A new theatre production making its worldwide premiere at the festival Copenhagen Stage, which officially launches today at numerous venues across the capital area, has changed its name following complaints about its “racist” choice.
Many tore down posters in the centre of Copenhagen to voice their opposition to Sort/Hvid’s new play ‘White Nigger/Black Madonna’, which has since changed its name to ‘Black Madonna’.
Arrogant, racist, ignorant
Sort/Hvid has been bombarded with criticism on its social media platforms, where it has been accused of deleting posts.
Among the sample entries were: “Arrogant, racist, ignorant. Poor analysis of the theatre and their own role. Lack of historical, contextual knowledge and lack of responsibility for their role as cultural production” and “Danger: extreme racists! White ppl who do blackface and use the n-word to be ‘provocative’.”
When CPH POST contacted Sort/Hvid creative director Christian Lollike and the play’s writer, Madame Nielsen, to take issue with the play’s title in late March, the pair refused to comment, insisting they would prefer it if their play did the talking.
Previously staged Manifesto
Lollike and Sort/Hvid – which received funding from Statens Kunstfond, the state art foundation, to put on this production – is no stranger to controversy.
They previously staged ‘Manifesto’, a play based on the writings of mass murderer Anders Breivik, as well as an exhibition about martyrdom that included several of the terrorists who took part in the Paris Attacks in November 15.
Endorsed by CPH STAGE
Nevertheless, despite the controversy and the play, CPH STAGE has endorsed it as one of its six official highlights.
“[Actress] Marie Louise leads up to a debate on political theatre with the question: “Is it necessary to cross boundaries in order to have a nuanced conversation about our own times?,” recommended the list’s curator, Ellen Hillingsø, an actress best known for her roles in various julekalender shows.
The play is scheduled to take place on June 8 and 9, although there have been calls from many on social media to boycott and picket the theatre.