What makes a place ‘home’? This is a question that is a recurring feature of the productions of theatre-maker, performer and puppeteer Abhishek Thapar (IN/NL). In his work, he investigates post-colonial epistemologies, historiographical metafiction and storytelling.
Abishek as previously worked at various places in Asia and Europe. For Frascati Producties, he presented stories from the Indian expat community within the context of Stadslab#1 (2017). In November 2018, he elaborated this research into the performance Surpassing the Beeline (Frascati Producties 2018, De (on)vertelde stad). In Surpassing the Beeline, visitors and those at their tables in dived into the stories of the Amsterdam expat community. Stories of people who are emigrants when they leave their homes and become immigrants elsewhere; their past, present and sense of 'home' are completely intertwined. The emigrant from one country is an immigrant in another. Immigration history written principally in the countries of origin – has usually focussed on the problematic policy and experiences related to entering somewhere new, acceptance, rejection and/or the allocation of roles to newcomers, while expats always evade this circus thanks to their economic status.
The title refers to the idea that expats never walk a straight line from A to B when it comes to coming home or the concept of ‘home’. After all, their home is constantly moving; constantly changing, shifting, compromising.
Abhishek Thapar (IN/NL) lives and works in Amsterdam. His work is supported by the Netherlands Fellowship Program and 3package deal (AFK). He repeated his post-doctoral studies in Physical Theatre at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). In 2017, he obtained a Master’s in Theatre from DAS Theater in Amsterdam with My Home at the Intersection, a multi-sensory performance created in cooperation with his family in Moga, Punjab, where he grew up. Abishek has taught at Flame School of Performing Arts (Puna), Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts (Pune), Film and Television Institute of India (Pune), Hrishikesh Center of Contemporary Dance (Pune) and the Royal Conservatoire (Antwerp). As a maker and performer, he has worked with Flinntheater (Berlin), Mirror-Mirror Theatre (London), IAPAR (Pune) and Frascati Theater (Amsterdam). Thapar is a co-founder of the Association for Performing Arts and Research (IAPAR) and International Theatre Institute (ITI, India Centre) in Puna.
Photo: Karin van der Wiel