Luca Silvestrini's Protein - Border Tales
Hi. I hope you're well and keeping, safe. My name is luca sivistrini. And i'm the artistic, director, of london-based. Dance theater company, protein. As a company we have a passion, for creating. Work, that connects, with people's, lives. And that is socially, relevant. In 2013. After a long period of research, in different countries, around the world. I made a piece called border tales. Bodytales. Is a piece about identity. Migration. Multicultural. Living, and the way we think we are perceived, by others. The peace started, from a personal, inquiry. Around, issues related, to being an immigrant. A foreigner. The other. I met and talked to a lot of people, and through their stories. I came across an often unresolved. Uncomfortable. Space in between. A border. That separates, us. The original, piece had an additional, cast, at each venue. In 2016. We revived, border details for bbc, world, television. This invitation, was not by chance. These were the times of a global migratory. Crisis. Of the brexit, referendum. And of a more general, focus on nationalism. And protectionism. Of talks of new walls, and borders. After the bbc, broadcast. The place invited, us to bring border tales. To the edinburgh, fringe. And this was the beginning of a new life for the work. A shorter. With no additional, cost, and certainly, more timely, version. Which then toured nationally, and internationally. Tonight, you're going to see the latest, version, of watertales. Filmed, at the place, in november, 2017.. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for. Watching. Oh. Wow. C. D. Wv. Uh. Foreign. So. So. Oh. So. Foreign. So. Oh. Anymore. I. Am. Oh. What. What is it. Well this is steve huh. Hey. What. Huh. Yes. We, are. Drinkers. Where else would we meet but in the pub. Slowing to andy. Cheers. Well. My friend steve, he's. Full. Of catholic, guilt. He carries. Way too much shame about how much we, drink, on a friday, night. He can't seem to accept the fact. This is just part of our culture. It's who we are. It's what we've got. In common. I love andy's. Dark. British. Northern. Sense of, humor. But not everybody, wants to hear jokes about pakis. What key opens, every door. A. Of course. Andy doesn't go to church on a sunday. Fry ups, and uh. Pop lunches, at. Weatherspoons.
That's His religion. Steve's, a good friend. I can't help. But wonder though. While getting down. On your hands and knees. Every, sunday. And praying. To a man above you who isn't even there. Could do. To a guy's pride. He identifies. With. The queen. I mean, he's a little unsure, what she actually, does. In the church. Okay. Check this one out. There's. An englishman. An irishman. And a jew. And they all walk into a pub. And the jew stops and turns around and says. Hang on a minute. I'm in the wrong joke. He's a joker. Andy, loves. Entertaining. Especially, at one of his. Infamous. Parties. Always, a night. To remember. To be sure. To be sure to be sure, to be sure. Top of the morning to you. I love going around to steve's flat. It's like, being in an episode, of, father's, head. For him. International. It's uh. A week on a greek, island, it's getting, pissed. Basically, it's. It's england, with a bit more. Sunshine. Now. My street. Is becoming, more and more. Like heathrow, arrivals. People, coming, and going. From everywhere. I mean. My neighbors to the left of me, are indian. And the bloke to the right. He's from. Europe. Considering, where he grew up. Seeing the, scottish, pound, and the, channel tunnel. As exotic. It's not surprising, he confuses, his african, neighbors. For jamaicans. To be honest. I've never really understood. What steve. Is doing here anyway. I mean yes. He's got a job. He works. In a pub. But for goodness, sake. Don't they have enough pubs in ireland. Andy loves saying that, i'm taking another job from one of his people. But always with the wink and a smile. I'm not being funny right. But my cousin. Can't even get a job, there's no, room for our. Own, kind. Just saying. Deep down, andy believes that britain is better off outside the eu. I mean, who wants a million more immigrants. Especially, muslims. Living in the uk. Steve. Actually thinks. That i have a problem. With all these, foreigners. Moving in. But the fact is. They do their own thing. They stick. To their own, kind. Don't they. There's. A lot of tension. Here. Tension. Here. Huh. Wow. Girlfriend. Um. Help. Feel free. Join, in, help yourself. To the left to the right to the left to the right. Hi i'm going back again let's look at your help please, ah. You must be the new cleaner. You can finish what i started, off you go. Excuse. Me. I'm going to buckingham, palace. I was wondering if you could help, i'm working. Okay, i'm, sorry. I really don't think it is appropriate. To move like that, in public, she liked, it, you liked, it, please. Put your top on my darling. Be decent. I can see you're, tired. From working, so hard, as always, so, please, do go, and take some rest. Off you go. You must miss your family. Do you miss your friends. You must miss the food, back home. So. Where, are you from. It must