(Re-)Framing the Documentary. Exploring Asylum Policies on Stage
Friederike Oberkrome – 2018
Ensuing from the concept of Documentality (Steyerl), this paper proposes to reframe documentary practices in refugee theatre. This is based on the observation that documentary theatre during the ‘refugee crisis’ in 2015 extensively negotiated the role of documents within bureaucratic performances (Jeffers). Following the notion of the document as a powerful tool of governance, this article revisits Bertolt Brecht’s ponderings about the performative ambivalence of the passport and critically discusses Peter Weiss’ ideal of an objective and juridical documentary theatre. Finally, it analyses the verbatim play ‘Asylum Dialogues’ and the documentary performance ‘Ultima Ratio’ within the framework of Documentality.