Anja Grim's Jag är Hitler
Playwright, Anja Grim’s, debut work premiers next week at Inkonst, Malmö. The burgeoning talent is showing hints of pushing many horizons her examination of the darker recesses of human nature. Mr Wolf investigates what we should expect from her first foray into the Swedish performing arts environment.
How does your production reflect the Nazi unrest we are experiencing in Scandinavia today?
Because our production takes place in the social context where Nazi and xenophobic forces are on the rise, it feeds the debate about how these forces should be treated. The threat of Nazism inevitably raises strong opposition and it's easy to embrace a dualistic way of thinking: The Evil versus The Good. We believe this is extremely risky. We are investigating the role of the mistress in relation to history's dark side, and exploring an intersectional perspective where instead of dehumanizing the enemy, we make her human. This is a sensitive area – no-one wants to identify as a Nazi. But we believe that finding common ground, between the enemy and ones-self, is paramount in reconciling the atrocities of history. It is dangerous to think ‘that would never have been me.’
How active was Eva Braun in the mechanics behind the Nazi phenomena?
Eva Braun's responsibility in relation to the Holocaust is something we are investigating on a philosophical level. She was not a part of machinery - she was only Hitler’s mistress and had no political power whatsoever. Or did she? The Holocaust was not a secret for those involved, all were convinced this was the way to a utopian, Aryan society. But in our work, Eva Braun craves responsibility. Because she knew. Because she lived with him. Because she could have killed him, had she had wanted.
This is the crux of it....Where are all muses, mistresses and wives in traditional history books, where were the women before the suffragettes? How have these unwritten stories shaped the world we have inherited?
Is there a tradition of under / over playing the role of the muse throughout history?
I probably would have to read the history, or perhaps the herstory, in order to answer this question. And this is the crux of it. Where are all muses, mistresses and wives in traditional history books, where were the women before the suffragettes? How have these unwritten stories shaped the world we have inherited?
What is the point of acknowledging an individual’s contribution to social tragedies?
Personally, I do not think this settles any scores. However, the point of arts is to examine the whys. Hitler became the phenomenon he did, I think, because we do not want to see that it could have been us who were in those cheering crowds - we'd rather make him a sick individual who alone took control of the world. Demonization of him as inhuman is also desirable for our Eva Braun. She too wants to be an evil phenomenon, a non-human: without renouncing their genders or denying their social circumstances. She wishes that the Mistress could have been Hitler.
Is it important to recognise the duality of good and evil, triviality and consequence inside of us?
Spontaneously I would say no, that we should not see ourselves as dualistic. But then I would say that yes, a certain dualism lies within everyone. I think that is how we most easily understand the world: the inner and the outer, above and below, tense and relaxed - it is by duality we can put things in relation to each other. But then there are a plethora of scales and angles, ever blurring shades of grey - we can be quite intelligent animals, we humans. If we can just see the nuances within ourselves, perhaps that will be enough.
Jag är Hitler opens 7pm Tuesday the 3rd of June. Bookings can be made by emailing email@example.com or in person at INKONST, Malmö, Sweden.
Words: Tullia Jack