IOTF 2023: Strung Up At The Airport

Written and Performed by Azadeh (Mohammad) Kangarani (2018), Iran 

Strung Up at the Airport is an autobiographical play about a woman who shares her stories about struggling with border officers at different airports because of being profiled based on her last name and country of origin. She also questions her identity and tries to find an answer. Her encounters with people make her revise her approach and judgments of other nationalities.”

At just sixteen minutes, this is a taut and tight piece of protest theatre about why the writer/performer decided to remove the ‘Mohammad’ part from her name.

Promotional image for Strung Up At The Airport

A very basic presentation in one room with close- and medium-shots of the performer, this is a simple story with a bite which will resonate with many who are dealing with being displaced, refugees, immigrants, or holders of visas and visitor passes.

Despite Kangarani’s smooth and cheerful delivery, this is a story of situations where countries prove unfriendly and the colour of your skin or the shape of your eyes may suggest you are doing something wrong. The weird catch-22 of those who work across borders and have names which cause eyebrows to raise (rightly or wrongly) is keenly felt.

“What does my identity rhyme with?” asks Kangarini at the close of this show. Do we even know what our identity is to those who are not us? In Strung Up At The Airport, we are invited to consider how it feels to be treated as ‘other’, as suspicious, as a threat.

You can watch Strung Up At The Airport for free during Apr 2023 as part of the International Online Theatre Festival: details here.

***.5

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