– What do you think people find so controversial about Mad Blood?
– The play is extraordinary in that it gives a voice to some of the things we normally don’t want to talk about, and by doing so it puts into focus our ignorance and shortsightedness. For instance, when the teacher threatens the children with a gun, a certain number of the audience will consciously or unconsciously sympathise with her. The teacher acts on the prejudices against immigrants fostered in the media, and she puts into action what most people only think. She might as well have threatened the children saying she would send them off to a desert island if they don’t behave themselves – the situation with the gun is just as absurd. The prejudices the teacher displays are taboo, yet, my impression is that quite a few people think like her. The play is about these societal taboos, and is thought provoking when its asks of the immigrants: become true Danes or die.
– Should we sympathise with Sonja’s mission?
– First, we sympathise with her. But later, as she preaches about respect, freedom and democracy while holding a gun to the students’ foreheads, our sympathies change. Her democracy project is not at all democratic – she says one thing and does something completely different, totally blinded by her own ideals. In this sense, Sonja’s double standards reflect Western culture – a culture ignorantly believing that democracy and freedom are virtues so noble it allows us to violently impose them on others.
– Do you think society contributes to keeping immigrants locked in the role as foreigners?
– When discussing integration, we keep insisting that everyone living in Denmark must respect the Danish values. But we forget that in order for this to happen, we have to give everyone freedom to discover their role as a part of the whole. How can you become ”a true Dane” when everyone around you see you only as a foreigner?