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A different kind of white

Vaba Lava, Tallinn/Estonia
Performance | Estonian with German and English subtitles | 38 min

A young man from Estonia goes to Senegal. Escaping to the future has always been his credo, and now here he is, an actor working in Senegal on his next show. Meeting a local, something happens that makes him ask himself difficult questions about one layer of his identity, and he realizes he cannot escape.

As a cliché, whiteness is usually conflated with the West. But what if you only recently rejoined the West and were born poor and unsexy in the East? Does white privilege apply to you? Of course it does, objectively, but your subjective inner feeling might insist that there are shades and nuances with regard to class and history. White supremacy can fuck itself, but so can smug privilege that doesn’t remember the price of milk.

Ivan Krastev, a Bulgarian essayist, has said that the relationship between East and West is like that between an imitator and his ideal. Is then the East’s only option to be a copy, a bastard of the West? And when questions of whiteness and privilege come into play—and they must be addressed, so let them come—is white skin, a white mask, the East’s only option? Where can you go when you’re white, but some whites are more white than others? Oh, back where we all come from—to shadow and void. A different kind of white is a performative foray down the rabbit hole of identities.

Idea, Direction, Performance: Jarmo Reha
Composition, Sound Design: Markus Robam
Light and Video Art: Mikk Mait Kivi
Ideas for Light Art: Emer Värk
Art Direction: Madlen Hirtentreu
Texts, Dramaturgy: Laur Kaunissaare
Stage Management: Tuuli Raadik
Producer: Eneli Järs
Project Manager: Liisa Liksor

With: Jarmo Reha

A coproduction between Vaba Lava, Baltoscandal Festival and Volksbühne Berlin

Supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia

With special thanks to: Henry Kasch, Allan Räim, Maldar-Mikk Kuusk, Ellon Tiivas, Margus Terasmees, Kanuti Gildi SAAL, EKKM, Uue Loomingu Maja (ULM), Widescreen Productions, Uninaks