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I also want to show that it is normal not to feel at home sometimes, but that there is always hope.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in stories, of myself or others. The beauty and power of mankind in general intrigues me and makes me want to write. I also like to write with a critical pen about our society, hoping that my stories will open people’s eyes.

How has your artistic journey progressed so far?

Unpredictable, sometimes difficult to combine with work and study, confusing and lonely. My path has been bumpy with peaks and troughs but that makes it fun, surprising and worth it all… Through writing, I moved on to stage poetry and rolled into music making, singing and rapping, live stage beats with a loop station, and ended up in the theatre. I think as an artist you always have to be your biggest fan and keep believing in it, otherwise nobody will believe in it.

What drove you to make NIEMANDSLAND?

I wanted to make this performance both for myself and for others.

For myself because it is a kind of farewell to my grandfather, a search for who I really am and my identity as an immigrant in Belgium. And the challenge of mixing different art disciplines in a theatre piece.

For others, because I want to show people that these stories are there too, that many people are going through the same thing, and because such stories are not always brought to people’s attention. I want to give people in similar situations a shot in the arm, show them that they are not alone, that things will work out. I also want to show that it is normal not to feel at home sometimes, but that there is always hope

What is your favourite part of the performance?

In the beginning, I talk to my recently deceased grandfather about how it is here in Belgium. I tell him things I would have liked to tell him. It’s a vulnerable moment for me because I’m not just standing there as an artist.

And I really like the song I do at the end. It has a positive message of hope and reminds you never to give up.

Anna Borodikhina PLAYS the première of NIEMANDSLAND 25.11.2022 at Arenberg, info & tickets – click HERE

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Mestizo Arts Platform