University Musical Society — UMS — presents “As Far As My Fingertips Take Me,” a special theatrical experience that fuses international politics, audience participation and skin illustration. Performances are Jan. 24 through Feb. 9 in a number of venues in Southeast Michigan.
Details from UMS:
Our fingertips facilitate touch and sensation, but they are also used by authorities to track some of us. In Europe today, a refugee’s journey can be set as far as their fingertips take them…
The Dublin Regulation, which mandated a fingerprinting database across Europe for all refugees and migrants, means that refugees may be sent back to where their fingertips were first recorded, without any regard to the refugee’s needs, desires, or plans.
Artist Tania El Khoury commissioned musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, born a Palestinian refugee in Syria, to create a narrative inspired by the journey his sisters made from Damascus to Sweden, to help others understand the effect of border discrimination on peoples’ lives.
As Far As My Fingertips Take Me is a one-on-one encounter through a gallery wall between the audience member and a refugee, their arms touching without seeing each other. While the audience member listens to his story through headphones, the refugee draws on the audience member’s arm.
“I left with a feeling of having established a firmer link to a crisis that is overwhelming to contemplate.” (Washington Post).
Presented in collaboration with the Institute for the Humanities, the Arab American National Museum, and The Hinterlands.