-day; once from a politician on TV, once from a neighbor in the staircase of our house. All these people don’t really mean that, not in the same implication as mass-murderer Breivik. But there is an ideological consensus behind it: The hate on multiculturalism, the fear of strangers and the fear of feeling strange in one’s own country.”

Soydan said the most touching part of the speech for her was “They weren’t innocent children, they were political activists.”

She said that in the project they read the complete text. “Therefore, we can notice that his opinions are widely held by many in Europe,” Soydan said.