The Believers Are But Brothers
Javaad Alipoor & Kirsty Housley
Presented by Arts House and Melbourne Knowledge Week
Wed 22 – Sat 25 May, 7.30pm
$35 / $30 / $25
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
Auslan Interpreted Thu 23 May, 7.30pm
A recipe for the end of the world: take men, politics and the internet. Stir gently.
Extremism looks different in the social media age. For the alt-right and ISIS, image is everything, and the videos that seek to provoke impressionable viewers to violent acts owe their visual aesthetic more to Game of Thrones and Call of Duty than anything else. Susceptible young minds are lured into harmless forums by dark humour and dank memes, but quickly find themselves in a dangerous moral freefall.
In 2016 UK writer and director Javaad Alipoor began a journey into this dizzying maze of digital extremism. From young Muslims who run ISIS-supporting social media accounts to young men active with the online alt-right, he soon found himself immersed in an environment of online and real world extremism. Equal parts intrigued and horrified, he delved even deeper into an electronic labyrinth of terrorists, neo-fascists, and fantasists.
This show takes you into that world, shining a light on places that are only ever just two clicks away from the sites you visit every day.
From the postcolonial nation states of the Middle East to the EU, Brexit and post-truth America, the old orders are collapsing. Through it all a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment. This work tells their story, reframing the rise of violent extremism as an international crisis of masculinity fired in the crucible of toxic underground networks online. Through the might of an impressive arsenal of digital tools this one man show conjures the smoke-and-mirrors reality of online extremism and anonymity and comes to Arts House on a cavalcade of praise including a 2017 Scotsman Fringe First Award, the Columbia University Digital Storytelling prize and nominations for Total Theatre Award and Stage Awards.
“A window into the frightening virtual world” Time Out ★★★★
“phenomenally complex… one of the most fascinating shows I have seen in an age” Financial Times ★★★★★
“Full of dark poetry and sheer analytical power” The Scotsman ★★★★
Writer, Co-Director and performer:
Stage and Lighting Designer:
This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20 – 26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne.
Supported by – The Believers Are But Brothers is supported by the British Council. The tour is supported by Merrigong Theatre, Parramatta… and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image by – Jack Offord