international arts news: 100% FOREIGN? – 100 personal stories by 100 former refugees – Copenhagen 18-29 April

Newsletter April 2017

See portraits and texts from 100% FOREIGN? in English and Danish on


100 personal stories in photos and text with 100 former refugees


WHEN: 18-29 April
WHERE: Copenhagen City Hall
WHAT: Exhibition 18-29 April – Live storytelling 21, 22, 23 April


Københavns Internationale Teater opens Metropolis 2017 with 100% FOREIGN?.

Copenhagen City Hall is turned into a living archive with 100 personal stories, 100 staged photos and 100 voices with and from 100 citizens who have one thing in common – they are all former refugees.


100% FOREIGN? turns the tables around and gives a voice to these citizens, who are currently the topic of the debate, but whose voices are rarely heard. Based on a statistical analysis of the 161,000 people who have been given asylum in Denmark since 1956, 100 former refugees from 29 countries have been invited to participate. 


The oldest participant of 100% FOREIGN? is now 79 and came to Denmark as one of the first refugees from Hungary as a result of the Soviet invasion in 1956, and the most recent arrived from Syria in 2016. Participants are selected in proportion to the numbers from the individual countries, e.g. 14% are from Iraq, 11% from Afghanistan and Syria, 7% from Somalia and Iran, but refugees from e.g. Hungary, China, Burundi and Chile are also represented to exemplify the flow of people dictated by world events.

100 personal and diverse narratives

The stereotype story of refugees is replaced by 100 personal and diverse life stories about being a citizen in Denmark today. Stories of belonging and longing, dreams and memories of both people and places, as well as views on society, gender, culture and religion.


“I am not at all foreign. I feel at home in Denmark, because I have created a life here. And I have made an effort to become part of Danish culture. I’ve read the Bible, I know the Danish islands, and I know how to say “hi” in the dialect of Southern Jutland.”


“I haven’t applied for Danish citizenship, as I see myself as a citizen of the world. Nationality is a category, which only intends to put mankind into categories.“


“I have a good job and I’ve had a good education in Denmark. But despite this I don’t fell at home here. My children are Danish, but I don’t know what I am.”


The photos are all staged in the Tivoli gardens, among the myriad of colours, symbols, figures, and materials, which characterise Tivoli as a multicultural fun fair. It gives an aesthetic edge and playfulness to the photos to take us away from the predictable – without losing the sense of seriousness.

Storytelling and discussions

You can meet the participants in a weekend of short stories (in Danish) and discussions with the public in a one to one setting of non-stop dialogues over the weekend of 21-23 April. Ten theatre directors are working with the former refuges on their individual stories. 


Production: Københavns Internationale Teater/Metropolis by Trevor Davies & Katrien Verwihilt

Concept and photography: Maja Nydal Eriksen

Interviews, text, research, sound: Mette Katrine Balle Jensen & Sisse Nat-George


See photos and texts (in Danish and English) on  

Kind regards,


Københavns Internationale Teater
/ (+45) 33 15 15 64
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