Devised by Douglas Rintoul, 'Elegy' is a play that turns up the heat on international human rights and protections for gay male refugees fleeing from their homes ravaged by war. "Elegy" is a memorial to gay men that are violated by extreme homophobia in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Despite homosexuality existing in these societies for hundreds of years, the barbaric routine torture and murder of gay men and their families by local military police continues.
Exert from 'Elegy' photographic exhibition by Bradley Secker
Rintoul devised 'Elegy' in 2011 whilst working in England after reading an online essay by photojournalist Bradley Secker. The essay revealed a series of interviews Secker conducted with gay male Iraqi refugees whilst in Syria. Rintoul extracted the essence of the stories and created a poetic epitaph to commemorate those martyred in the plight to embrace their human right to freedom. The narrative is reflective of the style of Persian poetry penned by Rumi and other Sufi mystics. The irony is that countries like Iraq, Iran, and Syria have a history of homosexual culture documented in love poems.
Nick Simpson-Deeks performs 'Elegy'
The play is directed by John Kachoyan which includes an impressive 55 minute solo performance by Nick Simpson-Deeks. The play details the relationship of two young lovers who are separated by war and experience a targeted homophobic campaign of torture by the military. It's a tragic story, far too common, and not reported in the mainstream news.
Refugees revealing scars of torture - photos by Bradley Secker
'Elegy' is accompanied by an exhibition of Secker's photographs, where young men agreed to expose their scars received in torture and operations to extract organs in exchange for a 'safe passage' to freedom. Tragically many never made it out alive.
'Elegy' on now until 6 February
"Elegy" is a true memorial to gay men globally that live with extreme homophobia, and is a play not to be missed. Showing now until 6 February and proudly presented by Gasworks Arts Park and Lab Kelpie.
'Elegy' on now until 6 February as part of Midsumma Festival at Gasworks Arts Park