American-born writer and performer Amy Evans began her career in theatre ten years ago, developing spoken word pieces in collaboration with a number of Berlin-based artists and musicians. She began writing for the stage full-time following the premiere of her award-winning first play, Achidi J’s Final Hours, at the Finborough Theatre in London in 2004. Inspired by the true story of Senegalese immigrant Mareame N’Deye Sarr who died in a confrontation with German police in Aschaffenburg in July 2001, this play was the beginning of a series of pieces dealing with the topics of displacement, alienation and political violence.
Amy has since been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and her work has appeared in several publications, including Velocity: The Best of Apples and Snakes performance poetry anthology (Black Spring Press, 2003); Mythen, Masken, Subjekte: Kritische Weißseinforschung in Deutschland (Unrast, 2005), a multi-disciplinary publication on critical whiteness studies in Germany; and How Long Is Never? (Josef Weinberger, 2007), a collection of short plays written in response to the crisis in Darfur.
Mining Tension, Forging Emotional Truth:
Performing the Legacy of Oury Jalloh
ICI Project 2009-10
On January 7, 2005, Oury Jalloh, a 34-year-old man from Sierra Leone, allegedly died by self-incineration while bound by his hands and feet to the floor of a Dessau jail. Police authorities declared his death a suicide; his family’s legal counsel cried foul play.
The principle points of divergence in these two narratives generate tensions that, while obscuring factual accuracy, have enormous potential to reveal emotional truth. I will mine this potential through the development of a full-length scripted performance piece inspired by conflicting perspectives on the Oury Jalloh case.