be difficult. For you, to come, all the way here by yourself, oh poor, little. Thing. Can you understand. Understand. What. I am saying. To you. Do people treat you well here, sweetie, pie. Can you not find a job in your country, oh, bless you so, how long are you going to stay here the rest of your life are you planning to go back, you must want to go home, don't, you. Your, english. This is so, good. I love your chinese, accent. Don't ever, lose it how'd you play job licket. You must, oh. Come for dinner. I don't mean it. But, you must, oh, comfortina. Sweetie, pie. Little sausage. Chico. Sugar plum. Peanut. Butter. Do. Do. Do. Do. Oh, hey. Hi. Oh you. I'm so glad you could make it welcome. Please, come in, come in. Oh, sorry um, konichiwa. Konichiwa. Oh. No i'm from taiwan. Thailand. Amazing. I've, always, wanted to go to thailand. And, i hear it's really tropical, this time of year. Oh sorry, do you, understand. Me, yes. Oh good, and am i saying your name okay. Ooh. In chinese, mandarin. You pronounce, it. Oh. Um. Anyway, you look amazing, and you are the first one to arrive so please, take your pick of a seat. Or the floor, could i get you something to drink. I, bet. You could murder. A jasmine, tea couldn't you. Okay so that's one jasmine tea coming right up just, make yourself at home, relax. I'm so glad you could make.
It. Oh. Temmie. Hey girlfriend. Anyway, come in come in. Wow temmie. Your smile, it's so beautiful, it just, stands, out. I've tried to bleach my teeth a few times i just, don't get those results. Oh sorry how rude of me. Introductions. Tell me this is you you, you you, this is 10 me. You can bow but don't touch. It's just, the really strange about touch over there, anyway. Please, take a seat now tell me can i get you something to drink. Uh coconut, water, right. Um. Rubicon. Juice. A rum, and ginger, beer right. Yes, so that's one, jasmine, tea and one, rum, and ginger beer, coming, right up just uh, talk amongst yourselves. Ladies. Oh, a thief, welcome, come in bonjour. Seif. Oh so you came alone tonight that no wife or, wives. I just have to say i love this look i see if it's so, biblical, and authentic. Like a shepherd. But i bet, i bet your beard gets you into trouble doesn't it a thief although very fashionable, right now loads of my neighbors look just like him. Anyway, come in asif, meet the gang. I see if this is temmie, tell me this is asif. You you. This is asif. You can bow but don't, touch. Please take a seat. So. Here we are. Right. Party. Yes. Yes. Are you a religious, man a thief. Um yes i'm a muslim. Heavy. Now. Can i get you something to drink. A mango, lassi. I've got a, a darjeeling. Tea. What a halal, water. Halal, water i'll see what i can do. Steve. You made it, thank god, and you've brought a friend who's this, this is kenny, kenny. Welcome kenny, come in come in everybody. This is kenny. Say hello to kenny, isn't he amazing. Now kenny i was just on my way to get you you a jasmine tea i'll get one for you as well okay. Point of view uh guinness view as well steve and uh uh rome, and ginger beer and uh halal, water, for asilo. Antar. You've made it, thank god, the party, saved, we've got music. Everybody. This is, antar. And he's come all the way from. Colombia. Isn't he amazing. And look, antar. You look like you've just, stepped out of the amazon, or something, the way that you're, dressed. Can i get you something to drink, well i don't drink alcohol, she must be a muslim too like a thief. I know i was raised as a catholic actually, right catholic, speaking of catholics. This is my good friend, steve, steve you're never going to guess what bantal, was raised, as a catholic. Huh. Now let me get this right because this is getting a little bit crazy let me just figure this one out. We've got a catholic. A racist, catholic, a muslim. Temmie. What religion, are you oh i'm a christian, a christian, very nice, a christian. And what religion, are you kenny, atheist. Atheist. New age. Rock and roll, good for you kenny good for you. And what religion. Are you you you. Buddhist. A buddhist. I'm cool with that, i'm cool with that so we've got a catholic, raised as catholic a muslim a christian an atheist and a buddhist. Let's play a little game. Who's the most, guilty. You you have you got any good uh thai jokes. I've got to dance, it's local, it's all the way from yorkshire, and you are gonna love it. Okay you two come down here for me and link arms and skip on the spot for me like this, that's how it goes yeah and stephen tell me you come down lynn comes and skip on the spot for me like these two they've got it see loads of fun right, yes, good, good you've got it great yes, the fun starts, now. Okay whilst you guys skip in you're going to skip out good, and whilst you guys skip out you guys will skip in good you've got it so it goes. Skip in. Skip out. Skip, in, skip out. Leave. Remain. Leave. Remain. Open the gates, close the gates, open the gates, close the gates, open the gates, close the gates, open the gates, close the gates, open the gates close the. Gates. Anta. This uh party, needs, some, music. Give me something shaky, something, oh latino.
