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"..LARP is action - not litterature.."

"..Though the characters bring with them the ghosts of war, racism, fascism, and ethnic cleansing - these are not events that will be acted out at the LARP.."

Characters at Europa

   >> Read more about the Nordic troubles

Europa is about refugees - about the world of bureaucracy, personal tragedy, boredom, hope and desperation you can meet at any reception centre in Europe today. The characters of this "drama" are refugees from a series of Nordic wars, coups, and revolutions. Though the characters bring with them the ghosts of war, racism, fascism, and ethnic cleansing - these are not events that will be acted out at the LARP, the characters have managed to escape the North. Protection in Orsinia - their country of refugee - is not not yet granted, and there is a very real chance it won't be granted. Europa takes place during this nervous, uneasy wait for the answer your life and future depends upon.

How we work

Our work with characters is intended to give the player a "vocabulary" of emotions, memories, expressions and body language to best portray a refugee in this particular situation. We do not distribute ready-made, fully written, characters. The Dogme 99 slogan of "LARP is action - not litterature!" is the basis of our character work - and defining a character is a process of dialogue between the player and instructor. Techniques such as microlarps, drama exercise, even meditations will be used before Europa to help you define, play and identify with the character.

So please forget the traditional LARP "character". You may not receive any text about your character at all.

To help you define and flesh out the character, you will have contact with your personal "instructor" (rolleutvikler). Instructors are themselves players at Europa, but with the responsibility to help 5-10 other players before the LARP.

Asylum Seekers

Most characters will arrive alone, and will not have met any of the other characters before the LARP. Some characters may arrive as part of a family, a few others may have fled together with one or two selected comrades. Character concepts should reflect the refugee status. Far from all people attempt to flee a war-torn country. Some examples of typical refugees :

  • Professional and amateur politicians for legal opposition parties.
  • members of illegal political movements
  • soldiers and paramilitaries from the loosing side.
  • writers and academics with unpopular opinions.
  • members of persecuted ethnic minorities (example: Swedes living in Norway)
  • members of persecuted religious minorities (example: greek orthodox Danes)
  • draft dodgers and pacifists
  • People who's house, farm and workplace have been bombed or burnt
  • combinations of any of those above

Orsinian characters

The LARP is made with the refugee characters in the centre - and what we write about Europa in general is mostly about what you will experience playing a refugee.In addition, the LARP will have some characters of Orsinian origin - police, beureaucrats and reception centre personell. These Orsinian groups are for players with special interests and fluency in certain languages.

Reception centre personell (staff & owners):
The reception centre personell are in charge of making the asylum reception centre friendly and comfortable for all its inhabitants. They will spend 8 hours a day doing in-game work - from teaching Orsinian to answering questions from the inhabitants. They will not do washing, cooking or dishwasing - those are jobs for asylum seekers and kitchen staff (i.e. organisers). All reception centre personell will speak "Orsinian" - a serbo-croat language. In other words - you need to speak bosnian, serbian or croatian fluently to play one of these characters.

Have the task of interviewing asylum seekers about their reasons to flee, travel route etc.. Also : if crimes are committed during the LARP, the police may be called on although they most likely won't care. For practical reasons, all policemen are from the Russian-speaking minority in Orsinia.

If you're only semi-fluent in one of these languages, you might play an interpreter who translates between asylum seekers and locals.

Will have an almost seperate larp, exploring the beuareaucratic consciousness through a semi-abstract style of play. Most of the LARP will be spent doing in-game paperwork. No special language requirements, although it's likely bureaucracts will work and talk in English.

The illustrations on this page are electronically altered for use on the Europa website. Original photography copyright © 1996, 2000 Jim Bartlett of Berserkistan. Used with permission.

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