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Foreign Bodies

Birds Migrant Theatre (Singapore)

WORLD Premiere Book Now

Arif and Ani are migrant workers in Singapore. They met and fell in love. But they have duties in their home countries. How can they be with each other in Singapore? They receive some bad news. It makes their love difficult.

Foreign Bodies is created by the Company. The actors are migrant workers. There are two Singapore actors: Grace Kalaiselvi and Fahim Mushed. Haresh Sharma and Serena Ho direct the play. It looks at how difficult it is to be a migrant worker in Singapore. They are told to focus on working. They want to make money for their families back home. They often want a better quality of life in Singapore. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Post-show dialogue after 5pm performance.

Artist Statement

Singapore has about 1 million migrant workers. But we seldom talk about their lives in the arts. Foreign Bodies looks at issues faced by migrant workers in Singapore. We look at pregnancy and abortion. What happens when a migrant worker gets pregnant here? What choices does she have? Will she be at a dead end? This issue is more common than what is reported.

Women have no choice but to take extreme actions. They do so for reasons like:

  1. to keep their child
  2. to keep working in Singapore
  3. so their family back home does not shame them.

Foreign Bodies looks at these issues through complex characters. They are forced into making hard decisions. The play is not black and white. The migrants are not victims, and the employers are not bad people. How can people work together to overcome flaws in the system?

Arif and Ani are migrant workers in Singapore. A chance encounter develops into a romantic relationship. However, can they afford to fall in love in Singapore when they have obligations back in their home countries? Complications arise when news threatens the foundation of their relationship.

Foreign Bodies is devised by the Company and performed by an ensemble of migrant workers and Singapore actors Grace Kalaiselvi and Fahim Mushed. Directed by Haresh Sharma and Serena Ho, it looks at the desperate and extreme situations migrants in Singapore sometimes find themselves in. Although they are told to focus on working and making money for their families back home, often they desire a better quality of life in Singapore. However, not everything always goes as planned.

Post-show dialogue after 5pm performance.

Artist Statement

Singapore is host to about a million migrant workers. Yet there is little discourse about the migrant experience in the artistic realm. Foreign Bodies focuses on certain issues faced by migrant workers in Singapore, specifically pregnancy and abortion. What happens a migrant worker gets pregnant in Singapore? What are her options, legal or otherwise? Will she be at a dead end? This issue is more common than what is reported. Women have had to resort to drastic measures, either to keep their child, to continue working in Singapore or to be spared public shaming by their family back home.

Foreign Bodies looks at these issues through complex characters forced into making difficult decisions. The play does not just present migrants as victims and employers as oppressors, but looks at how different people can work together to overcome systemic flaws.

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Date & Duration
15 January 2023, 2pm, 5pm & 8pm
60 min with no intermission

Location
Esplanade Annexe Studio

Price
$15

Language
In English, Bahasa Indonesia and Bengali with English subtitles

Accessibility Features
TBC

Rating
Advisory 16 (Some Mature Content and Coarse Language)

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