“América” on January 21
More than one year ago the decision was made to stage at the Kammerspiele T.C. Boyle’s novel (1995) about the paranoid fear of a US American border community of being overrun by illegal immigrants from Mexico. At that time Europe could not possibly imagine the migration movements of the years 2015 and 2016. Today, however, the question of how to handle the exodus of several million people splinters the EU and its societies which results in obvious parallels to the phenomena described in Boyle’s “América”. But this fact may only partially reflect the intentions of the American author. When 20 years ago he published the story of a couple of Mexican immigrants and their equally involuntary as well as fatal encounter with the inhabitants of a noble residential estate south of Los Angeles, his primary focus was not directed at the artist’s response to an imminent social emergency. Boyle was rather searching for an opportunity to expose the human primal fears which arise in view of imaginary threats and are thus able to override all reason. In an almost surreal scenario where an unlimited will to survive encounters hysterical xenophobia, Boyle’s story causes the social norms of all involved parties to become unhinged. They metamorphose into an image for which a famous Christian sequence of words could be rewritten as follows: Faith, Hope, Panic.