Dimen Abdulla

Since making her debut with På alla fyra (On All Fours) in 2014, Dimen Abdulla (born 1984) has been one of Sweden’s most exciting and interesting playwrights, with plays such as Revolution, På alla fyra, and Swedish History X. Dimen studied at the University College of Film, Radio, Television, and Theatre and the Royal Institute of Art, and since graduating she has written for several of the most prestigious institutions in Sweden. Her plays have been performed at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm City Theatre, Unga Klara, and Ung Scen/Öst. During 2015 she was the in-house playwright at Radio Sweden Drama, and she is currently a playwright for a number of companies as well as a dramaturg at Regionteater Väst.

The Giraffe begins with a real-world event, the public slaughter and dissection of a giraffe named Marius at the Copenhagen Zoo a few years ago. It’s an event referenced by the Danish poet Yahya Hassan when he speaks of himself, in interviews, as an exotic animal put on display for the general public, and which Dimen Abdulla now puts to use in this tale of a young woman named Jaja/Yahya who spends a frantic day searching for a way to anchor herself in the inner circles of Stockholm. The difference between Marius the giraffe and Jaja is that Jaja voluntarily exposes what is inside her, allows herself to be dissected. Jaja is dependent upon the value she can derive from her experience with members of the upper-class circles in which she strives to belong: cultural capital, money, status. They, in turn, are dependent upon Jaja to gain proximity to an authentic life experience, to “genuine” suffering.

Read the excerpt here.

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