by Fatma Aydemir
Hazal is 17. She lives in Berlin and is stuck in a vocational training course. Writing job applications, working with her uncle in the bakery, smoking a joint, serving her family Çay in the evening, and secretly skyping with Mehmet, whom she has never met, in Istanbul – this is what Hazal's days look like. Sometimes she is able to cheat her way to a bit of freedom, and she escapes whenever she can. Her life is small and restricted and every step appears to be predetermined. But things go differently than expected. Hazal turns 18. Miraculously, she is allowed to get out into the world and celebrate. She and her girlfriends get in the seemingly endless line outside a notorious night club, but when they finally reach the entrance, the doorman rejects them. The girls are shaken by uncontrollable fury. In the subway station they beat up a university student who would have liked to show them his dick and shove him onto the rails. Hazal flees to Istanbul and regrets nothing. "We were angry, we hate German students," she tells her aunt Semra, who tries to bring the girl back on track, to make her repent, take up university studies and return to Germany. But Hazal refuses. Her compassion is not for the dead boy, but for herself, because this act has spoiled her life and she knows that.
Fatma Aydemir has written a colossal contemporary novel examining the coming-of-age of a postmigrant girl. It plays with stereotypes and archetypes only to break with them the very next moment. Aydemir introduces us to a girl who has seldom met with real humanity, who was brought up in preparation for a role that isn't hers, and who collects so much rage and hatred within herself that she finally explodes, a girl who ends up becoming a perpetrator because she does not want to be a victim. How do you deal with a person who will not recognize the humanity of others? Who rages with unrepentant fury? Aydemir does not offer an answer to this question.
She offers us the question and gives us a jolt, we who form and shape this society must find the answer for ourselves.
"It is so present and so violent that one can almost touch it. Anger. Mine is so big that it does not seem to fit into me."
Alexander Riemenschneider will direct »Ellenbogen« [Elbow]. He works at the Theater Bremen, the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Schauspielhaus Bochum. Last season he directed the stage production of the novel »Das hier ist kein Tagebuch« ("This Is Not a Diary") at the Junges SchauSpielHaus.