To what extent does our identity change when we gain new insights on our ancestry? Is an imagined identity any less authentic than a ‘real’ one?
In their allotment, ‘Stambul’, Samuel and Janik study for their A Levels and dream of the future. While Janik tries to distance himself from his wealthy teacher parents, his best friend Samuel, son of an alcoholic, takes pains to achieve a structured daily routine and normality. As their friendship comes under threat over the course of a single evening, they make a spur of the moment decision to travel to Istanbul to save their relationship and find Samuel’s unidentified father, who might be Turkish – a hopeless undertaking. For Samuel, Istanbul gives a more concrete form to his desire for identity and belonging, but for Janik, his friend’s ‘half-Turkishness’ becomes a barrier, and for him the journey through Istanbul becomes more and more nightmarish.
In his debut novel, ‘Räuberhände’ (‘Robbers’ Hands’), award-winning Hamburg writer Finn-Ole Heinrich powerfully yet poetically explores the huge themes of homeland, desire, identity and friendship.
World premiere at Thalia in Gaußstraße on 16th August 2013