Home and back again
Texts and contexts in the Kebab Show theatre troupe
in Turkish immigration, art and narratives of home in France
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This chapter argues that the public space of theatre, particularly in an immigrant language, can contribute to making immigrants and their offspring feel at home in the host country. Like rapper C-it, the amateur theatre group Kebab Show based in Lyon performs primarily in Turkish, but whereas C-it’s audience is largely made up of young people born in France, Kebab Show addresses a multi-generational audience with varying attachments to France. Returning to the French concern with communautarisme raised in the previous chapter, this chapter argues that a theatre which includes familiar themes in a home language may succeed in making the unfamiliar public space of theatre (and by extension, public space in general) less alienating. In other words, what anti-communautaristes see as theatre intended to segregate Turkish speakers from French cultural spaces, may instead contribute to making immigrant communities feel that there is a place for them in France. For older members of the Turkish community, native-language theatre provides a bridge between the country of origin and France. For their children and grandchildren born in France, this native-language theatre publicly acknowledges a part of themselves that is usually relegated to private home spaces.

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