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Invisible lands

Across the desert, behind our back. Up the mountain, down our spine. Over the sea, just under our nose. On the day the war broke out, we left home.

Geography and politics are physically extended and transformed into organic performance platforms – our bodies – and we learn what touch, presence, and endurance really are about.  With Invisible Lands, the visual theatre duo Livsmedlet, part of Grus Grus theatre, challenges themselves in a unique meeting between puppetry and choreography.

Invisible Lands has premiered 2015 and has been since then performing in Finland, Estonia, Poland, France, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Denmark. In the coming months the show will continue to perform in Germany, France as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania and Canada.

Invisible Lands won the Festival’s Director’s prize in the Banialuka festival in Poland 2018.

Best of all is Invisible Lands (★★★★★) by Finland’s Livmedlet theatre. It’s the story of refugees, represented by tiny figures, like the population of a model railway, delicate and vulnerable as they flee their war-ravaged home. What makes the show extraordinary is the path they travel. Every mountain pass, snowy outcrop, desert expanse and night-time highway is created by the bodies of Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren.

The performers take turns to bare their flesh as the figures line up for their perilous journey. Falke’s back becomes their escape route from a smoking village; Lindgren’s stomach, painted blue, is the sea to Europe; knees turn into hill tops, feet form the rendezvous for a bus. The pulses of the performers breathe life into the models as they queue at border crossings, flee helicopters and crowd on to boats. It’s masterfully done, the combination of physical effort and contrasting scale making the wordless tale devastatingly sad.’ – The Guardian, 8.2.2019

“Invisible lands: an intimate crossing

Urged by the desire to open up our vision of the world, to widen our gaze to better comprehend the humanity in its variety, the Finnish theatre group Livsmedlet has created Invisible lands, an unconventional play, presented in the Festival de Casteliers. It invites us to live through the crossing endeavour of migrants.

Performed in an imaginary language and supported by Niklas Nybom’s music, Invisible lands describes the reality of the migrants in an organic and intimate fashion from the inside, offering a human and sensible point of view to the journey. Combining dance, puppetry and video projections, using their bodies as the ground on which the figures and coloured objects go forward, Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren take part in the exile of these human beings.

‘Normally in the media we have only one, a very specific point of view. The refugees are always small, very far away, a bit at the margins of our world. So, in this performance we brake this one-sided view with a nuanced interpretation’, explains Ishmael Falke. ‘We want people to realise that there are more than one way to conceive things, situations and that we should not base our opinions only on what the television tells us,’ he continues.

Even if there is no desire to emphasize one viewpoint, or even worse moralise, (…) the authors want to encourage the audience to consider the migrants as humans and not numbers, to try to see them outside the image that has been created of them. To approach them.” Le Devoir 2.3.2020. Read the whole article in French.

Concept, direction and performance: Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren
Sound and Music: Niklas Nybom
Light design: Jarkko Forsman