IT

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Bare-Handed

Martin Meyer is now called Husamuddin, and he is an Imam. Imam Meyer fights his own war against Isis by teaching the Koran. He deals with religious training and his students are the inmates of the Wiesbaden prison, in the heart of Germany. They all think they are strong. But they are not. Husamuddin knows well these inmates, some of them are returning fighters, they went to Syria to join Isis and then fled back to Germany. Some others want to fly to Syria as soon as they'll come out. They are Germans by passport, second or third generation's immigrants coming from Islamic countries: misfits, excluded, marginalized and fascinated by the words of the Isis recruiters. Prisons always have a fertile ground for the seeds of revenge, social redemption and hatred.
Arne Dechow is a theatre director, his actors are young, full of energy, vulnerable teenagers ready to believe in the untouchable and to discover themselves lost. They are inmates of the Wiesbaden juvenile detention center. Most of them are of the Islamic faith, coming from disadvantaged areas. Arne fights his battle against the Isis recruiters, from a wooden stage. He stages works with young offenders, ranging from Shakespeare to Brecht. Arne analyzes the texts with them, he discusses and revises the story until it has the sounds of their weakness and anger. He tries to build individual identities that are stronger than the ones boasted by those peddling promises and delivering the terror.Today Arne poses a new theatrical text on the chairs: it is based on the testimony of a young foreign fighter. It will be part of the new show.
While Europe is trying to cope, with very few improvements, changements of the European identity and the extreme impact of refugeesʼ migrations, in a small town of Germany, in a prison of young outcasts, a theater director and a German Imam are building, day by day, a new multi-European culture. Bare-handed.
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