Something, Something for the hit. Good. Yes i'll do go down. Good, kenny, and you give me like um. Yes oh god. I love it don't stop, louder. Temmie something, earthy, something, african, something with the feet like a bulldog. Yes, that's it girl. Steve. Something. Something, celtic. Something, irish. You know what i mean right. I see, something spiritual. Something from the east something with the eyes and the fingers give me a digger. Yes, take a. Ticket. I love it. Don't stop. I feel like, bob geldaf. I feel like i'm in a marketing, campaign, for oxfam. It's like i'm in the united. Colors of. I thought they had fun. Right. Yes. Um. Um. Foreign. Oh. Where are you from. I'm from london. Yeah but. Really. Where are you from. Well. I'm from somewhere in between, pakistan. And the philippines. And yourself. Well i'm from london too. But my family's from nigeria. But we're not just nigerian. We're europa. So you're black british. And you're asian british. So do you pray. Of course. And do your women, pray like you do. 100. What happens, if you don't pray, five times a day. Are you a real muslim, or an international. One. Do you follow, government, law, or, islamic. Law. If you're allowed, four wives. Then why are your women, only allowed, one husband. Do women, really, choose, to cover themselves. What are your views on those who radicalize. Do you think it's right, to, ban the bikini. Is it true that homosexuals. Abandon, the koran. Where are you from. Who helped you to get here. Who supports, your family, back. At home. You sound british, but you don't look very british. Where are you from. You already, have our soldiers, in your country. So why do you need to be here, can you recite, your passport, number without. Looking, what's your favorite color. Would you say you're a victim, of war. Can you prove it, where are you staying, and what are your contact, details. Black, white. Or yellow, are you seeking, asylum, for political. Reasons. Are you aware that carrying, presence, could contain. Explosives. When you go abroad, do you honestly, expect, people to speak the same language. As you why do you not have the right papers, how do you spell your family name, i suppose, you know the queen right would you accept, our offer of voluntary.
Return. Are you carrying, any sharp, items, do you think i'm less educated, than you why did you choose this country. What is your reason for traveling, so many times, to the same destination. Catholic, or muslim, what do you expect. To do. Are you carrying, any. Weapons. So. When i was just a little girl. I asked my mother. What will i be. Will i be pretty. Will i be rich. Here's what she said. To me. Be a good daughter. Marry from our people. Be a good wife, it is you who look after your husband. Raise, children. Be a lawyer, be a doctor. Raise. Children. Here's, what she, said. To me. Watch me, cook. Who will cook in your household. Your husband, ah. Never. Gel off rice. Fry fish. A good stew. Meat, pie, surya. Plantain. A way to a man's heart. Is through his stomach. Huge, slaves, of cloth. Colors, and patterns, galore. Golds. Reds. Yellows. Purples. Hair threaded. In gigantic. Creations. Poured so tight. Eyes. With. Water. My mom looked like a queen. Regal. Bright. Like the sun. Shouting, was the norm at parties. Ears splitting, laughter. Eruptions. Of energy. Dancing, would last. All night. Bless this girl. Glory be to god. They loved watching, me dance. And place money on me as a gift. So i would dance. Even, harder. All the women in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning. Whilst the men sat. Importantly. I riled, against this. Sometimes. It filled me with rage. So i chucked it all out. But did i chuck out the baby. With the. Bathtub. Longing. Displacement. Vacuous. No culture. I could be anyone, anywhere. Anyone can live the life i lead. Homogenous. I am an. Outsider, a foreigner, of the culture i was raised in. Raising my kids is just on me and my husband. No aunties. No uncles. No community, to fall on. Family's, vegan. The kids are raised on avocado, and hummus. I don't force my daughter's hair into creations. We love dressing, up. But it's all about looking like you haven't, tried, too hard. I don't know quite how my mother did it. But it wasn't until much later in life i realized. We were completely. Poor. She raised us with pride. Stories of our people, back home being princes, and kings. Now i've grown up. I realize. This is just a fairy tale. I'm a black woman. In a white man's world. And it's. Uncomfortable. Oh. Honestly. Andy's, last party. It wasn't a great success. But he is hoping that these, friday night dance classes, will make the next one better.
