This fascinating video piece was created by theater and film artist Jen Browne. The piece is based on the theme of “strangers” and Deuteronomy 10:19.
Artist Curated by
19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The word ‘stranger’ immediately conjures up all kinds of images for me; what I imagine a stranger to be, mysterious or mischievous or even just innocuous, a face, a body that you coexist with in your day to day life, engaging with or ignoring but never welcoming. I began considering how I embrace strangers or in many instances brush past them. Would I invite a stranger into my home for a meal? Would anybody? Interviewing strangers and non-strangers alike I found myself thinking more about the people around me and the established criteria, either conscious or subconscious, used to determine who is a stranger and who is welcome at the table.
Another consistent turn of phrase needling its way into my mind was, “walk a mile in another man’s shoes,” the phrase was a consistent presence during my dissection of strangers and though not specifically in the Bible is very much reflected in the lessons and stories found within its pages.
My hope or aim is not necessarily to go out and turn every stranger into a non-stranger but to consider possibilities, allowing more bridges to be built and conversations to be had, to stop thinking about strangers as mere shadows in the corners of our eyes, allowing us to know the strangers around us better.
Jen Browne is a Brooklyn based writer and actor and has worked with various companies throughout New York. She is an ensemble member of The Deconstructive Theatre Project, appearing in The Orpheus Variations, A Christmas Carol and Searching for Sebald (in development). She is a member of playwright collective Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Her plays have been produced by ESPA/Primary Stages, the New York Fringe Festival, the Houston Fringe Festival, the Unfringed Festival in Limerick, Ireland, 3 Voices Theatre, Purple Threads Ensemble and Learning Stages in New Jersey. Her play A Game of [Sugar] Thrones can be found on Indie Theatre Now!. She is one part of experimental video blog tinydanceconcerts. She currently works as a full time program associate as the Irish Arts Center specializing in film, visual arts and children’s programs.