A Zoom performance about transnational surrogacy
The unfulfilled desire to have children drives couples from Germany and Switzerland abroad. They entrust surrogates in India, the US and Ukraine to deliver their children. These ‘intending parents’ duck legal boundaries and enter unknown moral ground. Flinn Works has undertaken research in all five countries in order to gain a deeper understanding of gestational surrogacy. Is it a blessing of modern medicine or a neocolonial act? Is bearing the child of a stranger work or charity? How do we compensate this ‘labour of love’? Since transnational surrogacy became illegal in countries such as India and Thailand, follicles, embryos and surrogates are being flown around the globe. Where the desire for a child meets biotechnology, children will find a way into the world. So they exist and they need passports. But which ones? Global Belly portrays people embroiled in the surrogacy industry. Professional agents meet content surrogates and argumentative feminists encounter loving fathers-to-be. With its ethical complexity and emotional polarisation, its legal grey zones and its medical realities the industry comes alive on the Zoom stage. Flinn Works’ immersive and interactive stage play (2017) has toured widely to critical acclaim. The Zoom version is new, updated and addresses a global online-audience.
Duration: 90 Minutes
“Somehow contradictions can coexist, just as an audience member can be transformed from a surrogate mother into a gay father. With ‘Global Belly’, Flinn Works have created a sensational, clever and complex work, which deals with a topic that is as emotionally and existentially charged like few others - and therefore appears made for the theater. But it also examines the much larger context: the global distribution of privileges is subtly illuminated on the basis of fertility industry, as is the rapid shifting of ethical boundaries in society.'' theater heute 8/2018