I Thought steve would be well up for a dance class, i mean. Don't all irishmen, like a drunken, jig. A river dance. And anyway. What's all this about white men not having any rhythm. We've got rhythm. That's, it. Maple, dancing. From leeds. Is the height of andy's. Cultural, experience. Open the gates. Close the gates. Open the gates. Close the gates. I like to think of myself, as a modern. Metrosexual. Cosmopolitan. Man. And cultural, dance. Is a great way to learn about the world. And shift a few pounds. Haven't we all moved on from the, package holidays, to spain, and greece. And now i just can't get enough of sushi. From tesco. Cultural, food and dance. It brightens. Up my week. It literally. Stops, me. From hanging myself. And anyway. It's all popular, culture, right. I'm used to all things, african. Arabic. Japanese. From mtv. Isn't it incredible, how. Little it takes to make you feel like you're, somewhere else or somewhere different. Don't you think. It's all about. Fusion, these days. Restaurants. Fashion. Fitness. We've got zumba. Taibo. Yoga lattes, we've got burlesque. With pole dancing, we've got men. Dancing, in high heels. We've got vivian, westwood, with alexander. Mcqueen. We've got vietnamese. With japanese. Sushi. With snails. Chili. With chocolate, vegan street, food tex-mex. And californian. Cuisine, with, elements, of swans. And, italia. In fact. You can get. Anything, you want. From anywhere. In the world. And you can put it. On your 16-inch. Pizza. Ultimate. Fusion. Cuisine. Wouldn't you just love that. I know i would. What would um. What would you love. Hmm. What would you love. I bet you'd love. And please, tell me if i'm wrong because i would hate for you to embarrass me in front of all these. People. Um. Just looking at you i'm sensing. A, spaghetti. Bolognese. Yeah, no. With that yep oh yeah. Lashings, of, parmigiano. From her, jamie oliver's, cookbook, though. That's lies. With a glass of red wine helps you feel, really, sophisticated. Doesn't it. It's all about sophistication. Don't be ashamed. Sophistication. And, um. What about you. You look like. The green, type. Am i wrong. Of course. Fried tofu, right with, toasted, seeds and a green salad. Washed down with a cool refreshing. Filtered glass of, h2o. Right. Yes kenny. How can i be more of a. Man. More of a man. Have you ever heard anything so. Oh. Now. You don't look the type, with your. Red wine. Sophistication. But you are. A big, fat and juicy, burrito. Right, loaded with cheese and jalapenos. And. A tequila, desperado. That's what they're called gets you smashed off your face. What kenny. How can i be more of an english, man. And and english. Man. Oh sorry kenny. I i can't help you with that. And besides. I'm busy. Look. I've got guests. On yeah go. What about over, and over over here. We got. People that won't look at me english right. You can help me. No oh gosh, you don't have solar panels and recycle, sorry, look, kenny i already told you. I'm busy. Okay. And the fact is. You're in, my. Space. You listening. Good. If you want to stay here kenny. I'm going to give you. This space. Over, here. Everything, else. You see out there. Mine. Got it. Good, back to it. Who've we got. Who've we got. A homemade, soup right, am i wrong. The sourdough, bread and lashings of butter. And what about you, madam. Is it a a maki. What do you think a ramen. A yakitori. Morning, glory, kind of kind of girl is it is it green what about. You like sprouting. Them. And how about you, shut up. Don't listen to him. Shut up kenny. Stop it. No kenny, no, no no, no, no. Don't take my. Job. Auntie. Auntie. All i wanted to know is how to be more of an english, man. Help me to understand. Do i need a firm handshake. Thank you. A good old sense of humor, you know be able to have a little banter. A strong voice with strong opinions. All of that just so you can forget this face, and see me.
Differently. You're a woman. You can help me. What do you see what do you want in a man. A beard. I've tried, it just doesn't grow. I've got hair but it's in the wrong places. Do you like a man with a hairy chest. Or a stubble. And should i shave all of this hair off be more patriotic. Fight. For my. Country. I should put people down right. Make them feel weak. Different, so, i can appear better. Stronger. Is that what you do. Is that why you wear your, v-neck, white cotton shirt. Your skinny black jeans and your. Brown leather boots, with a strap, across. All of those the traditions, i need to adopt. In order to forget my own to forget takeaways. Restaurants. Dishwashing, forget, my parents immigrant dreams so, i can have my own dreams do what i want to do be my own man. Help me to understand. We. Are. We. Are. Foreign. Oh. Foreign. Number 12. Pancakes. With crispy. Shredded. Duck. 84.. Beef. In black bean, sauce. 99. Egg. Fried, rice. 75. A year my dad. Moved. From hong kong. To the united. Kingdom. 56. Sweet. And sour. Chicken. 89. My mom joined, my dad. In the uk. Together. They worked in chinese, restaurants. And with the money they earned. They opened their own, takeaway. In 97. Eventually. They opened their own restaurant. Where they could finally, serve their own 12s. 84s. And 99s. I lived above my parents restaurant. But i never got to see them very often. I missed them. Growing up. I always felt like, my house was one of a kind. Red roof. Grey front door. Two windows, either side. But every house on my street. Looked exactly, the same. You didn't have to try and be the same as everyone else. You already were. The moment, you opened, my front door, you could smell, my house, you could smell, lagos. Thick, and musty. It hits you in the back of your chest, you know what thick musty, and hits you in the back of your, chest. Brussels, sprouts. But every other christmas, table had them so. So did ours. My mum loved, watching, african, movies. And i would say to her, you can't watch them no more, we're in london. And she would take me to the window. And say. You see outside. That. Is london. But in this house, this, is nigeria. My mom's english, it was just as bad, as my cantonese. So, it was hard. To communicate. And we ended up shouting, a lot. Do you know like i'm dying, to. My uncle, would speak to me in europa. But i just wouldn't understand. For 15. Years. I tried to learn the irish language. But being compared to everybody, else in the same subject. No matter how bad i was. Was more important, than learning something. I actually enjoyed. White shirts. Blue tie, black trousers. That was my first school uniform. And that was great. Because we could all look the same. But looking the same, made our differences. Even more, obvious. At the age of 12, i realized, i fancied my teacher. Mr power. He must be retired, at this point. And my first crush, was a white boy, called terry. I, loved, playing kiss chase. I used to catch, all the girls. Trouble was. None of them would let me kiss them. And even when we turned the game around. None of them would chase. Me. Come. Here. Sorry. Guys. Come. On. Oh. Um. Yes. Yes of, course. I made it last night. I made it at home. It's. Homemade. I made it with my wife. In fact. My five. Six seven. Wives. And my 20 children. And a camel. Yes. Even the camel, helped me to make it. Wow. What a great family. Full, family. Efforts. And then. To release some tension. I beat. My wives. Five. Times a day. And i pray. Five times a day. And i eat dhal, five times a day. Now if you don't mind. I'm gonna go back home. To my sacred. Temple. I see. Don't forget your bag. Cheers. Where do we go from. Here. Maybe i could uh. Tell you a sad story, of, when i was five and how that changed my life. Forever. Or maybe, antar, could play some. Traditional, irish music, or. Something from you too. Or maybe i could. Dance across the floor, like. Michael, flatley. I think you think. I have no culture of my own because i'm white. I'm boring. There you go. Thanks santa. We deliver. I think you think, i can tell the difference. Between a catholic, and a protestant. I'm a good catholic, boy and. I enjoy feeling guilty. I think you think i can tell when it's about to rain just by, licking the end of my finger. I think you think.
I'm Charming. A rogue. I think you think i'm gonna talk about ryanair. And their flight cancellation. Policy. I think you think i live in an island. With the, three priests. In a thatched, cottage. I think that you think, that i'm going to smash, your face in i think that you think i'm an angry crazy, woman. I think, you think, i always. Cover, my mouth. Every, time i laugh. I think you think. I'm responsible. For all the missing, dogs. I think you think. I smell like a chicken tikka masala. I've got a potato, fetish. I have a fried chicken fetish. I have a small penis. I, think. You think. I'm sexually. Repressed. I've been sexually, abused. By a priest. I think that you think, that i actually want to be a contestant. On britain's, got talent. I think that you think, i can shake my ass like beyonce. I think you think that i was in slumdog, millionaire. I think you think, i could be japanese. Taiwanese. How about vietnamese. Or smelly knees. I think you think. I wear kimono. And shuffle. Everywhere. I think, that you think. That i voted, for you kip. I think that you think i cannot blush. And i get, asian, flesh. I think you think. My name is murphy. And mine is khan. I'm. Wonk. I, think, you think. I can give you, a really, good, mustache. I think you think. I should obey. And listen. You probably, think. I came here to find a. Husband. Am i eager. To please. Everyone. Do i. Bow. The time. Maybe, i'm a small. Fragile. And easily. Scared. Floating. Lotus. A submissive. China, doll. A passive. Voiceless. Asian. Beauty. Lucy, live, from charlie's. Angels. A, crouching. Tiger. A hidden. Dragon. An oriental. Cupid. Stabbing, your heart, with my flying. Status. Uh. I'm first generation. Taiwanese. Chinese. My grandparents. They left china, with my dad. When he was only eight. They escaped, from communist, government, control. In search for a better life. And arrived, in taiwan, 1949. They left believing, it was not forever. And that one day. They will return, back home. To china. But it never. Happened. I don't have to i didn't have to leave taiwan, when i was 24.. I didn't need, a better life. Coming to the uk, was my. Choice. Are you going to stay here forever. What, 11, years. You must truly, love it here, jolie. Good. Do i really want to stay here. For the rest of my life. All i know is that. There is only one place. I feel i really, belong. To. No. God. Is. Oh. Um. Um. Um. No. Mmm. Me. Bye. Oh. Ah. No. Oh. My. God. Right. That jasmine, tea. Is coming right up. You can share a pot. Pine of goodness. Hello, water a thief. Auntie. What, would, you like to drink. Maybe we can get you a drink. Maybe a beer, or, a pinch of guinness. Ting towel beer, how about a cup of tea. Cup of tea, yes. Let's go to the. Footies. I don't. I don't understand. You. I don't understand, you okay i don't know what you're saying. Zuma pell. Andy. On glaze. I'm english. I only. Speak. English. You you. Is that what you want. You want me to learn the whole of a. Chinese, language, so you can feel. More at home. Is that it. Is that what you want. How about spanish. Cantonese. Nigerian. Asif. Urdu. Should i study the quran, so, i can, understand. You better. Is that it. Is that what you want just tell me let me know, all right. Tell me do you want to come up here or shall i get down look. I'm down. It's not a problem, take it i don't want it take it go on. It's a two-way street, right. It's a a two-way street. No. So it's about listening. I can listen, look, i'm listening, now. Steve. Help. Is it, about evolving. Evolving. Past, traditions, is it about my past or is it about, your future. Just. Let me know. Things can. Change. I can change. Is it about opening up, becoming, vulnerable, taking chances, trying, new things going, the extra mile moving. Out of your comfort. Zone. Is it about. Saying. Yes. Or. Yes. But. Is it steve. Is it about. My. Beliefs, or what you. Want me. To believe, in. Or is it more. Simple. Than. That. Is it. About. Looking somebody. In the eye, and saying. Good morning. Knocking. On your neighbor's door. Inviting them in for a good old cup of. Tea. It's. Fruit salad. It's a melting, pot. It's a. Big. Time. Bomb. My. Our spills. Are sprayed. We danced. We. Laughed. Suppressed. To, see. My old. Age mother. And. It feels. To leave. That. Dear. The, shimmer. Oh. Sure. So. You.